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Choosing a Step Up Bass Clarinet Mouthpiece

#1
Hi there,
I started bass clarinet few months ago. I bought a used Bundy from my repairman. He also gave me a student mouthpiece. Since I've been playing tenor sax for a few years and I use 6 to 7* tip opening on it, that student bass clarinet mouthpiece is too closed tip for me and has lots of resistance. I tried a Vandoren B45 and B46 at the store. They sound free blowing enough for me. I had squeak here and there more than my student mouthpiece but the store agent was saying I just started that mouthpiece so if I buy it and take it home and practice, after a while I will be comfortable without squeaks.
Then I started looking into forums and try to find a good used mouthpiece in the range of 100 to 200 dollars that is free blowing, has a nice sound, and is good enough till I become an intermediate player.
I didn't have much luck. Either they were too closed tip (Fobes Debut) or too expensive (Grabner CX_BB_90). I think I will be fine with a tip opening of 185 to 200. I like to play solo over my own composition I do in computer. I make new age and smooth jazz stuff.
I appreciate your help.
Thanks,
A.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#2
The Fobes Debut is $45 and the Grabner is $270, so you're not looking at a "$100 to $200" range. What's the price that you're comfortable with?
 
#3
The Fobes Debut is $45 and the Grabner is $270, so you're not looking at a "$100 to $200" range. What's the price that you're comfortable with?
Thanks for helping out.
I thought I mention Grabner was too expensive for me i.e. above my 100 to 200 dollar preferred range. The reason I have a lower price limit of 100 dollars is hoping to stay away from the closed tip student mouthpieces.

The only one that I know in that price range (100 to 200 dollars) and open enough tip is Vandoren B45/46. I tried them and I like the openness more than my current mouthpiece but I don't like the sound a lot.

So these are things that can perhaps clarify my enquiry:

A: I don't know Vandoren B45/46 are the best choice compared to higher model of Fobes or Garret (just heard the name don't know anything about how good they are, student or non, price, etc.), I'm open to suggestion: any thing else non-student, good quality, good sound, but not more than 200 dollars. I'm asking for advice here.

B: I rather buy a used mouthpiece but a better mouthpiece. Is there any place in the web to buy used bass clarinet mouthpieces?

I hope I'm clear. Let me know if I'm not.

Thanks again.
 
#5
For used mouthpieces outside of a network of friends that might own them, you could do worse than checking eBay.
Can you please let me know what is your opinion for comparing Fobes Nova with Garret or any other medium priced intermediate player bass clarinet mouthpieces? A model that has medium open to open tip opening.
Thanks a lot.
 

SOTSDO

Old King Log
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#6
By no stretch of the imagination am I an expert on mouthpieces, having only tried perhaps four different manufacturers' products over the years. (I've found what suits me, although my choices are certainly not "mainstream" by any stretch of that same imagination. Others hereon "have the bug" for searching them out, and I'm sure they will chime in in due course.
 

SOTSDO

Old King Log
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#8
For the bass clarinet, I've played C and C* Selmer mouthpieces for many years, but have recently (last few years) switched over to a G lay, a very open lay, combined with Vandoren 2 1/2 reeds. I have used a Charles Bay custom in the past, but it got gebroken back in the day.

On clarinet, I've used Selmer HS* for many many years, and haven't found anything to match the ancient one of these that I blundered onto in a junk box. I've even had a custom version produced (by Hite, I think) to act as a spare.

Saxes, I used to settle for Selmer pieces, but transitioned to Berg Larsen metal mouthpieces with a very open lay when I started playing "modern" charts.
 

Gandalfe

Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
Administrator
#9
Dunno if you want to hear from a hobbyist doubler. But I struggled finding my sound on the bass clarinet, until I purchased a Grabner piece. I went from squeaking in the clarion and up range to being able to make the bass clarinet speak across the range of the instrument. It is pricey, but for me, I just saved up longer to get the piece that I wanted. You can find cheaper piece that will work for you, but you need to be able to try them. I have found the Grabner pieces (I bought them for bass, contra alto, and contrabass clarinets) to be right the first time. (I never had to return a mouthpiece.) YMMV.
 
#10
If you want a more open mouthpiece than pretty much all of the "student" mouthpieces (I use quotes because they can sometimes be as good as any mouthpiece) then another option is a Behn Overture mouthpiece but ask Brad to face it the way you prefer (you can tell him the tip opening you prefer). The total cost is approx $100 (maybe a little more) if I remember. I have one FWIW.
 
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