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My mouthpiece is stuck :o(

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
On 2 of my Couf mpcs
a 8*R
and a J8*R

the 8*R has a regular baffle when you look at it.
The J8*R has a flat step baffle that goes for 1/2 inch before dropping off to the chamber area

The volume (if you were to fill it with water) is quite a bit less of the J versus the regular R
I had to extend that shank (cut the shank off another Couf mpc and epoxied it on the J mpc) to get it to properly tune on the neck. Many players who use these have the same issues ... mpc is too far out to properly fit well.

The step baffle helps in the projection arena too, and a large throat provides a nice deep and complex tone. I have some pics (before the shank extension)
 

Dave Dolson

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
Steve: I appreciate your efforts here to show the differences. You obviously have an extensive mouthpiece collection, and having similar models side-by-side tends to show that someone may determine chamber size by merely looking at pieces side-by-side. The one piece you showed had what looked to me to be a very radical baffle. None of mine look like that, although one Runyon Jaguar has a distinct baffle with a trough cut into it.

My problem is that without having several Meyer alto pieces side-by-side to make a comparison, it would be extremely difficult to call one a "large chamber" and the others "medium" or "small" chambers, except that Meyers stamps those designations on their pieces.

I have two Meyer alto pieces on my desk now as I type this. One is marked "Small Chamber" and the other is marked "Medium Chamber". In addition, I went through my alto pieces (maybe 10 or so, including one that looks like an old Buescher vintage mouthpiece) and frankly, they all looked about the same to me.

Oh, the opening into the barrel/shank/whatever (where the neck is inserted) varied in diameter and shape, but the actual internal volume was close enough that I'd be hard-pressed to declare any to have a certain chamber size.

Specifically, my two Meyer pieces look the same.

I understand how in theory the chamber size can effect intonation (the cone and all that), but after all of that is said and done, I still must site a mouthpiece on the cork, then play the horn against a known tuned source to determine whether the horn is in tune with that piece.

I have marked my neck corks where the bottom of the piece should be placed for tuning with my tuned piano. All of my mouthpieces sit at the same place when tuned to my piano.

As far as looking at the physical characteristics of a mouthpiece and being able to tell that it is a player, I'm not convinced. The tip-opening alone should be an unknown until the piece is played. So what if the piece has a "rollover" baffle and a square chamber opening and whatever-size chamber if the tip is so closed I can't play it?

I am still not convinced that players (as a rule) really know their mouthpieces' chamber sizes. I fear they are parroting what some master-degree marketing whiz put in the text of all those ads in the WW&BW catalog.

Just like many claim their horn is a "large-bore" or "small-bore", etc. I have yet to read that anyone actually measured their horns and determined the bore-size or internal volume in comparison to another horn. By the way, I've done that with several horns, but not in exact detail. DAVE
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
Steve: I appreciate your efforts here to show the differences. You obviously have an extensive mouthpiece collection, and having similar models side-by-side tends to show that someone may determine chamber size by merely looking at pieces side-by-side. The one piece you showed had what looked to me to be a very radical baffle. None of mine look like that, although one Runyon Jaguar has a distinct baffle with a trough cut into it.
That one Couf Jazz is an extreme (like the Keilwerth jazz), but they are more common on metal mpcs such as Dukoffs, some Vandorens, et all. but the tip baffle, being a step baffle, short or long rollover baffle, or no baffle at all - all have an effect on the tonal qualties of the mpc. Just play a 1970s Selmer Soloist Style (no baffle - and can be considered muddy & dark) to an earlier Soloist with a roll over baffle.


My problem is that without having several Meyer alto pieces side-by-side to make a comparison, it would be extremely difficult to call one a "large chamber" and the others "medium" or "small" chambers, except that Meyers stamps those designations on their pieces.

I have two Meyer alto pieces on my desk now as I type this. One is marked "Small Chamber" and the other is marked "Medium Chamber". In addition, I went through my alto pieces (maybe 10 or so, including one that looks like an old Buescher vintage mouthpiece) and frankly, they all looked about the same to me.
Look up the shank of the mpc with a light source on the window area (where the reed goes). This should show you the visual difference between a small, medium and large throat/chamber mpc. You can also stick your pinky finger in it (ok, mine are small and fits) and in large/ex large chambers they are normally cut out deeper.


Oh, the opening into the barrel/shank/whatever (where the neck is inserted) varied in diameter and shape, but the actual internal volume was close enough that I'd be hard-pressed to declare any to have a certain chamber size.

Specifically, my two Meyer pieces look the same.
barrel/shank can always vary by manufacturer and probably even between models !! and if they have a worn out drill even in the same model. There's usually a minute difference when you measure them. But alot of that volume is irrelevant because it gets put on the neck. it's hard to measure the volume of similar sax mpcs because it goes on a cork-neck. Whereas on clarinets, it's much easier to measure because the mpc goes into a barrel vs on.

The example of the Jazz (with the step baffle) and on Jazz model showed just that - the volume in the upper end of the mpc. the step baffle easily taking up a lot of space, thus needing to be pulled out more on the neck.

As far as looking at the physical characteristics of a mouthpiece and being able to tell that it is a player, I'm not convinced. The tip-opening alone should be an unknown until the piece is played. So what if the piece has a "rollover" baffle and a square chamber opening and whatever-size chamber if the tip is so closed I can't play it?

I am still not convinced that players (as a rule) really know their mouthpieces' chamber sizes. I fear they are parroting what some master-degree marketing whiz put in the text of all those ads in the WW&BW catalog.
we can measure the tip opening, and tell you if you would like it. If you like wide open mpcs and say a 2 reed .. might not work well on a really closed mpc tip. But you may have seen the generalized charts that state what hardness reed to use on a particular tip opening. You dont' use a 1 on a super small tip opening, same as you don't use a 5 reed on a 10* Link

The tip opening really allows for how much airflow and thus flexibility you can get from the mpc. as you increase flexibility it also requires more control by the player.

(generally speaking)
throats may center and focus the airflow and tone. can also cause some intonation issues.

length of lay/facing may allow the reed to respond quicker. shorter facings allow for quicker articulations.
siderails,tip rail thickness affects response too
tip rail & shape of roof affects tonal qualities
etc
that's assuming everything is finished properly - if the siderails are uneven or other problems, then it's probably not a good player no matter what.

If you sat in front of a mpc refacer / maker told him/her what you currently play, what you like and don't lke, play a bit for them, then tell them what you are after, they should be able to select a few mpcs from their collections for you to try that are approx what you are looking for.

I do this quite often for clarinet mpcs and am usually on the mark.


Just like many claim their horn is a "large-bore" or "small-bore", etc. I have yet to read that anyone actually measured their horns and determined the bore-size or internal volume in comparison to another horn. By the way, I've done that with several horns, but not in exact detail. DAVE
Don't forget to ask them the width of their toneholes ........
 
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Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
It took me a couple years (and alot of research) and an ever expanding mpc collection to visually understand the differences and many inspections. Initially I didn't see many differences, but as your improve your analysis skills you start seeing differences. Then as you fiddle with test mpcs you are then able to see what change where would affect what.

So it's not an easy thing. but as mentioned, if you get in front of someone that knows their trade is they should be able to make it easy for you.

One of the best models in my collection was a line of Couf mpcs. From a 2 to a 6 tip
as the tips got larger so did everything else internally ... as scooped sidewalls got bigger and more defined along with the throat. Was a pretty neat collection to have
 
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Dave Dolson

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
Steve: I agree about tip-openings. I am a large tip-opening/soft reed player. The size of the tip-opening is THE ONE factor that I can judge BEFORE trying a piece. I am almost always right about the results, based solely on tip-opening.

The one exception was that alto piece I got from Ed (the Don Sinta piece). He said it was similar to a Selmer C* but when I played the Sinta (using a Fibracell reed comparable to a harder cane reed) it played as good or better than my more open pieces.

So that we are all saying the same thing, I take it that the shape and size of the opening between the chamber and the throat (where the neck inserts; round on some, square on others, larger on some, smaller on others) is NOT the "chamber size", but merely the opening. OR, are you saying that the opening alone is the chamber size and that the whole of the mouthpiece's interior is something other than chamber-size?

For sure, I can see differences in that opening when I view mouthpieces from the barrel/shank/neck-thingy. What I contend is that the full inside of the mouthpiece, excluding the neck-space, is very difficult to determine by eye-balling it.

Just this morning I got out a bunch of different alto pieces and using a harder reed, tried them all. They all tuned at the same spot on the neck, some were louder than others, some I could hardly get a sound out of - an old vintage Conn piece. All I really proved was that I STILL like my Meyer 6S-M the best. DAVE
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
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saxismyaxe

Friends of the WF
Distinguished Member
Back to the initial problem for a minute,

For future reference, a penetrating oil (WD-40 as suggested earlier will also work in a pinch, but might have more difficulty seeping into the meager joint space) will provide enough lubrication to free the parts, and you might get away without damaging the cork in the process. Albeit it will more likely than not soften the contact cement holding the cork on.

I've had my share of stubborn, decades old "gimme" clarinets who's sections were seemingly cemented shut from non use. The penetrating oil works every time.

The heavy duty grades are useful for freeing stubborn woodwind key rods, hinge tubing and screws during an overhaul too.
 
Back to the initial problem for a minute,

For future reference, a penetrating oil (WD-40 as suggested earlier will also work in a pinch, but might have more difficulty seeping into the meager joint space) will provide enough lubrication to free the parts, and you might get away without damaging the cork in the process. Albeit it will more likely than not soften the contact cement holding the cork on.

I've had my share of stubborn, decades old "gimme" clarinets who's sections were seemingly cemented shut from non use. The penetrating oil works every time.

The heavy duty grades are useful for freeing stubborn woodwind key rods, hinge tubing and screws during an overhaul too.
I agree, a good penetrating oil that I have used is PB Blaster. It can be found at most auto parts and hardware stores. I've used it to free up a low c key on a Vito alto, and on a cornet that had every slide and valve stuck. It's a little smelly though, and I probably would not use it on anything close to my nose that was porous and would retain some of the odor like a cork. Your better off using another penetrating oil that is less offensive for those applications.
 
It would have been interesting to see if the WD 40 would have worked.

Once we got the mouthpiece off there was a 1/4" GROOVE where the metal at the top of my neck was. Like if you put you finger in the mouthpiece and felt along the walls of the piece you would reach near the back and feel a huge indent. It was crazy! So while I was twisting the mouthpiece to try to get it off ... I was actually slowly removing rubber off the piece until I had a nicely healthy indent that went all the way round - caused by the metal ring at the tip of my neckpiece.

I.e. the inside of the piece was ruined ... they had to send it back to the manufacturer. The weirdest things happen when I'm around.
 
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I was playing my saxophone and the notes were sounding really really flat. I looked in the bell and there was a mouthpiece inside of it, and I have no idea how. I have tried to get it out but didn't succeed. Anybody have ideas? I have a concert tonight.
 
Hey all!!

Well I just bought a V16 7s for my alto - since I sold my mouthpiece, I needed something to tie me over until I get my new horn.

Anyways ... to play in tune i have to push all the the way on ... but when I went to take off my mouthpiece it won't BUDGE!

I will turn ... but no matter how hard I pull it won't come off

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Also, the mouthpiece isn't that far in it's still showing about 1/2" of cork.

:eek:(
I know it's been years since this post came out, but for anyone who is still looking for help when this happens....take a few large rubber bands and just hold them in your left hand while holding the neck. Turn the mouthpiece with your right hand and it comes off immediately. you're welcome!
 
Hardware stores sell squares of a sort of coarse-weave rubberised fabric intended for putting under things that you don't want to slide. It's extremely hi-friction and makes removing stuck jar lids, clarinet joints, mouthpieces very easy. Because the high friction prevents the stuck item from turning in your hand all of your effort is used to rotate or pull the stuck part and not wasted in gripping tightly.
 
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