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Friday
Mar092012

mouthpiece refacers

With my handicap, there is a greater risk of me having a slip up and damaging my mouthpiece. Also, With the amount of time I plan on practicing to gain and maintain technique on my toggle-key sax, I was fearful of wearing out my main mouthpiece that already had qute a many number of hours of playing time before my stroke. I decided to have a few mouthpieces similar to my old piece refaced as backups. If they turned out to be better than my old mouthpiece, Then I'd keep them and sell the old one. If I ended up still preferring my old mouthpiece, then I'd sell the refaced pieces. I also wanted to do this to get an idea of who I would trust for having students send mouthpieces to for refacing if they needed such services. I have sent three vintage Selmer scroll shank pieces out to various people. Brian Powell, of mouthpieceguys.com, Phil Engleman of Phil-tone.com, and C. Robert Scott who is best known among the clarinet world for his custom made synthetic barrels which are in common usage by clarinet students in the studios at UNT and several high school band programs in Texas.The refacing work done by Phil and Brian is of the highest quality I have seen in a long time. I,quite honestly, did not hold out much hope for liking these mouthpieces better than my old mouthpiece. But I was totally wrong. They opened my eyes to just how stuffy and unresponsive my old Selmer was. And all this time I thought I just preferred resistance coming from a clarinet world.

 

Both mouthpieces are so close that after several hours of comparison playing,  I seriously couldn't tell one that I preferred over the other. It just depends on the moment, the alignment of the planets, phase of the moon, prominence of solar flares, and other metaphysical hooplah. :-) After a few weeks, I finaly narrowed it down to Phil's mouthpiece, on the basis is of high tones being ever so slightly more responsive and playing for extended sessions being slightly less fatiguing.  I sent my real Soloist to Phil and it came back being the best mouthpiece I ever had the pleasure of playing.  Even though I chose to send my primary mouthpiece to Phil, I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Brian Powell to anyone looking for a reface job.  Mouthpieces are such personal and individualized items that I would have been perfectly happy with having Brian reface my Soloist.  The curve that Phil used just happened to be a better match for my playing/embouchure.

 

I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending either of these guys to anyone for refacing work.

I am still awaiting the mouthpiece from Mr. Scott as I sent it out to him considerably later than the other two.

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