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991 Wildwood Lane

Highland Park, IL 60035

Walter@clarinetxpress.com

 

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C Clarinet Mouthpieces

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For several years now, clarinetists from all over the U.S. have sent me their C clarinets. The problem is always similar:

“I love my C clarinet, but I can’t play it in tune.”

 

It’s true that sometimes, acoustical work needs to be done, or a barrel replaced. But frequently, the problem lies in the mouthpiece. While I encourage clarinetists to try to use their regular Bb/A mouthpiece on the C, frankly, some of the deep chambered mouthpieces that we love on the Bb and A cause unavoidable problems on the C clarinet, especially in the throat tone range.  Often, I have been able to “cure” or mitigate these problems by selecting one of my CXZ_AW_PERS mouthpieces. The shape of the windway and the depth of the chamber really help stabilize the tuning on many C clarinets.

Order mouthpiece -  CXZ_AW_PERS

If you have a Noblet C clarinet, the throat tones are normally FLAT –

Order mouthpiece -  CXZ_K2e

Customer quote on the CXZ_K2e: 

Thank you Walter for the nice mouthpiece, with which I am very happy, indeed, I'm actually quite delighted. Although my Noblet was a sweet little piece, the K2e has evened out the intonation of the throat notes nicely. It has also evened out the tone around the break to boost the previously fluffy G+,A,Bb and also given me a better tuning for the side key alternative for F# and Bb. Maybe I've been incredibly lucky with this m/p, but your customer feedback suggests it might be something to do with your good self!” Bob Thomson – Scotland

 

Mouthpieces are now available with Rovner “Dark” Ligatures and Caps, if so desired.

Price - $220, $240 with Ligature and Cap, plus shipping and IL state tax (If a resident of IL)

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To pay using a credit card, you may call me direct at 847-266-8644.

 

From a post I made to the woodwind.org clarinet list , on 6/04/07:

As far as I can determine, all C clarinets currently in production have a bore size that accepts, or shall I say requires, a normal Bb/A clarinet mouthpiece. In terms of bore size. I do know at one time, some C clarinets were made with a smaller bore, in a scaled down manner as one would expect when viewing the difference between an Eb clarinet and a Bb clarinet. I believe Kohlert made such a clarinet in the previous century.

One might argue that the compromises inherent in a design that allows the same mouthpiece to be used on the Bb, A, and C clarinets will have too many problems on any of the instruments. However, that seems to be the decision made, in aggregate, by the various manufacturers.

One of the big problems with C clarinets is the relative instability of the throat tones. There is no uniformity here between brands. Many C clarinets seem to have throat tones that want to go very sharp. Pulling out can "fix" these notes but make other areas uncomfortably flat.

Various mouthpiece combinations can help, but the solution is going to be brand specific. There can be no one "C clarinet mouthpiece" that solves all the problems across all brands/models.

Some of the top level professionals who use C clarinets recommend using the same mouthpiece as the Bb and A. Fast switches are easier, you do not have to contend with a dry reed at a crucial moment, and you do not have to have separate reeds.

However, if the C clarinet you buy cannot be played in tune with your Bb/A mouthpiece, other solutions might be necessary.

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Copyright: Walter Grabner, 2004