Ever had a mouthpiece cloned?

Discussion in 'Mouthpieces / Mutes / Other' started by fleebat, Jul 17, 2004.

  1. fleebat

    fleebat New Friend

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    Jun 15, 2004
    I'd like to hear from anyone who's had a favorite mouthpiece "cloned," or copied digitally (or otherwise, I guess). I know that several manufacturers offer that service; Reeves, Kanstul, Curry, GR, lots of others.
    Who did your work, and how did things come out? Did they actually nail it? Come close? Not even in the ballpark?

    Some also offer the "decapitation" method, where your rim is cut off and threaded, thus making it usable on other bodies/shanks from that maker. As I like everything about my main piece, and would really just like some cup/backbore options based on that, this wouldn't be my prefered course of action.

    For info's sake, I'm not on a grand safari. Did that long, long ago, and you wouldn't believe how many pieces I've got stashed around here from, let's see... 8 or 10 makers. I'm really just needing some feedback on the clone thing. Thanks! Rusty Russell
     
  2. CJDJazzTpt

    CJDJazzTpt Pianissimo User

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    May 31, 2004
    New Orleans, LA
    Rusty,

    I had Greg Black copy a mouthpiece for me. He did an excellent job! He was a lot cheaper than anyone else that I could find. I think most of the time 'cloned' mpcs cost about $300 to make. Greg Black did mine for $165 so that is another great side to that as well. He makes a great mpc and I would recommend him highly.
    Also, Bob Reeves does a very good job as well. He is a bit higher priced but I like his screw-rim option....you can add different underparts to suit the work that you are doing! With either one of these guys, you cannot go wrong!

    -Cory-
     
  3. fleebat

    fleebat New Friend

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    Jun 15, 2004
    Thanks for the input, Cory. I have thought for quite a while that I'd have Reeves clone my favorite for me, and will probably go that route. I'll wait until delivery of a Calicchio, sometime in the next 3-4 months, as I want to check some different shanks & get a solid piece to fit the new horn.

    Cloning/copying seems like a good choice. So many manufacurers, meaning well, start with a much-loved design and "improve" it, so it becomes "their version" of a 3C, 5C, 13A4A, whatever. The problem is, those improvements/tweaks often alter the feel enough that the new piece doesn't feel at all similar to the original.

    For years I chased the idea of finding a piece with a rim that felt like one of my better Bach 3Cs (I've got a seperate drawer full of 'em; started collecting them when Bach changed a while back. They vary a lot, and a few feel really good to me), but offered a shallower cup for a brighter sound when I needed that. Everything I've tried (bought!), and I've tried a BUNCH, has in fact been an entirely different mouthpiece. And if you go with a Bach with a shallower cup (E, F, etc.), the backbore is different. Most I've tried have pretty different rims, as well.

    I know there is a balance bewtween cup, backbore, throat, and shank, and that makers are trying to address that when they build a piece for sale to the general customer base. But I have always thought that if any maker would just try to control the "tweaking" urge and build a 3C--rim, backbore & throat unchanged from a general average of good 3Cs--and simply cut the bowl a little shallower, they'd sell tens of thousands of them. How many posts have we seen, and how many times did we hear, before the internet, that indicate a huge demand for such a piece? If Bach had done this years ago, I believe they would hold an even bigger market share advantage today.

    All this could be a big waste of time, of course. I can see having Reeves clone my favorite, loving it, then asking him to build the same piece with ONLY a shallower cup, and finding that it doesn't work like I hoped. I'd then have to admit that all the makers were right. But at least I'd KNOW that from personal experience.

    Again, thanks for the reply.
    Rusty
     
  4. CJDJazzTpt

    CJDJazzTpt Pianissimo User

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    May 31, 2004
    New Orleans, LA
    Also keep in mind that different shaped cups require different backbores. Bob Reeves will however do whatever you want if you want it bad enough. He'll put his input in but if you want a larger throat and backbore on a shallower piece then he'll do it for you. If you look on his website he has the proper backbores that fit each cup. However, no one is the same so if you prefer a certain 'feel' to your mouthpiece then he'll create whatever you want. Which Calicchio do you play or have on order? I might be able to throw a suggestion or two your way as far as mouthpieces go. (cup/backbore selection etc,...) If you want, send me a PM.
     
  5. JACKKANSTUL

    JACKKANSTUL Pianissimo User

    While many mouthpiece makers have copied mouthpieces for decades KANSTUL is the first to copy it digitally using a laser scanner(very high tech and very expensive for the machinery). It uses a ruby probe to scan the mouthpiece and is able to make an EXACT COPY OF THE BACKBORE. This has never been done before. Therefore with the LASER you have an EXACT copy of the mouthpiece not only on the outside(cup, rim etc.) but more important you have an EXACT copy of the inside(BACKBORE). When word of this got out Wallace Rooney brought in his Gustat Mouthpiece that Miles had given him and had it copied. He was very happy with the results and because of this you can now order one for yourself. With this technology you can have any cup put on any backbore from any manufacture as the factory has copies of most. This allows the player to custom tweek his mouthpiece for a perfect fit. A proper fit makes a big difference in how the horn works for you individually. If you want to know more give me a call(480-753-3468) or email([email protected]).

    Jack Kanstul
     
  6. CJDJazzTpt

    CJDJazzTpt Pianissimo User

    91
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    May 31, 2004
    New Orleans, LA
    Sorry I left Kanstul out of the mix too! They make great replications.... You'd be hard pressed to find a better mpc. copy. I respect Kanstul's products a lot. I should have mentioned them earlier.

    -Cory-
     
  7. fleebat

    fleebat New Friend

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    Jun 15, 2004
    Jack & Cory,

    Sorry, I've been away from the screen for most of the day. Thanks for your replies. I had thought about Kanstul. For the past couple years I've been playing a Kanstul Chicago (ML), and like it a great deal. A longtime/childhood friend, now a noted jazz educator, has a rim that Kanstul copied and I believe he considers it indistinguishable from the original.

    Cory, the mention in my previous post about a "balance" was mostly in reference to the perceived need for a different backbore when a cup is changed. What has always mystified me, though, is the fact that makers--though I am wowed by their machining abilities and knowledge of brass mouthpieces--cannot seem to stop there. Either that, or they weren't able to make exact duplicates prior to the advent of CNC technology.

    I started college as a trumpet performance major in 1974. And at that time, I'd already heard a desire expressed by dozens of players for "a 3C with just a little more edge." Now, 30 years later, it's still one of the most common "whines" you'll hear, and there is still no one I know of who actually makes that piece. Marcinkeiwizc makes a couple models that are supposed to address it. Nope. I have 'em both, and the rims do not feel anything like any of the 15 older 3Cs I own, nor, to the best of my recollection, like any of the others I've owned over the years. Same with Reeves, Curry, Stork, ad infinitum. (I have not tried GR or Kanstul.) I don't go around with a set of calipers or a micrometer, I'm just a guy with reasonably sensative chops (I guess). The "equivalents" are NOT equivalent.

    I didn't mean for this to turn into a tantrum; just trying to find a "back door" to getting what I want, as no one turns them out as a matter of course. But as it's pried the lid off something that's bugged me for, oh, 30-some years, I suppose I had to let it out. Rightly or wrongly, say what you will, the humble 3C is the most ubiquitous piece in the brass world (at least among players who've developed past the high school level. Maybe so many people used/have used them BECAUSE they're popular, and popularity breeds more of the same. Maybe they're just a good "general" fit for many adult human faces. Doesn't matter why they're popular; they just are (at least until the geniuses at Selmer changed them... I don't know many players who like the new ones).

    It just doesn't make any sense to me. If I were a mouthpiece maker, and tens of thousands of people were known to really like a certain rim, I'd darn sure make one like it... REALLY like it. Okay, I'm done. Jack, I will most likely have your dad's shop copy my favorite 3C down to the nicks at some point. Since nothing close is made anymore, it'd be good to have a backup. Sorry to rant. Rusty
     
  8. CJDJazzTpt

    CJDJazzTpt Pianissimo User

    91
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    May 31, 2004
    New Orleans, LA
    Rusty...
    I didn't think that you were ranting. I just think that you know what you want and are having a reasonably hard time of finding it. That can be and is frustrating. I know that really really well. -Cory-
     
  9. Mikey

    Mikey Forte User

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    Oct 24, 2003
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    Last edited: May 17, 2007
  10. JACKKANSTUL

    JACKKANSTUL Pianissimo User

    Rusty,

    The sad fact is my father has been doing these digital copies of the old Mt. Vernon and New York 3C's for some years now and a lot of players don't seem to know it. As a matter of fact, the brass world in general is not aware of the things my father has done and is doing. He doesn't have the money these large corporations have to get the word out. It will have to be a grass roots campaign by you, the REAL MUSICIANS who care, to spread the word. Otherwise these large corporations will continue to BLAST into town and take over. The copies he has now should be what you are looking for as they were copied from trumpet players who had good collections. However if you want the one you have EXACTLY copied that can be done. Feel free to give me a call.

    To The Music-and the True Musicians who care.

    Jack Kanstul
    P.S. Tell your other brass playing friends that my father also has digital copies of many trombone, euphonium and tuba mouthpieces. You french horn players need to come in if you want the same thing. Today, with this technology, anything is possible.
     

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