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Thread: custom tip cant be opened?

  1. #1

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    Default custom tip cant be opened?

    Interesting one this. I have a custom number 5 on my tenor which I have now outgrown since practicing like mad on returning to the horn after a 25 year break. I am very happy with my mouthpiece and after studying the wealth of info on this site I decided to get it opened up to a number 7 by Dawkes in the UK as thats where I Live. I talked to a very nice proffessor about my problem and was advised that I would be better putting my money towards a new mouthpiece. He informed me that as these mouthpieces are plastic, the nature of the material did not accurately cut but expands/deforms when being worked, leading to innacuracies and an unsatisfactory result. Im tossing this into the disscussion board as this seems to be at odds with the general experiences of other members. I would rather keep my mouthpiece, it has a nice groove that fits my one wonky tooth! and would appreciate any info that could be of help.
    P.S. anyone got a plastic Quantum number 7 for sale?

  2. #2
    Admin Bill Mecca's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm sure Paul Coats will chime in as he has refaced a number of these, so has Mojo. they are a synthetic combination of acrylic and a synthetic rubber if I'm nost mistaken.

    Not sure of refacers in the UK, but anyone should be able to do it, or Jo Gerber in SA, or any of the guys here in the states, including Leroy at the Runyon factory, but there HAS to be someone close to you. ;-)

  3. #3
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    The plastic used on the Runyons is a complex "plastic alloy" in Mr. Runyon's terms. It was engineered to have the same "flex modulus" (meaning to vibrate like) as hard rubber. But it is a much more stable material.

    When the facing is cut at the factory, it is done so under a jet of cool water. This prevents the problem that was alluded to.

    It refaces very well, a nice material to work with.

    East Coast Wind there in the UK imports Runyon, and they are sold thru a number of large dealers.

    Mr. Runyon played the early version of the Custom, what is now called the Runyon SR alto. His was molded of the ivory tinted material, with dark swirls through it, resulting from changing colors from ivory to black. These are the ones that were molded (called "mottled" at the factory) as one color was flushed out by the other. They were considered "defective" and were discarded. Someone got the idea to finish them as "tryout" mouthpieces. The swirling, horn rimmed glasses type effect, was only produced on the particulary type of auger feed molding machine they had in the 1950's. So, that model was not newer than about 1958 or so.

    I knew Mr. Runyon from about 1970 until he passed away last year. He played that distinctive looking mouthpiece all those years, and from what I was told, since the '50's.

    I measured his mouthpiece, a #7, a few years ago and the facing length, curve, and tip opening all measured identical to current 7's coming off the line at the Runyon factory now. NO WEAR measurable in 40+ years of use! That is how tough this material is. It had never been refaced or touched up. I could tell that because I could see the machining marks from the old facing machine.
    You are all welcome to contact me at tenorman@teche.net, which is my public email address set up especially for my friends here on Sax On The Web.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the info Paul, it makes sense of what the man at Dawkes told me now. I take it then that if the mouthpiece was sent to Runyon for the tip opening it could be done as they have the facilities?

  5. #5
    Distinguished SOTW Member
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    Yes, they can.
    You are all welcome to contact me at tenorman@teche.net, which is my public email address set up especially for my friends here on Sax On The Web.

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