Providing FULL info on the mouthpieces you are selling

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  1. #1
    Distinguished SOTW Member buddy lee's Avatar
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    Default Providing FULL info on the mouthpieces you are selling

    There are multiple custom mouthpiece makers out there who sell great pieces, and often times, many of them will take requests from customers to modify (slightly) the piece the customer wants to buy. As an example, someone contacts Fred Lamberson and says "I want a J6, but could you add a little more resistance to the curve than you normally would?"

    When these pieces inevitably hit the open market, said customer lists it for sale here and "forgets" to put that little part in the ad. Please, if you have one such piece and are going to try to sell it here, put this in your ad so the buyer knows what to expect up front. If every review of a J6 says it's free-blowing and you get one that requires you to drop a reed strength in order to play it, that's not fair to the buyer. And I know this has happened here, more than once.

    *the J6 was just an example, and not something that has actually happened (that I'm aware of anyway)
    "Can't never could."

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    Default Re: Providing FULL info on the mouthpieces you are selling

    Quote Originally Posted by buddy lee View Post
    There are multiple custom mouthpiece makers out there who sell great pieces, and often times, many of them will take requests from customers to modify (slightly) the piece the customer wants to buy. As an example, someone contacts Fred Lamberson and says "I want a J6, but could you add a little more resistance to the curve than you normally would?"

    When these pieces inevitably hit the open market, said customer lists it for sale here and "forgets" to put that little part in the ad. Please, if you have one such piece and are going to try to sell it here, put this in your ad so the buyer knows what to expect up front. If every review of a J6 says it's free-blowing and you get one that requires you to drop a reed strength in order to play it, that's not fair to the buyer. And I know this has happened here, more than once.

    *the J6 was just an example, and not something that has actually happened (that I'm aware of anyway)
    I'm just curious how you know this is happening if it didn't happen to you? I always try to tell people about modifications and changes. As an example I had a Lamberson 7DD at one time and I sent it back to Fred and asked if he could make it fatter. He did just that. I mentioned that in the add years ago.........

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    Distinguished SOTW Member buddy lee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Providing FULL info on the mouthpieces you are selling

    I know someone who did that here, not going to throw anyone under the bus, because by all accounts the recipient was happy with what he received. But still. I'm fairly sure, though I can't prove it, that I've had one come through my hands in this way also (just not a J6).
    "Can't never could."

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    Default Re: Providing FULL info on the mouthpieces you are selling

    Also, sometimes the maker doesn't make it clear. I spoke with Rafael Navarro once and he said he had two facing curves for the Bebop Special. One Mintzer loved and another that seemed more popular with others. The problem with that is it isn't labeled and I never know which facing curve I am playing if I buy one. I loved the one I reviewed once but which facing curve was it I don't know........ I like the idea of a maker labeling the mouthpiece in some way to signify any change that was made and maybe a serial number of some sort. At the very least you could contact the maker and hopefully he has some kind of record to let you know.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member buddy lee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Providing FULL info on the mouthpieces you are selling

    Quote Originally Posted by Nefertiti View Post
    Also, sometimes the maker doesn't make it clear. I spoke with Rafael Navarro once and he said he had two facing curves for the Bebop Special. One Mintzer loved and another that seemed more popular with others. The problem with that is it isn't labeled and I never know which facing curve I am playing if I buy one. I loved the one I reviewed once but which facing curve was it I don't know........ I like the idea of a maker labeling the mouthpiece in some way to signify any change that was made and maybe a serial number of some sort. At the very least you could contact the maker and hopefully he has some kind of record to let you know.
    Well that changes things. Here I thought a model was a model, as in, if I order a Theo Wanne Gaia I'm going to get the same thing that Joe (or whoever) orders. Also, I realize that even chamber designs and sizes change over time with certain makers, without any notification or way to tell.
    "Can't never could."

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    Just a guy who plays saxophone. swperry1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Providing FULL info on the mouthpieces you are selling

    When you're buying custom hand finished mouthpieces you can and should expect slight differences piece to piece. This just seems like a no-brainer. If you've been screwed over by someone not disclosing customization, that sucks, but is there really a need to start a bitch session based on speculation?

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    Default Re: Providing FULL info on the mouthpieces you are selling

    I keep notes on the mouthpieces I've bought &/or sold, including when & where purchased, how they play, any modifications done & by whom. Though provenance may be obscure on pieces bought secondhand, I document what I can & even seek further info on probable date/location of manufacture. Of course there are limits to what one can know, and two pieces with identical specs may be as different from one another as chalk & cheese (*cough* Selmer).

    I do wish that more folks with mouthpieces for sale would take hi-rez photos in good light from a variety of angles. So often, all one sees is a black, blurry, mouthpiece-shaped object. Whereas detailed close-ups of baffle, tip rail, chamber, inscriptions & so on will motivate buyers & enhance perceived value, win/win.

  10. #8
    Distinguished SOTW Member buddy lee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Providing FULL info on the mouthpieces you are selling

    Quote Originally Posted by swperry1 View Post
    When you're buying custom hand finished mouthpieces you can and should expect slight differences piece to piece. This just seems like a no-brainer. If you've been screwed over by someone not disclosing customization, that sucks, but is there really a need to start a bitch session based on speculation?
    Keyword there is "slight".
    "Can't never could."

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    Forum Contributor 2016 MrBlueNote's Avatar
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    Default Re: Providing FULL info on the mouthpieces you are selling

    This doesn't seem like an unreasonable request to me. Obviously, sometimes sellers own a piece for years and forget the details around the transaction or maybe they buy a piece second-hand and weren't provided this information.

    But if you asked for some particular customization from a craftsman, why not disclose it in your ad? Isn't this just part of being a fair and transparent seller?
    "Jazz is people playing weird s#*t on the V and then resolving to the I."

    -My teacher

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    Default Re: Providing FULL info on the mouthpieces you are selling

    I have no dog in this fight, but one should keep in mind that a player's interaction with a mouthpiece is extremely dependent on the individual person. Just because an MP is advertised as "easy blowing, low resistance", for example, doesn't mean that Frank N. Smith of Elgin Lane in Nashville, Tenn. will find it so when he puts one on his horn.

    I used to get together and play tenor duets with a friend. I was (and still do) playing a Conn tenor with a Meyer MP, and he played a Selmer M6 with a hard rubber Berg. Once, just to see what would happen, we swapped mouthpieces. He could not even get a sound out of mine, and I could only make sad squawks on his. Changed back around and we were both back to normal. So here are two experienced saxophonists in their 40s, with high quality instruments and mouthpieces, but neither one of our setups worked at all for the other one.

    So you can imagine how subtle playing characteristics will be even less reproducible from one person to the next.

  13. #11
    Distinguished SOTW Member buddy lee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Providing FULL info on the mouthpieces you are selling

    Quote Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
    I have no dog in this fight, but one should keep in mind that a player's interaction with a mouthpiece is extremely dependent on the individual person. Just because an MP is advertised as "easy blowing, low resistance", for example, doesn't mean that Frank N. Smith of Elgin Lane in Nashville, Tenn. will find it so when he puts one on his horn.

    I used to get together and play tenor duets with a friend. I was (and still do) playing a Conn tenor with a Meyer MP, and he played a Selmer M6 with a hard rubber Berg. Once, just to see what would happen, we swapped mouthpieces. He could not even get a sound out of mine, and I could only make sad squawks on his. Changed back around and we were both back to normal. So here are two experienced saxophonists in their 40s, with high quality instruments and mouthpieces, but neither one of our setups worked at all for the other one.

    So you can imagine how subtle playing characteristics will be even less reproducible from one person to the next.
    Maybe, but, I would think going from one Link-style piece to another should be fairly easy. You were talking Berg to Meyer which aren't exactly the same. Also, given a few days to adjust, I'd bet you'd get used to it. To your point, I tried my friend's Guardala MBII and found it really hard to blow and my friend sounds like he has a wet towel in his bell when he plays my Link. But they're very different pieces...
    "Can't never could."

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