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Inexpensive cut-away mouthpieces

Postby happyroman » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:15 pm

As a disclaimer, I have no association with this company, other than as a customer. Anyone interested in an inexpensive solution to finding a cutaway mouthpiece can find them here. It appears that they are using 3-D printing technology to make these. I ordered one today, and if anyone is interested, will post a review after I receive it.

https://www.shapeways.com/product/HV6RM ... li=ostatus
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Re: Inexpensive cut-away mouthpieces

Postby the elephant » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:10 pm

Cool. I like stuff like this when it is well made. I just bought one (purple) and it will be made on the 20th. I opted for the cheapest shipping. Hopefully it will arrive here sometime prior to my natural death due to old age, heh, heh...

When you get yours, post a thread about it. I will post a review, too, in that thread, and we can compare. OOOOHHHH, I'M SO EXCITED!!! (I kid, of course. HA!)

Thanks for the link. I bookmarked the front page. I hope this is not some piece of junk, but you know, it is pretty inexpensive and could end up becoming a useful tool. My all-metal BERP is too small for the receivers I have on my work horns and the plastic ones sort of suck, so this may be a better solution than to cut away an old mouthpiece. Maybe not, but it is worth a shot.

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Re: Inexpensive cut-away mouthpieces

Postby the elephant » Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:00 pm

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Re: Inexpensive cut-away mouthpieces

Postby the elephant » Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:13 pm

One look at that dorky rim and I thought, "Yeah, this will not be a very complementary review."

I was wrong. It works just fine. Oddly, the funky rim size and contour made it feel just like my much larger Stofer Geib. I had no issues with this as a visualizer that works like a B.E.R.P. and I like it much better. I did not want the resistance part of the B.E.R.P. system. I felt it had no real purpose other than to make things easier. I want them to be more difficult. (Well, duh...) Also, the B.E.R.P. moves the mouthpiece off from where it really lives by about an inch. This changes what you see and makes it easier if you have a leadpipe bent so that the bell is in the way. It should not make things easier. That is such a waste of time, feeling good but not getting better or stronger. Wow. Bad idea. This thing seems to solve the two biggest issues I had with the original, metal B.E.R.P. I have only messed around with the cheap, plastic version and would never drop a cent on one as they take what I did not like and made it at a much lower quality level. Safe to say, I do not like B.E.R.P. and would *never* tell a student to "invest" (divest) in one.

I like this, though.

The thing was supposedly in a "polished" finish. I have no idea whether this *is* in that finish or if the unpolished one feels like sandpaper. Because this one is not smooth at all. However, odd as it felt, I worked just fine and the texture was soon forgotten as I got to work with it. It just did not become a factor for me.

There is not much you can say about a visualizer rim. By nature, if you do not make it yourself it will be rather generic, and generic stuff tends towards what you see middle school and high school students buying. I suspect this may be a Miraphone C4 (I don't know what the current number is and don't GAS, honestly) with the inside edge rounded to make it more comfy. If you measure where your lips actually vibrate, I think this is a lot wider than it looks. It felt very much like a number of the rims I work with every day, despite it being fat and round. (I like flat and narrow.) I guess, since you are not actually playing anything that you do not get that feedback, so the feel differences are somewhat negated. Whatever. I like this and will buy another few for my vehicles so I can warm up despite what I happen to be driving, never having to think about remembering to bring it. It will live in my glove box with my emergency Kellyberg.

If you have a jones for such things or you like visualizers or buzzing pieces this is highly recommended. If you don't then I suggest you spend your cash on some nice baseball cards or perhaps some argyle socks.
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Re: Inexpensive cut-away mouthpieces

Postby the elephant » Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:14 pm

Andy, you have a review for us? I want to see yours and hear what you think.
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Re: Inexpensive cut-away mouthpieces

Postby happyroman » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:28 pm

the elephant wrote:Andy, you have a review for us? I want to see yours and hear what you think.


I had to wait a while to post a review because I thought they might have sent the wrong version by mistake. There are two versions available, one of them is "polished." That's what I chose, and was surprised to find the surface of the rim to be pretty rough. When they say polished, I anticipated something like the delrin tuba rim sold by Windsong Press. The Shapeways model was nowhere near that smooth, so I contacted the company to see if it was possible they had made a mistake and not sent the polished version.

I must say that the level of customer service was outstanding. The immediately set up an official complaint file to remedy the situation. Within a day or so, I received an email saying they were cutting a new mouthpiece and would send it to me free of charge. Unfortunately, the new one was just as rough as the first model.

I went to the local hardware store and bought a couple of sheets of fine sandpaper and with few minutes effort and a little elbow grease, had the rim sanded to a satisfactory level of smoothness.

I would recommend the product to anyone that wants to be able to buzz on a rim while simulating playing their tuba. With the small amount of sanding required to smooth the rim, this is a very cost effective way to achieve the desired result. Certainly it is a lot less expensive than cutting down a regular mouthpiece (which then has to be plated and the throat plugged).
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Re: Inexpensive cut-away mouthpieces

Postby happyroman » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:39 pm

the elephant wrote:One look at that dorky rim and I thought, "Yeah, this will not be a very complementary review."

I was wrong. It works just fine. Oddly, the funky rim size and contour made it feel just like my much larger Stofer Geib. I had no issues with this as a visualizer that works like a B.E.R.P. and I like it much better. I did not want the resistance part of the B.E.R.P. system. I felt it had no real purpose other than to make things easier. I want them to be more difficult. (Well, duh...) Also, the B.E.R.P. moves the mouthpiece off from where it really lives by about an inch. This changes what you see and makes it easier if you have a leadpipe bent so that the bell is in the way. It should not make things easier. That is such a waste of time, feeling good but not getting better or stronger. Wow. Bad idea. This thing seems to solve the two biggest issues I had with the original, metal B.E.R.P. I have only messed around with the cheap, plastic version and would never drop a cent on one as they take what I did not like and made it at a much lower quality level. Safe to say, I do not like B.E.R.P. and would *never* tell a student to "invest" (divest) in one.

I like this, though.

The thing was supposedly in a "polished" finish. I have no idea whether this *is* in that finish or if the unpolished one feels like sandpaper. Because this one is not smooth at all. However, odd as it felt, I worked just fine and the texture was soon forgotten as I got to work with it. It just did not become a factor for me.

There is not much you can say about a visualizer rim. By nature, if you do not make it yourself it will be rather generic, and generic stuff tends towards what you see middle school and high school students buying. I suspect this may be a Miraphone C4 (I don't know what the current number is and don't GAS, honestly) with the inside edge rounded to make it more comfy. If you measure where your lips actually vibrate, I think this is a lot wider than it looks. It felt very much like a number of the rims I work with every day, despite it being fat and round. (I like flat and narrow.) I guess, since you are not actually playing anything that you do not get that feedback, so the feel differences are somewhat negated. Whatever. I like this and will buy another few for my vehicles so I can warm up despite what I happen to be driving, never having to think about remembering to bring it. It will live in my glove box with my emergency Kellyberg.

If you have a jones for such things or you like visualizers or buzzing pieces this is highly recommended. If you don't then I suggest you spend your cash on some nice baseball cards or perhaps some argyle socks.


I personally like the BERP, but agree that I didn't want the extra resistance, so I just cut that part off. Now, it plays like buzzing my mouthpiece alone. There is also the added benefit of being able to finger the valves while BERPing. The act of pushing the buttons provides stimulus to the brain that helps reinforce the pitch being buzzed. It also is a good practice tool to simply coordinate the valves with the lips buzzing the pitch.

I wanted a cut-away because buzzing the rim is harder than buzzing the mouthpiece. That is, it is harder to get the lips to vibrate with just the rim than with the mouthpiece. As Arnold Jacobs taught, we want to develop an embouchure that wants to vibrate (i.e., is easy to make vibrate), so I find this to be a very valuable practice tool. After playing a passage on the cut away, when I play it again with the mouthpiece, the response is much quicker and more focused.
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Re: Inexpensive cut-away mouthpieces

Postby the elephant » Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:12 pm

Looks like we are in agreement on this product! Thanks for posting the link. I find me cutaway to be very useful.
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