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copying a mouthpiece without having to copy it

Postby bloke » Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:07 pm

A customer (who lives 400 miles away) just drove here today, and brought in a really old Bach mouthpiece (Bronx, NY) which was a one-off mouthpiece for someone in a NYC firemen's band. The gentleman's name is deeply stamped into the mouthpiece. It bears no resemblance whatsoever to a 32, a 25, a 22, an 18, a 12, or a 7.

What this customer wanted today, though, was a "copy" of it with a larger shank.

Without scanning it and starting from scratch, I took a look at it, pulled a cup (Orchestra Grand), rim (#2 32.3mm), and an X back-bore "P" diameter shank...and (well) that customer has a stainless steel "copy".

sure...It's probably not EXACTLY a copy (not down to .001"), but I've seen MANY "copies" that are not nearly as close. The customer is convinced that it is "dead-on". (OK...I'm happy, then.)

Would I ALWAYS be able to do this with "stock" parts?
of course not
Was it really fun to be able to do it THIS time?
you bet it was

There are way over a thousand viable (viable: "designed to bolt up against each other") combinations of Sellmansberger (not even including "Houser" or sometimes compatible "Parker" parts) mouthpiece parts, but (obviously) there is an INFINITE number of possible tuba mouthpiece designs.

Its REALLY EASY, though, to zoom in on a combination:
- cup (very easy choice)
- shank size (the tuba decides that)
- back-bore (a few questions about the goal to be accomplished and/or the model of tuba)
- rim (a few questions about styles that the customer likes, and - maybe - how flat or curved are their four front teeth)

and hey...
We're selling ALMOST NONE of the "X" back-bores which are designed to fit the Symphony and Orchestra Grand cups. :|
Just fwiw, the "X" back-bore is "regular"...not huge, not small, not reverse-taper...REGULAR...i.e. "Brand X". Sometimes, "regular" is best. 8)
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