The Selmer C85 Mouthpiece

Hello Sherman,

I currently own a Selmer Recital clarinet, but I find that my current mouthpiece (A. Gigliotti) makes it difficult to get a full tone due to the closed nature of the mouthpiece itself. I was thinking of buying a Selmer C85 but was unsure if the claims of it producing the loud and full it advertises were true. Have you tried this mouthpiece out or heard anything about it? Please advise.

~A. F.

Dear A F
How glad I am to have received your question. I played a set of Recital Clarinets when they first arrived on the scene; it must have been somewhere around 1988-90 or so. I found the Bb, which had been a sample the representative had been showing around.
I liked the instrument so much that I almost immediately ordered an A to go with the Bb and a nice case to match the set. They had such a beautiful and even quality., I remember being ecstatic, or something similar which occurs when we find what we think is a great instrument,one that’s different in a very good way.
At that time I was playing on some kind of other mouthpiece, the name having left my memory.
I soon discovered some peculiarities with this mouthpiece having to do with tuning: the low F was quite flat, and others as well.
I investigated the mouthpiece and the clarinet with the Selmer Company. (I was st the time a Selmer clinician.)
Much to my surprise, I found that the mouthpiece that had been designed to be used with this Recital Clarinet was none other than the C85,which at the time was new on the market.
There were three different available: the 105, the 115, and the 120, these numbers corresponding to tip openings.
I found the mouthpiece to be better than the usual Selmer HS* or the C*, o the other Selmers I had been playing.
I selected the 120 as my favorite, but I also tried the other two and found them all to be quite different, depending of course on which side of the bed I woke up on or with, all mouthpieces being different from each other, regardless of make or facing.
But the C85 was the mouthpiece to be used with the Recital. This was my answer, from Selmer, and from my own many experiences playing it.
As far as mouthpieces are concerned, you have to understand that we are talking about a different internal bore and a different thickness of material. Actually, the clarinet was called by many as either “the fat clarinet”, or “The log”.
I would definitely think that the mouthpiece will produce better results than the Gigliotti. It is just a better finished mouthpiece and measures more accurately. The last remark is certainly my understanding, knowing what I do know concerning the Gigliotti, for never have I actually played one. I did try one, but was not impressed.

Best regards,
Sherman Friedland


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