Considering a new mouthpiece

Dear Mr. Friedland,

I am currently looking for a new mouthpiece and was seeking some advice. I currently have the vandoren 5RV lyre and have been using it for quite some time, but it has been damaged and I am on the search for a new one. I wasn’t sure if I continue using this same model, or try a new one. I play with V12 4.5 reeds and want to make sure I have a mouthpiece that doesn’t produce a bright sound. I have been happy with the 5RV so far, but as I need a new mouthpiece, wasn’t sure if I should try something new.

Thanks for the help,


Dear A:
Thank you for your question concerning a possibly new mouthpiece and your preference for a sound which is not bright.

I have played both the 5RV and many Van Doren facings. I think that first, one must understand that every individual 5RV mouthpiece will play a bit differently, perhaps even more than a bit. Accordingly, any mouthpiece that you try, regardless of make or facing will be different from all others. This has been my experience.

I offer my own crystal mouthpiece experience, wherein, it was broken during a chamber music concert many years ago. I was able to finish the concert with a spare crystal of the same facing, successfully. After that, I spent the next ten or fifteen years trying to find another with the same quality.I never did , but played a Vandoren M13, their version of the Chedeville mouthpiece, which I liked very much. But then , played two mouthpieces which were at the time of my playing them, superior. A Gennusa, and finally several of the best I have ever played, made by Richard Hawkins of Oberlin. He made the mouthpiece upon which Larry Combs played in Chicago and many others. He has a website and is an extremely careful craftsman. I suggest you write directly.

I hope these suggestions help .
Good luck and keep practicing.


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