Compress Octaves?

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harrisonreed
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Compress Octaves?

Post by harrisonreed » Sat Mar 14, 2020 10:40 pm

If you had a mouthpiece with the same rim you play on everything else, but with a shallower cup and tighter backbore than your other mouthpieces, what would be the approach to fix octaves that go sharp in the upper register and flat in the lower register? How does one compress octaves using mouthpiece design?

I have played not too many mouthpieces in my career, but all of them have had throats that are between 7-8mm. I have a mouthpiece that is amazing, so easy to play, and sounds great, but unlike any mouthpiece I've ever played, it has stretched octaves. About the same as a piano...which is kind of cool but it's supposed to be an ensemble mouthpiece. The throat is sub 7mm.

Also, I wish it had more projection.

I've heard that boring out the throat a TINY amount might create a cylindrical section, and a cylindrical section can compress the octaves. The mouthpiece techs I've spoken to in Japan so far are not about that. Anyone tried fixing this kind of problem?

I expect the answer is, paperweight, don't do it, use the slide. But then, how are these techs staying in business and getting these high profile clients if they aren't fixing issues like these? One guy here fixed Hakan Hardenberger's mouthpiece, same issues.
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Burgerbob
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by Burgerbob » Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:01 pm

Assuming you can afford it... just experiment.

Of course, if they're Thein or Willie's Brass or something and $300 a pop, maybe not sustainable.
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by Pre59 » Sun Mar 15, 2020 1:12 am

The guy that bored out my 11C's back in the day knew my playing, as we played in the same rehearsal band, and his shop was fairly local to me.
But given the abundance of choices that you have now I'd leave it well alone, and if it's not the right one now, it may be in the future.
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by Doug Elliott » Sun Mar 15, 2020 8:53 am

What mouthpiece is it?
Gary
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by Gary » Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:26 am

How long have you played it?

BTW, I used to live in Kokubunji (Tokyo suberb) and Nagoya, in the city. Fascinating country. In a play of that popular song, I often say, "I left my heart in Hawai'i". But I left my soul in Japan.
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by Basbasun » Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:13 am

A bigger bore, and a deeper cup may make the octaves shorter (more compressed) but then it is not the same mouthpiece any longer. If the octaves are like the piano it is not much of a problem though, since the piano octaves are not THAT stretched, most ww players strech the octaves more.
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harrisonreed
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by harrisonreed » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:50 am

Doug Elliott wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 8:53 am
What mouthpiece is it?
Christan Griego's Bousfield V3. I really like this mouthpiece. I'm smitten. I use a rim cut from another V3 on your cups and backbores for all my small bore and alto playing. Those are fantastic. All your matched cup/shank combos, not surprisingly, just work and play in tune. .....maybe I should just get a large bore setup from you to go along with my rim. I've been holding out.

The V3 is a VERY radical design, compared to anything I've used before, even the Lindberg stuff. 1.06" cup, a rim that is shaped like the Lindberg rims, a sort of double cup design (GR might call it an interesting beta-angle), a throat diameter of less than 7mm, sort of a tight backbore, and a chamfered exit out the shank into the leadpipe. I love it because it practically plays itself.

But you can't push it at all. It's not even like I can overblow it, but it just doesn't get loud.

And, annoyingly, the octaves are stretched. I wasn't careful and ruined a take the other day with a pedal Bb that was just FLAT. Yuck. It sounded hilarious going through the takes after the session.
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LeTromboniste
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by LeTromboniste » Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:04 am

Ratio cup volume (which both width, depth and shape affect) vs backbore volume (which throat size and backbore taper affect) directly affects the spacing of the octaves. Keeping everything else the same, increasing cup volume compresses the octaves, and decreasing widens them. Conversely, increasing backbore volume widens the octaves and decreasing it compresses them.
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harrisonreed
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by harrisonreed » Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:17 am

Gary wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:26 am
How long have you played it?

BTW, I used to live in Kokubunji (Tokyo suberb) and Nagoya, in the city. Fascinating country. In a play of that popular song, I often say, "I left my heart in Hawai'i". But I left my soul in Japan.
I've been on it for about a year now. For a long time I was playing in a BQ, so we all were adjusting constantly, and recently I've been playing almost all small bore gigs. But when I practice, I'm on my Edwards with this V3.

I don't think the small bore playing has changed my playing -- all my other large bore mouthpieces are perfectly in tune. Other than a few carelessly flat or sharp notes, it's not the end of the world. But louder and in tune-er would be more better.

Japan is great! I agree completely!
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harrisonreed
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by harrisonreed » Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:21 am

LeTromboniste wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:04 am
Ratio cup volume (which both width, depth and shape affect) vs backbore volume (which throat size and backbore taper affect) directly affects the spacing of the octaves. Keeping everything else the same, increasing cup volume compresses the octaves, and decreasing widens them. Conversely, increasing backbore volume widens the octaves and decreasing it compresses them.
The tidbit I had read on GR about a cylindrical bored section in the throat compressing octaves got me thinking about that as a solution. Wider throat = more projection. Longer cylindrical throat = compressed octaves.
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by Doug Elliott » Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:07 am

Given the things you've said, I'm not sure what you like about it except the rim.
And it's probably easy to go to from a small bore.
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by harrisonreed » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:02 pm

Really talked it up, haven't I?

I really like the sound and ease with which I can play anything using it. Also, it's a major boon to my endurance. The only things I don't like are the lack of loudness and slight intonation problem. I thought maybe my one shot solution might be the way to go, but it seems like no one knows or thinks that it would work.
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by Doug Elliott » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:05 pm

Ease with which you can play "anything"... except loud. That's a big compromise.
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by Matt K » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:17 pm

It also might be a matter of a tradeoff rather than a solution. The more it can play loud the less of the other characteristics which you like about it may well change. I had Doug make me an ST104N awhile ago. I still have it and use it sparingly. It cuts down my flexibility but gives a little more brightness to my sound somehow without adding much extra edge which is something that I've always had a problem with. This is on basically the same underpart, an ST C vs an XT C and whatever respective shank is appropriate to the horn. I suspect as I went through the MT and LT series I would experience less of one characteristic and more of the other until I hit the other end.

Similarly, with such a small through I think you may well be onto something with it being the problem. But as you open it up I suspect you'll find the same problem. In your shoes, I don't know what I'd do; I'm lucky in that Doug makes stuff that works exceedingly well for me and lets me satisfy my itch to try new things without too much of a headache. Given that you're so far away and with what's going on in the world it might not be the best time to buy but he does now have much shallower XT series stuff than was previously listed. I might try something similar off-the-shelf and see if you can make that work as you're less likely to end up with an expensive paperweight that way! I have an OLD "A" cup that interfaces with my XT rimes nicely and it actually has some of the same qualities you talk about. Lots of endurance, high range comes very easily. With an A2 shank it didn't work very well with any of my current horns but an A3 shank and it actually works much better than I would have expected from something that has the depth of a spaghetti noodle lol
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by harrisonreed » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:22 pm

Doug, exactly right. I'm sorry, I don't know how else to say what I'm trying to ask about here.

Is there a modification that might open up the choke a bit without ruining the intonation further? Or even better, an approach to opening up a backbore AND compressing the octaves?

The key info I've read from one manufacturer is:

"As a general rule, the longer the cylindrical section in the throat, the more focus or center to the sound, but the more it tends to condense or shrink the octaves, meaning the lower register goes sharp and the upper register becomes flat. "

That is what I'd like to discuss. Based on that statement, it would seem that a straight bore through the throat,a little at a time, would both open the throat for volume, AND compress the octaves. More of each effect the wider I went.
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by harrisonreed » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:30 pm

Here's what I drew up for the tech, when trying to explain what I was asking about:
DSC_0324.JPG
DSC_0324.JPG (2.16 MiB) Viewed 3083 times
Doug Elliott
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by Doug Elliott » Mon Mar 16, 2020 10:15 pm

I know what works in my designs but I don't get into modifying others.
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by mrdeacon » Mon Mar 16, 2020 10:26 pm

I have to be honest. This thread throws me for a complete loop. I don't think I've ever played a mouthpiece that was "out of tune"... I sure have played mouthpieces that were a bad fit for a horn. Often times they played well together but there was always something glaringly off about the setup at the same time.

It kind of sounds like you're horn isn't a good fit for the mouthpiece and you're fighting the natural tendencies of your horn. Maybe I'm shooting off the mark with that?
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by LeTromboniste » Tue Mar 17, 2020 5:10 am

Harrison, I think the "longer cylindrical section shrinks octaves" might be true at the design stage (I.e. Assuming everything else is not necessarily the same and that having the cylindrical section is making the backbore volume smaller, not larger), not as a modification on an existing piece. The only way to make a longer cylindrical section on an existing piece is to drill the throat which will make it wider, and which should normally widen octaves, not compress them. At least that's been my experience every time I've had mouthpieces tuned (most of which do have a cylindrical section too). You'd have to counterbalance that by opening up the cup more, making it deeper or taper later.
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by Basbasun » Tue Mar 17, 2020 6:14 am

Yes Maximilien, that is my experience too. I have destroyed hundreds of mouthpieces in experiments. But also, you never know what the outcom will be. In this case I think it is a good thing to work with Doug who is very experienced with mpc making. He may be able to make a mpc with the (almost) the same rim and cup and smaller more cylindrically bore. But who knows, does it solve the problem?
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by baileyman » Tue Mar 17, 2020 6:22 am

When people experiment with mouthpieces, do they also ADD structure? I only hear about people drilling out throats, for instance, but I never hear about inserting a brass tube to experimentally narrow a throat. Similarly with adding things like JBWeld here and there to change shapes.

It sure seems if the process only moves in one direction that convergence on a solution may be elusive.
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by BGuttman » Tue Mar 17, 2020 6:38 am

baileyman wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 6:22 am
When people experiment with mouthpieces, do they also ADD structure? I only hear about people drilling out throats, for instance, but I never hear about inserting a brass tube to experimentally narrow a throat. Similarly with adding things like JBWeld here and there to change shapes.

It sure seems if the process only moves in one direction that convergence on a solution may be elusive.
I think the problem with trying to add is how to do it. In many cases we remove only a few thousandths of an inch (tens of microns for you Metric folks). It's hard to find a tube that thin. And trying to build up with plating is difficult -- it's tough to plate into a hole. I know; I spent most of my career trying to do it.

Generally it's best to start with something too small and make it bigger; not the other way round.
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by hyperbolica » Tue Mar 17, 2020 8:20 am

mrdeacon wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 10:26 pm
I have to be honest. This thread throws me for a complete loop. I don't think I've ever played a mouthpiece that was "out of tune"
Back in 2003 or so, I found something that allowed you to send several specs to Schilke, and they would make you a custom mouthpiece with your name engraved on it. So I sent them my list of specs, which of course I don't have any longer. They sent me back the nicest and most expensive paper weight i've ever owned, with my name engraved on it. It was SOOOO out of tune, I didn't even bother to figure out how out of tune it was or where it went wrong, it was just utterly unusable. I was using it in my 88h that I had played on for 20 years.

Ever since then, I never put too much faith in my own intuition about mouthpiece design, and I let those who have studied it more do what they are good at.
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by Pre59 » Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:19 am

In this situation I would try to borrow a popular standard mouthpiece for the tbn bore size, to check whether it's me or the m/p.
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by timothy42b » Tue Mar 17, 2020 12:46 pm

baileyman wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 6:22 am
When people experiment with mouthpieces, do they also ADD structure?
I tried, many years ago. I was trying to build a mouthpiece with a shallower cup to experiment with on a homemade PVC alto.

I blocked the throat and dripped wax into the cup, and shaved it little by little with a warm table knife.

Alas, it was so long ago that I don't remember much, except that I had to shave more than I expected to have the lips not protrude far enough in to not touch wax.
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by harrisonreed » Tue Mar 17, 2020 5:05 pm

Pre59 wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:19 am
In this situation I would try to borrow a popular standard mouthpiece for the tbn bore size, to check whether it's me or the m/p.
I have other mouthpieces that I use regularly. They don't stretch the octaves. Same equipment otherwise.
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by harrisonreed » Tue Mar 17, 2020 5:07 pm

baileyman wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 6:22 am
When people experiment with mouthpieces, do they also ADD structure? I only hear about people drilling out throats, for instance, but I never hear about inserting a brass tube to experimentally narrow a throat. Similarly with adding things like JBWeld here and there to change shapes.

It sure seems if the process only moves in one direction that convergence on a solution may be elusive.
Yes. Denis Wick designed his signature mouthpiece and got into mouthpiece design by filling in the cup of a 4G and making it shallower, with something like nail polish. Once it was perfect, they replicated it in brass.
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by baileyman » Tue Mar 17, 2020 6:52 pm

harrisonreed wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 5:07 pm
baileyman wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 6:22 am
When people experiment with mouthpieces, do they also ADD structure? I only hear about people drilling out throats, for instance, but I never hear about inserting a brass tube to experimentally narrow a throat. Similarly with adding things like JBWeld here and there to change shapes.

It sure seems if the process only moves in one direction that convergence on a solution may be elusive.
Yes. Denis Wick designed his signature mouthpiece and got into mouthpiece design by filling in the cup of a 4G and making it shallower, with something like nail polish. Once it was perfect, they replicated it in brass.
That's cool. You know, I think the vibrating column doesn't much care about the quality of the shape of the tube, but cares a lot about its cross sectional area. So experiment may be done by adding lumps here and there to approximate area changes due to diameter, then working out the round diameters later. So to change the diameter of a throat smaller, for instance, insert a wire equal to the area change and hear how it works!
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by timothy42b » Wed Mar 18, 2020 6:44 am

baileyman wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 6:52 pm
harrisonreed wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 5:07 pm


Yes. Denis Wick designed his signature mouthpiece and got into mouthpiece design by filling in the cup of a 4G and making it shallower, with something like nail polish. Once it was perfect, they replicated it in brass.
That's cool. You know, I think the vibrating column doesn't much care about the quality of the shape of the tube, but cares a lot about its cross sectional area. So experiment may be done by adding lumps here and there to approximate area changes due to diameter, then working out the round diameters later. So to change the diameter of a throat smaller, for instance, insert a wire equal to the area change and hear how it works!
Clarinet players put a string in the bore to do something with tuning, I forget exactly what.
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by Basbasun » Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:19 am

To make the bore tighter is not a problem, that has been done several times. You have to drill out the existing bore to make a bigger and cylindrical hole. Then you make a brass tube that fits snugly in the cylindrical bore. This brass tube must have the bore profile you are looking for.
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by harrisonreed » Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:47 am

Definitely want a larger throat though. I dunno, I might just use this one as the basis for a different mouthpiece. I'm talking to a gentleman who makes copies, and then modifies those.
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Re: Compress Octaves?

Post by tomchall » Sun May 24, 2020 5:58 am

The Bousfield Griego mouthpieces are an interesting design, especially the V3.

I recently had a new horn through work and was offered a free mouthpiece. They wouldn't let me have Doug Elliott, Greg Black or anything where the costs would exceed £200. The salesman suggested a Bousfield Griego, of which I have heard some bad stories! I took him up on the V4 model - to my eyes it looks like a 102 rim with a 5GS backbore. The V3 is even more radical, a 106 rim? I think it is bonkers. I only know a handful of people who have had success stories with these.
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