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Vandoren B45 Dot Bb Clarinet MouthpieceThe Vandoren B45* Bb clarinet mouthpiece features a large chambered mouthpiece produces excellent full "round" sound.
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It took about an hour and a half for the man in the shop to persuade me to try the B45-dot, because I know I can't play on the B40 or B45, which have similar facing (feels like I'm driving a bus with no power steering). Rather, I'm an old-school 5RV man. So it was the last thing I tried - and in the end, it was the one I came home with.
What a shock! This mouthpiece has a big sound, as befits the longish, open lay, but also a refined tone. Pitch is more easily controlled than other mouthpieces I've tried with similar facing. And the simple act of producing sound came quite naturally to me. Reeds felt noticeably easier, and I could play the same strength as I was using on my 5RV. Perhaps my technique is influenced by my playing Bass as well (bigger mouthpieces) - I don't know. I was certainly impressed.
Seems that that little 'dot' on the line has the same influence as in musical notation: a small change with a remarkable effect. It's hard to judge the trick of it, but looking down the bore of the mouthpiece it appeared to have 'fat cheeks' inside, as if the bore were more cylindrical than conical.
I would definitely recommend that this mouthpiece is worth a look.
I purchased the profile 88. I can't seem to play above high C without sounding flat no matter what reeds I use. It also has an edgy, almost saxophone sound to it. I could deal with the sax sound, but the inability to play above high C without sounding horrible made me pass it off to a fellow clarinetist that seems to be able to play fine with it. Even above high C. Even though he sounds almost like a high pitched soprano sax at times. I can't really rate it low just because it does not work for me. I can tell that it is a good mouthpiece that provides an edgy, round, projecting sound. It just does not provide it from me.
I have tried many mouthpieces in my career. I have never found one with such a nice tone as this. It beats any other Vandoren by a long shot. I bought a Profile 88 for playing in jazz bands. The projection and tone are amazing. I use it with a Rovner light ligature, and I get compliments all the time for my tone. It is great for students also.
When I changed to the B45. My tone improved by like 20 times. I could play the higher notes a whole lot better.
I like this mouthpiece for solo recitals, band, and jazz playing. I can really wail on it with V12 no. 3s or Mitchell Lurie 4s. Easy blowing, fat tone with just a slight reedyness. (I like that). I highly reccomend the "dot" over the traditional B45 for my students. I takes a little bit more air to fill it up which greatly helps them with support problems. Also produces a fuller sound in general. Just dont use reeds that are too hard. I see (and hear) many people make that mistake.
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