Posted by js on June 30, 2002 at 23:30:50:
In Reply to: Re: Intonation on the 2155 posted by David on June 30, 2002 at 21:47:11:
As someone who has changed their mind more than once about a mouthpiece - and almost always after a few weeks (rather than days), I would recommend against ordering up a bunch of mouthpiece stock from Brasswind, Dillon, etc., etc., putting minor scuffs in the shanks of all of these mouthpieces (possibly a scratch or two - moving the returned mouthpieces into "B" stock for the store, and being angry about a "restocking" charge on one's credit card), and being really confused about whether any in the box-o-mouthpieces is suitable.
If someone has spent $8000 (??) on a (2155 ??) tuba, they are at the point of being ready to start a "mouthpiece collection" in pursuit of the "golden fleece". Oboists do this every day. They spend 30 minutes to an hour (If they had a gig, that would be $25 - $50 worth of time.) making a reed. It might be so-so, or it might be amazing. Regardless, in two weeks, it's in the trash can because its worn out.
Tuba players have the much more economical option of purchasing a mouthpiece, trying it out for a month or two, and deciding whether to play on it, sell it to a friend without a tremendous loss (ex: buy for $90, sell for $55, etc.), or eBaying it.
I'm setting my self up for flaming, because I own a music store and many know it...but I really don't carry that many tuba mouthpieces.
My points are that tuba mouthpieces are relatively cheap because they last forever and can usually be resold for at least half of the purchase price, and that one probably cannot make a good decision about a mouthpiece within the "approval" time that many stores very generously offer.
To further set myself up for flames, I'll state that I've NEVER had a mouthpiece "fix" intonation problems on an instrument. I HAVE had a mouthpiece to SEEM to "fix" intonation problems, but I realized later that the problems were still there, just that I was able to "lip" badly out-of-tune notes easier on a particular mouthpiece - almost invariably a shallower mouthpiece. If I didn't like the sound that I was getting with the shallower / easier-to-lip mouthpiece, I was out of luck. Jay B. might disagree with me on this...not sure. He found a mouthpiece to help play his very large tuba in tune better, but it may have also been shallower than others he was trying, so who knows until he posts...He might actually agree with me on this (???).