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Mouthpiece for Buescher-Built C Melodies
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Author:  paulrace [ Fri Nov 04, 2022 9:12 am ]
Post subject:  Mouthpiece for Buescher-Built C Melodies

Years ago, I had a "restored" Buescher-built C Melody stencil (with "Lyon and Healy" on the bell. I could never get it to sound right, no matter what kind of mouthpiece I tried. The original Buescher mouthpiece was wide-open, no baffling or other enhancement, and it made it sound like something between an bass clarinet and a foghorn. Other mouthpieces I tried gave only about a 50% improvement. I finally sold the horn because I couldn't really use it for any of the purposes I bought it for. (Playing with a church worship band, playing with carolers, etc.)

Last month, I saw another Buescher-built C Melody stencil in a thrift shop for $100. It had replacement pads and almost all of its finish, so I could tell it had been taken care of. How can you pass that up?

It came with a Steve Broadus mouthpiece that MIGHT be a C Melody mouthpiece, but I couldn't test it because the opening is so big it wouldn't stay on the cork. It also had a 1920s-era Buescher alto mouthpiece that wouldn't go on the cork far enough to play in tune.

I tried it with a Selmer S-80 alto mouthpiece, and it played fine, considering the age of the horn and the fact that the pads are probably 50-60 years old. But it still had the "stuffy" feeling.

After researching several mouthpieces that would cost 3-4x as much as the horn, I pulled the trigger on a $47 plastic mouthpiece from ebay seller Randy Soreson, AKA GoCatMusic. Randy doesn't allow returns, but he also promised it would make my horn sound better, so I figured I could always claim false advertising. It DID make my horn sound better. In fact, it made it sound like a saxophone. Which gives me hope for the horn. Too bad I didn't try something like this back when I had the other horn.

TBH, the GoCatMusic mouthpiece only plays in tune when its pushed all the way up to the octave key pad. And the inner edge of the cork end is fairly sharp, which would cause problems with a newer, fatter cork. So even if I keep using it, some work on that end might be justified.

Morgan now makes a range of C melody mouthpieces, which I may try once this horn is cleaned up and serviced. But at least I know it's worth cleaning up and servicing.

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