Finalists of Toney Grail

Here are the two finalists of Toney Grail mouthpiece tests, Lelandais and Hawkins R, played on A clarinet.

These clips are recorded in a larger room, which has some natural acoustic, unlike my tiny and dead practice room where the first set of clips were recorded.

These mouthpieces are quite different in their voicing needs. However, I did the test cold without adjusting to the mouthpiece, and it shows a bit, especially in articulation.

Clip 1

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Clip 2

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10 comments for “Finalists of Toney Grail

  1. December 25, 2009 at

    Thanks Ed, and to all of you. Don't worry. I know I'll sound like me no matter what. I enjoy this public processing. And it helps me focus. Now I can settle on what you have helped me choose, and just play music.

    Best Wishes,
    David

  2. EdW
    December 25, 2009 at

    Go with whatever you enjoy the most, just don't drive yourself crazy. Have fun and Happy Holidays to you!

  3. EdW
    December 24, 2009 at

    "But #1 is the most "me", in what I seek in sound, and so is comfortable immediately."

    To me that comment says it all. To my ears, #1 has a more vocal quality and seems as if everything just clicks. #2 seems somewhat masked, or as if it is not fully resonating.

    I recall many years ago I had a lengthy discussion with Joe Rabbai, former principal clarinet of the Met. He said that he felt that if one were trying equipment there should be no need to deliberate if it was "right". If it is right for you it should be immediately apparent.

    • December 24, 2009 at

      Excellent advice, Ed. Thanks. And Happy Holidays.

  4. Gretchen Roper
    December 24, 2009 at

    I like the 1st clip. It sounds like your voice is coming through, the sound is focused and controlled. Though it brings up the discussion of whether it sounds better (to me anyway) because you're more comfortable on that mouthpiece, as opposed to the other. Would it sound better the other way around if you were more used to the mouthpiece?

    This was a fun experiment. Whatever #1 is it sounds great!

    • December 24, 2009 at

      Gretchen, #2 would sound a bit better if I got used to it. But #1 is the most \”me\”, in what I seek in sound, and so is comfortable immediately.

  5. December 24, 2009 at

    Trust me to be different! I actually preferred #2. It seemed more "plummy" and round than #1. And the vib was rather lovely.

  6. December 24, 2009 at

    #1
    It seemed crisper in articulation, as if you were not working as hard. Also, the lower notes were fuller.
    I like the very subtle "excited" use of vibration in both clips.

  7. Tim
    December 24, 2009 at

    Both are very similar, but if I had to pick one it would be #1. I really love the rich, blossoming ring in the sound of #1– reminiscent of Harold Wright, if you don't mind me saying so. 🙂 I'll just leave my opinion at that.

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