Custom Saxophone and Clarinet Mouthpiece Refacing
Norbert Stachel, either in person or through the mail, does all facets of precision refacing work for the entire family of saxophone and clarinet mouthpieces. Norbert expertly adjusts or refaces mouthpieces based on the owner's individual needs and requests. Norbert first discusses with the player their most common type of musical application and setting in which they most often play. Certain mouthpieces naturally lend themselves towards certain tone qualities, hense certain styles of music.
Types of Mouthpieces
Typically a metal mouthpiece with a big tip opening and a high, long baffle will lend itself towards music that requires a very loud and bright tone. Similarly, a hard rubber mouthpiece with a smaller tip opening and a low baffle will lend itself to a soft, dark, and warm tone with less volume. The shape of the curve on a mouthpiece also makes a big difference with the tone and response. This is further complicated depending on the type and strength of reed used. Even though there are definite design differences between mouthpieces, adjustments can be made to give any mouthpiece the flexibility to work well in any setting. Your mouthpiece can also be set up specifically for use in Jazz, R&B, Classical, small or large ensemble, acoustic or electric, or any combination of these settings and styles. Based on your personal preferences, Norbert determines the initial approach to be used in setting up your facing, tip opening, and baffle style.
Even though there are definite design differences between mouthpieces, adjustments can be made to give any mouthpiece the flexibility to work well in any setting.
He can shape the facing and baffle, open or close, brighten or darken, and setup your mouthpiece to be ideal for any specific kind of playing. Once fully completed, each mouthpiece has optimized playing properties including improved accuracy in response & articulation, dynamic range, intonation, improved tonal spectrum, resulting in an overall maximized level of playability and musical enjoyment!
Analysis of Mouthpieces
He starts by analyzing and adjusting the table for absolute flatness. This achieves an airtight seal between the reed and the mouthpiece, and an accurate surface for the measuring glass to get a true facing reading. Before working on the curve, Norbert adjusts the width and shape of the side and tip rails so that they have the proper fit and the correct amount of contact with the reed. Also addressed is the shape and height of the baffle, and the appropriate adjustments are made based on the playing and tonal charactaristics desired by the player, as discussed with Norbert before-hand.
Once all of this has been achieved, he then checks the facing using 40 feeler gauges, (far more used than on any factory-faced mouthpiece). Norbert then adjusts the rails for exact symmetry in measurements for the entire legnth of the facing, and modifies or corrects the shape of the curve to achieve the desired playing results of the mouthpiece's owner. There are many different facing styles to choose from, but with Norbert's expertise your mouthpiece can be tailored to your specific way of playing and your style of music. The proper facing will most definitely improve your playing experience.
Norbert works on all materials including ebonite (hard rubber), brass, copper, bronze, crystal, silverite, aluminum, plastic, epoxy/resin, wood, and even stainless steel, potentially making the worst mouthpiece you own into your favorite. There is no such thing as a "bad" mouthpiece, once passing through the hands of Norbert!
Norbert can also take any mouthpiece, measure and anylize it, and then duplicate the facing onto any other mouthpiece, giving you a duplicate mouthpiece as a back-up in case of damage or loss to your original. The one difference between the "back-up" and the original is that the "back up" is almost always more accurately faced than the original, unless the original has a flat table and perfectly symmetrical rails! Because of this, players often report that they end up using their new "back-up" as their "main" mouthpiece instead of their original.
Many professional saxophone and clarinet players play on mouthpieces modified and refaced by Norbert Stachel. These are some of the players:
Charles McPherson (Charles Mingus)
Craig Handy (Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, The Mingus Big Band, Herbie Hancock)
Michael Blake (The Lounge Lizards)
Carlos Averhoff (Irakere)
Brad Leali (Harry Connick)
Peter Brainin (Willie Colon, The Chico O'Farrill Orchestra)
Lawrence Feldman (First-call New York studio and Broadway musician)
Steve Elliot (Ray Charles)
Emilio Castillo (Tower Of Power)
Tom Politzer (Tower Of Power)
Hard Rubber, Plastic, and Wood
$60 per hour — $150 flat fee.
Brass and Silver
$70 per hour — $175 flat fee.
Bronze and Stainless Steel
$80 per hour — $200 flat fee.
A check is required to be included with mouthpieces sent in the mail to cover the full flat fee. If it takes less that 2 1/2 hours to reface, you will be refunded the difference based on the actual time to reface and the hourly rate. Rush orders, add $25 per mouthpiece.