DISCOUNT NOTE: All mouthpieces sold on this web site are priced to include 15-percent direct-order discount.
Caravan Clarinet Mouthpiece
A highly refined proprietary facing curve in consort with its distinctive interior design make the Caravan clarinet mouthpiece an especially attractive alternative for symphonic and classical chamber-music performance. Its design and specifications provide for a highly consistent mouthpiece that features an uncommon blending of tonal beauty, projection, and responsiveness.
The essential four measurements along the facing curve that have been common (or nearly so) to most popular symphonic mouthpieces over the past many decades are also common to this mouthpiece, but the attention to detail along the curve is considerably greater. Virtually all clarinet facing curves that are produced by machine, by hand, or by a combination of both can have significantly different measurements at places along the curve that fall between the four conventionally measured points, and where measurements are not typically checked during production or refacing. When the Caravan clarinet mouthpiece facing is shaped, 16 points along the curve (a length of less than three-quarters of an inch) are checked and made to conform to very precise numerical specifications, some of which hold the key to responsiveness, tonal consistency, and tonal control at all volumes.
With an interior design that produces a well-balanced harmonic spectrum, a compatible precision facing curve that enables excellent control and response, and somewhat wider side rails that virtually eliminate that common and unwelcome low-register reed “buzz,” the Caravan clarinet mouthpiece embodies a highly desirable set of potential advantages for the serious professional clarinetist or advancing clarinet student.
An especially advantageous characteristic of this mouthpiece is that it can accept maximum air for the most intense musical passages without loss of control or “center” in the sound—that is, it is less inclined to “spread” (assuming mature tone-production skills, especially good tongue-position voicing). With compatible reed strength, the mouthpiece can also provide for soft dynamics and gradual decay to silence without significant air noise.
FACING BASICS: Tip opening: 1.08 mm (or “108” in traditional parlance) at the very tip of the mouthpiece (not at the inside of the tip rail as most hand-held gauges measure tip opening). Length of curve: 34 as measured on the standard “glass direct reading gauge” with the 0015 feeler gauge.
NOTE: For a series of CD recordings (mid-2016 release) of Ronald Caravan performing on this mouthpiece, the link below accesses a special-package offer of all 8 volumes on the record company's web site (Mark Recordings). Single volumes can be found on their site by clicking “Music Store” on the left side of the screen and then typing “Ronald L. Caravan” into the search field at top right of the screen. Recordings can be purchased directly from the company's web site.
Caravan Soprano Saxophone Mouthpiece
The Caravan Soprano Saxophone Mouthpiece has become one of the profession's most popular alternatives for “classical” performance on soprano saxophone. The open-chamber design features a large enough tone chamber to produce a deep, dark quality of exceptional harmonic balance, but not so large that it lacks projection. The tip opening is medium-close at around .044 in. at the very tip of the mouthpiece (not at the inside of the tip rail as most hand-held gauges measure tip opening), and the facing curve is exclusive but well within conventional parameters for a “classical” soprano mouthpiece. (Only one facing available.)
Caravan Sopranino Saxophone Mouthpiece
The Caravan Sopranino Saxophone Mouthpiece is a premium mouthpiece that features two especially significant design characteristics: (1) The tone chamber is a little larger compared to most other modern sopranino saxophone mouthpieces, providing for a more mellow tone and much less tendency toward stridency, while not so large as to make the pitch center too low; and (2) The mouthpiece body is the same diameter as the Caravan soprano saxophone mouthpiece, hence a standard soprano saxophone mouthpiece ligature fits it; and the table, facing curve, and tip are sized to fit a standard soprano saxophone reed, so reed and ligature issues are greatly simplified. The more substantial body and larger reed also provide for enhanced sound characteristics and embouchure comfort without sacrificing pitch. (NOTE: In some cases, a standard soprano saxophone reed will have to be shortened a little to avoid contact with part of the sopranino saxophone mechanism just below the neck cork.)
This mouthpiece comes with a metal ligature and cap, although the Rovner soprano saxophone ligature offered on this web site fits the mouthpiece and is recommended as more advantageous mechanically and acoustically. Saxophonists who are experienced with sopranino mouthpieces are aware that significant differences in bore diameter may be encountered among various mouthpieces. Dr. Caravan used a 1980s vintage Yanagisawa instrument (serial no. 78900xxx) for most testing and determining bore dimension. (Tests were also done, to a lesser extent, using an older Buescher sopranino.) The facing curve on this mouthpiece is quite similar to the facing on the Caravan soprano saxophone mouthpiece, and the tip opening is around .042 in.
(NOTE: The reasonable question arises as to why sopranino saxophone mouthpieces are so expensive compared to other saxophone mouthpieces. It is simply because they are much more difficult to produce due to their small size. The mouthpiece factory must use special handling and non-routine processes throughout the manufacture of sopranino mouthpieces, and the costs reflect this.)
Caravan Alto Saxophone
Mouthpiece (Large Chamber)
The Caravan Large Chamber Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece is one of the most harmonically well–balanced and responsive open-chamber alto mouthpieces available. It produces a dark “classical” sound, yet the tone chamber is slightly smaller than many of the pre–World War II open–chamber mouthpieces that many players today find too restrictive and “stuffy.” The large–chamber alto mouthpiece is available in one standard facing that exhibits a tip opening of around .058 in. (More detailed information on the differences between the Caravan large–chamber and medium–chamber alto mouthpieces can be found under “Mouthpiece Design Info” accessed from the caravanmouthpieces.com menu.)
Caravan Alto Saxophone
Mouthpiece (Medium Chamber)
The Caravan Medium Chamber Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece is an open-chamber mouthpiece that produces a nicely balanced sound with a greater presence of upper partials in the sound (“brightness”) compared to the Caravan large-chamber alto mouthpiece. This mouthpiece can be an excellent alternative for “classical” saxophone players who prefer some of the brighter characteristics of the traditional French sound and French-design mouthpieces while wishing for greater tonal depth and less shrillness in the upper registers. Wider-than-normal tip and side rails on this mouthpiece enhance tonal homogeneity and smoothness without an excessive increase in blowing resistance. The medium-chamber alto mouthpiece is available in one standard facing that has a tip opening of around .062 in. (More detailed information on the differences between the Caravan large–chamber and medium–chamber alto mouthpieces can be found under “Mouthpiece Design Info” accessed from the caravanmouthpieces.com menu.)
Caravan Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece
The Caravan Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece is a particularly flexible open-chamber mouthpiece that produces a nicely balanced dark “classical” tone quality yet has plenty of projection. From beautiful, deep low-register tones to pleasant upper-register tones that avoid the typical “whining” quality of other mouthpieces, this is one of the finest tenor saxophone mouthpieces available. The tenor mouthpiece is available in one standard facing that has a tip opening of around .067 in.
Caravan C-Tenor ("C-Melody") Saxophone Mouthpiece
The Caravan C-Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece represents a modern open-chamber mouthpiece produced to complement vintage C-tenor saxophones (commonly referred to as “C-melody” saxophones). Thousands of these instruments were produced in the U.S. (most in Elkhart, Indiana) prior to 1930, and many of them are still being used in various settings today. While often presenting more pitch problems to overcome compared with more modern Eb altos and Bb tenors, the C tenor produces a uniquely beautiful sound. This new C-tenor mouthpiece is similar to the Caravan Bb Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece on the inside and has essentially the same facing curve and tip opening (around .067 in.), but its shorter length and bore are sized to be appropriate for the C-tenor. Dr. Caravan used a Conn C-tenor saxophone (serial no. 132xxx) in the design and testing of this mouthpiece. Compared with an original vintage Conn C-tenor mouthpiece, the new mouthpiece produced a larger, darker tone and a somewhat better pitch center. (NOTE: This C-tenor mouthpiece is designed to use a regular Bb tenor saxophone reed and ligature.)
Caravan Baritone Saxophone Mouthpiece
The Caravan Baritone Saxophone Mouthpiece is a modern manifestation of the vintage large-body open-chamber mouthpiece, producing a dark, harmonically well–balanced sound without being stuffy and restrictive. Its low-register tones are warm and “round” without the rough edges commonly produced by other mouthpieces, while its upper-register tones are full and beautiful without the typical “whining” quality so commonly heard in the baritone’s upper left hand. This baritone mouthpiece is available in one standard facing that has a tip opening of around .075 in.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This large vintage-style hard-rubber mouthpiece requires a ligature with a circumference of nearly 5 inches. If you need a ligature for this mouthpiece, the properly sized Rovner ligature is available on this web site and is an excellent alternative.
Caravan Bass Saxophone Mouthpiece (Specialty Facing)
This is an add-on option for a special refacing of the Caravan baritone saxophone mouthpiece to convert it into a bass saxophone mouthpiece. This option may be used only by a customer purchasing a Caravan baritone saxophone mouthpiece at the same time. The proprietary facing changes the suitability of the mouthpiece somewhat away from the range and voicing appropriate for the baritone saxophone and, in turn, much better enables the mouthpiece to produce the quality and depth of sound needed for the bass, especially the lower tones. (Facing is customized by hand, and a “Bass” or “BS” identification is stamped onto the mouthpiece to the right of the base of the table). NOTE: Order Rovner 4R (“Bass”) ligature to fit, available on Rovner Ligature page of this web site.
AVAILABILITY: A few of these specially hand-faced mouthpieces for Bass Saxophone are normally kept in stock and are available for immediate shipping, no delays.
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