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: c.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.
Mouthpiece Tuning on Modern Low-A Instruments: Because of its large tone chamber, this mouthpiece will tune some modern low-A baritone saxophones too low to play acceptably in pitch with the instrument. Fortunately, this problem can be corrected easily with the insertion of a small amount of epoxy filler strategically placed in the chamber so as to reduce the chamber volume, thereby raising the pitch of the mouthpiece, while retaining the depth, ease of response, and tonal beauty of the mouthpiece. This modification is offered free of charge to any mouthpiece customer—after the sale (request via e-mail on Contact Us page) or upon purchase by requesting the modification in the notes field during check-out. (New baritone saxophone mouthpieces with the chamber-reduction modification still qualify for the two-week return privilege; request the policy paragraph via e-mail.)
DON'T MISS THIS IMPORTANT NOTE! This large vintage-style hard-rubber mouthpiece requires a ligature with a circumference of nearly 5 inches. These are not common or easily found. If you need a ligature for this mouthpiece, the properly sized Rovner ligature is available on this web site at a significant discount and is an excellent alternative.
Caravan Bass Saxophone Mouthpiece
The Caravan Bass Saxophone Mouthpiece is made by converting a Caravan Baritone Saxophone Mouthpiece through the process of refacing it by hand to make it more suitable for the bass. This produces a vintage-style mouthpiece for the bass since the Caravan Baritone Mouthpiece is a vintage-style large-body mouthpiece very similar to the baritone/bass mouthpieces manufactured mostly in the period 1920-1940 in the U.S., with just different facings to best suit each instrument. (These early bass saxophone mouthpieces typically had a single "B" stamped onto the surface near the manufacturer's trade mark or to one side of the body just off the table for the reed.) 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, while providing the convenience of using baritone-saxophone reeds. The tip opening of the mouthpiece is around .075 in. and can be customized somewhat either direction. (This mouthpiece is not recommended for use as a baritone saxophone mouthpiece because of its tendency to voice the pitch a little low on that instrument.) The identification "BS" is stamped onto the converted mouthpiece to the right of the base of the table. NOTE: Order Rovner 4R (“Bass/Large Baritone”) ligature to fit, available on the Rovner Ligature page of this web site.
PRICE NOTE: The Bass Saxophone Mouthpiece price is the price of a Baritone Mouthpiece plus a specially discounted price for the refacing.
AVAILABILITY: A few of these specially created Bass Saxophone mouthpieces are normally kept in stock and are available for immediate shipping, no delays, although immediate availability may vary and cannot be assured in every case.
REGARDING BORE DIMENSION: The Caravan bass saxophone mouthpiece can now be provided with the shank bore reamed out slightly to 18 mm to accommodate some modern instruments that have this larger diameter. There is a modest charge for this modification. To access the purchase page, click the right arrow at the bottom of this product page, then do likewise at the bottom of the Mouthpiece Refacing Service page. On the next page, you will be able to add the bore enlargement to your shopping cart.
DON'T MISS THIS IMPORTANT NOTE!
This large vintage-style hard-rubber mouthpiece requires a ligature
with a circumference of nearly 5 inches. These are not common or easily
found. If you need a ligature for this mouthpiece, the properly sized
Rovner ligature is available on this web site at a significant discount
and is an excellent alternative.
Mouthpiece Refacing Service
Clarinetists and saxophonists sometimes encounter a need to have a mouthpiece facing curve, and perhaps the tip opening, adjusted for reasons typically related to blowing resistance, response, and/or timbre. This can become critically necessary if a mouthpiece facing has gotten scratched or has become warped, in which case a refacing is the necessary repair. It is also not uncommon for an advanced player to have a back-up of a primary mouthpiece that does not play quite as similar to the primary mouthpiece as desired, and a facing adjustment can usually improve this situation. Yet another circumstance is having one or more vintage mouthpieces that are sound structurally but do not play very well because of facing problems (not the least of which may be a "casual" refacing performed by someone who lacked the tools and/or expertise to reface the mouthpiece in a professional manner).
These are some of the reasons the Caravan Mouthpieces' Mouthpiece Refacing Service can be a valuable resource for single-reed players. Affordably priced for the highly specialized skills, as well as the expertise and experience involved, customers sending mouthpieces to Caravan Mouthpieces for refacing will be kept in e-mail communication as work progresses on a mouthpiece, for follow-up questions that may arise, and for notification of return shipping, U.S. Mail tracking number, and estimated delivery date. (Mouthpieces sent to Caravan Mouthpieces for re-working will typically be mailed back to the customer within 3-5 days of receipt, sometimes sooner.) When a mouthpiece is returned after refacing work is completed, the customer will also receive a "Mouthpiece Refacing Report" for personal records that documents the mouthpiece maker & model (if avail.), the date of the refacing, the "before" and "after" facing-curve and tip-opening measurements, and other noteworthy information observed about the mouthpiece. In most cases, a brief impression from the final play-test (if relevant) of the finished mouthpiece will be included under the "Notes" section of the report.
This Mouthpiece Refacing Service is geared primarily toward hard-rubber symphonic ("classical") clarinet and saxophone mouthpieces. Jazz mouthpieces are also accepted for facing adjustment, but because of the wide variability of these mouthpieces, the customer must provide as much detail as possible about the objectives of having a refacing done.
To save time and unnecessary mailing expense, customers interested in using the Mouthpiece Refacing Service are strongly encouraged to contact Dr. Caravan via e-mail using the "Contact Us" page of this web site to provide basic information about the mouthpiece(s) involved and desired outcomes of refacing.
Customers who have working knowledge of how facings are measured are welcome to submit a set of preferred numbers, and the feeler gauges associated with those numbers, for target specs of a refacing. Pre-purchase e-mail consultation is essential in this circumstance.
Metal mouthpieces can be refaced using this service, but will generally incur a higher fee. Use the Contact Us page of the web site to inquire about having a metal mouthpiece refaced.
SENDING MOUTHPIECES: Mail mouthpieces for refacing to: Caravan Mouthpieces, P.O. Box 734, Fulton, NY 13069. USPS "Ground Advantage" (insured) mail is recommended, or Priority Mail for slightly faster transit time.
NOTE: The price displayed for this service is a per-mouthpiece price. Customers who wish to submit multiple mouthpieces must enter the quantity in the appropriate place in the shopping cart. For any mouthpiece received that, upon evaluation, is deemed unsuitable for refacing, the fee will be fully refunded with the only charge being the shipping & handling amount for return of the mouthpiece. Customer will be notified via e-mail of such an evaluation; there is no charge for the evaluation.
Bass Saxophone Mouthpiece Bore Enlargement
This special item is to cover the charge for reaming the bore of a Caravan bass saxophone mouthpiece out to 18 mm in order to fit properly onto some modern bass saxophone makes such as Selmer and similarly constructed instruments. Add this "item" to your shopping cart only if purchasing a new bass saxophone mouthpiece and you have a neck that measures 18 mm at the cork end.
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