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.
PRICE CHANGE NOTE: After holding prices steady since Jan. 1,
2022—despite some unusually high inflation during the last couple
years—list prices for all mouthpieces have been adjusted upward as of
July 12, 2023. The increase was made necessary principally because of a
15-percent increase in the cost of all mouthpieces from the factory as
of Jan. 1, 2023. Standing inventory of most mouthpieces at the beginning
of the year enabled Caravan Mouthpieces to delay increasing retail
prices past the half-year mark, and the percent increases per product
have been generally held to between 5 and 6 percent. (Exceptions are the
clarinet mouthpiece, which had a larger increase previously, and the
C-tenor [C-melody] saxophone mouthpiece, which had a $15 factory
increase earlier in 2023 that was immediately added to the retail price.
Hence, retail prices for these two were adjusted minimally this time.)
Owing to the strict quality control of each mouthpiece placed into
inventory for sale to customers, all the Caravan mouthpieces remain an
unusually high value at their price points.