A mouthpiece can determine the sound of a clarinet, and this German mouthpiece is exceptional. The Wurlitzer Bb Clarinet German M4 is a great option for a balanced and solid sound.
When I first started playing the clarinet, I struggled to find the right mouthpiece after my original mouthpiece cracked and got damaged. I went to a store armed with my mouth patch to test some mouthpieces. After a few tests, I landed on the Wurlitzer Bb Clarinet German M4, and that was the end of my search. I loved the balance and the tip that made it easy to play. The plastic material made it easy to play at this level and the acrylic material looked durable. In this post, we will look at this German mouthpiece in detail, and by the end, you will know all there is to this mouthpiece, so keep reading.
Wurlitzer BB CLARINET German M4 Overview
This mouthpiece is made of acrylic glass and works great for plastic clarinets. This smoked glass mouthpiece is great for projection and has an M4 tip opening of 0.93mm, which is narrow to medium in width. This mouthpiece is available in black and can be purchased online at Thomann or Amazon. I used it for my Bb clarinet and liked the sound and decided to test in an Eb clarinet, and the results were equally great. There are other materials like ebonite that work with hard reeds, but plastic is more durable and easy for beginners.
The sound of the clarinet is projected through the mouthpiece, and the narrow tip makes the projection clearer and more precise. You might frown at the high price, but the quality makes it all worth it. The soft and warm sound is impressive, and all you want to do is keep playing. The M4 tip contributes greatly to the clarity of the sound, and it comes with a long facing of 25.2mm. The response was quick and immediate in all registers, and it has a comfortable restriction. Some people might prefer a larger opening like the M3, but this still works great for intermediate players, and as much as it works well with German clarinets, others also sound great with this mouthpiece, like the Yamaha 457 Bb clarinet.
The material is smoked glass, which falls in the plastic category. This material works best with soft reeds for beginners. This makes it easy to develop a strong and balanced embouchure that can handle ebonite mouthpieces at the next level. If you are wondering why this mouthpiece is described as suitable for the German clarinet, it’s because the design suits the Oehler system. This system adds tone holes to improve tone and acoustic deficiencies in most clarinets. There are two main types of mouthpieces, and they include French and German mouthpieces. They are made to suit the design of clarinets. The French system is commonly known as Boehm, and the German is the Oehler. This explains why the mouthpiece is narrow because German-style clarinets require narrow bores, narrow reeds, and narrow mouthpieces. A mouthpiece can fit into an instrument but sound horrible. This is why the Wurlitzer is specific for the German-style clarinet.
I can’t speak much on the durability as I’ve only used it for a few weeks, but looking at the reviews from previous and current users, this mouthpiece is durable. The plastic lasts, as long as you maintain and care for it by using caps and storing it appropriately. It is the perfect beginner material as one learns the clarinet.
What we liked
- The sleek design
- It’s a perfect fit in the German style clarinets
- The dark, rich sound
- The great projection and clarity
What we didn’t like
- It was too pricy
- It wasn’t good in hard reeds
Wurlitzer BB CLARINET German M4 Specifications
|Wurlitzer BB CLARINET German M4
|Bb and EB
Wurlitzer BB CLARINET German M4 Features
Design and build
This is a plastic clarinet or what is also called smoked or acrylic glass. The acrylic material is soft to the touch and has a warm feel. While this might not work for hard reeds, a plastic mouthpiece is unlikely to get damaged in high temperatures. Clarinetists who play outdoors in high temperatures and use rubber clarinets will tell you that they always need a replacement immediately. The heat damages the shape and distorts the sound, but the plastic remains intact.
When it’s cold, the rubber becomes rigid and distorts the shape, but the plastic material remains as it was. Plastic material is ideal for the outdoors and people with allergies to other materials such as silver and copper. It is unlikely that a plastic material will dent or bend with time. The tip is an M4 style and has a narrow opening of 0.93mm. This makes it the perfect fit for the German-style clarinet, which tends to be narrow. This mouthpiece is long facing and comes in a 25.3mm length. This makes it free to blow as compared to short-facing mouthpieces. I found it to be less resistant than other open mouthpieces, which made it comfortable to play with. A long-facing mouthpiece is great for the accentuation of the lower registers.
A mouthpiece determines whether you will sound in tune or not. In this mouthpiece, all you need to do is pair it with the right clarinet and achieve an articulate, rich tone. The sound is well-rounded and has a great projection. I notice that it played quietly without background crankiness, but was loud and clear. It is warm, and the response is immediate and fast in all registers. It is easy to play and free blowing, which makes it suitable for intermediate and beginner levels.
Who its best suited for?
This is a good first-time mouthpiece for the German-style clarinet. It works perfectly for beginners and intermediate users who aren’t ready to upgrade to hard rubber mouthpieces. It is also suited for those who constantly play outdoors in harsh weather, including professionals. The plastic material does not deteriorate in hot weather. If you are used to soft reeds, you will enjoy the warmth of this mouthpiece and will enjoy an accentuated tone. If you are a new user whose embouchure is not balanced or developed, you can start with this mouthpiece.
Alternatives to the Wurlitzer BB CLARINET German M4
There are many German-style mouthpieces out there, and the only way to know what works for you is to test it. Some of the best competitors of the Wurlitzer M4 are the Vandoren D25 Bb Clarinet Mouthpiece CM3825 for German Clarinet, which is made with plastic, has a long facing of 20mm and a tip opening of 1.2mm, the Yamaha 4C Clarinet Mouthpiece, Standard Series, that comes in durable plastic material and fits any standard clarinet, and Wurlitzer BB CLARINET German M3. All these are plastic mouthpieces, specially designed for Oehler system clarinets. They can be purchased on Amazon or Thomann, and any other reputable online music stores. The Wurlitzer M3 is also made from smoked glass, and there is not much difference in the sound with the M4. We would recommend any of these alternatives for a beginner or intermediate user who plays outdoors.
Features of Alternatives
|Wurlitzer M4 are the Vandoren D25 Bb Clarinet
|Yamaha 4C Clarinet Mouthpiece
|Wurlitzer BB CLARINET German M3
Smoked glass or acrylic is a type of hard plastic used to make mouthpieces. This material is durable, and does not deteriorate in extreme weather, making it the perfect mouthpiece material for the outdoors. The Wurlitzer M4 comes from the M series of the Wurlitzer brand and has quickly become a favorite for Bb and Eb clarinets, and it fits perfectly in any standard German Style clarinet. Most students and professionals like the sturdiness of the material and how warm it feels on the hand. It is unlikely to cause any allergies, unlike rubber and copper. If you are looking to replace or upgrade your mouthpiece with a proven one, the Wurlitzer M4 is an excellent choice. When compared with other alternatives, it works similarly with the M3, which is also a good German-style mouthpiece.
What is the advantage of a plastic mouthpiece?
Plastic mouthpieces remain intact in harsh weather and do not deteriorate when used outdoors.
Is the Wurlitzer M4 good?
Yes, it works well with Oehler-style clarinets and is durable to the smoked glass material.
Can I use my Wurlitzer M4 on a French-style clarinet?
No, the French clarinet should use mouthpieces specifically made for its style to ensure proper sound and tune.
How much is a Wurlitzer M4 Clarinet mouthpiece?
It will set you back approximately 152 Euros on Amazon.