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Monette vs AR vs Donat vs Lotus

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Joined: 27 Jun 2015
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Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 5:45 am    Post subject: Monette vs AR vs Donat vs Lotus Reply with quote

Anyone know how these mouthpiece designs are related? Here is the limited information I have some of which is probably wrong.

AR, Donat, and Lotus are all inspired by Monette designs. AR and Lotus have somewhat narrower throats than the Monette Prana. The information I have been able to dig up is something like these drills: Lotus 22-24, AR 19-21, Monette Prana 16-18, Donat ??. In general the non-Monette ones don't appear to go quite as extreme as the Prana in the drill size. The AR page explicitly mentions how they aim to have designs that "you don't have to adapt to", clearly a remark aimed at Prana. All are shorter shank with relatively open backbores. I play Monette, the ones I have seen are pretty much a pure conical profile in the backbore but I don't know about the others. Also annealing is apparently done by Donat and Monette, not sure about the others? AR is making some bronze mouthpieces now?

There are a great many subtle factors in mouthpiece design and these kind of crude observations are not all that telling, but even the basic differences don't seem to be widely known. I'm not planing on trying any of these newer makers as I am a happy Monette guy, its more curiosity about what's happening in mouthpiece design today.
Courtois Evo IV circa 2010 / home-brew mouthpiece
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I am a happy AR mouthpiece customer. I am also friend with Tony, who is the owner of the company. AR mouthpieces are generally made of separate tops and backbores. Of course the choice of cup sizes and shapes is wide, but the most interesting characteristic of the AR concept is that different backbore shapes are available for the same throat size, so that you can choose the combination of cup, throat and backbore that fits you most. This allows to find the best possible compromise between back pressure, intonation and tone.

Yes, AR make bronze mouthpiece, and those who tried them say they are very good.

I never tried Donat nor Lotus, but I played Monette mouthpieces for several years, both the "classic" and the Prana. I think that the Prana are really amazing mouthpieces, but they are probably too much for most of the average players. The lead pieces are a bit easier, and they have a very good compromise between the ease of a shallow cup and a tone quality that can compete with medium cups. But still the AR range gave me the chance to find the best possible balance for me. My cup is an MC, in the range of a 3C, with a 21 throat. I first started with a 4 backbore, which is the tightest they offer, then moved to 8 and now I am playing the 10, so I moved from a tighter backbore to one a lot more open. I may try the 19 throat in the future, but the current setting is by far the best I ever experienced. It really allows me to get the best out of my Taylor horn.

The other big advantage of the AR for me is that it allows me to play everything I play on the same mouthpiece, while with the Monette I switched between a regular and a shallow cup. I guess this is because of the better fit.

So for those who embrace the short shank/open throat and backbore concept they are definitely worth a try.
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