Mr. Bundy's pursuit of quality instruments is shown by who he hired. For instance, for his flute production he employed George Haynes (who patented the rolled tone holes used by Conn and others) and he later hired Kurt Gemeinhardt, both well known flute designers who later produced their own line of flutes. When Selmer Paris re-acquired Selmer U.S.A. after his death and later purchased Buescher, Selmer decided to use the Bundy name on it's "second line" or "student" horns and accessories. Production quality dropped, and the Bundy name became synonymous with crappy horns. But if the item is a "real Bundy," it is likely a quality piece.
The brand name "Vito" has been through a similar loss of reputation. Dr. Vito Pascucci ran Leblanc U.S.A. In addition to importing Leblanc instruments from France, he also purchased stenciled instruments and accessories for the "Vito" or "second line" instruments, many of them also top quality. After he left the company, the reputation that he had built, i.e., his trade name "Vito," was used by Leblanc to sell inferior products.
Too bad for the legacies of Mssrs. Bundy and Pascucci. But good news for us. The Bundy and Vito names are on some very nice vintage and not-so-vintage mouthpieces produced for them by Riffault, JJ Babbitt, and other producers of fine mouthpieces. In many instances, these mouthpiece producers also made the "big name" pieces for mouthpiece finishing businesses. If a blank is good enough for Brilhart, Dukoff, Link, WoodWind Co., or Penzel-Mueller, it's good enough for us (even if it is stamped with the name Bundy, Riffault, Coast, some other obscure name, or no name at all).
The piece that I'm going to reface is badged "Selmer Elkhart - New York." Selmer USA began in New York, was operated by Mr. Bundy, and later moved its production facilities to Elkhart. It kept a New York facility until 1951, but I don't know if that means that my piece was made prior to 1951. The reason I say that is because in a 1956 catalog, the Selmer USA mouthpieces (made in the USA by JJ Babbitt) were simply called "Selmer Elkhart," so my Selmer Elkhart - New York piece may be from prior to 1951. Click on the picture to see the pricing. They are worth three times the original sale price today, although sometimes sellers ask for 30 times the original price by claiming that the pieces are really a "Dukoff blank." There is no such thing as a Dukoff blank. I'll say that again. there is no such thing as a Dukoff blank.
The vintage Selmer Elkhart - New York mouthpiece, like a hard rubber Dukoff piece, has a large chamber. It is actually a chamber that was used by Babbitt on various mouthpieces made prior to the Selmer Elkhart - New York and the Dukoff hard rubber pieces. These older mouthpieces are never claimed to be Dukoff blanks or Dukoff Zimberoff (DZ) clones because they have different exterior shapes from the Dukoff.
Hmmmm. Once again, we are faced with the issue of what controls the sound produced by a mouthpiece, the interior shape or the exterior name? I am of the opinion that it is the interior shape (duh). Therefore, a DZ style of mouthpiece can be made either from one of the four or five Babbitt blanks that look like Dukoff mouthpieces (on both the exterior and interior), or from more than a half a dozen earlier Babbitt blanks that have the identical interior chamber but different exterior shapes. (The same goes for vintage Brilhart, Link, WWCo., etc. if you believe that it is the chamber shape that controls sound).
The only problem is that if we use a blank that has an identical chamber but a different exterior shape, then our pathetic pedigree claim would have to be "it's just like a Dukoff Zimberoff Supersonic on the inside." We saw this problem with comparing the Porche 356 coupe with the 356 cabriolet in a prior blog. Sure, the Porches are identical on the inside and from a performance point of view, but the really big money is paid by the people who are concerned about the exterior, i.e., about how it looks.
But back to my project. Here is a picture of the generic student Babbitt blank labeled as a Selmer Elkhart - New York #3. It is the same one that was shown in a prior blog where it was compared to a Dukoff Zimberoff piece, since Dukoff sometimes finished this particular JJ Babbitt blank as its hard rubber alto mouthpiece.
Here is my new table with the butt cut.
Here, my calculator served as my pedestal when I attempted to photograph the reflection. You can get the general idea, but normally I just hold it to the light and inspect the shape of the chamber. Very simple.
Don't be confused by my use of the term "straight" baffle. That area of the chamber is also "domed" when thinking of it as a chamber (with the table facing down). With the table facing down, maybe think of a stairwell that has a domed ceiling. The ceiling height above the stairs increases slightly at the middle of the flight and then goes back to it's original height at the " second landing" (the neck bore).
My baffle shape is a little different from a DZK in that it is sort of two-stage. The "first stage" is shown in the reflection. The baffle angle then increases again and the clam-shell effect is really prominent only on the "second stage." This secret process increases the tonal vibrosity by altering the nodal pulsations through impedance re-alignment. Nah, I just made that up. I do it because it's quick and easy. Here's what it looks like. This picture just shows the first drop off, which follows the tip curve. Only the second drop off has the "clam shell" look (which doesn't look like any clam shell I've ever seen).