BERG LARSEN Slant Signature Special - Stainless Steel (-)
These were the first Berg Larsen mouthpieces offered in Stainless Steel. Manufactured from the mid 1940's thru the early 1950's, they featured a slant signature, much like their hard rubber counterparts, a Duck Bill beak, and a very long table that extended past the end of the reed. These mouthpieces are known for their ease of control in the altissimo register, and tend to play much darker than Bergs that were produced later.
Charecteristics of Slant Signature Special:
Berg Larson stamp at slant on shank
Tip opening, baffle height, and facing length stamp on shank under table
Offset M and SMS facing length stamps
Long table that extends past the end of the reed
"P" stamp above slant signature on some models (explained below)
The vintage Berg mouthpieces tend to go by many names. They often include the terms long table, Offset M or SMS, and Duckbill. The term long table is associated with these mouthpieces because they are the only vintage Bergs with a table that extends so far past the reed. The Offset M or Offset SMS comes from the facing length stamp that is on the shank underneath the tip opening and baffle height numbers. This is dead giveaway of a vintage Berg mouthpiece. On the shank the M or SMS stamp will be slightly to the right underneath the tip opening and baffle height stamps. On more current production Berg Larsen mouthpieces these stamps are all directly in a line underneath each other. The last term, Duckbill refers to the beak of the mouthpiece. All of the early vintage Slant Signature Bergs had Duckbill beaks. Even after Berg quit using the Slant Signature stamps they continued using the Duckbill beaks for a time, and have even brought them back into their current production mouthpieces as a sort of throwback to the vintage models.
A special model of this mouthpiece was manufactured called the Charlie Ventura model. These mouthpieces are probably the rarest Berg Larsen mouthpieces ever produced. We have only ever seen one, and it is in the museum as well. Be sure to check it out!!
These mouthpieces all have the same denim style machine markings on the table as well. They also all feature a bullet chamber. Some mouthpieces do have a "P" stamp on the back of the shank above the Berg Larsen stamp. This P stands for Precision. The very first Berg hard rubber mouthpieces were stamped "Berg Larsen Precision" at a slant on the shank. Berg carried this over onto several of his early stainless steel mouthpieces by stamping a "P" on them.
It's funny that Berg wanted to be known for their precision, because they tend to run .005" under what they are marked. So a vintage Slant Signature Berg that is marked .095" probably measures more like .090". We have seen some that are even more off than this though, measuring as much as .010" under what they are stamped. They usually always measure under what they are stamped, very rarely do you find them measuring more.
These mouthpieces all came standard in a black box. They had Berg Larsen written in silver lettering at a slant on the top of the box. The mouthpieces came with a gold two screw ligature. These ligatures work great with these mouthpieces. The caps were gold as well and had Berg Larsen stamped across the bottom. This Berg Larsen stamp is not at a slant.
These were the first Berg Larsen mouthpieces offered in Stainless Steel. Manufactured from the mid 1940's thru the early 1950's, they featured a slant signature, much like their hard rubber counterparts, a Duck Bill beak, and a very long table that extended past the end of the reed. T... [more]