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Different brands of mouthpiece manufacturers have different ways of naming the size of their mouthpieces. Is there some kind of common convention, like letters being the depth, small numbers meaning small width, and the like?

Bach's 1-1/2 C seems to match Yamaha's 16C4 according to this page, but I'm more looking for a way of comparing without looking up in a table.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The only "convention" as such that exists, is that lots of manufacturers happen to use Bach's sizing numbers (where a smaller number = larger diameter and the letter refers to the shape of the cup), if only because Bach is so ubiquitous in the brass world.

Here is a rather extensive chart:
http://www.allbrassradio.com/tmptmpccharts.htm

Both Schilke and Denis Wick have mouthpiece comparison charts:
http://www.schilkemusic.com/files/SchilkeMPChart0207.pdf
http://www.deniswick.com/images/stories/mouthpieces/mouthpieceComparisonChart.pdf

However, different manufacturers vary greatly in rim width/shape (not diameter, which is what is generally communicated in the 'size'), and that can have a much bigger effect on how the mouthpiece feels.

I find the best way to compare mouthpiece is to look up each individual manufacturer's product listing--Most have a comment of some sort that categorizes mouthpieces as being good for high range, open sound, free blowing, 'symphonic favourite', and the like.

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