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Thread: Mouthpiece tests for the Besson 2056 4V Compensating Baritone

  1. #1

    Mouthpiece tests for the Besson 2056 4V Compensating Baritone

    I have been experimenting with various small shank mouthpieces on my Besson 2056-2 4V compensating baritone.

    The bundled Alliance 6 did not work for me at all. Too dark and muddy. That MP found a good home in Doug Ruby's collection. Then I acquired a Wick SM6B, which was slightly better than the Alliance 6, but still not right.

    I was looking for something significantly brighter. My preferred genre is traditional New Orleans brass band music (VERY different from the British brass bands!). The Wick SM9B has a V cup, and was much closer to my desired tone.

    Also tested were several custom "tweaked jazz trombone" 6.5AL variants: the Loud LM52, G&W Harry Watters, and Monette TS6. All three of these MPs were closer to the desired tonal response. However, low end response and overall slotting suffered with all of the 6.5AL variants. My rusty embouchure is also part of the problem. I will be posting these three MPs in the "For Sale" section soon.

    One thing that bothered me about the Wick MPs and the 6.5AL variants was the amount of main tuning slide pull. All required 1.125" to 1.25" of slide pull, which is way too much in my opinion. Not enough pull to blow out the tuning slide, but too close for comfort.

    I dug into my old MP box and pulled out a small shank Shilke 51D that had been used with my Conn 24-I. Slide pull with the 51D was only about .50". It was almost as if the 51D should have been the original bundled MP!

    Shank lengths were also measured. The Shilke 51D shank is about .25" longer than the Wicks and 6.5AL variants. The difference in slide pull appears to be a combination of the longer shank and deeper cup on the 51D.

    I am currently practicing exclusively with the 51D as I slowly build up my chops. The 51D is still too dark for my taste, but overall seems much better acoustically matched to the horn. Slotting is noticeably better, especially on my lip-slur exercises. My next step is to test a Shilke 51C4 to brighten the tone just a bit. Any other suggestions?

    Also, does anybody have an explanation as to why the Shilke has a longer shank than the other small shank MPs?

  2. #2

    Mouthpiece tests for the Besson 2056 4V Compensating Baritone

    How stuck are you on the Besson? There is a Sterling Excaliber made with a rimless bell. It has quite a bit more punch than any other common brand. Another choice would be the Adams Custom. They have various models, and different metal thicknesses. Adams in general run brighter than others, and if you chose a lighter metal, you might have a much easier time getting the sound you want.

    But either option above will run somewhat more $$ than a mouthpiece :-)

    So in mouthpieces, have you contacted Doug Elliot? He is a poster on this forum when he has time. You might do well finding a brighter mouthpiece from DE, and he could supply with a Schilke-like shank that would keep the pitch down.

    As for your last question, my personal opinion is that many stock Schilke mp's are made with shanks better suited to a trombone than a euphonium.

    Dave Werden
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  3. #3

    Mouthpiece tests for the Besson 2056 4V Compensating Baritone

    Dave...re:Sterling Excaliber and Adams....Bruce is playing a Besson 2056 Baritone (not a euphonium). I agree regarding the Alliance B6. It is VERY dark for a "6" sized nmouthpiuece, which is why I like it. The tenor shank 51D sounds like a good choice. I actually find them a bit bright for me..but still nice.
    Sterling Virtuoso & Besson Sovereign 967 euphoniums
    York 4056 & SA Triumphonic baritones
    New England Brass Band/New England Wind Ensemble
    New England Tuba Quartet/Nashoba Valley Concert Band

  4. #4

    Mouthpiece tests for the Besson 2056 4V Compensating Baritone

    Thanks, Doug. Drat - I need to learn my Besson model numbers better! Or maybe I just should have read his post and signature block more carefully Chalk it up to a long stretch of working 7 days a week and a very tired brain!

    So forget everything I said about Sterling and Adams models. My comments about mouthpieces still apply. And actually, that makes me think the potential of finding a mp that does what you what is quite good. Baritones respond well to changing mp's. When I change mp's on my baritone, it seems to have more influence on the tone, probably because the euphonium has a tone that is further along a spectrum. But take your time deciding. For me, anyway, I have found that it takes quite a while to get used to a new mp and know if it's really working the way I'd hoped.

    And if you can de-rust your chops a bit, that will help too. When my chops are rusty, the results vary from day to day, and it makes it tougher to tell much about horn/mp differences.

    Sorry I wandered down the wrong track before.

    Dave Werden
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  5. #5

    Mouthpiece tests for the Besson 2056 4V Compensating Baritone

    Originally posted by: dukachop...I acquired a Wick SM6B, which was slightly better than the Alliance 6, but still not right.
    Have you tried the standard Wick 6B? The difference in its mass distribution gives it a different sound than the SM series.

    Dave Werden
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  6. #6

    Mouthpiece tests for the Besson 2056 4V Compensating Baritone

    The Schilke 51C4 is a nice compromise for a brighter sound than a 51D. Although brighter, it still feels and plays very much like the 51D. The Schilke 51B is even brighter, but to me it has a different feel and requires more adjustment if you are used to the deeper cups. I use it sometimes with Bass Trumpet. You might also consider a BB3, as it is similar in size to the Schilke 51 series and is recommended for baritone horn by DEG.

  7. #7

    Mouthpiece tests for the Besson 2056 4V Compensating Baritone

    Schilke trombone mouthpieces have historically had a longer stem due to the theory that a little extra room in the conical mouthpiece backbore is better for tuning than a little extra room in the necessarily cylindrical tuning slide. Some instruments it works well on, other it does not achieve the intended effect. I believe that everything Schilke is selling new these days has a standard Bach-length stem.


  8. #8

    Mouthpiece tests for the Besson 2056 4V Compensating Baritone

    Denis Wick Ultra has 3 sizes for the baritone mouthpieces, the 4,5,6. Basing from my experiences with the Ultra4 vs the the regular SM4, the Ultra is a lot better mouthpiece. I would guess the Shilke 51 anything (esp. the D) would be too euphonium sounding regardless of what ones genre preference is but if that's sound you want, go for it.


  9. #9

    Mouthpiece tests for the Besson 2056 4V Compensating Baritone

    The SM5 Ultra baritone mouthpiece is actually unbelievably similar to a small stem 51D, with the SM5 being a bit smaller in diameter but being a bit more of a funnel shaped cup however the depth is pretty similar overall. The baritone SM6 Ultra is pretty deep as well. They are pretty similar in sound. For british brass band use, the euphonium-like sound is pretty desirable, you want to have the flexibility to be like a euphonium, like a trombone, or like a tenor (alto) horn, so you can blend with any of them. A 51C would be a much brighter sounding mouthpiece than any of the SM Ultra baritone mouthpieces.


  10. #10

    Mouthpiece tests for the Besson 2056 4V Compensating Baritone

    bbocaner, above, floats a hypothesis about the old longer-shanked Schilke mouthpieces. He is probably right about the design objectives for the longer shank/backbore. At least, it's the only plausible explanation I have heard.

    One thing that nobody ever seems to comment on, however, whenever the long-shanked Schilkes are discussed, is that the shank has a slightly different TAPER than the dominant Bach-MP taper. I have one of these older 51D's, and I was always bugged about its tendency to rock back and forth in the receiver rather than seat itself firmly. I always thought that the old Schilke shanks were called the "Remington shank" (after the famed teacher) and that certain trombone brands were made with compatible receivers. I thought this to be true of the older Conn 88H models, but I swear I can't remember who I heard that from.

    Can anybody shed light on the matter? (Not that the future of brasswind playing hinges on it or anything like that ... inquiring minds simply want to know.)

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