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Thread: 51D to 4 size

  1. 51D to 4 size

    Hey I use a gold plated Shilke 51D mouthpiece, and I was eventually wanting to play on a 4 size, such as a wick 4al. I was just wondering if you guys thing I could switch from a 51D to a 4al without having to much adjustment problems, or if I should play on a 5 size, like 5al, for a while first?

  2. #2

    51D to 4 size

    My son went straight from a 51D to a Wick Heritage 4ABL.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Minneapolis, MN

    51D to 4 size

    I made the jump too at one point. I thought the 4AL was easier to navigate.

  4. #4

    51D to 4 size

    I made this jump as well. I initially thought that it was all about the rim diameter and I was worried about making that big of a change. I now know that it isn't necessarily that simple... the cup shape and depth matters too, and probably some other factors as well...

    If I'm not mistaken, the Yamaha 53H is a smaller rim diameter than the Wick 4 series, yet it felt huge to me. The SM4 did not feel as big and was reasonably comfortable on my face. I recently made the jump from the SM4 to the SM3. That took a bit more time but I'm getting used to it and prefer it to the 4.

    I don't know if it's recommended, but it's possible.

    Mike Warner
    Puget Brass
    York Preference Baritone 3055
    York Eminence Euphonium 4052

  5. #5

    51D to 4 size

    I suggest moving right to the 4AL. It will take a little while to get "into" it, but you'll get there. Or you could do as described above and go to the 4ABL. It will feel a bit more familiar, but will still give you much of the extra singing sound of the 4AL.

    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  6. #6

    51D to 4 size

    One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that it really depends on your physiology and your embouchure. For a lot of people the 4-sized rim is just too big and they'll never get used to it or grow into it -- these people can often get the same sound out of a smaller rim, especially a cup with a little more depth.


  7. #7

    51D to 4 size

    WICK SM4=I get a buzzing sound sometimes when adjusting my embochure from high to very low...26.00 diameter

    ALLIANCE 4a= the buzzing went away as this piece has a slightly smaller diamter, 25.75 I think, however, my mouth still actually moves inside the mouthpiece every so often when transitioning from high to very low...

    Schilke 51 D= I played on this for about 2 hours the other day with an old King bari, the above problems were not there, but I am not sure if I like the lack of sizzle with this piece yet..

    Does any of that make sense? I am thinking I will do better on a smaller diameter..


  8. 51D to 4 size

    If I were Euphinator, I would try a number of mouthpieces around the 4 size before adopting any particular one. Ignore all the legends and traditions, and make a choice that works for your chops and your wind supply, and most of all for your ear. That 4AL that is so widely admired may not be right for you, and for any number of reasons. But of course you should try it.

    My Sterling came with a Wick 4BL. I tried it for a while, then gave it away. (The mouthpiece, not the horn.)

    Played a 51D for about 3 years. Liked the sound, but eventually wanted a somewhat larger cup.

    I bought a good used Wick SM4. Didn't like the sound and didn't feel I needed the .290 throat. Sold it.

    I had Warburton make me a 4GD with a custom rim-face. Liked the rim, liked the efficiency, but had trouble finding a solid core in my sound. Still have it, play it from time to time.

    Tried a Yamaha 53H. Liked the rim, cup, and throat dimensions. Liked the focused sound. Found it easy to play on. Liked the fact that it was cheap. Decided it was OK, even if it wasn't BRITISH. Most significantly, I decided it was time to stop playing around with mouthpieces and focus more attention on the PLAYER!

    Have fun, Euphinator, with your mouthpiece hunt! Just trust your EARS.

  9. #9

    51D to 4 size

    Originally posted by: JBrassLee WICK SM4=I get a buzzing sound sometimes when adjusting my embochure from high to very low...26.00 diameter

    One of the big things that can cause a double buzz is a rim that is too big for you.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    San Diego, California

    51D to 4 size

    If you do decide with a Wick 4AL, I would suggest the Heritage 4AL, it costs more, but for me it is easier to play and the overall intonation is outstanding. I went back and forth between the 51D and the Heritage, I liked them both, but I liked the Heritage a bit more. It had a nicer feel and sound to it.

    Miraphone 5050 Ambassador
    Mp: Wick SM4 Ultra X
    The San Diego Concert Band
    Big Brass Quartet- tuba ensemble (EETT)

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