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Thread: Confusion with Alliance Products

  1. Confusion with Alliance Products

    There are 2 types of euphonium mouthpieces with alliance, the standard and prestige. Which one DID Steven Mead play on(which one says MEAD on the piece as well)? The Prestige 2 or Standard 2a? and I'm going to buy one and I want to know the difference between the prestige 3 and standard 3a. Are the cups slightly different? What sound does each piece help accomplish? I searched images of the the two and each time, the same pictures appeared and it makes me wonder if the two look and play differently at all.

  2. Confusion with Alliance Products

    Steve MEad uses a 26.4mm Wick 3 sized mouthpiece AFAIK. The Alliance Prestige 2 is the Steven Mead MPC that he used for a short time AFTER Besson went into receivership and as the new Besson started producing instruments but prior to the new Wick SM3U. In the Alliance mouthpieces, an Alliance 2 is equivalent to a Wick 3. An Alliance 3 (Prestige 3 or David Childs DC3) is equivalent to a Wick 4.

    I don't know that there is any particular difference between a Prestige 2 and a standard 2.

    Sterling Virtuoso 1065HGS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HGS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  3. Confusion with Alliance Products

    Thank you for the info! I'm definitely getting a Prestige 3 with a gold rim and cup for comfort of course and to match my Besson Prestige!

  4. Confusion with Alliance Products

    PS...I play an Alliance Prestige E3 or a Wick 4AL. The Alliance E3 feels "bigger" (but not by much) and sounds better on my Sterling. The Wick 4AL (or an Alliance DC3) play better for me on my Besson Prestige 2051.

    Sterling Virtuoso 1065HGS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HGS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  5. Confusion with Alliance Products

    Yeah I tried the Wick 4AL on my Prestige, which came with the horn when I bought it from someone a few years back. It didn't work quite well for me so I went to the SM4 and it did the job better.

  6. #6

    Confusion with Alliance Products

    The Alliance Prestige versions were slightly deeper than the standard, aka "a" (2a, 3a, 4a) versions. In Alliance terminology, the "a" versions, which were included with the Sovereigns, provided a "lift" in the high register.

  7. Confusion with Alliance Products

    When you say the Prestige pieces are deeper than the standard, is that because the standard are shallower like David Childs pieces to help with the high register while the Prestige are relatively the same as maybe the corresponding Wick piece? Or the Prestige are just a lot deeper than the standard and the standard pieces are relatively the same as the corresponding Wick piece? I'm confused...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Indianapolis area

    Confusion with Alliance Products

    I believe my Alliance 2A equates to a Wick 3.5--halfway between a 3 and 4. There's an equivalence chart on the Alliance website.

    Jim W.
    Jim Williams N9EJR (love 10 meters)
    Yamaha 642-II Neo, Wedge 103E, SM3.5
    Yamaha 321, Yamaha 621 Baritone
    Conn 50H trombone
    Blue P-bone

  9. #9

    Confusion with Alliance Products

    I believe "prestige" in alliance-speak means it was developed in conjunction with Mead (or Webster, Howie, Gourlay, van Rijen). There are no special features to the prestige mouthpieces other than the fact that they fall outside of the small range of sizes that the artist who helped develop them uses. That and they charge you more for it.

    For the euphonium sizes, the shallower "a" mouthpieces are not "prestige" models, but neither is the model 4 and that's not an "a".


  10. #10

    Confusion with Alliance Products

    I think the simplest explanation is that the Alliance Prestige is the mouthpiece which was developed to ship with the Prestige instrument. That mouthpiece is an Alliance E2. It has "Alliance E2" engraved on one side and "Prestige" on the other. It does seem to have been something of a groupthink mouthpiece, and more people than just Steve Mead seemed to have had a hand in its design. I believe only the E2 carries the Prestige name.

    For a while Steve played the Alliance E2 Prestige, which was sold briefly in the USA as a "Alliance Mead 2." That mouthpiece has Alliance engraved on one side and Mead 2 on the other. Just For Brass, and maybe others, sold the Mead branded Alliance mouthpieces. Other than using the Mead name, it was identical to the E2. In fact, the entire Alliance line was rebranded as the Mead line for the USA. But then something happened, the Mead brand was removed, and the Wick SM Ultra series was introduced.

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