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Thread: Mouthpiece shank sizes?

  1. #1

    Mouthpiece shank sizes?

    Greetings!

    During my time in high school band, drum and bugle corps, and in the military, I encountered 2 sizes of mouthpiece shanks, the usual large and small. Most of my marching horns took a small shank that would fit in a trombone, and my euphoniums used a large shank mouthpiece. I recently acquired an old Besson New Standard (1972). I ordered the SM4M european shank size euphonium mouthpiece, and the end just barely squeezes in the receiver. Is this size of mouthpiece in between the large and small that I am used to? I did some more searching and found that there is a baritone model also, is this the size that I would need? I couldnt find any comparison of external dimensions of the 3 models. Thanks very much for your feedback!

    ~Doug Crawford
    Last edited by ProgHouseDJ; 08-21-2013 at 08:07 AM.

  2. #2
    As far as I know the SM4M should fit your horn just fine. Did you try one of your small shank mouthpieces in it to see if it fits? If it does, then maybe someone changed the received on the Besson to take a small shank. I don't believe they ever made a euphonium with a small shank as standard.

    I assume you are talking about a Besson New Standard euphonium, not a baritone, correct?
    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
    The small shank works better, but it still doesn't sit quite as far in as on some marching horns I have used. I thought someone might have converted the receiver. It is a euphonium, not a baritone horn. Do you know if the conversion process is a simple soldering job? Would a torch remove the adapter and leave the original receiver?

  4. #4
    Actually, your response made me think of something. It's possible you have an adapter sitting in the receiver. I used to have one for my Besson NS. When in place, you'll see an "extra" knurled flange at the end of the receiver. That should be removable (although it may be stuck pretty tight). I think that is probably what is going on.

    Otherwise, the receiver should be a simple unsolder job, but of course you will need a replacement medium receiver.
    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
    Senior Member ghmerrill's Avatar
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    Yes, the European shank is intermediate in size between the large and the small shank. I strongly recommend that you do NOT attempt to replace the receiver with a medium one (unless that was the original one on it) since the range of mouthpieces currently available in medium shank is drastically restricted compared to those available in small and large shank. In fact, one reason (see my sig below) that I have the Doug Elliott mouthpieces for my two euphoniums is that replacing the large shank with the medium one allows me to use the same mouthpiece (bowl and rim) in both my Mack Brass compensating horn and my Amati oval euphonium. Otherwise, I found that the best I could do for the medium shank horn was one of the SM mouthpieces (which I don't particularly like), and the largest I could get was a size 4 (and I wanted something a bit bigger).

    It may well be that a previous owner -- being discouraged about finding medium shank mouthpieces -- had an adapter fitted, and it's a bit small for a small shank mouthpiece.

    If you think there's an adapter in there and it's stuck, you could initially try to get it out. Squirt some PB Blaster into any seams you see between the adapter and the receiver itself. Try to orient the horn so that the solvent will dribble down between receiver and adapter (so have the receiver pointing up). Repeat this process on a daily basis for, say, a week. It sometimes takes this amount of time for the PB Blaster to works its way into the correct places; but it's amazing stuff. At that point, see if you can (CAREFULLY) grab the end of the adapter with something like padded channel-lock pliers and start to (GENTLY) turn it. Applying torque in this way will often break apart a slide or adapter where simple pulling won't. You want to be VERY careful that you don't twist your mouthpipe or receiver.

    Or take it to a repair tech and he'll do all of that for you, and maybe apply a torch to it if that's necessary.
    Last edited by ghmerrill; 08-21-2013 at 09:56 AM.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 2XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N104, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N104, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, Denis Wick 5

  6. #6
    Or the SM4M you got was mismarked and it's actually a large shank mouthpiece.
    Last edited by DougElliott; 08-23-2013 at 07:26 AM.

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