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Thread: Is the Schilke 51D professional?

  1. Is the Schilke 51D professional?

    So, many many college and highschool students use this mpc. And I have heard some phenomenal professionals who used this mouthpiece, but nowadays I never hear this mouthpiece recommended along the same lines as the Denis wicks, or alliances or what have you. I used a 51D clone for a long time but recently switched to a Denis wick SM4 which I love. I use a Yamaha 51D for drum corps, and part of me misses my 51D clone even though my sound is a lot better along with the comfort of the DW.

    So is the 51D now considered to be an intermediate piece? I personally do not think so, I really like that piece, and style of piece, I just like my Denis Wick more.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    I don't think anything should be labeled as professional, because who decides what is and isn't?

    Often I compare mouthpieces to shoes, you can pay $XXX for the most expensive XXX brand of shoe, with the advertisement of it being the most comfortable/most efficient, but it comes down to it being you. If you want to be more comfortable running a mile, run them more often, don't invest in XXX brand of running shoes just to hope it makes you better. Same with mouthpieces, it's more of a preference for what is "professional".

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Yeah, since mouthpieces don't actually get paid for doing anything and since they also don't give performances, don't give lessons, don't pay taxes, etc., it would be a mistake to call one "professional".

    If the question is whether a mouthpiece is USED by some professional(s), that's a different question -- and I'm pretty sure that at least SOME professional musicians (who perform, give lessons, and pay taxes) use this mouthpiece.

    You seem to be feeling some guilt for abandoning your old mouthpiece which stood behind you, was faithful to you, and was good for you for many years. And now you've taken up with some "professional" English floozy. Life is full of difficult choices, and some error. I hope you can work through this moral quandary and do the right thing. Otherwise your practices and performances may be affected severely.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  4. Haha, I would hardly consider it to be some sort of fancy "boutique" mouthpiece, the Denis Wick. I got it for well under $100. In all honesty, my Schilke clone I had for less than a year, my only regret is getting rid of it. The only real reason I got rid of it is because the plating on the rim was gone. Even If I still had it, I doulbt I would use it much, I really like the new one better. My sound is a lot more open. I have never tried a genuine schilke in large shank, so I wonder how different it would be.

    I think I will permanently refer to any and all Denis wicks as professional English floozies, with lots of air quotes.

  5. #5
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    Dec 2014
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    Netherlands
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    Going further on the 51D itself, does anybody know what the throat size roughly is?
    Because I can't seem to find the specs on the 'J' throat Schilke lists on its table.
    I want to have a few options set to step up to bigger mouthpieces and after having played on both the 51D and the Wick 4AL I found the 4AL's throat was too big for me - the throat of the 51D is pretty fine... for me. I have the feeling I can only fill half of the 4AL's throat, there is hardly any resistance, while the 4AL is not deeper than the 51D. The only difference I can spot are the cup shape (I have discovered I like bowl shapes more), and the throat size. So if anyone does know how wide it roughly is, I would be very happy if that knowledge could be shared
    Last edited by TheJH; 04-05-2015 at 03:58 PM.
    Euphoniums
    Willson 2960TA Celebration
    1979 Boosey & Hawkes Sovereign (Globe Stamp)
    Mouthpiece: Denis Wick SM4
    Baritone
    1975 Besson New Standard
    Mouthpiece: Denis Wick 6BS

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    El Paso, Texas
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    383
    take a a look on mouthpiece express, they have specs for most of their pieces.
    Adams E1 SS, Gold Brass Body .6mm DE Euph N103 Jcup, J9 shank
    Meinl Weston 2141 Eb Tuba PT 84

  7. #7
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    Dec 2014
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    thanks, didn't know about that!
    So according to mouthpiece express the 51D has a 7.03 (converted from inches to mm) millimetre throat. No wonder the throat of the 4AL feels gigantic (7.38 mm)!

  8. Quote Originally Posted by TheJH View Post
    Going further on the 51D itself, does anybody know what the throat size roughly is?
    Because I can't seem to find the specs on the 'J' throat Schilke lists on its table.
    I want to have a few options set to step up to bigger mouthpieces and after having played on both the 51D and the Wick 4AL I found the 4AL's throat was too big for me - the throat of the 51D is pretty fine... for me. I have the feeling I can only fill half of the 4AL's throat, there is hardly any resistance, while the 4AL is not deeper than the 51D. The only difference I can spot are the cup shape (I have discovered I like bowl shapes more), and the throat size. So if anyone does know how wide it roughly is, I would be very happy if that knowledge could be shared
    I had the very same issue you describe. I've played on a 51d for 20 yrs or more, but i have trouble projecting well on my current horn with it. The 4al always felt too big for me as well. Look into the 4ABL.....its a 4al with a smaller throat and to me (visually) its throat is close in size to my 51d. It plays with very similar back pressure as my 51d, but with a slightly more focused (and perhaps a bit "brighter") sound. It's what I've settled upon for now and is working pretty well.

    Good luck.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    El Paso, Texas
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    383
    Another option would be just talk to Doug Elliot, I play on one of his pieces right now. They play great and have a wonderful tone just like a 51D or BB1 would.
    Adams E1 SS, Gold Brass Body .6mm DE Euph N103 Jcup, J9 shank
    Meinl Weston 2141 Eb Tuba PT 84

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Roswell, Georgia
    Posts
    29
    Quote Originally Posted by cognitofalcon View Post
    So, many many college and highschool students use this mpc. And I have heard some phenomenal professionals who used this mouthpiece, but nowadays I never hear this mouthpiece recommended along the same lines as the Denis wicks, or alliances or what have you. I used a 51D clone for a long time but recently switched to a Denis wick SM4 which I love. I use a Yamaha 51D for drum corps, and part of me misses my 51D clone even though my sound is a lot better along with the comfort of the DW.

    So is the 51D now considered to be an intermediate piece? I personally do not think so, I really like that piece, and style of piece, I just like my Denis Wick more.
    From what I have heard, the DEG Brian Bowman mouthpieces were directly crafted using the Schilke 51D. At this point, Dr. Bowman had been already playing in the service band on the Schilke. So technically, yes, the Schilke 51D is indeed a professional mouthpiece

    However, no person is the same so finding the right mouthpiece is never a "finite" answer!

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