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Thread: Looking for Euph mouthpiece

  1. Cool Looking for Euph mouthpiece

    Hey guys, first time posting on this forum.

    I'm a junior in high school and am looking for a new euphonium mouthpiece. This is my 5th year playing euphonium after a year of trombone, and I'm the sole euphonist in our top band (yes, it's lonely). I started taking private lessons a few weeks ago, and one thing that surprised my teacher was my mouthpiece choice (I currently play on a large shank Bach 1 1/2G). He said euphonists usually don't play on such big mouthpieces, and that as a 16 year old, I'd probably be better off on something smaller. I like a bigger mouthpiece, and feel most comfortable in the low range. However, as I am now the only euphonist in my band, I now have a few solos that require notes much higher than I've ever played. I can reach these notes (Bb, Cish) but they sound somewhat thin and take much more effort. I fear my mouthpiece may be slightly hurting me in the higher register. In marching band I play on a small shank Bach 6 1/2 AL (marching baritone), and although I think that that mouthpiece works best for marching band, I don't think I'd be too fond of it in a concert setting. So what I've learned is that:

    A) My current mouthpiece is a very generic bass trombone mouthpiece

    B) I *think* I'm looking for something around a Bach 3 to 5G (Something that is smaller and will help with clarity of articulation and high notes, etc. but will also still have a very resonant timbre. I'd slightly prefer a better timbre over a better range)

    I've done some research online, and have found many mouthpieces. My parents say that if I make it into the All-State honor band, they will buy me a euphonium mouthpiece (granted it's under 75ish dollars). I've found a few I'd like to ask about:

    1) Should I stick with my 1 1/2G mouthpiece and just practice more of the higher range, or should I look for something particularly different?

    2) At my level, should I worry about the quality difference in say, a Blessing 4G and an equivalent sized Schilke? (I'm hoping to keep the mouthpiece through high school and maybe some or all of college, as I do not own my own euphonium due to their price)

    3) What are the dimensions of a Benge 59? I've read from this site that Benge became a part of Conn-King-Benge, which I'm assuming is Conn-Selmer today. I've also heard that Benge followed Bach's universal mouthpiece size, but I've only seen examples of smaller mouthpieces (like 12c's or 6 1/2 AL's).
    Would a Benge 59 be about the same as a Schilke 59? In that case, that's even bigger than a 1 1/2G, isn't it? (I found this mouthpiece on craigslist, brand new and gold-plated, for pretty cheap)

    Any other feedback would be greatly appreciated, as I don't get much input from my schoolmates (There are 5 euphonium players total in our school, and no private instructors that play euphonium primarily). Thanks for taking the time to read all of this and I think you guys are the greatest.

    (TL;DR What mouthpiece should I get as a high-school euphonist?)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Hi Preston,

    Welcome to the forum. Yes, a 1-1/2 G is pretty big for euphonium. If you were only going to play in the 'basement', that size could work well. See this discussion thread:

    New Experience - Bach 1-1/2 G - How low is low?

    The 6-1/2 for marching baritone sounds alright but that would probably be too small for you on euphonium since you're used the the 1-1/2G. I would suggest you try a Wick 4AL or 3AL if you want to stay on the larger size. The Bach 4G should work too.

    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank

    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    Russian Christmas Music (Alfred Reed)
    El Cumbanchero (Rafael Hernández) cell phone video

  3. Mr. Floyd,

    Thanks for the response!

    I actually have the mouthpieces you listed on my watch list as we speak. One of the Wicks (3AL) is 58$ used, and it is also gold plated. Other than a few scuff marks, it seems to be in playable shape. Is this a good price for this mouthpiece, in the condition it's in? Here's the online auction with pictures/details:

    Last edited by preston; 09-25-2015 at 11:11 AM. Reason: typo

  4. #4
    I'll throw my 2 cents worth in. It can also depend on what horn you are using. Some mouthpieces suit some euphoniums better then others. Yes a Bach 1 1/2 G is way too big for euphonium. You would be looking around the 3-4 universal size. I think anything along a Bach 3G - 4G is good. I'll throw it out there, give the DW Steven Mead Ultras a go. They are a beautiful mouthpiece and I can't speak highly enough of them. I find they give off a nicer and more deep tone then the standard DW mouthpieces (3AL/4AL) as the standards sound too 'trombone like' for me. However it is up to you. Bach's are still really popular. There are Yamaha's and Schilke's as well but I don't know the size equivalent. I would recommend to go to your local music tech and test a whole range out. You will notice that you will have a much brighter tone on the 3 or 4 but give it time it will warm up.

  5. Ah, mouthpieces.

    There are a couple different ways that you can go about this, but this is what I believe would probably be best for you.

    Do you get everything that you could ever want out of what you're playing right now? In other words; does the 'piece work for you. Can you play your entire range easily for extended periods of time? Do you get the tone that you want? Does it feel "right"?

    If you don't know where to even start answering those questions then it is probably best that you buy a smaller 'piece as most people don't find the 1.5G to be optimal on euphonium for most playing circumstances. You could also ask your instructor to help you blind-test some mouthpieces if you're really serious. I'm assuming that s/he asked you to change because you weren't getting an optimal tone and s/he identified it as being too tubby, but different instructors have different view on mouthpieces so that may not necessarily be the case.

    Another bit of advice: if you can possibly try out some mouthpieces before purchasing them you should absolutely do so. If you can do it in a good space where you can listen to yourself that is even better. I have spent hundreds of dollars on mouthpieces online only to find out that I don't really like them all that much.

    Just as something to say overall: you do you. You should try to recognize others opinions but not let them influence you to the point that you take them as truth over what you discover yourself. I play lead trombone in Jazz Band on a Wick 5BS. Most people look at me like I'm crazy, but I can hit all of the notes that I need to and more, with the tone that I want, and it's more comfortable for me than playing on other mouthpieces. Not everybody will have this experience, but that doesn't really matter because I'm the one playing, not them.

    Good luck on your search.

  6. Cameron,

    Thanks for the input. I updated my horn in my signature, in case that makes a difference. I agree with you on the sizes, I think those are the ones I'm aiming for. I'll do some searching locally and see what I can find.

    Freshman Euphonist attending Boise State University
    Member of the BSU Symphonic Winds and Blue Thunder Marching Band
    1943 Boosey & Hawkes Imperial (Denis Wick SM3X)
    Yamaha YBH-301M (Schilke 58)

  7. #7
    Hi Preston,

    Looking at the specs for your horn, I think you're on the right track. If that 3AL works for you in your price range, then go for it.

    For what it's worth, I'm really not a fan of Bach mouthpieces on euphonium. In my experience, it's harder to get the characteristic euphonium sound on them than on the Wick or Schilke mouthpieces.
    Adrian L. Quince
    Composer, Conductor, Euphoniumist

    Kanstul 976 - SM4U

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by preston View Post
    Mr. Floyd,

    Thanks for the response!

    I actually have the mouthpieces you listed on my watch list as we speak. One of the Wicks (3AL) is 58$ used, and it is also gold plated. Other than a few scuff marks, it seems to be in playable shape. Is this a good price for this mouthpiece, in the condition it's in? Here's the online auction with pictures/details:

    I think I would stay away from that mouthpiece, the marks on the rim suggest that the gold plate has worn through. The rim should be very close to pristine. I think you will be able to find a silver plate in better condition for a reasonable price. Consider:

  9. #9
    Again another plug for the CKB 5G mp. It's a bit deeper and has a larger throat and backbore than the Bach 5G and I believe it makes a great euphonium mouthpiece for the average player such as I am. I'm referring to the ones that the outside cup looks like a Wick rather than a Bach. These mps were also once available under the UMI label-- I have one like that for my large bore trombone-- and the King brand.

    I don't believe that these mps are now normally available new, but Mouthpiece Express has a bunch of new/old stock for a real bargain price-- $29.95 plus shipping. Comes with a pouch and a brush as well. At those prices it's well worth a try.

    Here's the link:

  10. #10
    Well, everyone has an opinion. Here's mine: try the hot euphonium mouthpiece from 2005, the SM3. I believe it improves on the 3AL (now, many on this forum will disagree, and it is the mp which Steve Mead first designed (it is a modified 3AL). From there, he went to the SM3U (when he wanted cleaner articulation), then the SM3X (when he needed to go a little shallower).

    It has a great rim and many have a produced a classic great sound on the mouthpiece.

    I have several and will sell one for $10, to cover the cost of packaging and shipping. PM if you are interested.


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