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Thread: Mouthpiece for old Eb tuba

  1. #1

    Mouthpiece for old Eb tuba

    Hi. My name is Antonio, from Spain. I do not play tuba, never; I play saxophone since I was 9 years old but I am fascinated with family's tuba and I want to play it.

    I've just bought an old Dutch Eb tuba of the fifties, with 3 valves: Eb Ansingh & Co.

    With this information, a) I play saxophone, and b) I have never before played the tuba (or a brass instrument), which mouthpiece must I buy? Brand, model... Could you advice me with this matter, please?

    Thank you very much for your great help.

    Last edited by LisaSimpson; 08-22-2017 at 05:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Welcome to the group. Although most here play euphonium, some of us play tuba. Eb is very popular in England. The most popular mouthpiece for Eb in England is a model marked 24AW. This is a less popular mouthpiece in the US. Being a Saxophone player, you know that mouthpiece and reed preference can very from person to person and style of music you are playing. Tubas are similar in some ways. There are a lot of choices. For you starting out, my suggestion is go to your local music store, if you have one, and bring your horn. You are bringing your horn to check the shank diameter you need. Most of the time, a tuba from your vintage will take a standard size mouthpiece. Sometimes it is a small shank. This is easy to check. Place any standard shank mouthpiece into the receiver. It should go in about 3 cm or so. If only goes in about 1 to 2 cm then you have a small shank horn. Now select any mouthpiece that fits your horn that is marked 24AW. If they only have mouthpieces from Denis Wick, then you want size 3 (for a small receiver) or 3L for a standard receiver. If you do not have a music store near you, order a Denis Wick 3 and 3L on line. When you get the mouthpieces, check to see which one fits and return the one that doesn't fit.

  3. #3
    Dear Opus37,

    Thank you very much for your great explanation: it helps me, because I am really lost. With my baritone sax I bought around 20 mouthpieces to choose the right one for me; it is a hard work.

    I have heard (here in Spain) about the Vincent Bach tuba mouthpiece 24 AW, maybe this is the right mouthpiece for me. I will try to guess if my vintage horn has a standard shank or the small one; it looks easy with your explanation.

    Then in D. Wick the letter "L" is for tubas with normal shank.

    Thank you very much for your help.

    Last edited by LisaSimpson; 08-23-2017 at 08:57 AM.

  4. The receiver of your tuba may have a small receiver, similar to a bass trombone mouthpiece receiver, which is smaller than a standard tuba receiver. If it does, then the shank of the 24AW may need to be turned down. If it does have a small receiver, then a Wick 3 (no letter suffix to the model number) has the smaller shank and is also a popular mouthpiece for an Eb tuba.

    One way to figure it out is to borrow a bass trombone mouthpiece and a standard tuba mouthpiece and see which one fits better. The mouthpiece that will insert into the receiver about 2 to 2 1/2 centimeters (assuming the receiver is in good condition - not damaged or worn, and having the standard taper) determines which mouthpiece you should get. If you do have a standard receiver and not the older, smaller receiver, then a good start is either the 24AW mentioned above or the Wick 3L (L means larger than the older smaller receiver).
    Last edited by iiipopes; 08-23-2017 at 11:39 AM.

  5. #5
    Dear iiipopes,

    Thank you very much for your help. I appreciate a lot your advices. I will check the receiver to know if it has a small receiver or the standard, and I will choose between Wick 3 (small receiver) or 24AW (standard).

    Kind regards,

    PS.- By the way, I am checking the mouthpieces Wick 3 and Wick 3L and there is no difference:

    DENIS WICK 3 Bass Tuba mouthpiece in silver plate (small shank).
    Diameter: 47.47mm
    Cup Diameter: 31.25mm
    Rim Width:*8.11mm
    Bore Size: 8.78mm
    Back Bore:*Large Barrel

    DENIS WICK 3 L Bass Tuba mouthpiece in silver plate (large shank).
    Diameter: 47.47mm
    Cup Diameter: 31.25mm
    Rim Width: 8.11mm
    Bore Size: 8.78mm
    Back Bore: Large Barrel

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Central North Carolina
    No difference EXCEPT that one is LARGE shank and the other is SMALL shank.

    The Wick 3L fits a "Large" receiver -- i.e., a standard American or British receiver. This is true of any Wick mouthpiece with the 'L' designation. The Wick 3 fits the "small European" receiver -- which is very close to the same as a "large shank" trombone/euphonium/bass trombone receiver.

    It's very likely that the tuba you mention has the smaller receiver (as does my 1924 Buescher tuba). So a Wick 3 (but NOT 3L) would fit it. However, my guess is that the 3 is quite likely too large for it -- that is, the mouthpiece interior size (bowl/rim) is too large. It definitely is too large for me on the Buescher. I used a Wick 5 on it for some time, but now am using a Kelly 25 (copy of the Bach 25) that I have modified by sanding down the shank to fit the receiver better. You might consider that since the 25 is probably a good size for the horn, and the Kelly is very inexpensive.

    Most American tuba players feel that the 24AW is a TERRIBLE tuba mouthpiece (often referred to as a "paperweight" or "doorstop"). But it retains a big following in England. I won't go into the details since the web is full of discussions about this. However, I can't recommend that mouthpiece to anyone.
    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)

  7. #7
    Dear Ghmerrill,

    Thank you very much for your advices and explanations, because it helps me and I am really learning a lot about tuba's mouthpieces.

    The tuba comes in a couple of weeks, and I also want to get out of doubt, if it is a large or small shank. With the exception of one person, everybody thinks the tuba has a small shank.

    I had already decided to buy the Denis Wick 3, but I think you are right, and it would be better a Wick 5. Another person also recommended me to buy Denis Wick 5 or even number 4. And yes: I do not buy the Bach 24AW, and I'll consider de Kelly 25 or Bach 25. Another option I have thought is to buy a bass trombone mouthpiece, the largest one, but I'd prefer to buy a tuba mouthpiece.

    Again, thank you very much!

    PS-. I attach a picture of the shank and mouthpiece that the seller has sent to me.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails TUBA-D.-Ansingh-Co-MIB.-217400399_4.jpg  
    Last edited by LisaSimpson; 08-27-2017 at 03:29 AM.

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