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Thread: DC3 v. SM4U/X

  1. DC3 v. SM4U/X

    Hello,

    I know that mouthpiece superiority is very subjective and unique to each individual, but I just want to know the preference of the majority, along with maybe some helpful pros and cons of each mouthpiece.

    I'm looking to move on from the Schilke 51D that I have used for about 2 years, but I'm not sure which direction I should go, SM4U/X or DC3. The main thing that I'm looking for is something to give me more cup space and the desired dark sound, while also providing as much possible support for the high register as possible. Also I naturally have stamina issues, so whatever would best aid that would be ideal.

    Thanks to anyone who gives input

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    Posts
    560
    I've never liked the 51D, and that came from using one for a concert season.

    I've played on a SM4 for years now, with flirts on a SM3. The Ultra series has too sharp a rim for me, I bled after 2 hours with one.

    I tried a 4AL and it is a fine MP, but just doesn't have the resonance for me that the SM's do.

    I bought and immediately sold a DC3, too small for me.

    For upper register without a really strong embouchure, stick with the 4- series.

    Good used MP's show up on here all the time, too.

    Dennis
    One show at a time...


    1966 Besson 181 New Standard highly modified Wick SM4 & 4AL
    1918 Hawkes & Son euph 3&1 original
    1917 Conn C/D/Eb mellophone original
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original Bach 6.5AL
    1905 DeVries Bb saxhorn restored Bach 5GS

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    NYC metro area
    Posts
    272
    Quote Originally Posted by Euphjuwan View Post
    Hello,

    I know that mouthpiece superiority is very subjective and unique to each individual, but I just want to know the preference of the majority, along with maybe some helpful pros and cons of each mouthpiece.

    I'm looking to move on from the Schilke 51D that I have used for about 2 years, but I'm not sure which direction I should go, SM4U/X or DC3. The main thing that I'm looking for is something to give me more cup space and the desired dark sound, while also providing as much possible support for the high register as possible. Also I naturally have stamina issues, so whatever would best aid that would be ideal.

    Thanks to anyone who gives input
    The Ultra X actually is slightly shallower than the Ultra.
    Dean L. Surkin
    Mack Brass MACK-EU1150S, BB1, Kadja, and DE 101XTG9 mouthpieces
    Bach 36B trombone; pBone; Vincent Bach (from 1971) 6.5AL mouthpiece
    Steinway 1902 Model A, restored by AC Pianocraft in 1988; Kawai MP8, Yamaha KX-76
    See my avatar: Sherlock (the beige poodle-mix, RIP) had a 1-1/2-octave range in his singing voice, but preferred my piano playing.
    Jazz (the black cockapoo) loves the euphonium.

  4. Euphjuwan - I don't have experience with the DC mouthpieces, but I played an SM3U for a couple years and really liked it. The SM4U is a smaller cup diameter than the 3U, but if you are used to a 51D I think you would find that the SM4U gives you plenty of cup space. You might experience decreased range and endurance at first when you switch.

    As Dean said the SM4X has a shallower cup than the SM4U, which might make upper register playing a little easier for you. I've never played the X-series so I can't offer any first hand experience on that. FWIW, I never found the rims of the U-series mouthpieces uncomfortable, although some people do.

  5. #5
    I switched from the Schilke 51D that I used on the Courtois 165 to the SM3-SM3U-SM3X in the order on the Besson 2052.The SM3U did not really like me; the SM3X is a good mouthpiece with a brighter sound than the SM3U. Then, a couple of years ago, I wanted to try K&G mouthpieces and, with these, I found the most performing mouthpieces I've ever tried: excellent projection, sound, intonation and resistance, so much so that I also use them on the baritone and trombone. If you can I suggest you try them. The mouthpieces are like shoes: you have to try them before buying them.
    Besson Prestige 2052,3D K&G mouthpiece;JP373 baritone,T4C K&G mouthpiece;Bach 42GO trombone,T4C K&G mouthpiece

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Farmington Hills, MI
    Posts
    223
    Quote Originally Posted by dsurkin View Post
    The Ultra X actually is slightly shallower than the Ultra.
    I used to play on an SM4M and a few years ago. Later I auditioned the SM4UM and SM4MX. The X as you say is slightly shallower and for me allows for easier playing in the high register and most of all smoother transitions in lip slurs. It was just easier to play than the U model. I believe Steven Mead now plays on an X model.
    Last edited by MichaelSchott; 05-03-2018 at 09:23 AM.

  7. I agree with highpitch I also find the ultra series rims sharp I prefer the DC3

  8. So it has been a while, but in the time between my initial post and now, I have been playing on the SM4X mouthpiece. I fell in love with the tone that the mouthpiece produced, but the sharpness of the rim (which I was warned about) has not been fun to deal with. I am a high school student, so as we are beginning to prepare for contest and festival, it is becoming increasingly evident that SM4X that I am playing on will not fare well for me to perform with good stamina and consistency, especially with our program/concert set. (When Jesus Wept, Symphonic Suite from on the Waterfront, and the Free Lance March).

    All of that being said, I am looking to switch to a mouthpiece that can provide a similar tone and feel as the SM4X, but with a less sharp rim. I am reading that K&G mouthpiece are doing well for a lot of people, so those have sparked my curiosity, as well as the new SM4XR. Any advice/ testimonies about these products or any other products will be much appreciated!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    Posts
    560
    Wick 4AL.

    DG
    One show at a time...


    1966 Besson 181 New Standard highly modified Wick SM4 & 4AL
    1918 Hawkes & Son euph 3&1 original
    1917 Conn C/D/Eb mellophone original
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original Bach 6.5AL
    1905 DeVries Bb saxhorn restored Bach 5GS

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Euphjuwan View Post
    So it has been a while, but in the time between my initial post and now, I have been playing on the SM4X mouthpiece. I fell in love with the tone that the mouthpiece produced, but the sharpness of the rim (which I was warned about) has not been fun to deal with. I am a high school student, so as we are beginning to prepare for contest and festival, it is becoming increasingly evident that SM4X that I am playing on will not fare well for me to perform with good stamina and consistency, especially with our program/concert set. (When Jesus Wept, Symphonic Suite from on the Waterfront, and the Free Lance March).

    All of that being said, I am looking to switch to a mouthpiece that can provide a similar tone and feel as the SM4X, but with a less sharp rim. I am reading that K&G mouthpiece are doing well for a lot of people, so those have sparked my curiosity, as well as the new SM4XR. Any advice/ testimonies about these products or any other products will be much appreciated!
    Try out a Doug Elliott mouthpiece.

    Mike

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