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Thread: DC3 v. SM4U/X

  1. #11
    I played an SM4X and felt the rim was sharper than I liked.

    I moved to the DC3 and really liked the rim contour, but felt the throat was small, and I couldnít use air the way I prefer.

    I have now moved to the K&G 3.5 and am very happy with it.

    The SM4XR is not a good place to go for a typical contemporary sound, in my opinion.

    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!
    Mike Taylor
    Adams E3 - SS Bell/Brushed Lacquer
    Besson BE2056 Baritone
    Yamaha YBH-301M Marching Baritone
    Illinois Brass Band
    Red Shield Brass Band
    Fox Valley Brass Band
    Star United Mini Corps

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by miketeachesclass View Post
    The SM4XR is not a good place to go for a typical contemporary sound, in my opinion.
    Mike,

    Could you please elaborate on why you feel this way? Have you played the XR, and if so, how would you describe the sound? Thanks.

    JP

  3. #13
    Yes, I have the XR, and played it for a few days.

    I feel itís small, and sounds significantly brighter than any of the rest of the SM series. It also lacks core of sound for me.

    As always, YMMV, but it was very easily disqualified for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by JP View Post
    Mike,

    Could you please elaborate on why you feel this way? Have you played the XR, and if so, how would you describe the sound? Thanks.

    JP
    Mike Taylor
    Adams E3 - SS Bell/Brushed Lacquer
    Besson BE2056 Baritone
    Yamaha YBH-301M Marching Baritone
    Illinois Brass Band
    Red Shield Brass Band
    Fox Valley Brass Band
    Star United Mini Corps

  4. After reading what everyone had to say I decided to give the Wick 4AL a go. I have been using it for about 2 days now and what I can say is that it is definitely a more comfortable mouthpiece to play on than the SM4X.That being said, the tone quality that I produce playing on the 4AL is just not as rich as it is on the SM4X, in my opinion. I am at a bit of a crossroads now, Iím not sure if I want to explore other options or give myself more time on what I am currently using.

  5. #15
    I find the Wick 4AL has a bigger, more open sound. If you compare 2 mouthpieces in a small room, you will generally prefer the smaller. If you have not already done so, try the 2 in a nice, large room (similar to where you might perform) and see what you think.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  6. Alright I see. We have an auditorium rehearsal coming up soon, so Iíll arrive early and test this out, thank you very much

  7. #17
    Hello Mike (Taylor),

    PM sent.

    JP

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    Posts
    606
    One thing I've learned about sound & MP selection is to listen to what others say about your tone. I favored the sound of a Wick SM4 over the 4AL, but to a person (and I played for plenty) they ALL said the 4AL sounded better across the board. So...

    Don't be your own judge on how it sounds, rather dwell on how it works best for your chops, slotting, & intonation.

    After all, you are playing for their ears.

    DG
    One show at a time...


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

  9. Iíve grown fond of my 4AL now. I had to make a decision on what to play on quickly because my friendsí truck was robbed and our backpacks were taken. Convenient for me (said sarcastically), my Dennis Wick pouch with my SM4X and 4AL was inside of the backpack. I could only purchase one new mouthpiece after this considering I had just bought the 4AL that was stolen about a week prior. I was loaned a Schilke by my band director, but decided to re-purchase the 4AL rather than the SM4X primarily for comfort reasons.
    I am very pleased with that decision, and have received good feedback on my sound from clinicians, my private instructor, and director. It took me time to adjust, but now that I have, I am making great sounds.
    Admittedly, I am still very intrigued with K&G mouthpieces and will look to try that out in the near future, perhaps in a smaller size such as the 4.5 or 5. But I know that the 4AL is reliable as any and Iíll always hold on to it.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Truro, Cornwall, UK
    Posts
    105
    As an addition I find it telling that this plethora of new ďevolutionsĒ of the SM mouthpiece range come as Steven Mead ages, and presumably playing is not as easy as it once was. (Not a criticism, the man is one of the best in the business).

    Iíve tried all the new models and they all emphasise one thing - ease in the upper register at the expense of everything else. Certainly it seems tonal quality is not the primary consideration any more.

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