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Thread: LefreaQue Band sizes

  1. LefreaQue Band sizes

    I am interested in purchasing LefreaQue plates for my euphonium and i was wondering what size bands I should purchase for them. I am going to be using the same setup as Steve Mead https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyiONFHMovY

  2. Just want to let you know these LeFreque plates are pretty controversial. I’m of the camp that they do absolutely nothing.
    Yamaha Neo 642TSII
    King 2280 (For Sale $1200)

  3. #3
    Holy s***, so that's what hanging on the eupho of the first chair in my community band.
    Last edited by davewerden; 11-12-2018 at 06:35 AM.
    "Never over complicate things. Accept "bad" days. And always enjoy yourself when playing, love the sound we can make on our instruments (because that's why we all started playing the Euphonium)"

    Euphonium: JP 274 MKII
    Mouthpiece: K&G 4D, Denis Wick 5AL,Arnolds & sons 6 1/2 AL-B
    Gone but not forgotten: Yamaha EP100 (May you serve the children well in the hands of your new owner. Thank you for the past 15 years)

  4. #4
    I'm not convinced that the plates are a good idea overall. There are two doubts that I have:

    Do they do anything?

    On first reading about these it could be hard to believe the little plates could affect a euphonium much. However, I suspect they could indeed have some kind of effect. My experience with Adams has started me thinking more about that. Miel Adams prefers to build euphoniums with no 4th-valve lock and with no trigger (although he has accepted that many people want a trigger). His feeling is that these attachments dampen the vibration of the horn, which affects resonance. As I played the Adams for a few months I began to respect that attitude more and more. So carrying Miel's feelings to these plates, I suppose they could affect the horn in some way, even though they are not attached as "securely" as soldered-on triggers or 4th-valve locks. The advantage of the LefreaQue plates is that can be easily removed if you feel they are detrimental.

    OK, so they do something. Is it a plus with no minuses?

    Here is my larger hesitation about the plates. In the many years I have worked with Besson/Sterling/Adams on improving the instruments, I have seldom run across a change that did not have both positive and negative effects. For example, Sterling changed the large branch taper at one point to help bring the 6th partial Eb/E/F concert more in tune. It did that. But it also made the 3rd partial F and F# concert a little sharp. Because the 3rd partial was more easily controlled, the changed was a gain overall, but it was not "free." I suspect the plates may fall into that category. Any time we compare stuff, from mouthpieces to instruments, we are looking to see if the new item we're testing improves things for us - often a specific thing that troubles us. But that is a narrow concept to evaluate. Much harder is evaluating whether the new item has a negative effect in some way that may not show up in our testing.

    So in fairness, here is Besson Artist Aaron Campbell discussing the plates:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1_7TQ4UW1M&t=199s
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,153
    I only use LeFreque plates as a mpc bridge, the 41mm size. The band size that works for euphonium mpc receiver are 55mm long. Mine is now 59mm long since it’s stretched a bit. I wasn’t convinced that these would really make a difference. Tried this set and had my wife listen as I played something... once without plates then with the mpc plates. She said playing with the plates I sounded a bit louder - or a bit more projection. The ‘G’ concert above the staff seemed to slot better with these plates.

    For more information on band size check out “Just For Brass” website here:
    https://www.justforbrass.com/lefreque-elastic-bands
    Last edited by RickF; 11-12-2018 at 08:37 AM.
    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
    El Cumbanchero (excerpts)
    ; Raphael Hernandez, arr. Iwai from our Swing/Salsa concert 2018
    Video of above: El Cumbanchero:

  6. #6
    I'm with Dave on this one.

    I've used the LeFreque on my marching baritone, my besson prestige baritone, and a miraphone 5050 (before switching to adams... the AGC doesn't allow for the plate to act as a MPC bridge).

    In my experience (whether psychosomatic or not... that's an argument for another time), I felt like slots were more solid, and narrower. The MP actually felt like it vibrated less freely, and I felt less feedback on my chops.

    I don't feel like there was any appreciable or even noticeable difference in sound. This was all about how things felt on my face.

    Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don't. It's definitely different, but "good"? I'm not as sure.

    YMMV, as always.



    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    I'm not convinced that the plates are a good idea overall. There are two doubts that I have:

    Do they do anything?

    On first reading about these it could be hard to believe the little plates could affect a euphonium much. However, I suspect they could indeed have some kind of effect. My experience with Adams has started me thinking more about that. Miel Adams prefers to build euphoniums with no 4th-valve lock and with no trigger (although he has accepted that many people want a trigger). His feeling is that these attachments dampen the vibration of the horn, which affects resonance. As I played the Adams for a few months I began to respect that attitude more and more. So carrying Miel's feelings to these plates, I suppose they could affect the horn in some way, even though they are not attached as "securely" as soldered-on triggers or 4th-valve locks. The advantage of the LefreaQue plates is that can be easily removed if you feel they are detrimental.

    OK, so they do something. Is it a plus with no minuses?

    Here is my larger hesitation about the plates. In the many years I have worked with Besson/Sterling/Adams on improving the instruments, I have seldom run across a change that did not have both positive and negative effects. For example, Sterling changed the large branch taper at one point to help bring the 6th partial Eb/E/F concert more in tune. It did that. But it also made the 3rd partial F and F# concert a little sharp. Because the 3rd partial was more easily controlled, the changed was a gain overall, but it was not "free." I suspect the plates may fall into that category. Any time we compare stuff, from mouthpieces to instruments, we are looking to see if the new item we're testing improves things for us - often a specific thing that troubles us. But that is a narrow concept to evaluate. Much harder is evaluating whether the new item has a negative effect in some way that may not show up in our testing.

    So in fairness, here is Besson Artist Aaron Campbell discussing the plates:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1_7TQ4UW1M&t=199s
    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

  7. #7
    I've been using them for 3 years: the impression I got at the beginning on my Prestige is that the sound I get is brighter, with more focus, more precision in the attack, more projection and a better pitch, which was also confirmed by my section friends, who then also bought the plates. However I did not find the same positive effects on the trombone and the baritone; I must therefore deduce that not all instruments can have any appreciable effect that, however, I doubt that is noticeable to the listening audience. If you want to try them I suggest you buy the size 41mm to place between the receiver and the mouthpiece and the 76mm to be applied on the upper arc. The size 33mm to be placed on the second slide curve, in my opinion, is useless. I advise you to buy, as I did, the cheapest brass or red brass: the others plated in gold or silver or solid silver, cost an eye and give nothing more than the brass ones. If, for purely aesthetic reasons, you want them in silver or gold, you can always, as I have done, have them plated for a few euros from a galvanic laboratory.
    Besson Prestige 2052,3D K&G mouthpiece;JP373 baritone,T4C K&G mouthpiece;Bach 42GO trombone,T4C K&G mouthpiece

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,973
    Quote Originally Posted by miketeachesclass View Post
    In my experience (whether psychosomatic or not... that's an argument for another time), I felt like slots were more solid, and narrower. The MP actually felt like it vibrated less freely, and I felt less feedback on my chops.

    I don't feel like there was any appreciable or even noticeable difference in sound. This was all about how things felt on my face.
    I think that this is an interesting and valuable observation. In addition, it comports substantially with common sense. I don't think I've been unclear in the past about my own view's being that the alleged effects of these plates are likely illusory and self-deceiving (no disrespect intended here -- just a point about objectivity and empirical results). But this observation about the FELT difference makes sense and is consistent with my own experience using a different, though in some ways quite similar, device.

    For me, the device in question is a Stork BT 1.5 "heavy blank" bass trombone mouthpiece. I got this as part of my mouthpiece search when I started playing the bass trombone seriously, and I've kept it because I really like it, both in terms of how it sounds on the horn, how it works (articulation and such), and how it FEELS. If I didn't have my DE mouthpiece, this would be my first choice, and it's in my case as my "backup".

    The feeling and result in using it is pretty much what Mike describes with his experience in trying the LeFreque plates. The slots were more solid and narrow (or at least FELT more solid and narrow), and it definitely did "vibrate less". There was (as brass players are wont to say) "less feedback" from the mouthpiece. Less vibration = less feedback ... and (I suggest) ... = less distraction. Now imagine -- since we seem to be prone to imagining various things in the LeFreque context -- what the EFFECT on your playing of less distraction might be. The effect MIGHT be purely subjective, but it also MIGHT be objective and genuine -- if, for example, the reduction in distraction (resulting from less "feedback") causes you to play with a more precise or uniform embouchure and breath control. And all of this from the simple dampening of vibration reaching the player's lips. Eh?

    So this story has the result not that the attachment of a heavier chunk of metal to some place on your instrument magically affects the sound (in ways that are highly debateable and seem impossible to establish objectively), but that it affects your PLAYING -- and in a fairly understandable way. And that makes sense, and people have been saying things like this about heavy weight mouthpieces for quite a long time -- though perhaps more in the tuba and trombone worlds than the euphonium one?

    And yes, in a direct sense it's all about how things feel on your face (or maybe through your hands if you stick lumps of metal in other places), but there can in fact be an understandable objective consequence to the sound that comes out of your horn because of how you react to that "feel". And I can make sense of all that.

    I still can't quite make sense out of spending the money required for these specific lumps of metal -- particularly if based on a kind of "mystical result" feeling about them. But if you've got the money to do it, then why not?
    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)

  9. #9
    Thanks for the thoughtful commentary, Gary.

    For me, I was curious (and admittedly, have always been a bit of a gear head), and I found a set of the silver plates used. I figure if I hate 'em I can sell them for much of what I've got in them.

    I'm of the opinion that anything that makes us feel better about our playing isn't a waste, but I also adore empirical data. So these things drive me crazy!

    In any case, I don't miss the LeFreque on my Adams. I do still use it on my British baritone much of the time. I wouldn't be heartbroken if it blinked out of existence though. The thing I always say when people ask me about it is "it definitely does SOMETHING to my playing. Whether that's 'good' or not is debatable". It's an interesting experiment nonetheless.

    Quote Originally Posted by ghmerrill View Post
    I think that this is an interesting and valuable observation. In addition, it comports substantially with common sense. I don't think I've been unclear in the past about my own view's being that the alleged effects of these plates are likely illusory and self-deceiving (no disrespect intended here -- just a point about objectivity and empirical results). But this observation about the FELT difference makes sense and is consistent with my own experience using a different, though in some ways quite similar, device.

    For me, the device in question is a Stork BT 1.5 "heavy blank" bass trombone mouthpiece. I got this as part of my mouthpiece search when I started playing the bass trombone seriously, and I've kept it because I really like it, both in terms of how it sounds on the horn, how it works (articulation and such), and how it FEELS. If I didn't have my DE mouthpiece, this would be my first choice, and it's in my case as my "backup".

    The feeling and result in using it is pretty much what Mike describes with his experience in trying the LeFreque plates. The slots were more solid and narrow (or at least FELT more solid and narrow), and it definitely did "vibrate less". There was (as brass players are wont to say) "less feedback" from the mouthpiece. Less vibration = less feedback ... and (I suggest) ... = less distraction. Now imagine -- since we seem to be prone to imagining various things in the LeFreque context -- what the EFFECT on your playing of less distraction might be. The effect MIGHT be purely subjective, but it also MIGHT be objective and genuine -- if, for example, the reduction in distraction (resulting from less "feedback") causes you to play with a more precise or uniform embouchure and breath control. And all of this from the simple dampening of vibration reaching the player's lips. Eh?

    So this story has the result not that the attachment of a heavier chunk of metal to some place on your instrument magically affects the sound (in ways that are highly debateable and seem impossible to establish objectively), but that it affects your PLAYING -- and in a fairly understandable way. And that makes sense, and people have been saying things like this about heavy weight mouthpieces for quite a long time -- though perhaps more in the tuba and trombone worlds than the euphonium one?

    And yes, in a direct sense it's all about how things feel on your face (or maybe through your hands if you stick lumps of metal in other places), but there can in fact be an understandable objective consequence to the sound that comes out of your horn because of how you react to that "feel". And I can make sense of all that.

    I still can't quite make sense out of spending the money required for these specific lumps of metal -- particularly if based on a kind of "mystical result" feeling about them. But if you've got the money to do it, then why not?
    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

  10. #10
    I put a set on my "Schiller", kept them there for six months, and then one day took them off all at once. I couldn't tell any difference. I put the top-bow plate set on my Dolce yesterday, just to see if it made any difference in the 5th, 6th, and 8th partial tunings. I will report back.
    David Bjornstad

    1923 Conn New Wonder 86I, Bach 6 1/2 AL
    2018 Wessex EP100 Dolce, Denis Wick 4ABL
    2013 Jinbao JBEP-1111L, Denis Wick 4AM
    2015 Jinbao JBBR-1240, Denis Wick clone mouthpiece of unknown designation
    Cullman (AL) Community Band (Euph Section Leader)
    Brass Band of Huntsville (2nd Bari)

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