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Thread: 6 1/2Al to 4AL

  1. #1

    6 1/2Al to 4AL

    I am a young euphonium player in high school and i play on a small shank Jupiter horn. I currently play on a blessing small shank 6 1/2AL mouthpiece. I want to switch to a Denis Wick 4AL or a 5AL, but they are only made in large shank. Would it be viable to use a mouthpiece adapter to convert my horn from a small shank to a large shank? and would it affect my performance inside an ensemble? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    Going that direction is going to be tough, as ithat adapter will unavoidably add considerable length to the leadpipe and render your horn pitch flat.

    I may be wrong but I thought Wick made those MP's in small, medium, and large shank.

    BTW, a Bach 5GS is a pretty good euph MP, too.

    1966 Besson 181 highly modified New Standard
    1918 Hawkes & Son euph 3&1 original
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original
    2019 Wessex Tornister

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2018
    The Netherlands
    I would not use adapters. Wick also had small shank mouthpieces such as a 4bs or a SM4b. The latter really is like a big Euphonium mouthpiece, with a deep cup and very large backbore.

    I have one for sale (as I find it too big for a British style baritone), but I live in the Netherlands...


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2018
    The Netherlands
    If you search online for Denis Wick mouthpiece chart, you will find a PDF with all specs.

    The 4bs officially is a trombone mouthpiece, but it will work fine on a small shank baritone or euphonium as well.

  5. #5
    Jared, welcome to the forum!

    Denis Wick DOES make a 4 and a 5 mouthpiece with a small shank.

    The closest to what I use would be the 4AY. It is the same rim and cup as my own 4AL, but it has a small shank to fit your Jupiter (the "Y" in the model indicates it would fit a Yamaha 321, also a small-shank horn):

    For a stronger high range, you could also go with a shallower cup, but still have the "4" size rim. That would be the 4BS:

    Or if you don't want to jump to a "4" size, Wick also makes a 5BS, which is like the 4BS but has a rim in between the Wick 4 and the Bach 6-1/2:

    I agree with the comments above that say to NOT use an adapter. I'm not even aware of one that would allow a large shank mouthpiece to fit in a small shank horn.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
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  6. #6
    Thanks for the replies. I will look into the 4AY and 4BS.

  7. #7
    that's a pretty big jump, students who make such an abrupt change tend to develop issues like a double buzz or a pressure habit. If a 4-size rim is right for you, you will end up there eventually, but it'd be better to spend some time with something inbetween first. I like highpitch's recommendation for a bach 5GS as an intermediate step. 51D might not be a terrible idea either although that's going to be a big step up in depth from your 6.5al. Once settled in there, if you feel like a wick 4 rim is still right for you, then go for it then.

  8. I believe that is too large a jump. In the meantime, if you want to go with a Wick, not only the models referenced above, but look at their British Brass Band Baritone mouthpiece selections from Wick and others. The British Brass Band Baritones use the same small shank. Wick has many selections in series and cup width and depth.

    EVERYBODY ON THE FORUM: STOP reflexively recommending your favourite large shank large diameter euph mouthpieces to young players. STOP!!! All the young players are limited by the equipment they have access to in addition to their growing jaw and developing embouchure. I insist everybody, as I have done, educate themselves on what else is out there, especially for the small shank Am. Baritone and small shank Euph instruments that schools routinely purchase. Most of the above "recommendations," except for Dave's and bbocaner's, do nothing to help young players find a proper mouthpiece, since their jaws are still growing, and they will change mouthpieces eventually as they grow into their full stature. Full stature and maturity of the jaw to accommodate larger mouthpieces does not occur until late teens/early 20's, so all recommendations for a larger mouthpiece usually hinder the development of young players, not help.

    Even the good recommendations above do not address several lines of mouthpieces in small shank, including the other offerings of Schilke, including the 50, the Steven Mead lines, and others. We cannot recommend mouthpieces without knowing what is out there. And yes, even then, the best advice is before investing in a mouthpiece, if not being done already, invest in a good teacher to analyze the player's fundamentals and embouchure so that teacher can guide the player through the fundamentals and indicate if and when a mouthpiece change is recommended.
    Last edited by iiipopes; 01-17-2019 at 08:43 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    I agree with iiipopes. When, around the age of 16 I passed from " Genis" to the "Bombardino" I remember having had a Bach 7C then, with the passing of the years I progressively moved to larger sizes: Bach 6 1/2 AL, Shilke 51 D, 52 E2, DW 4AL, SM3, SM3U, SM3X and now K&G 3D ( also, sometimes for special sound requirements, the K&G 2,5E)
    Besson Prestige 2052, 3D+ K&G mouthpiece; JP373 baritone,4B modified K&G mouthpiece; Bach 42GO trombone, T4C K&G mouthpiece; Besson New Standard 3 compensated valves 1974, 3D K&G modified mouthpiece; Wessex French C tuba 3D K&G modified mouthpiece.


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