Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Mouthpiece for Doubling Tuba - Yamaha YBB-631

  1. Mouthpiece for Doubling Tuba - Yamaha YBB-631

    I did end up getting the YBB-631S, which Yamaha describes as a 4/4 BBb compensating tuba. Mouthpiece choice seems to be something a lot of people get hung up on, and I seem to be hung up as well.

    Currently I have two: The Conn Helleberg 120S and 7B, and I've been using the 7B more often, though I wonder if maybe the 120S would be better. It has a wider cup, but also a smaller throat. I looked into what mouthpieces Yamaha ships with these horns, and they shipped with the 67C4 mouthpiece, which looks to be similar to the 120S specification wise. The newer 632 tuba however comes with the 66D4, the same mouthpiece that the Eb 632 comes with, and is supposed to be like a Bach 24AW.

    I've also read discussions of two main types of mouthpieces: funnel (like the Helleberg) or cup (like Bach Mouthpieces). I can't find much information on what type of internal shape that the Yamaha mouthpieces would have however. From what I have experienced, it seems that cup shape/depth and throat width are much more important than rim width when dealing with tuba mouthpieces.

    Basically I'm trying to pick up another more "bach" style mouthpiece to compare with, and also avoid having the old "drawer of mouthpieces" lying around. I've already got a ton of trombone mouthpieces that are never used.
    Sterling / Perantucci 1065HGS Euphonium, Yamaha YBB-631S BBb Tuba, and a bunch of trombones.

  2. I just picked up a new Yamaha BB 67C4. It seems like a bit of a mid-way size between the Helleberg 7B and 120S. I'll post about how it works out soon.
    Sterling / Perantucci 1065HGS Euphonium, Yamaha YBB-631S BBb Tuba, and a bunch of trombones.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    2,000
    As I recall (vaguely), the 67C4 is one of Yamaha's takes on the Schilke 67. I know I've tried it, but can't quite remember the details. The 67 always seemed a bit big for me, and the 120S always sucked the air out of my lungs. I just don't get along well with the big tuba mouthpieces -- particularly the Helleberg styles.

    Unless for some reason you're committed to a Helleberg, you might try a German (bowl) style and see if you like it. Miraphone has a good bunch -- but pricey. Bach has the 25 (which is maybe a bit small for what you want), and of course the 24AW (yuck). Perantaucci also has a good bunch, and I've used a couple of those in the past although the descriptions of them can be misleading. When I was still playing BBb, I'd given up on the Hellebergs except for the Schilke 66 which remains my goto-never fails-sounds good general use piece. Now that I'm playing comp Eb horns and don't have a BBb, I'm using Wicks, although on my little Buescher I tend to use the Schilke 66 (or the Miraphone TU-17, or the Bach 25).

    Several places will send you mouthpieces on trial, which will typically end up costing you the shipping costs. If you in the mouthpiece exploration madness, it's a good way to go. Take it from one who knows.
    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)

  4. Thanks! Some at tube net suggested the Schilke 69C4, which is a bit wider, but has a smaller throat than anything else schilke makes.

    If I can't figure out what works I can always go down to Dillon Music and try out a bunch. I mainly got the 67C4 as it was the one that came with the horn, so maybe it will mesh better than the Hellebergs. I kinda wish I could combine the two Hellebergs honestly. The 67C4 looked to be somewhat between then. Now I just need to get tuba abilities that are actually good enough to tell what works and what doesn't.
    Sterling / Perantucci 1065HGS Euphonium, Yamaha YBB-631S BBb Tuba, and a bunch of trombones.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    2,000
    Well, I'm not quite sure what you mean by "Helleberg" -- whether you're referring to specific mouthpieces that are CALLED "Hellebergs" by their maker, or you're referring to the Helleberg STYLE mouthpiece (funnel-shaped as opposed to bowel-shaped). If the latter, there must be about 800 Helleberg mouthpieces currently in production. You get a VERY different response from a Helleberg-style than from a bowl-style and some difference in timbre as well. After many years on Hellebergs, I came to find the bowl style to have a faster/clearer response and to be more "controllable" -- except for the Schilke 66 which for me is just kind of magical. I'd be using it on my big Wessex Eb horn except that horn really wants a Wick mouthpiece (which were pretty much designed for those Brit compensator horns) and the 3XL is magical (for me).

    I can't tell you (literally: so many I can't remember) how many tuba mouthpieces I've tried over the years. It takes me about a week to even make a tentative go/no-go decision, and usually two or three months to be fairly certain about a mouthpiece.

    You won't be able to tell what you really want in the long term until you get those tuba abilities. So a good approach now is to pick one that seems good to you and then stick with it until you get enough experience and ability to really tell the difference between mouthpieces instead of just the difference in your own constancy. One strong word of advice: Do not get a mouthpiece that's too big (thinking it will help you with the low range -- that's just buying a crutch). It would be best to get a mouthpiece initially that you might think is "too small" (like a Bach 25 or a Conn 7B) and spend a lot of time on it (at least several months), learning its capabilities and limitations -- without chasing ghosts (and so NOT developing a reliable tuba embouchure) because the diameter is too large or the cup is too deep or the bore is too open and you just don't have the embouchure and experience to control it. On more than one occasion in master classes, I've heard Oystein Baadsvik remark that many tuba players use mouthpieces that are too large for them -- and admonish particular students (tuba performance majors in universities) that they would be playing better if they downsized their mouthpiece. So be cautious about going down that route.

    I'd really recommend something like the Bach 25, the Miraphone TU-17 or TU-21, or the Schilke 66 or Yamaha BB-66 or BB-66B, the Yamaha 65 (a Bach 25 clone), or (the best economical choice and EXCELLENT mouthpieces) the Faxx 25 (direct copy of the Bach) or 7B (copy of the Conn 7B). The Faxx pieces are really inexpensive and very well made -- sometimes better than Bachs. For a little over $100, you could buy BOTH the Faxx 25 and the Faxx 7B and learn a lot about subtle mouthpiece differences. The Horn Guys seem to carry all the Faxx models.
    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)

  6. Definitely not looking to go HUGE. That never solves anything. I have the Conn Helleberg 120S and 7B already, which I picked up used and quite affordably. The yamaha 67C4 will be my first "bowl" mouthpiece for a tuba. We'll see how it goes, and i'll definitely keep an eye out for a used Faxx 25.
    Sterling / Perantucci 1065HGS Euphonium, Yamaha YBB-631S BBb Tuba, and a bunch of trombones.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •