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Thread: Don't like the 51D on my Mack Euphonium

  1. Don't like the 51D on my Mack Euphonium

    Hi! I have been playing on my Mack Euphonium for four years now. I am a senior in high school and my band is a nationally ranked band program. I have been playing on my horn with a 51D for about a year and half now and I really don't like my mouthpiece. I know there are a ton of options out there, and it just depends. But I have two problems. I love my horn and don't want to change it
    1. first off let me say it's not a problem with my air support. My air support is pretty good. I feel like I have to put an absurd amount of air through my mouthpiece and because I have a compensating horn I have to put a lot of air through it. So I need a mouthpiece that will let me put a lot of air through it. I guess I'm saying I have a lot of backpressure.
    2. I tend to press really hard and get a ring around my lips so would a gold plated mouthpiece be better?
    I want to spend max ~ $150
    I'm looking at a steven mead or maybe even an alliance mouthpiece but I am not sure what size does anyone have any advice? Thank you in advance!!

  2. #2
    Welcome to the forum!

    I don't have a lot of answers, but I can say the 51D is not made to handle as much airflow as some other mouthpieces. For some people that's a good thing, because it makes it easier to play for them.

    Gold plating affects how "slippery" the mp feels on your lips and it is good for people with allergies to certain metals, but that's about it. You'll get just as much of a ring on your lips.

    You may like a mp with a more round inner edge on the rim. The Wick 4AL classic is one such. The Ultra and Heritage models from Wick feel sharper on the rim. A sharper rim gives you better articulation, but it won't be as comfortable. The 4AL is what I use, and for years it was the standard mp shipped with Bessons. It would be one good place to start.

    There are gobs of other choices. Even if you could find them all in one place, it is doubtful you could make a solid choice in a few hours of testing. Unfortunately, it is a long process.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Varese,Italy
    Posts
    152
    Quote Originally Posted by dellaney8 View Post
    Hi! I have been playing on my Mack Euphonium for four years now. I am a senior in high school and my band is a nationally ranked band program. I have been playing on my horn with a 51D for about a year and half now and I really don't like my mouthpiece. I know there are a ton of options out there, and it just depends. But I have two problems. I love my horn and don't want to change it
    1. first off let me say it's not a problem with my air support. My air support is pretty good. I feel like I have to put an absurd amount of air through my mouthpiece and because I have a compensating horn I have to put a lot of air through it. So I need a mouthpiece that will let me put a lot of air through it. I guess I'm saying I have a lot of backpressure.
    2. I tend to press really hard and get a ring around my lips so would a gold plated mouthpiece be better?
    I want to spend max ~ $150
    I'm looking at a steven mead or maybe even an alliance mouthpiece but I am not sure what size does anyone have any advice? Thank you in advance!!
    For my opinion you go with K&G and you won't go wrong: 4D for you it should be fine.
    Besson Prestige 2052,3D K&G mouthpiece;JP373 baritone,T4C K&G mouthpiece;Bach 42GO trombone,T4C K&G mouthpiece

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    158
    I went from a 51D to a Wick 5AL (Classic, not Heritage). Warning though: the rim contour on a Classic Wick is a lot flatter so that might not work for you. Or it might. But the Wick has a lot bigger throat which can handle a lot more air input. You can also go with an SM5U, SM4, 4AL or SM4U but depending on how your lips get used to it, (and the SM mpcs being more 'specialized' in my opinion), I would start with the 5AL or 4AL. Or an equivalent Bach or Yamaha mpc.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Anderson, Indiana
    Posts
    234
    I encouraged a friend to try my (cleaned) Wick 4AL on her Mach euphonium. It "opened" up her sound, she was pleased with the improvement, bought one a short time later and has been using it successfully ever since. If you can't find a friend to lend you one to try, the good news is that there are some used ones listed on eBay. Additionally, some vendors allow you to try a mouthpiece and return it if it doesn't work for you. Mouthpieces are individual choices. Good luck in your search!

  6. #6
    Here is a new 4AL on eBay with a buy-it-now price of $85.59 and free shipping:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Genuine-Den...W/253088470735
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  7. Hmm... really shouldn't need an "absurd amount of air" for a euphonium. You're using energy to vibrate the air column, not pushing air through the instrument.

    What kind of problems exactly are you having? Too loud? Not loud enough? constrained sound?
    Sterling / Perantucci 1065HGS Euphonium, Yamaha YBB-631S BBb Tuba, and a bunch of trombones.

  8. #8
    If you use a lot of pressure, you're going to want to stay away from the SM Ultra and Ultra-X mouthpieces. They have a sharp inner rim.

    With that said, it sounds like you might want to experiment with using slower air and less pressure first.
    Adrian L. Quince
    Composer, Conductor, Euphoniumist
    www.adrianquince.com

    Kanstul 976 - SM4U

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by dellaney8 View Post
    Hi! I have been playing on my Mack Euphonium for four years now. I am a senior in high school and my band is a nationally ranked band program. I have been playing on my horn with a 51D for about a year and half now and I really don't like my mouthpiece. I know there are a ton of options out there, and it just depends. But I have two problems. I love my horn and don't want to change it
    1. first off let me say it's not a problem with my air support. My air support is pretty good. I feel like I have to put an absurd amount of air through my mouthpiece and because I have a compensating horn I have to put a lot of air through it. So I need a mouthpiece that will let me put a lot of air through it. I guess I'm saying I have a lot of backpressure.
    2. I tend to press really hard and get a ring around my lips so would a gold plated mouthpiece be better?
    I want to spend max ~ $150
    I'm looking at a steven mead or maybe even an alliance mouthpiece but I am not sure what size does anyone have any advice? Thank you in advance!!
    Not meaning to be contrary, but my guess is that your air support is not as good as you think. Speaking as a person that has struggled with this issue, when I feel like I am really working to move air it usually means that I am just pressurizing a small, tight air stream. Good air support should not feel like your blowing an "absurd amount of air". If you are having air flow issues, going to a larger throat/backbore will probably just make matters worse, as I will increase the tendency to overwork.

    Mike

  10. Thank you to everyone for your advice itís extremely helpful!!

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