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Thread: Wick 2AL

  1. Wick 2AL

    Just seeking any advice regarding this Wick 2AL (classic). The MP came with a beautiful B&H Sovereign that I purchased not long ago. Arrived in a Besson case with a great collection of international stickers and the previous owner's name in braille. Very interesting. Anyhow, I have become accustomed to playing either a Besson Sovereign 968 or XO with the Demondrae MP or G&W Carbonaria. This B&H feels heavy and not as quick on its feet, and I am certain that I can attribute this to my control of the instrument at the moment, but the tone is absolutely stunning....especially with this 2AL (which also assists with intonation) which presents a problem for me, because endurance is dramatically diminished. I know it is about practice, practice, practice, however; when is a mouthpiece just too big for a player? Can this be a situation where I just power through, put in the hours, and eventually become comfortable on the MP, or is it a lost cause? I thought the Carbonaria was big, but this Wick feels like a giant in comparison and coupled with the different characteristics of the B&H played with a mute, progress is painstakingly slow.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Indianapolis area
    Hi, Mr. Patino...may I call you Longhorn?
    When switching to a larger mouthpiece, the temptation is to try to do--instantly--everything you could do on a smaller mouthpiece. That can lead to several bad outcomes such as excessive mouthpiece pressure, forcing the sound, closing the throat, pitch issues, etc. I had a Carbonaria for a while and found it to be too big FOR ME. Likewise for any 2-sized piece such as Wick or Bach. Generally speaking, Sovereigns were designed with the Wick 4 or 3.5 in mind. I don't know anyone who uses a 2-sized piece except bass trombone doublers, and they usually can't go above F over Middle C. So IF you do make the switch, please do it slllloooowwwwllllyyyyy and do not fall victim to the desire to match your previous skill level instantly. I have used dozens of different pieces over the years but never moved more than one size larger or smaller so I could avoid the potential pitfalls above. IMHO any 2-sized piece is too big for a Sovereign. In retrospect, I matched well to a Sovereign 968 and a Wick 4. Additionally, sometimes people buy a mouthpiece with a deep CUP because they like its WIDTH. The two, unfortunately, often accompany one another, but don't have to. With the Wick 3.5, you get the cup DEPTH of the 4 with the WIDTH of the 3. While I am now using a Wedge mouthpiece, I revert to the 3.5 from time to time.
    Last edited by Snorlax; 05-21-2020 at 08:34 PM.
    Jim Williams N9EJR (love 10 meters)
    Yamaha 642-II Neo, Wedge 103E, SM3.5
    Yamaha 321, Yamaha 621 Baritone
    Conn 50H trombone
    Blue P-bone

  3. Undoubtedly, I would have many great stories if I went by Longhorn. May need to from now on....haha. Thank you so much for your reply. It makes sense, and I feel like I know better, but the sound is too appealing to immediately dismiss it.

  4. #4
    Well, Arthur Lehman would be impressed. He used about the biggest mouthpiece for euphonium I have ever seen. I don't know what it was. I played for a while with him in the National Concert Band of America in the early 90's. He had a student who also used a hhhuuugggeee mouthpiece. The MPs looked like bass trombone pieces in size. I just couldn't figure out why they wanted to do this.

    I agree with Snorlax that a 2 is just a tad too big, but everyone is different, and Arthur Lehman wasn't exactly a slouch of a euphonium player. I have played most versions of the 3 and 4 sizes of Wick and SM mouthpieces. When I got my Miraphone, one major horn ago, I got the Demondrae piece with it, and I have loved and used it ever since, going on about 6 years or so now. I use it on my Adams E3 and on my Wessex Dolce. I also own a B&H Imperial that I use another smaller piece on.

    Have you had the chance to have a trusted music person listen to you play on the 2AL? vs. say the Demondrae piece? That might be interesting. And of course tone is important, very. And the overall sound. People's opinion of sound and tone and warmth and mellowness and other sound qualities can vary widely. In the end you have to be happy with the outcome. I think a 2AL would be much more demanding to maintain a good range and endurance on.
    Last edited by John Morgan; 05-22-2020 at 10:34 AM.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    NYC metro area
    Quote Originally Posted by John Morgan View Post
    Well, Arthur Lehman would be impressed. He used about the biggest mouthpiece for euphonium I have ever seen. I don't know what it was. I played for a while with him in the National Concert Band of America in the early 90's. He had a student who also used a hhhuuugggeee mouthpiece. They MPs looked like bass trombone pieces in size. I just couldn't figure out why they wanted to do this.[snip].
    Walter Barrett, who's my section leader in the Westchester Community Band, plays euphonium and trombone using Doug Elliott mouthpieces. His rim size is 114, if I remember correctly. I've heard him play C5 with no problem, and I believe his range extends beyond that. He uses an older Yamaha 641 (with a custom trigger) and has a beautiful dark tone throughout his range.

    My teacher, Rob Stattel (a former student of Brian Bowman) plays a Willson with a BB1 mouthpiece, getting a very singing tone. It's interesting to hear the different conceptions of euphonium tone.
    Dean L. Surkin
    Mack Brass MACK-EU1150S, BB1, Kadja, and DE 101XTG9 mouthpieces
    Bach 36B trombone; pBone; Vincent Bach (from 1971) 6.5AL mouthpiece
    Steinway 1902 Model A, restored by AC Pianocraft in 1988; Kawai MP8, Yamaha KX-76
    See my avatar: Jazz (the black cockapoo) and Delilah (the cavapoo puppy) keep me company while practicing

  6. #6
    I can't imagine making a 2AL work, but I'm always guilty of overweighting my own point of view from my own playing.
    If you tried to stick with it, what's your end-goal?
    Is the goal worth it? If so, giddy up. If not, I'd move on.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    John has some good advice there.

    In this vein, I've mentioned before the importance of having someone knowledgeable listen while you play the same piece using your MP selections.

    We all color our judgement in these cases; after all, we are playing for others to hear.

    1966 Besson 181 highly modified New Standard
    1918 Hawkes & Son euph 3&1 original
    1917 Conn C/D/Eb mellophone original
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    I am more comfortable with large diameter mouthpieces on the euphonium. I use 4 mouthpieces K&G that alternare depending on the circumstances: K&G3D new version, 26,7 mm; old K&G 3D to which I had to enlarge the diameter because it had been damaged by falling, 27,4 mm; K&G 2,5E 27mm and K&G 1D 27,7mm. I am better with the wider ones, obtaining the upper register without difficulty. ( high F)
    Besson Prestige 2052,3D K&G mouthpiece;JP373 baritone,T4C K&G mouthpiece;Bach 42GO trombone,T4C K&G mouthpiece

  9. Y'all are all very gracious for replying. Thank you. I will likely move on from the 2AL. The end goal is always to produce a beautiful tone across any note over any amount of time.

  10. Jermaine Fryer, (just finished has grad degree and an absolutely ASTONISHING euphonium player) uses a bach 1.5 g for me I thought it was absolutely insane but he can control that thing eons better than I can control my schilke 51d !!

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