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Thread: Mouthpiece Material

  1. Mouthpiece Material

    Hello everyone,

    I recently had an AR Resonance Mouthpiece created for me in a bronze material and I was really suprised by the responsiveness of the mouthpiece which has made me rather curious to find the differences in response and performance between mouthpieces made for the following core material which includes Brass, Stainless Steel, Bronze and Titanium.

    I was wondering if anyone had any experiences of different materials which they would be able to share with me.

    Best Wishes,

    Micah Dominic Parsons

  2. Hi Micah,

    What particularly did you like about the bronze mouthpiece compared to brass? I've been curious about bronze since seeing Gail Robertson had a custom model made through Warburton, also in bronze.

    For me, I've only tried stainless steel (specifically, a Giddings EXL-M on loan from a friend). Overall, the feel of stainless steel on my chops was very comfortable, similar to the gold plate Denis Wick I currently use.

    To my ears it seemed like I could get better clarity in articulation and tone color seemed to darken a bit with the stainless steel. However, I do want to note that the dimensions of the EXL are a bit different than my Wick 4, so that certainly could have an effect as well.

    Another material I've noticed is starting to be used is sterling silver. Noah Gladstone (owner of TheBrassArk in Los Angeles) and Bob Reeves Mouthpieces have been working on some prototype trombone designs in sterling silver.
    Willson 2900 TA-1 Euphonium - Denis Wick 4AM
    Yamaha YSL-643 Trombone - Bach 5G
    F.E. Olds Special Trombone (ca. 1941) - Faxx 7C

    York Preference 3067 Euphonium - Denis Wick 4AL
    Benge 165F Trombone - Benge Marcellus
    Wessex BR140 Baritone - Denis Wick 6BS

  3. Hello Fujiifilm,

    I have to admit, I love how responsive my Bronze AR Resonance Mouthpiece is, it just seems to have an energy which is really quite exciting and has made me curious to explore mouthpieces made from other material.

    This is really interesting to hear. I know that stainless steel is more expensive but if it works and responds well then that is the main factor in this. I will have to explore this further.

    Best Wishes,

    Micah Dominic Parsons

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Summerville (SC)
    Hello Mika, besides responsiveness, have you observed any obvious difference in tone and other audible characteristics that you might impute to bronze vs brass?

    Regards, Guido
    Wessex EP104 Festivo + DC4, SM4U, 51D

  5. Hello Guidocorona,

    It is great to hear from you, I have to admit I find the feel of the bronze mouthpiece really comfortable although I had asked for very specific measurements to be incorporated into the design and you would probably have to get two very similar mouthpieces in both bronze and brass to get a fair comparison.

    Best Wishes,

    Micah Dominic Parsons

  6. #6
    If you're wondering about steel and titanium, you should reach out to Ivan Giddings. He obviously knows a huge amount about both and would probably be happy to tell you about the differences/benefits to each material.

    I got a Giddings DHWA-S mouthpiece in steel around seven years ago and immediately stopped mouthpiece searching. It just feels like the perfect mouthpiece for me in all respects.

  7. Hello Spkissane,

    I am rather curious about this material and I have started to make enquires to find out a little more about the differences and benefits to each material. It is crazy how the material of a mouthpiece can make such a different playing experience.

    Best Wishes,

    Micah Dominic Parsons

  8. #8
    Micah- I wouldn’t assume that the response you feel from the AR mouthpiece is attributable to the material unless you’ve played an identical mouthpiece in other materials.

    i seem to recall AR mouthpieces are very different in key dimensions to others.

    Don Winston

    PS: I hope you’re well, and your WWI project is moving along

  9. Hello Don,

    How is everything going your end? I really hope you are keeping well! We are long over due a catch up!

    My AR Mouthpiece is in a Bronze material and is quite similar to the David Childs Mouthpiece externally and the Steven Mead SM4XR internally. I think a lot of testing would have to be done to really explore the subject of materials and their effects in a musical sense. It is an interesting topic to be exploring.

    The project is really going well. I had a draft of the first movement which looks absolutely superb and I also have some artwork which is currently being drawn and looks really good. I cannot wait to see what else will happen in the coming weeks and months ahead.

    Best Wishes,

    Micah Dominic Parsons

  10. #10
    I know this thread is almost a year old, but I thought I'd add a bit.

    I just received a Titanium version of the Stainless piece I've been playing.

    It's a Giddings DHWA-S, which is apparently similar in size to a SM4U, created for Danny Helseth.

    I had been playing the stainless version, which feels awesome on my chops, but I felt like it dampened some of the vibration I get on a brass piece. As such, the upper harmonics felt like they were dampened. I get the impression that this is one of the primary complaints people have when playing stainless. I personally interpret this as a "more core, less brilliance" kind of sound.

    On the other hand, with the Titanium piece, it feels like there's a little more feedback to the chops when playing, and I feel like the upper harmonics are more present. It's slightly less "slippery" on my chops. I suppose that some people may feel that this makes the piece "brighter", but I personally feel that it's easier to make the piece sing with a vibrance I like. Maybe this is attributable to the lower mass of titanium vs. stainless. In any case, I really like the titanium.
    Mike Taylor

    Illinois Brass Band
    Fox Valley Brass Band

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