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Thread: Mouthpiece Mass - Measured in Grams

  1. Mouthpiece Mass - Measured in Grams

    After playing around with various weight 4th valve caps, I wondered what mouthpiece mass was on some various popular choices in my collection. I did not come up with a good way to measure mass distribution between these mouthpieces, but all are solid brass with silver plate. Some also have gold plating on rim and cup, and one is solid gold plate. Here are the measurements taken from smallest to largest (all measurements in grams). Except for the Wick 4AY and the Bach 5G, all are large shank.

    1. Bach 5G Small Shank: 142g
    2. Bach 5GL Large Shank: 172g
    3. Wick 4AY: 118g
    4. Wick 4AL: 134-138g
    5. Wick SM4X: 172g
    6. Alliance E3(A): 154-156g
    7. Doug Elliot Euph103J9(S): 162g (1.03" rim and short shank)
    8. Doug Elliot Euph104J9: 172g (1.04" rim and longer shank)
    9. Bach 1 1/2G: 138g

    A lot has been said about the "weight" of a mouthpiece and its affect on sound. Generally, I feel as though the size and shape of the cup and backbore are even more important. However mass has to also affect things, though IMO its distribution affects feedback one feels through the lips and responsiveness even more.

    I found that the classic Wick 4A series (4AY and 4AL) were the lightest, followed by the Bach 1 1/2G. The 1 1/2G has so much metal hogged out of it that there isn't as much left as with the 5GL which uses the same outer die. What surprised me was the difference in weight between the Alliance E3 and the Wick SM4X, given that Steven Mead had an influence on both, their specs are similar, and the outer shape also appears quite similar. I suspect the Alliance DC3 would be a bit heavier than the E3, with a shape more like the 4AL that David used to play, but I no longer have one to measure. I also suspect that the two Doug Elliots which have similar but not identical specs would qualify as heavier mouthpieces. The lighter mouthpiece has the 1.03" rim and a shorter shank. The other has a 1.04" rim and thy standard shank. The Bach 5GL comes in as one of the smaller (inside dimiension), yet heaviest of my regular mouthpieces. Go figure.

    BTW: I used a new postal scale to do the measurements and used grams because I think it is more relevant to how manufacturers might spec their mouthpieces. Feel free to add to this collection of weights as you see fit.
    Last edited by daruby; 11-22-2020 at 01:14 PM.
    Sterling Virtuoso 1065HGS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HGS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  2. #2
    Hi Doug, here are some data for you:

    Mouthpiece Weights (Grams)

    124.4 Wick 4AM Gold
    165.6 Schilke 51D Gold Medium shank

    121.2 Wick 4ABL (Heritage)
    136.4 G&W “Kadja” Stainless steel
    138.1 Wick 4AL Silver
    145.3 G&W “Brandon Jones” Stainless steel
    175.2 Wick SM4X “Ultra” Gold
    Last edited by carbogast; 11-22-2020 at 05:32 PM. Reason: Add missing information

  3. Carrol,

    Thank you. Interesting. Some observations:

    1. The wick 4AM sits right between the 4AY and 4AL as one would expect.
    2. Your measurements for the 4AL and SM4X are virtually the same as mine.
    3. The other interesting comparison is the 4ABL Heritage compared with a 4AL. I am surprised that the Heritage is a bit lighter, but not a lot. As we know, the Heritage carries its mass in the cup rather than in the rim. If the internal shape and rim edge were identical, the difference in mass distribution would account for any differences in sound production and/or responsiveness. However, I think the rim shape on the Heritage is not as round as the Classics.
    4. The mass of the 51D and my 5G are very similar.
    5. I was surprised that the stainless steel G&W was not substantially heavier than the brass one or are they both SS?.

    Doug
    Last edited by daruby; 11-22-2020 at 01:16 PM.
    Sterling Virtuoso 1065HGS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HGS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by daruby View Post
    I was surprised that the stainless steel G&W was not substantially heavier than the brass one or are they both SS?.


    Doug

    Sorry, to omit that! They are both SS. The diameter of the "Brandon Jones" is the larger of the two.

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