Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Going back to basics - has anyone else done this?

  1. #1

    Going back to basics - has anyone else done this?

    Earlier this year I started umming and erring over mouthpiece choices. I own two mouthpieces currently: an Alliance DC2 and a Wick SM4X. I played the DC2 exclusively until coming out of the pandemic and the SM4X from when I was looking for something easier to play as band started rehearsing again after the pandemic (c. Sept 2019). I enjoyed the security of playing on the SM4X, but missed the tone, comfort, and low range of the DC2. When we started rehearsing Sparke's Tallis Variations, which had a lot of low range work for the 2nd euph part, I tried it out again but found after a week or two of practice my high range and pitching would suffer so would switch back to the SM4X. After changing band a couple of months ago (and getting a new band instrument) after moving I tried to go back to the DC2 again but found that the same thing happened, switching back to the SM4X after a couple of weeks.

    I am not fully satisfied with either mouthpiece. The DC2 is very comfortable on my face and makes a great sound, but playing becomes much less secure and the high range goes and I don't have enough time to get back into it properly to fix these issues. The SM4X is less comfortable, sometimes even feeling a bit small (but I'm not sure if that's the cup shape or the rim size or the weight), but is much more secure in general playing. I'm not sure what exactly physically is wrong with either mouthpiece: the DC2 has a wider, rounder rim and the SM4X smaller, flatter one; the cup depths are pretty similar but the DC2 is much more of a C shaped cup against the V shape of the SM4X; and the SM4X is weirdly marginally heavier. I imagine either the DC3 (smaller diameter but C shape cup) or the SM3X (bigger diameter, V shape cup) would be better for me but I can't afford to buy both to try them out, and with Trevada music sadly closing there isn't a shop close to me that stocks both.

    So I have come up with a solution: I have bought a Wick 4AL. It is the baseline euphonium mouthpiece for brass banders, and I know a few people in the school of thought that you don't need anything else (they also happen to be very good players who sound better than me on my more expensive lumps of metal). I am going to play it exclusively until at least after Christmas, before prep for the Area contest in March, and I hope it will act like a control mouthpiece. It should give me a better idea of what I would like in a mouthpiece, and maybe it is what I want in a mouthpiece! Sometimes I wonder if there are too many mouthpieces to choose from and maybe life would be easier if there was less choice

    Has anyone else tried this: going back to a "baseline" mouthpiece like a 4AL or 51D? Also please share any mouthpiece journeys, I'm interested to hear how people have ended up where there are!
    Harry Weir - Besson Sovereign 967-T | K&G 4D+

  2. I've just gone back to a 51D. But not a Schilke. My Schilke got dented and I wanted something cheaper, so I went Yamaha. If you haven't heard, the Yamaha 51D has the largest backbore of any of my mouthpieces, by a long ways. I've compared it to Wick 4AL, Curry 5G, Helleberg and Alliance DC. Bigger than any of them. Why? Not a clue but I don't think I'll go back to any others now. It has less of the nasal quality of the Schilke, not quite as sonorous as the Alliance DC, but still slots like the Schilke 51D. So a good compromise.
    Richard


    King 1130 Flugabone
    King 2280 Euphonium
    King 10J Tuba
    Conn 22B Trumpet

  3. #3

    Mouthpiece

    I have bought and tried probably about 20 mouthpieces. Some seem better on high notes and some on low notes, but I finally realized the Schilke 51D just felt the most comfortable to me, so I am sticking with it. I am playing it on the Adam E3 now but played it on the Besson Prestige 2052 before that. I have even tried the Alliance DC4 that Dave uses. It seemed to bite into my lips.

  4. #4
    I played a schilke 51d for along time (most of middle school and all of high school), and now after picking the horn back up 15 years later, I'm doing a little exploring in this aspect. I suppose I'm doing kind of the opposite of "going back to basics" at least for me. Initially I did buy a 52D to start with (i figured I would like a bigger cup because my lips are a bit on the bigger side), but then I got curious and bought a 4AL, and I like that pretty well. I'm curious about some other pieces, and I bought a E3a off ebay the other day so we'll see how that goes. I'm curious about the DC3 and the SM4, personally. I may just end up back at the 4AL at the end of the day. Compared to the 4AL, the 52D just feels too small (I know there's not that great a difference, but it sure feels like it).

    That's interesting about the Yamaha 51d, since it seems from the listed specs that it is smaller inner-rim wise, unless schilke measures differently...
    Nicholas
    Shires Q41s
    DW 4AL

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Valley City, North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    568
    The 51D and 52D definitely feel constricting to me / too small.
    Euphoniums
    John Packer 374LT
    John Packer 274L

    Larry Herzog Jr.
    Twitter: iMav
    Facebook: iMav
    Email: me@imav.org
    Founder of geekhack.org

    Linktree: iMav


    All things EUPHONIUM! Guilded server

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Varese,Italy
    Posts
    300
    I played for years on the Schilke 51D then, since I played the Prestige in 2007, I experimented on DC2, SM3, 3X, 3U until in K&G I found what is right for me: K&G 3D + is the one that gives me all that I want to get from a mouthpiece.
    Besson Prestige 2052, 3D+ K&G mouthpiece; JP373 baritone,4B modified K&G mouthpiece; Bach 42GO trombone, T4C K&G mouthpiece; Besson New Standard 3 compensated valves 1974, 3D+ K&G modified mouthpiece; Wessex French C tuba 3D+ K&G modified mouthpiece.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    245
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard III View Post
    I've just gone back to a 51D. But not a Schilke. My Schilke got dented and I wanted something cheaper, so I went Yamaha. If you haven't heard, the Yamaha 51D has the largest backbore of any of my mouthpieces, by a long ways. I've compared it to Wick 4AL, Curry 5G, Helleberg and Alliance DC. Bigger than any of them. Why? Not a clue but I don't think I'll go back to any others now. It has less of the nasal quality of the Schilke, not quite as sonorous as the Alliance DC, but still slots like the Schilke 51D. So a good compromise.
    If you say 'compare', is that by eye or actually measuring it? Because from what I remember from the data charts from the manufacturers, the Yamaha 51D should have a backbore of 7.1mm compared to the Wick 4AL's 7.38mm.

  8. #8
    In these discussions, it is hard to not confuse backbore with throat. The throat diameter is an easy measurement. Backbore is tricker...by a lot. Some backbore shapes are more concave and some are more convex between the throat and the end of the shank. The backbore taper can make a huge difference in sound, endurance, and intonation.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    Posts
    930
    Being somewhat of an outlier, I found the Bach Artisan 5G (not a bit like the regular 5G) tickles my sweet spot the best.

    Then again, MP's are a highly personal choice.
    1966 Besson 181 highly modified New Standard
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original
    2019 Wessex Tornister

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    In these discussions, it is hard to not confuse backbore with throat. The throat diameter is an easy measurement. Backbore is tricker...by a lot. Some backbore shapes are more concave and some are more convex between the throat and the end of the shank. The backbore taper can make a huge difference in sound, endurance, and intonation.
    Not to mention that manufacturers don't exactly make the information easily accessible much of the time! In my head it would make sense that backbore is as important as any other part of the mouthpiece

    Quote Originally Posted by highpitch View Post
    Being somewhat of an outlier, I found the Bach Artisan 5G (not a bit like the regular 5G) tickles my sweet spot the best.

    Then again, MP's are a highly personal choice.
    They are indeed! I played a 4AM on my Imperial when I had it, and a 4BS is my emergency baritone mouthpiece so I am very familiar with the rim and general feel of a Wick 4. I imagine a 5 doesn't feel too small on a small bore instrument?

    Quote Originally Posted by UglyGrayDuck View Post
    I played a schilke 51d for along time (most of middle school and all of high school), and now after picking the horn back up 15 years later, I'm doing a little exploring in this aspect. I suppose I'm doing kind of the opposite of "going back to basics" at least for me. Initially I did buy a 52D to start with (i figured I would like a bigger cup because my lips are a bit on the bigger side), but then I got curious and bought a 4AL, and I like that pretty well. I'm curious about some other pieces, and I bought a E3a off ebay the other day so we'll see how that goes. I'm curious about the DC3 and the SM4, personally. I may just end up back at the 4AL at the end of the day. Compared to the 4AL, the 52D just feels too small (I know there's not that great a difference, but it sure feels like it).

    That's interesting about the Yamaha 51d, since it seems from the listed specs that it is smaller inner-rim wise, unless schilke measures differently...
    I'd like to try a 51D one day, just because of how ubiquitous it is over in the States. I expect it would just feel very wrong for my brass bander chops the Alliance DC series and all Denis Wick specialist euph mouthpieces are effectively just variations on the 4AL, so if you like the 4AL you would probably find you'd like at least some aspects of the others!
    Harry Weir - Besson Sovereign 967-T | K&G 4D+

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

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
  •