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Thread: HBC Heavy 4th Cap - Compared in Large Room

  1. #1

    HBC Heavy 4th Cap - Compared in Large Room

    My first video was from my basement studio with a close mic (the "room sound" is awful if I don't do this). But for a better perspective I used a church this time. The acoustics are a bit more live than my own (closed for now) church, but it does give an interesting comparison! The differences were easier to hear, for me anyway.

    Let me know what you think:

    https://youtu.be/r201lEqvY9I

    (I changed the link to get rid of an incorrect text message at the end)
    Last edited by davewerden; 10-09-2020 at 02:54 PM.
    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

  2. #2
    Well, I listened to the comparisons several times. With my eyes closed, once I knew the sequence of which cap was being used. Then changed my position in the room I am in, a fairly live room with decent (not great) speakers. Then I called my wife in to listen several times. After listening several times and in several different positions in my room, she came to the same conclusion I did.

    In Dave's comparison, I preferred the standard Adams cap over the HBC definitely in at least two of the four samples, and for the other two, I was leaning towards the standard cap, also. The sound using the standard cap was more vibrant to me. The HBC cap on certain notes seemed a little flat (not pitch wise, just sound wise). Think dull vs. shiny. Or think a little stuffy. When I describe the differences, please know that when I say something like stuffy, it really means that sample is just a wee bit stuffy. Or when I say dull, that means just a tiny less vibrant. These are very small differences. But I could hear them. Linda, too.

    I have also tested the HBC cap against my standard Adams cap, and I wasn't swayed to make a change, even though I liked certain aspects of the HBC. It could very well be that the HBC cap and my horn together hit some dead spots. Or my mouthpiece and horn with the HBC just weren't a good fit. I did have a good experience with the Sterling heavy cap I borrowed from Doug Ruby. I got a very similar heavy cap (like the Sterling) from Adams, and I am leaning towards using it over the standard Adams cap, but I am still evaluating and taking my time (which we seem to have a lot of lately).

    I am relatively certain the HBC cap will be a good addition for a lot of players and a lot of horns. For my particular horn, mouthpiece and player (me) combination, the HBC was not a good fit. I sure wanted it to work, because the HBC is really a nice looking piece and superbly engineered.

    Full disclosure: I was recently hanging a very heavy picture at home and needed to use our stud finder so I could make sure screws were going into wood behind the drywall. The stud finder lights up and makes a beep or solid noise when the stud is found and when at the center. Linda was helping. When the lights went on, I asked Linda if she heard any beeping or solid noise. She said sure, don't you? Well, no, not exactly. I could not hear the beep or solid noise. Linda said it wasn't real loud. I could not hear it at all. So this tells me my hearing isn't what it used to be 50 years ago!!
    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)

  3. David,

    To me the heavy cap on your Adams gives the horn a bit more gravitas. I would say it put the sound more towards the classic British direction. Also sounds a bit more resonant. With the stock cap it sounds a little more brittle and perhaps bright. I can hear the difference, particularly in the lower-mid range. Definitely prefer the sound of the heavy cap, though both sound wonderful (as do you!).

    Doug
    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. Put me with Doug--I prefer the sound with the heavy cap.
    Two other thoughts:

    1) Dave Werden's comment in the original thread bears amplification... it might be a horses-for-courses situation, and caps can be swapped.

    2) I'm just glad I'm not the only person who thinks they can hear a difference. I remain a believer on my Tenor Horn, but whether I'm naturally pessimistic or full-on paranoid I'm always wondering if I bought snake oil. Less concerned now.

  5. #5
    I appreciate the feedback! To add to it, here are a couple comments that are only on YouTube so far:

    From ydave
    Hi Dave
    I think Doug put it perfectly. Im only listening on a tablet, so the difference is subtle but definitely sounds best with the heavy 4th. Most of my euphs have benefited with medium to heavy 4 valve heavy caps. I find the thiner the gauge of the metal / less stays / less solid the biuld (not in a bad way) the more the flexibility but the more they benefit from heavy caps for sound. Eg when I had a geneva it was a massive difference im now on an Emminance again and it is too muddy with them.
    Hope that helps



    From Paul Routledge
    It might be the speakers of my laptop but the difference isn't as huge as I thought it would be. The difference of using a hbc heavy cap is definitely more then the lefreque plates. Having said that, on some euphoniums, the hbc valve cap probably would make a definite difference. I guess if it feels better, go for i
    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

  6. #6
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    I have decent speakers with my desktop PC including a subwoofer. I listened several times and only hear a detectable difference when you're playing Danny Boy. With the heavy cap the sound has more presence – or maybe a bit more over tones. Maybe the difference is because of it's lower key, not sure.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank


    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    Russian Christmas Music (Alfred Reed)
    El Relicario (Jose Padilla; arr. R. Longfield)

  7. Quote Originally Posted by RickF View Post
    I have decent speakers with my desktop PC including a subwoofer. I listened several times and only hear a detectable difference when you're playing Danny Boy. With the heavy cap the sound has more presence – or maybe a bit more over tones. Maybe the difference is because of it's lower key, not sure.
    I was going to mention that the difference was more noticeable on Danny Boy. I was also listening on a Desktop PC with a 5.1 Logitech speaker setup. Youtube does compress the audio but not as bad as Facebook.

    Doug
    Sterling Virtuoso 1065HGS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HGS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  8. I heard overtones with the standard cap which weren’t present on the HBC (iPad speakers). I prefer the HBC sound, but this may be an example of confirmation bias, as I have a HBC fitted on my Prestige, and it wasn’t cheap (so must be good!).

    Both examples sound great though!

  9. #9
    Well, after reading through the comments above, seems I (and my significant other, Linda) am alone in preferring the standard cap. So, I went back and listened again just now after mowing the yard and doing a bunch of work around the house to get all the cobwebs blown out.

    Verdict: I came to the same conclusion. At least on my speakers (Altec Lansing w/sub woofer) and with my ears (model 1947, used, maybe 80%, but still hearing stuff), I like the standard cap better. The HBC provides a "heavier" sound, but I don't think better. It, too me, does not have as much ring and sing to it as the standard cap does. My higher frequency hearing is somewhat suffering, I think, so perhaps this gives me a different perspective on what I am hearing than others. I usually like gravitas, but the HBC comes across to me as slightly, ever so slightly, stuffy.

    When I had an HBC at my home to test and evaluate, I could hear dead, dull spots on several notes in the range around tuning Bb (top of staff). These are very, very slight nuances, not major, so for me, I really have to listen to hear what I think I am hearing.

    I think everyone's opinion is completely valid, we just seem to differ on what we think is "better".
    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)

  10. #10
    John,

    It's not surprising that a given player might have a different opinion! As I have stated before, I like the open, singing sound I get with my Wick 4AL. Some other 4-size mouthpieces I tried have sounded more solid and some players prefer that. The cap's difference is a bit more subtle, but similar in character. I think it entirely possible that for some types of playing in some types of rooms, I might want to switch whether I use the heavy cap or not. It's a bit early for me to really know that, though.
    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

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