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Thread: A/B Comparison - Alliance DC4 and Wick 4AL

  1. #1

    A/B Comparison - Alliance DC4 and Wick 4AL

    Here is a video in the format of my previous mouthpiece comparisons. This is the close-mic comparison. I'll try to do some large-room versions at some point. What do you think?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7g4jAx--gM

    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
    That's an interesting comparison. At first I thought the 4AL was definitely better. However, as the video continued I wasn't so sure. There are certainly characteristics I like from both mouthpieces. I'm surprised how similar they sound at times. Do you feel that you have greater control on the DC4? It certainly has greater clarity, but perhaps it gets a bit edgy at louder dynamics?

    Sounds great!

    Robert Pendergast, DM

  3. Consistently throughout you lose overtones with the 4AL. The DC4 has them and gives you a more balanced sound. For me, the DC4 wins.
    Richard

    1935 Conn 64I Baritone
    Mouthpieces: Too many to list and growing

  4. #4
    Thanks for the comments, guys! From my perspective, they each have certain qualities that are attractive. I'm sure I will miss the 4AL sometimes, but I'm pretty much set on going forward with the DC4 until/unless something changes my mind. So far, all the stuff in my near-term recording queue works better on the DC4. It gives me more center, which I often feel that I need when I hear my recordings. And it makes endurance a little better, and MIGHT even make my accuracy better (jury is out on that one still).

    Robert, as far as the edge factor, I'm not worrying too much about it right now. Learning how to really push out volume while controlling edge is something you have to learn with each mouthpiece. Some make it easier, but I'm not accustomed enough to the Alliance to know if it will turn out to be easier or harder that way.

    The DC3 also has some great qualities, and I'll share a similar video with that one vs the 4AL very soon.
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,424
    I listened to this first with my iPad. Didnít hear much difference so wanted to listen with my PC with good external speakers and subwoofer. They were still very similar with a slight edge to the DC4. Maybe in a larger room there will be more of a difference. Your recording of Czardas with the DC4 sounded excellent to me so was expecting to hear more of a difference.
    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)

  6. #6
    I like the DC4 better, both good, but there seems to be more presence with the DC4. I think the reason that two different mouthpieces can sound so similar is partly because of the person behind the mouthpiece.
    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)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,424
    Agreed John. The ‘guy behind the wheel’ can make all choices sound good.
    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)

  8. #8
    I sure appreciate any/all comments, folks! After playing a 4AL for so many years, and "trying" to change for short periods to some other kind, I'm constantly questioning myself about changing now!!

    It is interesting to play on one that is slightly smaller in one place and larger in another. In 1975 or 76 I had a conversation with Brian Bowman. He had recently switched to the 51D. In that case, he was talking about balancing 2 opposite factors. The 51D had a narrow cup, but a deep cup. He said the narrower cup helped him with endurance, and the extra depth gave back the sound he might otherwise have lost (or something like that).

    Another school of thought would be to buy a huge horn and use a smaller mouthpiece. The mp is easier on your chops, but the huge horn makes up for it in final output. Not a bad concept.
    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
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    198
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    Another school of thought would be to buy a huge horn and use a smaller mouthpiece. The mp is easier on your chops, but the huge horn makes up for it in final output. Not a bad concept.
    That's actually what I do on my Willson. I tend to use my 5AL instead of my 4AL or SM4 because it feels like I can control the horn just a little bit better. Intonation, articulation, volume and overall sound feel a bit more manageable with a smaller mouthpiece, at the cost of a slightly clearer sound compared to a warmer sound with the 4-size mouthpieces.
    Euphoniums
    Willson 2960TA Celebration
    Mouthpiece: Denis Wick 5AL
    1979 Boosey & Hawkes Sovereign (Globe Stamp)
    Mouthpiece: Denis Wick SM4
    Baritone
    1975 Besson New Standard
    Mouthpiece: Denis Wick 6BS

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