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Thread: Turn down mouthpiece?

  1. Turn down mouthpiece?

    Hi,

    I have played my '68 New Standard since 1972 and recently bought a new Denis Wick SM4MX mouthpiece. I was pleasantly surprised with the results. Although I specified "medium shank" the mouthpiece stem only inserts just enough to keep the mouthpiece secure. I've played with it for several rehearsals and believe I can make this work but am wondering if I should get the stem turned down a bit so the mouthpiece inserts further.

    Any thoughts on how this would affect the sound? Is this something commonly done for those of us with "euro shank" instruments?

    Thanks,

    - Ron

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by RedDawwg View Post
    Hi,

    I have played my '68 New Standard since 1972 and recently bought a new Denis Wick SM4MX mouthpiece. I was pleasantly surprised with the results. Although I specified "medium shank" the mouthpiece stem only inserts just enough to keep the mouthpiece secure. I've played with it for several rehearsals and believe I can make this work but am wondering if I should get the stem turned down a bit so the mouthpiece inserts further.

    Any thoughts on how this would affect the sound? Is this something commonly done for those of us with "euro shank" instruments?

    Thanks,

    - Ron
    Welcome to the forum, Ron!

    While in college I played on a New Standard with a medium shank. I was using a Bach 5GB, a bass trombone mouthpiece with a large shank. I had it turned down by West Music to fit correctly in the medium receiver of the Besson. It is not hard to do, assuming the walls of your shank are thick enough.

    The way you are using the mouthpiece right now is certainly not ideal. The OVERALL playing would improve if the mouthpiece fit in further. However, exactly how that would affect what you currently like about your setup is unpredictable. It should improve intonation overall, but it's hard to guess beyond that.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC3)
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  3. Thanks for your reply - I'll see if I can find somewhere to turn it down, since I really like the deeper cup sound I'm getting.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Adapting a large shank mouthpiece into a medium shank mouthpiece is quite simple to do. You can do it yourself (if you are familiar enough with DIY manual work). I adapted several large shank mouthpieces to fit correctly on the 1973 Besson New Standard purchased a couple of years ago. What you need for this operation is: a bench vice, a drill, a brass bar or other material, cloth or coarse-medium-fine grain sandpaper. Shape the bar so that it enters the stem of the mouthpiece, insert it into the drill fixed to the vice, activate the rotation and with the cloth remove the material from the external edge of the stem. Proceed little by little, first with the coarse-grained cloth, then with the increasingly finer one, often checking the degree of insertion into the receiver, until you reach the desired point. Finally, go over with 1,000-1,200 grit cloth and, for a perfectly shiny surface, with diamond paste.
    2007 Besson Prestige 2052, 3D+ K&G mouthpiece; JP373 baritone, 4B modified K&G mouthpiece; Bach 42GO trombone, T4C K&G mouthpiece; 1973 Besson New Standard 3 compensated valves, 3D+ K&G modified mouthpiece; Wessex French C tuba, 3D+ K&G modified mouthpiece.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Central North Carolina
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    2,326
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    Welcome to the forum, Ron!
    assuming the walls of your shank are thick enough.
    This is the key. I'd want to be sure of that before proceeding.

    Otherwise, I too have butchered a few mouthpieces in the manner that franz describes. Ruined an excellent Schilke 66 trying to "improve" it. My only true success in reducing shank diameter/profile has been on Kelly plastic mouthpieces. And if you don't have the tools necessary to even approach this, you'll save money by paying someone to do it -- and perhaps be advised that it isn't a good idea. So it's worth a consult. But your average brass repair technician might not be willing to do mouthpiece work -- and then you'd have to send it to some shop that would, and ... $$$.

    Also, of course, you're going to end up with a raw brass shank rather than a sliver one. You could have it plated, of course, but that's more time and money. A brass shank wouldn't bother me (after all I mostly use DE mouthpieces ), but others might not like the visual effect. Is all that worth doing (for you) instead of just buying another mouthpiece with the shank you want?
    Last edited by ghmerrill; 12-01-2023 at 03:46 PM.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (DW 3XL or 2XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE 104, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba (with std US receiver), Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K10/112/14 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Varese,Italy
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    371
    Fully agree with what Ghmerril said. In my case the best mouthpieces (for me) with which I can get the sound I want with minimal effort are the K&G ones and these do not have the medium shank in their catalogue. The thickness of the shank is adequate to be able to thin it enough to fit it correctly into the receiver. Then I'm lucky to have a friend who has a galvanic laboratory that does my plating work for a few euros.
    2007 Besson Prestige 2052, 3D+ K&G mouthpiece; JP373 baritone, 4B modified K&G mouthpiece; Bach 42GO trombone, T4C K&G mouthpiece; 1973 Besson New Standard 3 compensated valves, 3D+ K&G modified mouthpiece; Wessex French C tuba, 3D+ K&G modified mouthpiece.

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