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Author Topic: Tom Crown or Wick Straight Mute?  (Read 1070 times)
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Driswood

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« on: Jun 29, 2017, 05:22AM »

Okay, time to retire my 47 year old Vacchiano straight. I've played a section mates Tom Crown and like it. What's the difference between that and the Wick?

I've found the Wick for $14 less. If it's comparable, I'd like to save the $$

Thanks,

Jerry Walker
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« Reply #1 on: Jun 29, 2017, 05:40AM »

I haven't played a Tom Crown so I don't know what it is like, but I do own a Wick straight mute and I really like it. Definitely worth the money in my opinion.

Hopefully someone who has played both will chime in here...
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Matt K

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« Reply #2 on: Jun 29, 2017, 07:51AM »

Is there something wrong with your Vacciano?  You can get corks for super cheap and glue them on if they're wearing.
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« Reply #3 on: Jun 29, 2017, 07:55AM »

Tom Crown mutes usually have a copper bottom, which give the mute a warmer sound that is softer on the ears. The Wicks, while having other options, usually have a metal bottom that helps projection in my opinion. I use Denis Wick mutes and have never had an issue with either corks, sound quality, or play-ability.
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« Reply #4 on: Jun 29, 2017, 08:11AM »

I recommend you to try the Romera Brass copper bottom mute. I've played dozens of straight and this one is definitely the best.

http://www.romerabrass.com/es/romerabrass_sordinas-para-trombon-tenor-y-bajo_13_sordina-trombon-tenor-straight_25_0_0_p1_o1.php
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« Reply #5 on: Jun 29, 2017, 08:16AM »

Tom Crown mutes usually have a copper bottom, which give the mute a warmer sound that is softer on the ears. The Wicks, while having other options, usually have a metal bottom that helps projection in my opinion. I use Denis Wick mutes and have never had an issue with either corks, sound quality, or play-ability.

You can get a Tom Crown with or without a copper bottom, actually.

Both the TC and Wick are good, as well as the Jo-Ral. You really can't go wrong with either. I use a combination of the three. The Jo-Ral has the best projection out of the three due to its weight, the Tom Crown has the most interesting sound, and the Wick is the most clearest, but has the last interesting sound of them all. But toys is just my opinion based on my own observation.
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« Reply #6 on: Jun 29, 2017, 08:24AM »

All of these mutes mentioned are good products. My favorite straight mute these days is the Joral (copper bottom).

Tom Crown, Joral and now Wick offer different materials for the bottom of the mute for different sounds - a longtime offering for Joral and Crown - new for Wicks. I haven't seen the new Wicks, but have seen advertising for them in the ITA Journal.

Wicks are the lightest of these, so they are more comfortable to play longer muted passages on - doesn't make the horn too nose-heavy. My only complaint for my Wick was that made the pitch go up quite a bit (all mutes do this to some degree). You can adjust for this, but I found it to be a pain.

Tom Crowns are one of the best mutes for loud playing and low playing. I think the thick corks allow a bit more sound out, and help to open up the low range. The down side is that they sound less muted at soft volumes - less buzz.

The Jorals split the difference sound-wise and response-wise.

All of these mutes are lighter in the all-aluminum option, and noticeably heavier in copper or brass bottoms. As far as the difference in sound between materials, I would suggest checking the websites where they have descriptions of the differences. My experience is that the copper is the most buzzy, the brass is the least and the all aluminum is in the middle.

Enjoy your mute search!

Jim Scott
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Matt K

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« Reply #7 on: Jun 29, 2017, 09:06AM »

I forgot to mention that for commercial stuff, I like the Wick convertible cup.  It works fine as a straight mute too and is one less thing I have to carry around.  Doesn't work if the song has cup & straight though.
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« Reply #8 on: Jun 29, 2017, 11:31AM »

Is there something wrong with your Vacciano?  You can get corks for super cheap and glue them on if they're wearing.

I've replaced the corks - many times!

I just doesn't give the sound I want in my Bach 34B. A little dead sounding. My friend's Crown was a lot livelier, and had more punch.

Jerry Walker
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Matt K

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« Reply #9 on: Jun 29, 2017, 11:43AM »

Makes sense then.  What context are you using it in? That might also help determine what you're after too. For classical stuff I liked my copper bottomed Jo-Ral more than the Tom Crown ones I've tried but if you want something brighter I think the Tom Crown is better.  For commercial stuff I tend to prefer the cheapo Stonelined ones or the Dennis Wick convertible I mentioned earlier.  They give a little bit more edge to the sound.... for lack of a better term and it works well for that context in my opinion.
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« Reply #10 on: Jun 29, 2017, 11:49AM »

Not trying to hyjack this thread too badly, but I have never been much of a mute guy. What is the difference between the Jo-Ral / Tom Crown / Wick "Straight mute" which is metal and might have a copper bottom and is not actually straight at all, and the Humes and Berg / Wick fiber or wood "Straight Mute" which actually is a straight cone with a flat bottom?

I have only ever used the metal "not actually straight straight mute" before for symphonic and band parts that ask for a mute, as well as the stonelined plunger.
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« Reply #11 on: Jun 29, 2017, 12:51PM »

There is not much difference between ones made of the same material and designed similarly.  Some metal mutes have copper bottoms and others have whatever material makes up the rest of it... I'm actually not sure what material it is to be honest though.   Some are a little brighter, some are a little more focused, etc. within the range of metal mutes.

Cardboard mutes like the H&B give a bit of a duller sound.  Not "darker" than metal mutes, per se, yet perhaps somewhat edgier? I don't know if I can quantify the difference in words other than to say a lot of commercial players used the H&B mutes and most (all?) symphonic players use metal ones.  Clearer than mud, right? ;-)
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« Reply #12 on: Jun 29, 2017, 12:57PM »

It's just that some pieces specifically request the wick straight fiber cone mute so there must be a big enough difference.
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« Reply #13 on: Jun 29, 2017, 01:13PM »

Makes sense then.  What context are you using it in? That might also help determine what you're after too. For classical stuff I liked my copper bottomed Jo-Ral more than the Tom Crown ones I've tried but if you want something brighter I think the Tom Crown is better.  For commercial stuff I tend to prefer the cheapo Stonelined ones or the Dennis Wick convertible I mentioned earlier.  They give a little bit more edge to the sound.... for lack of a better term and it works well for that context in my opinion.

I play mostly commercial - big band and combo. Occasionally in brass quintet, and I only play in 2 concert bands. Never orchestra.

Jerry Walker
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Matt K

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« Reply #14 on: Jun 29, 2017, 01:21PM »

It's just that some pieces specifically request the wick straight fiber cone mute so there must be a big enough difference.

Interesting, never seen one specify a brand.  It sounds like an H&B or any of the other carbon ones would be sufficient in whatever context that is in.  There is a noticeable difference between the cardboard ones and the metal ones for sure.

I play mostly commercial - big band and combo. Occasionally in brass quintet, and I only play in 2 concert bands. Never orchestra.

Jerry Walker

I'd probably go cardboard (H&B) if I was only doing commercial but if a section mate has a specific one you like then go for it, it doesn't seem like you can go wrong either way with what you're using it for.
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« Reply #15 on: Jun 29, 2017, 01:35PM »

The Wick is slightly easier to physically handle than the Jo Ral or Tom Crown as it has a slightly thinner base....
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« Reply #16 on: Jun 29, 2017, 10:21PM »

If you are playing modern big band or commercial, then the Wick is a great choice.  Bright with a good bite.

If your playing classic big band, then the H&B is the way to go.

If your playing mostly concert band stuff the Wick or something made with a copper bottom, or plutonium sides, or all beryllium... Whatever suits the part best.

Keep your old mute.  It will probably be the bee's knees for something you play down the road.  Otherwise, stock up with a Wick and a H&B straight and you'll have most of it covered.
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« Reply #17 on: Jun 30, 2017, 10:24AM »

Wow.  I like the idea of Plutonium sides.  Easy to find in the dark (it glows). Evil

Seriously, I like my Crown straight with copper bottom, but I use it mostly in Orchestra.  I have an Alessi Convertible (warning: two sizes; make sure you get the one that fits your horn) and I often use the straight part as a straight.  I also have the Harmon Triple Play (straight, cup, plunger).  It works best on smaller horns and I can park it in a box case nicely.  Problem is the more you take the Harmon apart the more the cup tends to fall off the straight part; usually at a bad time.
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« Reply #18 on: Jul 15, 2017, 11:48AM »

Decided on the Wick. Aluminum bottom, works great. Much more presence than my Vacchiano. And $14 less than the Crown.

Jerry Walker
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« Reply #19 on: Jul 15, 2017, 11:57AM »

Don't forget the Pro-Tec smaller straight mute. Clone of the old Duke Ellington Magosy Non-Pareil straight mutes. 60% of the volume internally than a Wick.. I measured.

Vintage big band vibe.
Cheap.
Hickeys has them...ZING! Real Ellington vibe.
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