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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentMouthpieces(Moderators: BGuttman, Doug Elliott) 2G or not 2G ? That is the question.
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Author Topic: 2G or not 2G ? That is the question.  (Read 2853 times)
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blast

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« on: Aug 07, 2017, 01:18AM »

Well, those of you that follow my sporadic ramblings, know that I went back to a very fine Bach Mt Vernon 1 1/2G almost a year ago. No regrets.... it has a sound and feel combination that surpasses anything else I have tried.
Now, during the first part of this year I have seen my students and ex-students downsizing to the Bach 2G !! No input from me... they just went and did it.... and all sound better !
So, over my summer break I have become curious.... sure, I have tried to live with the 2G many times over the years. Growing up in London, almost all the top players were using the 2G.... none on a 1 1/2G. The most admired players over here are predominantly 2G people.... even today.
I have been very, very lucky to purchase a pristine early Mt Vernon 2G for my re-visit. As new, gold plated with a Conn taper shank ( these early MV's all had that shank as standard)
I want to remind myself of the specific challenges of these mouthpieces, and first impressions are that the 2G and 1 1/2G are very different animals, even though they are so close in size. They sound different... they feel different....
The journey begins....

Chris Stearn
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« Reply #1 on: Aug 07, 2017, 02:55AM »

Interesting, Chris. I have always felt that there's a threshold between 2G and 1-1/2G. It may be a counter-intuitive first comparison to go to, but the point that springs to mind is that a 2G works well in a large tenor as a light bass, whereas a 1-1/2G in the same feels like a large mouthpiece that requires lip-grip. A 2G on bass makes for a very natural sound relation to the tenors in the section, more so than the 1-1/2G, a point that was perhaps more obvious in the days when a 1-1/2G was thought of as the largest mouthpiece for bass trombone.

I hypothesise a three-fold division in bass trombone mouthpiece sizes:
2G and smaller: Small; think of bass as tenor with better low register
1-1/2G to some 1-1/4Gs: Medium; a happy compromise between retaining easy access to 'tenory' responses and easing the low register
Other 1-1/4Gs and larger: Large; requiring a different approach; much more comfortable in some ways, but making it notably more difficult to function as '3rd trombone' sound and response wise

More extreme at either end, there are further subtle subdivisions, but this is how I basically conceive bass trombone mouthpiece sizing. Does that agree with your thinking in any way?
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Dave Taylor

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« Reply #2 on: Aug 07, 2017, 03:00AM »

A 2G on bass makes for a very natural sound relation to the tenors in the section, more so than the 1-1/2G.

Especially alongside small bore tenors in a big-band IMO.
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« Reply #3 on: Aug 07, 2017, 03:36AM »

Especially alongside small bore tenors in a big-band IMO.

One problem with the bigband charts today is that the fourth trombone is sometimes just a fourth trombone, could be just as well a tenor, often it should be a tenor like all original Glen Miller charts. Sometimes it more of a trombone equal to the sax bariton. Sometimes it is almost a contrabasstrombone part.

For a while I brouth two mpc:s to the stage to meet that problem. But there was not enough time to switch mpc.

Many bigbands at least in Sweden do sound strange in my (old) ears when the trombone play on 12C-6 1/2 Al for tenor and the bass play maybe Laskey 93D - 95D.

Trombone section often sound like three trombones and a BASSTROMBONE.

2G is a fine mouthpiece. I might try that again.
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« Reply #4 on: Aug 07, 2017, 03:41AM »

I am "struggeling" with a yamaha 58 (2G size) , but cant seem to let it go..  A short while ago i tried a Wick 1AL which has a 27,15 mm rim id according to specs.. Much easier overall, but not the sound i am looking for.. It seems to be a water mark at around 27 mm  for me.. Below ;  struggle to make it work, above; easy-peacy ! Just have too find out if the sound is worth the extra effort..  Decisions ,decisions !
BTW ! ; i found that the Yamaha 58 works great with Holton basses, almost the same sound as a 2G but more free blowing on these horns!

Trond
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« Reply #5 on: Aug 07, 2017, 04:01AM »

picked up a Greg BLack 2G after alternating between an Elliott 110/L and a G&W Chinook w/ Elliott 110 rim.  I stil like the 110 for some things, but I mostly do commercial stuff at the moment on bass so the 2GM works very well for me. Especially as a doubler.  The I don't like the wider rims though --- of course, that has something to do with the sound though.  How wide of a rim is your Mt. Vernon 2G?  I'm wondering if some of the 'magic' for some might be a wider rim. It cuts down on my flexibility but on the whole, I'm not dissatisfied. Just not totally used to it either.
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« Reply #6 on: Aug 07, 2017, 04:11AM »


Trombone section often sound like three trombones and a BASSTROMBONE.


Agreed...and same applies in Britain. I noticed a big (positive) difference when I started using a Rath B2 - much more satisfying and uniform ensemble sound, and am still able to produce adequately rip-snorting double trigger notes when they are required. Trigger pedal notes are hard to produce in time, but those are few and far between in any big band rep. These smaller sized mouthpieces have a more laser-like quality than even 1.5s, and can rasp more easily which is something to be mindful of. Otherwise, they seem to the way to go for me, at least.

Same goes for the amateur symphony orchestras that I play in. Let the tuba be the tuba, and let the bass trombone be a trombone. That old chestnut.
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« Reply #7 on: Aug 07, 2017, 04:13AM »

Ian Bousfield and Alessi both play on shallow cup 2Gish sized mouthpieces. Eventually the whole orchestra section can be on 2Gs.
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« Reply #8 on: Aug 07, 2017, 05:35AM »

Interesting, Chris. I have always felt that there's a threshold between 2G and 1-1/2G. It may be a counter-intuitive first comparison to go to, but the point that springs to mind is that a 2G works well in a large tenor as a light bass, whereas a 1-1/2G in the same feels like a large mouthpiece that requires lip-grip. A 2G on bass makes for a very natural sound relation to the tenors in the section, more so than the 1-1/2G, a point that was perhaps more obvious in the days when a 1-1/2G was thought of as the largest mouthpiece for bass trombone.

I hypothesise a three-fold division in bass trombone mouthpiece sizes:
2G and smaller: Small; think of bass as tenor with better low register
1-1/2G to some 1-1/4Gs: Medium; a happy compromise between retaining easy access to 'tenory' responses and easing the low register
Other 1-1/4Gs and larger: Large; requiring a different approach; much more comfortable in some ways, but making it notably more difficult to function as '3rd trombone' sound and response wise

More extreme at either end, there are further subtle subdivisions, but this is how I basically conceive bass trombone mouthpiece sizing. Does that agree with your thinking in any way?

Well Dave, I wish things struck me as a logical progression, as you describe. From the listening side of things, my students sound darker with more focus on their 2G pieces... and two of these players are on trial for symphony jobs at the moment, so we are talking the cream of the young crop here.
The 2 and the 1 1/2 are strangely different.... I suspect that the 2G has it's origins in a custom player-designed piece. Before the War Bach only produced one bass mouthpiece... the 3.... no G , just plain 3. I have one... similar to the modern 3G at the rim but more shallow and restricted.
After the war the 2G appeared.... and the 1 1/2G.... I've seen a NY 1 1/2G but not a NY 2G.... which came first ?
The rim of the 2G is hardly any wider than the 1 1/2G.... the blanks are the same, but the rim profiles are quite different, at least on early examples... the 2G tends to be rounder and the 1 1/2G flatter. This changed in later times and post Mt Vernon examples of the two have similar rims with a sharper inner edge and a high point more toward the inner rim.... I have just re-modelled a later 2G rim to match the early one and all the work needed was from the high point inwards.

Chris Stearn
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« Reply #9 on: Aug 07, 2017, 05:44AM »

I'm liking the sound of your next journey, Chris.

I have journeyed from a 1G to a 2G since 1985, when I switched to bass trombone. Back then, I was playing a King and could not get the dark sound I wanted, so went as large as I could go at the time, a Bach 1G. I stuck with that large size for years until in 2004, I bought the Conn 70H and it completely revolutionised my playing. It taught me what a bass trombone ought to sound like, the simplicity of a single valve bass trombone, the devotion to striving constantly for beauty of tone. None of this could be achieved using a large mouthpiece (I had gravitated towards an Edwards bass trombone with a Yeo Signature mouthpiece) and so I switched to the Bach 1.5G, which is where I stayed when I replaced the Edwards with a Rath.

When I, too, was offered the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (by savio) of acquiring a genuine Mount Vernon 2G, I jumped at it. I had already tried one and fallen in love with the sound, which is where I always wanted to be and had taken decades to reach. Since adopting the 2G, the revolution is complete. I have worked hard at the soft machine to ensure the embouchure is still capable of doing what it could with the larger mouthpiece. It takes time and dedication, but the results are very much worth it. The blend with the tenor trombones is peerless and the ability to colour the sound without parallel. For me, this is it. No more searching. I have the Elkhart Conn 62H and the Mount Vernon 2G to go with it. I should have had it many years earlier, but perhaps I was not in a position physically to fully appreciate the advantages of the setup I now have, though mentally I have always striven towards that sound because I adore the sound of Bob Hughes and Ray Premru.

I wish you the very best of luck with your endeavours and do, please, keep me posted on your progress.
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« Reply #10 on: Aug 07, 2017, 06:46AM »

The 2G is very attractive bass doubling mpc size to a tenor player, but I find the inner edge of my particular rim very sharp, and it digs into my lower lip after 30 minutes of playing. Granted, I've not taken the time or money to hunt down a MV. My chops have been developed around somewhat smaller mouthpieces, so when I play 1 1/2 or larger, there is the center of the embouchure which is developed, but it is surrounded by this mushy area that's not accustomed to being inside the mouthpiece. This leads to uncentered, uncontrolled sound for me on large mpcs. On tenor I play a DE 104, which is the diameter of a 3G, so the 2G isn't much of a stretch, but I just cannot lock in to the center of the pitch on say a 1 1/4.

My compromise has been the Ferguson V. It's still a 1 1/2 size, so it required some embouchure development to play, but it avoids the unfocused sound of the larger pieces because of its V shaped cup. If they made this in a slightly smaller version, I'd be even happier. Or a 2G without that sharp inner edge.

I use the 2G on the single valve/small bass, and the Ferguson V on the Kanstul 1662i. The Kanstul has a tendency to play darker than I'd like, but in the groups where I play bass, they seem to prefer the more velvety sound of the 1662i. The Kanstul sounds like variations on chocolate pudding no matter what mouthpiece you put in it. My 70h feels very comfortable and at home with the 2G, and my Holton 159 can range from the best 88h you've ever played with a 5g size to a bad boy barking buzz saw with a 1 1/2g. I haven't played the 159 as a bass enough to find a sweet spot mouthpiece for it in that role. It's currently in the shop being fitted with a plug-in valve.
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« Reply #11 on: Aug 07, 2017, 07:03AM »

Why did I have to see this thread?????? :cry:
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« Reply #12 on: Aug 07, 2017, 07:04AM »

Yes, the modern 2G does a very sharp inner rim. Could be a poor choice of examples I've owned or found--- but the 3G is very rounded I've seen. Likely not planned, just poor quality control.

If you have a serious desire to buy a great 2G -- real vintage inspired gear-- look no further than the Rath B2. It makes old Conn bones stew in their own juices.

Not all 2Gs are created equal. Some sharp, some too small, don't trust second hand reports on an internet chat room. Any old 2Gs will all be different, and if they're in great shape they may not be great examples and survived strictly  because the original owner found something far superior.
That's enough reason to just bite the bullet and drop the money on a new Rath B2.

Another long lost gem is the Conn Connstellation 3B. 2G in size, but deeeep and conical, not bowl shaped.

One thing I've never found to try personally, is the line of rather rare very large Denis wick euph mouthpieces. Some of the bizarre offerings from Wick, and his R&D team have specs of a 2G or larger....but who knows???
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« Reply #13 on: Aug 07, 2017, 08:00AM »

Interesting Chris! I remember I had lessons with the bass trombonists in Oslo Philharmonic. He sounded just amazing on his Wick 2AL. I could always listen his voice when he played in the orchestra. I never got his dark full sound, it was amazing to stand beside him and listen him. Big inspiration for me.

I also have been surprised when listening some of my smaller students in ensembles. In fact the most interesting is when they go down in the valve and pedal register. I have sometimes wonder how they could sound so good down there. Its something special about it that I never quite understood. In fact I have listen that in some players on 3g also.

Well, Ray Premru, Bob Huges, it says it all.

Hmmm Chris, I sold my 2g.....but I have that GR MV....hmmmm nearly a 2g...

Anyway Chris, all the best to you. You are great inspiration for all here!!

Leif
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« Reply #14 on: Aug 07, 2017, 08:41AM »

I did hear one of Chris's students play back in March on a 2G. Beautiful, lush sound and played on a modern instrument.
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« Reply #15 on: Aug 07, 2017, 08:59AM »

I do have a MV 2G in my collection, I'll have more of a look at it.
The question I have: Is it POSSIBLE on that size to have the same easy access to the bottom of the horn as it is on a large mouthpiece?  And volume?  Somehow I doubt it, but I'd like to hear from the guys who use it.
I certainly recognize the sound advantage, but doesn't it limit what you can do, somewhat?
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« Reply #16 on: Aug 07, 2017, 09:37AM »

In other news, bass trombonists the world over ditched their 0G and .5G mouthpieces, with the sudden realization that they had been wrong for as long as they could remember. Those notes had all been false notes...
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« Reply #17 on: Aug 07, 2017, 09:45AM »

I do have a MV 2G in my collection, I'll have more of a look at it.
The question I have: Is it POSSIBLE on that size to have the same easy access to the bottom of the horn as it is on a large mouthpiece?  And volume?  Somehow I doubt it, but I'd like to hear from the guys who use it.
I certainly recognize the sound advantage, but doesn't it limit what you can do, somewhat?

Yes?

No?

It requires more practice and control to get results that are not limiting.  Practice and control that I lack.  I know that I have my MV 1 1/2 and 2G both plugged into horns at home all the time.  Every time I leave to play for actual audiences my DE L cup is in the case with the horn.  Lots of great sounds in those old Mpcs, but unless I'm on my A+ game, the newer, bigger piece allows me to do more of what is in my head easier.  But those sounds when they are on...

Does a 2G take some of the extreme volume and bottom off?  Maybe.  Can you get that back with some practice and patience?  I think so. I've heard enough other folks on recordings pull it off way better than I can.

Cheers,
Andy
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« Reply #18 on: Aug 07, 2017, 09:53AM »

I do have a MV 2G in my collection, I'll have more of a look at it.
The question I have: Is it POSSIBLE on that size to have the same easy access to the bottom of the horn as it is on a large mouthpiece?  And volume?  Somehow I doubt it, but I'd like to hear from the guys who use it.
I certainly recognize the sound advantage, but doesn't it limit what you can do, somewhat?

WGW heard a pretty impressive bit of low register stuff from my student, and I have heard 'Sub Zero' work very well on a 2G.... so flexibility is possible. Volume... think Bob Hughes, Ray Premru and a bunch of others. Swapping between the 2G and the 1 1/2G I think the sound at volume is better on the 2G. That said, my 1 1/2G fits my face better than any mouthpiece I have ever had.... perhaps with a bit of time....
Easy access to the low register ? Well, it is more work, though I think there is a technique to doing it... one of my reasons to re-visit and it is possible to get a sound that everyone seems to like.
I will only really know how good it is when I get some Conn leadpipes ... It makes the old 60H sing for now.

Chris Stearn
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« Reply #19 on: Aug 07, 2017, 09:59AM »

In other news, bass trombonists the world over ditched their 0G and .5G mouthpieces, with the sudden realization that they had been wrong for as long as they could remember. Those notes had all been false notes...

Well, a year ago I was playing Doug's wonderful, easy playing 116 rim with J,K,L and M cups. Nothing better for what is called the modern American sound.
Now I am back on a 1 1/2G and trying a 2G.... putting me back in the mainstream of British sound. People do play the trombone outside America.... and I can remember a time before I played the big stuff.
If you want to be flippant I can do that....

Chris Stearn
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Still cannot think of anything better to do. Back on an old 1 1/2G again !
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