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Author Topic: 6.5a (small shank) variations  (Read 1604 times)
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bigeg

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« on: Aug 12, 2017, 06:13PM »

I've found the Bach 6.5a to be a great all around mouthpiece for small to medium bore horns....I've played 6.5al pieces over the years but have always struggled with a focus and edge to the sound, particularly in the upper register, and my air just seems to go.. The tighter throat and backbore make all the difference on the 6.5a.

Beside the Bach 6.5a are there many comparable or modern variation pieces out there from different manufacturers?I also assume there'd be some Mt Vernon versions around but I've yet to see one pop up on eBay or the classifieds so they must be rare.

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« Reply #1 on: Aug 12, 2017, 06:40PM »

I think the Clarke S is the progenitor of Bach's 6.5A. And someone makes either a copy of it or a take on it at the least. Which I would find the most interesting to try.
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« Reply #2 on: Aug 12, 2017, 09:42PM »

On a side note, it would seem that Bach may agree with your assessment of the 6 1/2 A, at least on the large shank side; they have been including the 6 1/2A with all of their 42s for a while.  Now, knowing how things go with large manufacturers they may just have a lot of these in stock but they do seem to match up with the 42 quite nicely...
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« Reply #3 on: Aug 12, 2017, 10:12PM »

I've been using the Warburton 6T for about 6 years as my daily worker on a .525. I really like it- it's tight but I find the extra mass lets it put out a lot more sound than you'd expect.
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« Reply #4 on: Aug 12, 2017, 10:13PM »

... Bach may agree with your assessment of the 6 1/2 A, at least on the large shank side; they have been including the 6 1/2A with all of their 42s for a while. 

Unfortunately, due to the disparities of Bach's mouthpiece numbering system, the large-shank 6A does not resemble the small-shank 6A.  ALL the 6 size mouthpieces (purportedly) share a similar cup size and shape - but it's the throat and backbore where things differ. 

All 6AL mouthpieces (small- AND large-shank) have a relatively large 6.63mm (0.261") throat and Bach's #420 backbore. 

The small-shank 6A has a SMALLER  5.85mm (0.230") throat and standard tenor trombone backbore, whereas the large-shank 6A has a LARGER  (bass-trombone-like) 7.00mm throat and #429 backbore. 

Same numbers but vastly different products!   

Some players find the small-shank 6A to be a good match to a Bach 36 / 36B trombones (though I prefer a 6AL).  Apparently Bach thinks the large-shank 6A may be well-suited to the Bach 42 series.
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« Reply #5 on: Aug 12, 2017, 11:02PM »

I think the Clarke S is the progenitor of Bach's 6.5A. And someone makes either a copy of it or a take on it at the least. Which I would find the most interesting to try.
Doesn't Noah sell a Bob Reeves piece based off of the Clarke pieces?
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« Reply #6 on: Aug 12, 2017, 11:07PM »

It may be him! I forgot and I did t feel like Googleing  Evil
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bigeg

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« Reply #7 on: Aug 12, 2017, 11:31PM »

Doesn't Noah sell a Bob Reeves piece based off of the Clarke pieces?

Yes BrassArk make the Clarke 6.5 in collaboration with Bob Reeves which is "Based on the original 6.5AL mouthpiece developed in the 1930s".....I have one of these and while it's the best sounding and easiest to play 6.5al I've played, it still feels like hard work at times compared to a 6.5a on my Edwards .525 bore.
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bigeg

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« Reply #8 on: Aug 12, 2017, 11:50PM »

I've been using the Warburton 6T for about 6 years as my daily worker on a .525. I really like it- it's tight but I find the extra mass lets it put out a lot more sound than you'd expect.

I just found and old thread on the 6T and it mentions that they make it with 2 different throats, an 11c-ish size and a more standard 6.5AL size throat. I'm assuming from your comments you play the tighter throat....have you tried the more open throat to compare? Any comments on the mellowness/brightness of the sound?
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« Reply #9 on: Aug 13, 2017, 12:00AM »

Yes BrassArk make the Clarke 6.5 in collaboration with Bob Reeves which is "Based on the original 6.5AL mouthpiece developed in the 1930s".....I have one of these and while it's the best sounding and easiest to play 6.5al I've played, it still feels like hard work at times compared to a 6.5a on my Edwards .525 bore.

I believe that my NY Clarke S was one of the m'pces they used at Brass Ark to develop their version. (Please correct me if I'm wrong, BrassArk guys.) I concur w/bigeg. The Clarke S is actually more open than most 6.5ALs. A great m'pce, but so are many 6.5As. I am playing a 6.5A now...a Mt. Vernon...on my .508 Shires. I played them in the past on other .508 horns with very good results compared to 6.5ALs as far as general business, American idioms trombone playing is concerned. They are a little brighter sounding than 6.5ALs, a little easier in the high range and still very good in the lower ranges.

And...sadly...yes, the large shank 6.5A is actually more open blowing and larger than the large shank 6.5AL. I have heard different justifications for why this happened, but it sounds to me like some bean counter simply didn't know his ass from his elbow, and that error calcified in the vast corporate reaches of UMI or whatever other company now owns the Bach/King/Conn triumvirate.

So it goes.

Later...

S.
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« Reply #10 on: Aug 13, 2017, 03:05AM »

I believe that my NY Clarke S was one of the m'pces they used at Brass Ark to develop their version. (Please correct me if I'm wrong, BrassArk guys.) I concur w/bigeg. The Clarke S is actually more open than most 6.5ALs. A great m'pce, but so are many 6.5As. I am playing a 6.5A now...a Mt. Vernon...on my .508 Shires. I played them in the past on other .508 horns with very good results compared to 6.5ALs as far as general business, American idioms trombone playing is concerned. They are a little brighter sounding than 6.5ALs, a little easier in the high range and still very good in the lower ranges.

And...sadly...yes, the large shank 6.5A is actually more open blowing and larger than the large shank 6.5AL. I have heard different justifications for why this happened, but it sounds to me like some bean counter simply didn't know his ass from his elbow, and that error calcified in the vast corporate reaches of UMI or whatever other company now owns the Bach/King/Conn triumvirate.

So it goes.

Later...

S.

Thanks for chiming in Sam  :)

In your mouthpiece travels have you come across another piece that compares to or is a copy of a good Bach 6.5a? Or is the best bet to try and find a a certain era/Mt. Vernon  Bach? Mine seems good but it's the only one I've tried so far.

The only other piece I've played that's sort of similar is a Yamaha Nils Langdren, but it's got quite a narrow rim and I think is sort of like a Bach 6 3/4c, so doesn't really feel or play much like the 6.5a.
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« Reply #11 on: Aug 13, 2017, 07:21AM »

Thanks for chiming in Sam  :)

In your mouthpiece travels have you come across another piece that compares to or is a copy of a good Bach 6.5a? Or is the best bet to try and find a a certain era/Mt. Vernon  Bach? Mine seems good but it's the only one I've tried so far.

The only other piece I've played that's sort of similar is a Yamaha Nils Langdren, but it's got quite a narrow rim and I think is sort of like a Bach 6 3/4c, so doesn't really feel or play much like the 6.5a.

Right on the money about the Nils Yamaha.

And...to paraphrase something that Blast has said many times here in different ways...with the exceptions of two Larry Minick-related m'pces (An original Minick that I call "an 11C/7C on steroids", a Horn Guys' Jeff Reynold L that is a copy of Jeff Reynolds' favorite bass m'pce and one wonderful Doug Elliott 5G-ish m'pce that I use on my .525) I have never found a non-Mt. Vernon or non-NY Bach m'pce that was overall better better than the best of the many Mt.Vernon/NY Bachs that I have collected over the years. And that's not for lack of trying with rigorous tests both in performance and blindfold testing on many different horns. Not only do the older Bachs eventually win every time, they win against other Mt. Vernon/NY Bachs that I have tried with the same nomenclature. And...when really good trombonists play the winners, they are almost always knocked out by those m'pces.

Hooray for non-mechanical equipment making!!!

Human variance wins in the end!!!

AI-designed m'pces for AI-influenced brass players!!!

And hooray twice for the incredibly deep NYC brass scene in the '30s through the '60s that allowed Vincent Bach to test and retest his approaches to all the equipment that he made with input from countless masters of the various instruments.

Now...it is a given that I am an inheritor of some of that scene. I originally studied with John Gramm (who was heavily influenced by Gordon Pulis and gave me a Mt. Vernon 6.5AL at about 14 years of age that I used for at least a decade as my only m'pce on my only horn(s)), later with Jack Nowinski (who was a walking encyclopedia of NYC trombonists and equipment); I hung out at John (Peppy) Pettinato's repair shop on midtown Broadway perhaps more than I should have and I was blessed with playing with NYC masters galore from that era as a young pro. So it really isn't that surprising that my tastes run to what I have heard and played during my life.

But...there is something about those m'pces...

Maybe it's that they are a great compromise of all of the disparate elements that make a m'pce "good." The Goldilocks mean...not too much or too little of any part of what a "good" m'pce may be.

Juuusst right.

Later...

S.

P.S. Your results may vary...
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« Reply #12 on: Aug 13, 2017, 07:36AM »

I know this sounds strange, but the Shires 11C feels very similar to a 6.5A, only a bit smaller in the cup. I have three of them - One original (made in Taiwan, from what I understand), and two new ones made by Pickett Brass, one of which I plan to have opened up a little bit. 
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« Reply #13 on: Aug 13, 2017, 05:33PM »

In your mouthpiece travels have you come across another piece that compares to or is a copy of a good Bach 6.5a? Or is the best bet to try and find a a certain era/Mt. Vernon Bach?

I have a piece in my collection (that I think came with a trombone I purchased?) engraved "Getzen Deluxe M".  I believe that it was manufactured in the ~1950's/early 1960's.  It's similar to a Getzen 6AL (and therefore a Bach 6AL) but with a smaller 5.85mm/0.230" throat - in other words the same nominal dimensions as a Bach 6A !   Plays similarly, too. 

I also have an old Marcinkiewicz 11, which has a nominal 25.40mm/1.00" cup diameter and a 5.94mm/0.234" throat.  Pretty similar dimensions, but it plays a bit differently than a 6A.

Interestingly, Schilke and Yamaha do not seem to have a comparably-sized mouthpiece in their armamentaria. 
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« Reply #14 on: Aug 13, 2017, 06:24PM »


---snip---

Interestingly, Schilke and Yamaha do not seem to have a comparably-sized mouthpiece in their armamentaria.

Well...that kinda makes sense.

I mean ...there is a very fine line between the classic 6.5AL small bore m'pce and the 6.5A. On one side lay 6.75Cs, 7Cs, 11Cs, etc. Easier to play high than a 6.5A, not quite as big or rich a sound but really much less well-responding in the 2nd and even 3rd partials. On the other side? 5-ish m'pces that are really hard to play for extended periods of time as a lead m'pce in Pan-American idioms but work really well in the lower ranges.

Hmmmm...

Gotta be able to do it all? Using one horn and one m'pce?

Don't want to get caught out in the higher or lower ranges on a given gig? (As happened to me several times in both directions using 6.5ALs and/or 11Cs before I started using specific equipment for specific gigs.)

Hmmmmmmmm...

The search continues.

Bet on it.

Later...

S.
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« Reply #15 on: Aug 13, 2017, 07:00PM »

Schilke does make the 47B, which is similar to a flat rim 6 1/2 size with half the cup depth. Just screwy enough in all respects so that if it appeals to you then 6 wrongs might make a right for you.
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« Reply #16 on: Aug 13, 2017, 07:07PM »

I've noticed that mouthpiece express list the following as small shank mouthpieces, but I've never any seen them discussed on TTF.
- Bach 5
- Bach 5G
- Bach 4
- Bach 4C
- Bach 3

I'm curious how any of them would work on a King 3B+ (0.525 bore). I'm guessing there's a point past which the mouthpiece is too big for the horn and starts screwing up the tuning and partials.

Any experience of these ?
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« Reply #17 on: Aug 13, 2017, 08:46PM »

Schilke does make the 47B, which is similar to a flat rim 6 1/2 size with half the cup depth. Just screwy enough in all respects so that if it appeals to you then 6 wrongs might make a right for you.

I have a Schilke 47B, which I use for lead-playing on a small-bore (0.508") trombone.  I really like it, but it's nothing like a Bach 6A (smaller, different shape cup).  The 6A works better for me on a larger bore (0.525") when I'm not playing all high range. 
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« Reply #18 on: Aug 13, 2017, 08:50PM »

I've noticed that mouthpiece express list the following as small shank mouthpieces, but I've never any seen them discussed on TTF.
- Bach 5
- Bach 5G
- Bach 4
- Bach 4C
- Bach 3

I'm curious how any of them would work on a King 3B+ (0.525 bore). I'm guessing there's a point past which the mouthpiece is too big for the horn and starts screwing up the tuning and partials.

Any experience of these ?

Bach 5, 4, and 3 are all deep mouthpieces designed for Baritone Horns.

I use a 4C as a jazz mouthpiece with my Martin Imperial, have used it on a King 2B, and on a Holton Stratodyne.  Even used it on my Bach 36C (with F) in Jazz Band on lead.
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« Reply #19 on: Aug 13, 2017, 09:58PM »

Another one to consider is the Laskey 54M.  It's a little more open than a 6 1/2A, but not as open as the 6 1/2AL.  I'd say it splits the difference. 
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