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Author Topic: Mouthpiece/horn synergy  (Read 1813 times)
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Stan

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« on: Dec 09, 2017, 01:43PM »

Since February, Iíve been running an experiment and the results have been very interesting.  I wanted to share and maybe spark a conversation about design.

In February, I got rid of the bass Iíve been playing for 10 years (a stencil of the Yamaha 613H) and moved to a new Yamaha 822G.  Iíve played on a Yeo mouthpiece for bass for that decade, so I kept the mouthpiece, since thatís what the horn came with anyway.  I am constantly floored by how easy the 822G is to play, and how the Yeo gives it so much flexibility, from big and heavy to warm and light.  Iíve tried a couple other mouthpieces in the horn, and it never responds as well as it does with my Yeo.  So, I began wondering if this specific piece and horn were designed to be a team.  Reading Dougís excellent write ups, itís clear that was the intent.  This horn and this mouthpiece were designed and meant to go together.  And that made me curious about other Yamaha signature mouthpieces.

It seems like everybody makes a signature mouthpiece, from Alessiís big rims to Bousfieldís variable cups.  But a lot of the Yamaha artists consulted on horns and mouthpieces, and I wanted to see if my experience with the Yeo held to other sizes and instruments.

In short, it does.  The Yamaha Nils Landgren piece makes my Yamaha .508 comes absolutely alive in the same way the Yeo does my bass.  A newly acquired Alain Trudel mouthpiece does the exact same thing to the Yamaha .547 Iím playing.  My only conclusion is that these pieces were designed and tested as systems with Yamaha instruments, and the resulting combination is really remarkable.  Iíve never had results this easy and good with other mouthpiece/horn combos, but Iím 3-for-3 with the Yamahas. 

So, who else has experience playing mouthpieces that were designed for specific horns to work as systems?  the difference is stark enough that I truly wonder why itís not done that often.

Stan
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Burgerbob

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« Reply #1 on: Dec 09, 2017, 01:53PM »

Greg Black NY series mouthpiece in an Edwards T-396. Completely floored by how well that worked
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Matt K

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« Reply #2 on: Dec 09, 2017, 02:17PM »

I definitely did not have the same experience playing on the Pete Sullivan mpc on the Xeno that I played for a number of years! (E.g. definitely neither was a good match for me).I did play an 8820 not too long ago and on a cup similar to the Sullivan (which itself is sort of 5GSish) it worked better than other, deeper cups in my arsenal.  (I used a Shires 6.5AL (large shank) threaded for XT rims.  More on that in a second.)

I also tried some of the 600 series Yamahas not too long ago with a Nils piece that was threaded for Doug's rims.  It worked similarly well with that setup vs. other similar cups (doug's C+ was the other I tried). Better than deeper and shallower (XT A & a Shires 5GS underpart threaded for his rims).

Backbore is very important. There's a reason Doug has so many options, and evidently the AR pieces even more.  Beyond the cup, I matched the shank as much as I could too.  That is, for 508 bore, a #3 in Doug's size. For the Xeno, I used a Shires 6.5AL threaded for Ellott rims.  The Shires 6.5AL basically has a small shank backbore attached to a large shank receiver --- Just like the Sullivan mpc. 

In other words, my experience leads me to believe there is at least some benefit to designing both in tandem. On the other hand, I also have yet to find anything that works better for me than Doug's rims and largely Doug's underparts too.  But I've had some success with other underparts for certain applications (like the Shires 6.5AL  mentioned earlier).  Obviously if you aren't in the 'large' rim camp your experience might even be better with signature pieces on smaller horns. The bottom line that I think you'd have a lot of trouble finding someone to disagree with is that at least the backbore and the cup have to play nice with the leadpipe ad bore of the slide.  If you can get that right, you're probably in good shape.
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Doug Elliott
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« Reply #3 on: Dec 09, 2017, 03:41PM »

As long as the rim size is compatible with your playing mechanics, a pair designed together will probably yield good results.  Not everybody can use those particular sizes, however.
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« Reply #4 on: Dec 09, 2017, 04:23PM »

I tried a Yeo mouthpiece with my 822G when I acquired it in 2012...I was surprised at how well it worked with the horn. I ended up going back to my Elliott LBL 113, since the Yeo mouthpiece was just too large for me.
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 09, 2017, 05:38PM »

I recently stumbled into a great deal on some of the Griego Alessi pieces to try with my T-396.  I was pretty amazed at how well they work together.  Similar sized pieces from other brands don't have the synergy.  I also found that I can play quite a bit bigger rim with the matched combo that I would have ever previously thought possible (1C) and actually am far more comfortable and facile on the larger rims.  I was somewhat 'ashamed' to even try using the exact same rig that Joe does (who the hell do I think I am?) but have to say that I'm glad I tried and would recommend that if there is a designed piece for your horn to at least give it a try.
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« Reply #6 on: Dec 10, 2017, 01:31AM »

Different trombones work better with different mouthpieces... a perfect match for one trombone is dreadful in another. I thought that was a given. If (and it is usually the case) a trombone has been developed with the help of a professional player, it will work at it's best when used with the mouthpiece that the player uses. You will often not know who did the development and what they were playing.
The Conn 88H is supposed to work well with the Remington mouthpiece, though that is considered small these days.
Modern Yamaha basses are not at their best with ANY small bass mouthpiece.... they work better with many bigger bass mouthpieces.
Some instruments are more flexible with regard to mouthpieces and some are very picky.
When we choose a new instrument it is usually with our regular, favourite mouthpiece, so we select a good match even without realising it. It is often when an instrument falls into our hands and we wish to use it that mouthpiece confusion follows.

Chris Stearn
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« Reply #7 on: Dec 10, 2017, 04:38AM »

... but have to say that I'm glad I tried and would recommend that if there is a designed piece for your horn to at least give it a try.

Out of curiosity: Where do you find this information, re: designed piece(s) for your horn?
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Matt K

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« Reply #8 on: Dec 10, 2017, 06:03AM »

Out of curiosity: Where do you find this information, re: designed piece(s) for your horn?

I don't think that' official but given that the T396 is Alessi's signature horn and the 1C is described as:

Quote
This is Joseph Alessi's "work horse" mouthpiece. He plays the 1C for day-to-day playing. This configuration provides the carrying power necessary to sit on top of the low brass, as well as a warmth of sound and resonance in all registers.

That it is TOO big of a stretch to suggest there was some level of integration of the two.
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« Reply #9 on: Dec 10, 2017, 06:45AM »

Out of curiosity: Where do you find this information, re: designed piece(s) for your horn?

http://youtu.be/Eq7xEzTOV3g

T396-A Interview With Joseph Alessi: http://youtu.be/2bDgnOgvbL4

Griego Mouthpieces: Ian Bousfield Interview: http://youtu.be/DnfzV1KO2Dg

Interview With Ian Bousfield: http://youtu.be/0OfB2Wb8rj8

Douglas Yeo Yamaha Trombone Artist - Making a Yam…: http://youtu.be/Jcstdl55lj8

http://www.yeodoug.com/resources/faq/faq_text/mouthpiece.html

http://tarrodi.se/cl/index.asp?show=9

Basically, you gotta know what someone plays, and sort of what their approach to playing is -- if you have a similar approach to playing, then you MIGHT be able to see the synergy and reap some benefit. If they had an artist mouthpiece designed for them, it's a good bet that it was designed using their artist model trombone. It's a safe bet that the Jay Friedman series of Hammond mouthpieces was designed with the Friedman Bach 42 (or similar instrument) as the vehicle of choice.

you can also assume that ANY Griego mouthpiece, large or small bore, was tested during its design stage in either an Edwards or Getzen instrument.

As for the 88H, you need to just ask or know about its history. It's well known that it was designed specifically with input from Remington, and the old Elkharts have leadpipes that are specific to a Remington mouthpiece shank. However, it's just as well known that that leadpipe fell out of favor, and two other artists designed mouthpieces specific to the 88H and its new (at the time) standard Morse leadpipe -- Denis Wick and Christian Lindberg. These mouthpieces are both very different, but also both work really well with the 88H, depending on the player's approach.

For something like the 36H alto, it's known that it is a resurrection of an old design with the addition of a Bb attachment using input from Lindberg, but they don't tell you that it has a weird leadpipe taper. If you use the lindberg mouthpiece, it works really well. If you use the weird Conn 7C that comes in the box, it works well. A normal small shank mouthpiece doesn't fit properly, and if you don't like the two pieces that actually fit, it's time for a special shank and mouthpiece from Doug Elliott.

Equipment isn't important until it is important and knowing how your horn was designed can help. Read and ask questions.
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« Reply #10 on: Dec 10, 2017, 08:41AM »

Actually, as with a lot of things posted on TTF, the design of the Conn Remington is a fallacy....and Remington had nothing to do with it. But, because a lot of information posted on TTF is just repeated opinion, and second hand conjecture, the truth needs to be repeated sometimes, Harrison.


The original Remington mouthpiece was a clone of the Purvience mouthpiece designed for Lew Van Haney and then further re-cloned as the Giardinelli Symphony model T. And a lot of other mouthpiece versions as well.
The original mouthpiece-- the original Remington-- stayed in a leather pouch in Van's pocket forever. Remington asked him to design a mouthpiece to throw in the case with the 88H, because they had to include something with the horn.
     I studied with Lew for a few brief lessons n the early 80s...and the original mouthpiece--- and his story, stayed with him at all times.

And a repeated story-- the first thing Remington students did at Eastman was open the case on their brand new 88H...and throw away the mouthpiece.

As for stock mouthpieces being included with commonly available stock horns for decades? The true answer to that one is dead simple. If you bought a stock horn between the years of 1960 to the present, there were three choices of mouthpiece supplied in the cases: Bach 12C clone for the small bores, Bach 6 1/2AL clones for the large bores, and a Bach 1 1/2G clone for the bass models.
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Doug Elliott
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« Reply #11 on: Dec 10, 2017, 10:18AM »

I think the timeline may not support that.  I'm pretty sure the Remington mouthpiece existed before the Giardinelli "clones" which have little resemblance to the Remington.  The Giardinelli Symphony T and Van Haney models weren't even the same, they were just sort of close.
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« Reply #12 on: Dec 10, 2017, 11:16AM »

Bonesmarch,

WWBW has this on its site:

"Developed with the aid of Dr. Emory Remington (The Chief), C.G. Conn introduced the 88H in 1954. The 88H rapidly gained popularity as a symphonic tenor trombone in ensembles that favored a heroic, robust low brass section. The unique tone color of the 88H, combined with the refusal of the instrument to break up even at the most extreme dynamic levels made this trombone one of the most widespread professional symphonic trombones in the world. The 88H has remained in continuous production since its introduction, a record that is unequaled by any other American symphonic trombone."

Wikipedia is probably wrong, but it's on there too:

"In 1954, Remington completed work in conjunction with C.G. Conn Ltd. in developing the C.G. Conn 88H tenor trombone. The unique tone color and dynamic range of the instrument have made it popular amongst trombonists and contributed to its continuous production from its debut in 1954 to the present. Conn also manufactured a "Remington" tenor trombone mouthpiece which was available in either silver or gold plate. Remington encouraged his first year students to switch to this mouthpiece, as it produced a beautiful clear sound with moderate effort. The effect of the 88H combined with the Remington mouthpiece produced a very uniform sound in the Trombone Choir and trombone sections in the large ensembles. As students progressed, they would be encouraged to switch to other mouthpieces to refine their sounds depending on performance conditions."

So, nice try, but it's not just my word against your hearsay. That Remington would have a mouthpiece with his name on it, with what seems to be a proprietary shank fitting a leadpipe specific to the instrument he helped design, and then encourage his students to throw away said proprietary mouthpiece, is dubious.
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« Reply #13 on: Dec 10, 2017, 11:38AM »

Well, advertising material isn't necessarily indicative of reality.  Obligatory "teutonic" tone quality reference.  I can think of three players who do not use their signature mouthpieces unless at a sponsored event, though I'm not at liberty to say who they are. 

Of course, I don't think the OP is proposing that its the best fit for everyone, and the Remington pieces are loved by some. I don't know if you can get much more of an inference out of the 88 as it relates to this topic.
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« Reply #14 on: Dec 10, 2017, 11:55AM »

Anyways, putting whatever just happened aside, if you are trying to ram a Morse taper shank into an old Elkhart with the "R" pipe in it, it will wobble around. Use the correct mouthpiece for the instrument you have.

Even better if the guy who designed the horn also made the mouthpiece, like Christan Griego.
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« Reply #15 on: Dec 10, 2017, 12:18PM »

Different trombones work better with different mouthpieces... a perfect match for one trombone is dreadful in another. I thought that was a given. If (and it is usually the case) a trombone has been developed with the help of a professional player, it will work at it's best when used with the mouthpiece that the player uses. You will often not know who did the development and what they were playing.
The Conn 88H is supposed to work well with the Remington mouthpiece, though that is considered small these days.
Modern Yamaha basses are not at their best with ANY small bass mouthpiece.... they work better with many bigger bass mouthpieces.
Some instruments are more flexible with regard to mouthpieces and some are very picky.
When we choose a new instrument it is usually with our regular, favourite mouthpiece, so we select a good match even without realising it. It is often when an instrument falls into our hands and we wish to use it that mouthpiece confusion follows.

Chris Stearn

Thatís one of my favorite things. Getting a horn that starts a little mouthpiece journey again. Not to fit me or change what I do, but to bring the horn and me into that sweet spot.

And from what I remember I think I liked an old Schilke 60 with my 822G better than the Yeo. I no longer have either mouthpieces or the horn so  Don't know
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« Reply #16 on: Dec 14, 2017, 03:27PM »

For my smaller horn work I use Mount Vernon 7C`s . One day I took all my horns (16MG, Lt12G, 12, 36 , 2B+SS and 2B Valve) and tried all my 7C`s with each horn.
One made the 16MG just become a different instrument. Dark and incredibly free playing.
Same with the other horns , slowly the 7C`s matched up except for the Valve Trombone. 7C`s just made it sound and play terrible.
I tried a Mount Vernon 7 I had and BINGO !! the magic happen on that horn.
The 2B+ , I could never really get to "Warm up" like the Bach`s do. I know different breed altogether. I got a hold of a New York 7C, not too long ago and Boom.
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« Reply #17 on: Dec 15, 2017, 11:27AM »

For years, my go to combination was an early NY 7C (the short funny-shaped blank) on my 70s LT16M. That combination worked amazingly well (to the point that I wore off the plating on the mpc).

Now that I use bigger rims, I miss being able to comfortably play that setup. I sound better and things are easier on the bigger mouthpiece, but that 7C combination worked really well.
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« Reply #18 on: Dec 15, 2017, 02:40PM »

For me, a Griego Bousfield mouthpiece (tried two different sizes) on a Getzen 4147IB (Bousfield) doesn't work well.  Ditto the older non-Griego mouthpieces.  Nothing wrong with any of them, I'm sure, since Ian plays that horn and those mouthpieces, so the problem must be me.  :) 

Some combinations of things really work well for some folks and some don't.  Mileage always varies.  I'm sure this is part of the reason why mouthpieces aren't integral and can be removed. :)
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« Reply #19 on: Dec 16, 2017, 06:31AM »

In the trumpet world, a lot of people talk about "gap", which I'm under the impression is the distance from the end of the shank to the start of the 'venturi' (and word I wish were 'venturus') of the leadpipe.
I guess we can assume that can be a factor with the 'bone too.
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