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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentMouthpieces(Moderators: BGuttman, Doug Elliott) How to tell if a mouthpiece is solid silver?
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Author Topic: How to tell if a mouthpiece is solid silver?  (Read 2619 times)
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patrickosmith

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« on: Dec 13, 2017, 03:37AM »

I inherited a Schilke mouthpiece. It was probably made in the 1950's. Other than "SCHILKE" it has no markings.

I suspect it is solid silver. Is there a way to tell if it is solid silver?

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fsung
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 13, 2017, 04:29AM »

Cut it in half and examine the interior.  Evil

Physics 101: Archimedes principle.

Get a lump of brass (or silver) of equal mass as the mcp, dunk them in water and measure their respective displacement. Silver has a density of 10-12 g/cm^3 (depending on purity); brass density is in the 8.4-8.9 g/cm^3 (depending on the formulation), so silver will displace more water per unit of mass than a lump of brass of equal mass. QED.
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wgwbassbone
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 13, 2017, 05:20AM »

I inherited a Schilke mouthpiece. It was probably made in the 1950's. Other than "SCHILKE" it has no markings.

I suspect it is solid silver. Is there a way to tell if it is solid silver?



Why would you suspect this is made of solid silver? Was that a thing?
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« Reply #3 on: Dec 13, 2017, 05:23AM »

Why would you suspect this is made of solid silver? Was that a thing?

Yes. 
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bassboneman

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« Reply #4 on: Dec 13, 2017, 05:43AM »

Why would you suspect this is made of solid silver? Was that a thing?
wouldn't that be a heavy and expensive item??
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The Sheriff
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 13, 2017, 06:10AM »

wouldn't that be a heavy and expensive item??
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Almont mouthpieces, like Tommy Dorsey used are solid silver. They are heavier than brass but not by much. Silver warms up quickly on the chops too, which is kind of nice. Silver is more costly than brass but not outrageously so. I wish more mouthpiece makers would offer solid silver as an option. I like the Almont that I have.

====
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« Reply #6 on: Dec 13, 2017, 06:16AM »

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Almont mouthpieces, like Tommy Dorsey used are solid silver. They are heavier than brass but not by much. Silver warms up quickly on the chops too, which is kind of nice. Silver is more costly than brass but not outrageously so. I wish more mouthpiece makers would offer solid silver as an option. I like the Almont that I have.

====

SCott, is yours one of TD's ?
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« Reply #7 on: Dec 13, 2017, 06:43AM »

Seems to me that Yamaha offers solid silver mouthpieces in the most popular sizes. I also seem to recall that the price used to begin at $600 US +, years ago.
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BillO
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« Reply #8 on: Dec 13, 2017, 07:59AM »

Cut it in half and examine the interior.  Evil

Physics 101: Archimedes principle.

Get a lump of brass (or silver) of equal mass as the mcp, dunk them in water and measure their respective displacement. Silver has a density of 10-12 g/cm^3 (depending on purity); brass density is in the 8.4-8.9 g/cm^3 (depending on the formulation), so silver will displace more water per unit of mass than a lump of brass of equal mass. QED.
Since silver has a higher density than brass it will actually displace less water per unit of mass.
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The Sheriff
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« Reply #9 on: Dec 13, 2017, 08:08AM »

Seems to me that Yamaha offers solid silver mouthpieces in the most popular sizes. I also seem to recall that the price used to begin at $600 US +, years ago.
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600 bucks seems like price gouging to me.

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Scott Bentall-Freelance
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The Sheriff
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« Reply #10 on: Dec 13, 2017, 08:09AM »

SCott, is yours one of TD's ?
======

No comment. Evil Truth be told......It's on loan to me from the one and only DJ Kennedy.

======
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patrickosmith

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« Reply #11 on: Dec 13, 2017, 08:38AM »

Why would you suspect this is made of solid silver? Was that a thing?

I'm not sure if it was a thing or not. I suspect it is solid silver because
this "SCHILKE" has no chips or peeling anywhere, and it has had daily/heavy use for over 60 years. Other mouthpieces I have show their wear on the very end of the shank where the plating is flaked away revealing the underlying metal of a different color (brass).

I don't know the whole story but I imagine it was given to Frank Crisafulli (at that time Principal Trombonist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra) by Reynold Schilke as his playing career turned to businessman (instrument and mouthpiece maker).
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vegasbound
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« Reply #12 on: Dec 13, 2017, 09:11AM »

======

No comment. Evil Truth be told......It's on loan to me from the one and only DJ Kennedy.

======
r


Ahhh it's that one!!    How is it?
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« Reply #13 on: Dec 13, 2017, 09:29AM »

Most silver plate is 0.100" or less.  Best way to tell is to carve a notch a little deeper than that and examine the notch for the different metals.  If you go to sell it for scrap metal value, this is what they will do.  If you carve the notch carefully enough you can even measure plating thickness if it's plated.

If you don't want to carve the notch, you might be able to find "foreign" elements using a high penetration X-ray fluorescence machine.

If you have two nominally identical mouthpieces and one is silver and one not, the silver one will be heavier than the plated brass.  The weight difference can easily be overshadowed by the differences in different models.
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« Reply #14 on: Dec 13, 2017, 10:32AM »

Yes. 

Thanks for the explanation. Clears it up.
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« Reply #15 on: Dec 13, 2017, 03:05PM »

r


Ahhh it's that one!!    How is it?
=====

It's very good, small, but very good. I imagine it's 12C-ish in size, perhaps a tad smaller. V-cup and very efficient. I'd play it all the time but it is too small for me, though I do enjoy playing it from time to time. I always leave it sitting out so I can just grab it and play it when the mood strikes me. A Stork T2 is probably the closest to it in overall shape, but of course, the T2 is closer to a 7C size-wise. The rim on the Stork is narrower, but surprisingly it feels very similar to the Almont, and has a similar blow and feel, albeit a larger volume of sound than the Almont. There is lineage; Almont-Giardinelli-Stork. The Giardinelli blank is nearly identical to the Almont.

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Scott Bentall-Freelance
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Conn 71H
Andrew Meronek

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« Reply #16 on: Dec 13, 2017, 03:08PM »

A quick alternate way to see if something is silver is to take a silver mouthpiece and a non-silver mouthpiece and dunk everything except the throat in hot (not dangerously) water. Silver will heat up noticeably faster than brass, and you'll feel the transmission of heat through the mouthpiece change.

I first observed this while having the luck to eat a hot bowl of soup with a real silver spoon.
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The Sheriff
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« Reply #17 on: Dec 13, 2017, 03:21PM »

A quick alternate way to see if something is silver is to take a silver mouthpiece and a non-silver mouthpiece and dunk everything except the throat in hot (not dangerously) water. Silver will heat up noticeably faster than brass, and you'll feel the transmission of heat through the mouthpiece change.

I first observed this while having the luck to eat a hot bowl of soup with a real silver spoon.
=====

Yup, that's one of the nice things about the Almont. It warms quickly on the chops.

-------
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Scott Bentall-Freelance
No pressure=No sound=No gigs
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Williams 6 (Bob)
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Burgerbob

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« Reply #18 on: Dec 13, 2017, 03:40PM »

I'm not sure if Yamaha still offers their sterling mouthpieces. Probably just very low sales for something that costs them a bit of money to make and sell. I looked them up a few months ago and could barely find any information- mostly only trumpet forum  Yeah, RIGHT. threads about them.

I wouldn't mind trying one, for sure.
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« Reply #19 on: Dec 13, 2017, 03:42PM »

I is VERY expensive to even start working with solid silver.  I thought about it at one time but couldn't even consider it.
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