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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentAccessories(Moderator: Greg Waits) Can you help to find THE practice mute ?
Poll
Question: Wich one do you prefer ?
Wallace compact - 1 (6.7%)
Bremner MKII - 6 (40%)
Wallace Studio - 0 (0%)
Another one - 6 (40%)
Yammy SB - 2 (13.3%)
Total Voters: 15

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roadyrod

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« on: Jan 12, 2018, 03:13PM »

Hello,

I know it's a recurrent question, but I need your help to find a good practice mute, and if possible not too expensive.
I'm searching for a mute that allow me to practice on night and if possible in tone because I like working my impro with accompagnement.
My main Tbone is a Conn 6H and I also play on YSL-651 (the one from DJ :) )

I have an old Yammy SB but I don't like to play with it. It's very heavy, and I have the feeling to have to press on my lips when I play with it. Moreover, it as a big feedback when I play in low register, and I think I prefer a simple mute !

The main problem is that I'm in France... So it's don't possible for me to try different mutes, I only can buy it online. It's the same problem with mouthpieces :(

So, I searched some informations, and my 1st choice was the Bremner which seems to be pretty good, in tuneand without too much pressure feedback.
But it's in plastic... I'm not sure the sound will be very good, and I read things that explain that metal practice mute, by producing a "buzz", could help to open the throat correctly when practicing.
So I searched again and I found the Wallace Compact practice mute, that seems to be good too, and customisable for tuning and opening ( I only can find the compact, the studio seems to be discontinued).
Which one will be the best ? Wich one do you use, how many time can you play with it ? What kind of things are you practicing with it ?

For information, I also ordered an H&B Pixie. Can it do the job for practicing ?
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 12, 2018, 03:40PM »

The pixie will not help you. I would suggest the best brass practise mute, or the Dillon knock off.  I own and use both. They are excellent. If you need to re as Lily hear what you do with a track, then the new Yamaha silent muster is excellent. Smaller,lighter, and better miced this n the older one.

All can be ordered on line from www.dillonmusic.com from New Jersy in the USA.
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« Reply #2 on: Jan 12, 2018, 10:32PM »

I’ll add a second vote for the Dillon practice mute (copy of the Best Brass).  For the money it’s a good option, and is compact enough to store inside the bell with the horn in its case.
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roadyrod

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« Reply #3 on: Jan 13, 2018, 02:12AM »

Thanks for your answers.
I read that the BB practice is sharp and it's mainly use is for warm up. And I can't find it at decent price.
Dillon could be a good choice, but it seems that I can't find it in europe (thomann.de).

If people who vote for Bremner can explain their choice it will be great :)

And do you know the "practice mute therapy" ? I think that's why I hesitate with Wallace compact, but maybe I can by a no too expensive Denis Wick only for this usage, if it can increase my skills.
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« Reply #4 on: Jan 13, 2018, 03:12AM »

I don't think that there's ever going to be THE practice mute, but I'd recommend a Don Maslet being (IMO) the easiest to transition from. A few trumpet players I know have had a problem with the cork seal on the Bremner expanding and separating from the body.

If your main practice is done with practice mutes you may have to try a few before finding the "one"..

Don Maslet mutes are easy to get from the UK, and their straight mutes are good too, I have the "Fat-end Mute".
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« Reply #5 on: Jan 13, 2018, 03:24AM »

PM  Hi
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Matt K

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« Reply #6 on: Jan 13, 2018, 06:39AM »

The new Yamaha silent brass is leaps and bounds better than the older ones in my opinion.  It sits flush with the bell so that you can even fit it in your case, meaning that it doesn't cause horrendously poor balance like the older SB mute does. If you toss the garbage earbuds and use a decent set of headphones, it feels to me very similar to playing in an acoustic environment. It does take a few days to adapt to that situation. I've been using the Silent Brass PM5 (the new one) for about a month and haven't notice anything unusual about my playing yet.  I have a big band rehearsal in 2 hours though, so I suppose we'll see how I do playing in an ensemble setting  :D

If I were to go with one without the electroncs, I'd also go with the PM5. Agai, much better than the original one and it has the benefit of being portable, quiet, and does not influence the pitch very much.  That is not something I can say about many practice mutes.

Its unfortunate to hear the studio mute is discontinued.  I had one a few years ago when I also lived in an apartment and found it to be very useful, though bear in mind that the newer Yamaha mutes were just being introduced around that time so they wren't an option when I went with it.  It had an adjustable release valve that worked very well. It was heavier than the Yamaha and the seal was a smallish neoprene ring that actually did get damaged. They were good about replacing it (they actually just sent me a replacementmute. I'm not sure if the neoprene was fixable or why they did that but good customer service.  The Yamaha does not need such a large ring but instead has a smaller one a little lower towards the base of it and because it doesn't weight as much doesn't need more than that so it won't fall out. ETc. etc.

I can't speak of the Wallace compact, but it might suit your needs and fix the issues I mentioned about the Wallace mute I had.  If I'm thinking of the correct mute, it's smaller and more compact though at the expense of perhaps a little volume reduction.  In many cases, that's fine but something to be aware of.

I agree about the advice of staying away from the "Best Brass" style mutes. Note that I haven't tried the one with electronics, so that one might be fine, but the small aluminum ones I've tried have been pretty awful. Anything about middle C is exponentially sharper than normal. No response below 2nd line Bb. Not much noise dissipation, etc.  They are great for warming up back stage if there's other ambient noise though! I know players who store their mute in the bell but do bear in mind that, none of the humidity in the bell will be released depending on how the case is stored. So maybe don't do that until the horn cools down and you're sure there isn't any moisture in there. OR if you know you'll take it out when you get home. That's what I do with my Yamaha mute.


Something else worth mentioning is the Neoprene "Softone" mute.  I use it as a bucket mute because it's like 1/100 the space of a bucket mute, 99% the same sound, and I've yet to have one fall out of my bell and interrupt what should otherwise be an exposed moment. I'm not bitter.  At any rate, if you drape it fully over the bell, it can sort of double as a practice mute. It's a lot quieter than full acoustic, but also a lot louder than the best practice mutes. A point in its favor is that it doesn't seem to influence the overtone series at all.  It might be worth picking up if you need a bucket too and if it doesn't work out getting something else.  Though it might not be if you really need to be rather quiet since it doesn't do that as well.
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roadyrod

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« Reply #7 on: Jan 13, 2018, 04:51PM »

OK, so I have 2 votes for the Maslet. I really don't know this one, it seems to be similar to the Bremner right ?
But it's not too easy to find here too. I'll probably favor Thomann seller because it will be possible to try multiples mutes and return them we don't want to keep.

Matt, thanks for your complete answer.

For the SB, I don't want to go again with it for 2 reasons. The 1st is the price. 200€ is too expensive for the not extensive usage of this mute. Ok, it's for playing maybe 1 or 2 hours on night, but I also play open as often as possible. And I want a mute that I just have to put in the bell and play with it. I know me, hand if I have to plug wire, take care about battery, and have headphone, it probably will discouraging me.

I'm not sure the Wallace studio is discontinued, but it seems to be difficult to find it here. It's sad, I would like to try it... Is it really better than the compact model ?
But I think I'll not use this mute as a straight one. I think the Pixie should do the trick for that.

Softone seems nice and I would like to try it to have a soft sound. But again, no big music shop sell it :(

Really, it's a challenge to be trombonist in this country :D
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BGuttman
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« Reply #8 on: Jan 13, 2018, 06:47PM »

Softone is available from Hickey's Music in the US.  They ship internationally.

http://www.hickeys.com/search/products/sku032929.php
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Matt K

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« Reply #9 on: Jan 13, 2018, 08:27PM »

Quote
For the SB, I don't want to go again with it for 2 reasons. The 1st is the price. 200€ is too expensive for the not extensive usage of this mute. Ok, it's for playing maybe 1 or 2 hours on night, but I also play open as often as possible. And I want a mute that I just have to put in the bell and play with it. I know me, hand if I have to plug wire, take care about battery, and have headphone, it probably will discouraging me.

For what its worth, it works well without the electronics too and you can purchase it without them as well (saves around $80 USD). That said, if you are putting in 60-120 minutes in on any regular basis, you may well find the price tag to be worth it (for either the Yamaha or which ever mute you DO end up going with).  Especially if you decide you want to do accompaniments. The Silent Brass and - as far as I know - the Best Brass w/ electronics both allow you to add an aux in which is supremely useful for doing backing tracks or drones. I do a lot of drone practice myself and just putting a drone in your ear with a regular practice mute in doesn't really work for me.  The feedback is much too different.  Being able to adjust the volume of both so that I don't feel like I'm overplaying but can still hear my intonation is very important to me. BUT if you don't make regular use of drones or backing tracks and don't think you'll ever branch out into that area then there's no reason to go for one of those over the Wallace. Given that you already have a SB, albeit older, that you're aware of those abilities and can even take advantage of them with your existing mute.

I wish I could give you a comparison of the Wallace mutes but I merely went for the bigger of the two.  Looking at their current website, the studio is still listed. I compared to the compact and I will say that if I were deciding between the two of them, I'd probably lean towards the studio merely because of the resemblance of the compact mute to the aforementioned compact aluminum mutes that I'm not a particular fan of. 

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« Reply #10 on: Jan 14, 2018, 02:15AM »



Really, it's a challenge to be trombonist in this country :D


France isn't THAT far from the UK?
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« Reply #11 on: Jan 14, 2018, 07:46AM »

The best brass isn't out of tune until you start playing higher than F   Tenor Clef .

Then it goes flat on you. Practice mutes are not really all that useful in my opinion, because you just get worse and worse the longer you play regularly on one.

Also, surely there is a place to test and buy musical equipment in the area around Conservatoire.
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« Reply #12 on: Jan 14, 2018, 09:26AM »

You probably won't be all that happy in the end will all of this stuff.  BTW Hickey's does re-sell the Dillon warm up mute for $59 - so it should ship internationally.  Sure,all of these goes out of tune and others complaints, but you do the best you can.  And the best brass and Dillon mutes stay pretty well in tune all over if you don't blow so hard they get over come.

When we use any of these type of mutes we are listening to ourselves and expecting to hear a certain volume, etc, that just isn't going to come thru a warm up mute, or any other mute after a while.  If you can use them to find the  FEELING of playing correctly, and not to be overly dependent on the sound and volume, they stay pretty well in tune and all.  Eventually, the muting constantly will change how you play for the worse, even if you don't realize it...so you have to balance it with open acoustic playing as much as you can.  But!!! Don't overblow the practice mutes and expect to get good results with pitch or anything else.  They are a convenience, not a replacement for real acoustic practice.

Also, when you put it in the bell and case, if you put a thin rag over the end of a best brass, Dillon, or any other intentionally made small-stay-in-the-bell-in-the-case mute, the moisture will evaporate much better, and the corks or rubber, or whatever holds the mute into the horn will not dry and stick onto the bell - thus ruining the mute and leaving crap glued into your bell.  Just be careful when you take the bell out of the case, as the practice mute won't be screwed into it tightly and may fall out of the bell.  But I know this works.  I've done it for years.
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« Reply #13 on: Jan 14, 2018, 01:10PM »

France isn't THAT far from the UK?
It depends :)
But I'm currently at the total opposite !
But for sure, for the moment there is no custom fees if I order from UK.
The problem is just if I choose to return the item. And it's a constatation because it's always hard to find everything related to trombone, if you're not in big cities.

I wish I could give you a comparison of the Wallace mutes but I merely went for the bigger of the two.  Looking at their current website, the studio is still listed. I compared to the compact and I will say that if I were deciding between the two of them, I'd probably lean towards the studio merely because of the resemblance of the compact mute to the aforementioned compact aluminum mutes that I'm not a particular fan of. 
It's sad... But I have the confirmation that Studio version is now discontinued. I'm just worried if there is a problem on it, but I'll try to find one of them before it totally disapeers from old continent :D


You probably won't be all that happy in the end will all of this stuff.  BTW Hickey's does re-sell the Dillon warm up mute for $59 - so it should ship internationally.  Sure,all of these goes out of tune and others complaints, but you do the best you can.  And the best brass and Dillon mutes stay pretty well in tune all over if you don't blow so hard they get over come.

When we use any of these type of mutes we are listening to ourselves and expecting to hear a certain volume, etc, that just isn't going to come thru a warm up mute, or any other mute after a while.  If you can use them to find the  FEELING of playing correctly, and not to be overly dependent on the sound and volume, they stay pretty well in tune and all.  Eventually, the muting constantly will change how you play for the worse, even if you don't realize it...so you have to balance it with open acoustic playing as much as you can.  But!!! Don't overblow the practice mutes and expect to get good results with pitch or anything else.  They are a convenience, not a replacement for real acoustic practice.

Also, when you put it in the bell and case, if you put a thin rag over the end of a best brass, Dillon, or any other intentionally made small-stay-in-the-bell-in-the-case mute, the moisture will evaporate much better, and the corks or rubber, or whatever holds the mute into the horn will not dry and stick onto the bell - thus ruining the mute and leaving crap glued into your bell.  Just be careful when you take the bell out of the case, as the practice mute won't be screwed into it tightly and may fall out of the bell.  But I know this works.  I've done it for years.
If I have to choose a compact one my choice will probably be for the wallace. Easy to find and not too much expensive.
For the moisture problem, I usually have my plunger in my bell so I'll probably need a bag to care other mutes on gigs. And I have not a lot of gigs so :/
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« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 10:04 AM »

The Protec Liberty practice mute is the Best I`ve tried. Doesn`t effect pitch , has a Normal feel to it and fits in the bell in the case, so you always have it.
Also it`s only $30.95 on Amazon.
I`ve tried a lot of them and for the price it`s a great mute. And NO you do not get worse if you play it for a long practice period.
I now have one in each of my horns (because I was forever looking for the case I left it in last)

https://www.amazon.com/Pro-Tec-ML204-Trombone-Aluminum/dp/B00FB4672U/ref=sr_1_1?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1516212332&sr=1-1&keywords=protec+trombone+practice+mute
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« Reply #15 on: Yesterday at 12:46 PM »

My practice mute ideas are just like Matt K's.

When you use excellent headphones with the Yamaha system, it's hard to beat. I've haven't had any 'negatives' in my playing from using it every once in awhile over 2 years. (..I don't use it every day; only when I'm in a situation that requires it or late at night in order to keep the wife and daughter happy)

I love the fact that the Yamaha fits in the bell too. Vast improvement over the original. And, being able to plug in your music machine to play along some Aeborsold or whatever is amazing. I then find that I'm not playing too loud or whatever could cause some 'negative' physical effecdts. Maybe it's due to the reverb? A combination of the reverb, the mic's pickup electronics and sound modeling and light resistence in the mute?

Whatever, it works great.

I also own a Bremner, and would be happy with that if I didn't have the Yamaha. But, I like the headphones and sound 'in the head' from the Yamaha'. I won't get rid of the Bremner though. It's very 'open' and totally useful for longer practice sessions....but, not too long.

Had bought the original Best Brass when they first came out. Used it a lot, but long sessions were entirely detrimental for me. So, I save it only for really short back-stage warmups or very short warmups. It's handy if I don't have the Yamaha in my case.

I found that a very short blow on the Best Brass 'set me up' before having to play...but it killed me if I did any long practice sessions with it. About 5 minutes max for me on that thing.

Had a Denis Wick ages ago, but just used it on my orchestral horn at the time. It was loud and stuffy as I recollect, but came in handy once in awhile. I didn't want to over do it with the Wick, as I remember.

I use the Soft-Tone, but 90% of it's use is as a bucket mute. For a very easy mid-range only warmup, it works fine. It gets too out of tune above an F and very weird up high.  (....don't use it late at night if you're trying to keep the wife happy!)
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« Reply #16 on: Yesterday at 01:58 PM »

Thanks for this new answers...
But... It makes me more undecided that never  :D

For the acoustic one, either we had not a lots of reactions it seems that we have the Bremner in 1st.

And for electronic stuff... Maybe I'll keep a little more my 1st gen Yammy, either it's not ideal.
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BGuttman
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« Reply #17 on: Yesterday at 02:53 PM »

If I recall correctly, you can use the newer Yamaha mute with the older electronics, so that saves a bit of money.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #18 on: Yesterday at 03:16 PM »



But... It makes me more undecided than ever  :D


If you can't make up your mind, does it make any difference? The difference between the "right" one, and the "not so right" one is going to be minuscule in 2018.

Over the course of a musical lifetime you'll get plenty of chances to get things right or wrong; but as long as you're moving in the right direction..

(I'd still avoid the Wick though.)
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« Reply #19 on: Yesterday at 03:28 PM »

...

(I'd still avoid the Wick though.)
Also avoid the Manny Klein by Humes and Berg.  Back in its day it was the only game in town, but now there are much better options.
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