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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentMouthpieces(Moderators: BGuttman, Doug Elliott) Does a 1.01 rim take away from a good .500 to .508 horn
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Author Topic: Does a 1.01 rim take away from a good .500 to .508 horn  (Read 771 times)
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« on: Jun 13, 2017, 07:12PM »

I have a dilemma:

I have played about three years with a MT101 rim on small bore .500
and .508 horns, Doug Elliott system. Also .525 on 101 rim.
I use different cups depending on bore. Doug Elliot system built
around the MT101 rim. I only use one rim.

However, when comparing, I prefer how the .500 horns sound with smaller rims such as 11C diameter.
the horns have a more characteristic small bore sound. More piercing, and
easier to play on loud gigs. But I am less consistent, and less flexible, playing the smaller rim, and feel
constricted by the smaller diameter. But the small bore sound is more pure with the smaller
rim. The acoustics of the smaller rim mouthpiece match the horn better. However, my face prefer the bigger rim.

On .525 or .547 horns, the 101 rim sounds characteristic and I have no problems there.
 I am most comfortable playing the larger rim. But I don't like how the small bore .500
and .508 horns sound on this 101 rim. I takes away an intangible on the sound.

Should I train on two or more rim sizes,or could these changes mess me up in the long run?
I am not top pro player, but I gig consistently mostly on Latin,
Haitian, and Puerto Rican Plena gigs.

Has anybody gone through this situation? Regards

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« Reply #1 on: Jun 13, 2017, 07:30PM »

I think it depends on the sound you want and what cup and backbore help you get that sound, not so much the rim.

I personally find the cup and backbore are more important in massaging the sound quality than the rim diameter.  To me the rim has always been more determined by my physiology than the sound I want, but it does seem to have an effect on articulation.  I use a 1.01" rim on both .500 and .547 horns.  I move to a 1.09" on bass which seems to aid me in making sharp articulations on pedal notes.

I think a good instructor like Doug Elliot (a member here and a designer and maker of quite possibly the best mouthpieces) could help you best.

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« Reply #2 on: Jun 13, 2017, 07:36PM »

I use 104 rims on everything except bass. I used to have a hard time switching mpc sizes. Sounds like we are similar in that way. My smallest mpc is 104c2. I have 10h, 48h, and Yamaha 651 in the 500 size, and I wind up playing D3 on those. My 508 yamaha 691 takes an E4. I like the sound I get, and like you, I don't think I can go back to standard mpcs because of the flexibility and accuracy issues. Unless you get complaints about your sound, I'd go where you play best. Maybe you need a 2B or Bach 6 if that's the sound in your head. .
Doug Elliott
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« Reply #3 on: Jun 13, 2017, 09:45PM »

Try an ST 101. 

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« Reply #4 on: Jun 13, 2017, 10:10PM »

This is something I have been pondering for a long while.

 5 or 4 rims are very comfortable, but don't quite line up with .500 bore horns nor do they blend well in a big band setting with a lead trumpet.  

*for me - some people do it and it works but for many folks I've come across who play lead they use a .500 bore and nothing larger than a 6.5 size rim*

Also: **do whatever you want, these are just my opinions.  Different strokes for different folks.**

I think 11Cs sound the best when blending with trumpets, and bring a very nice flavor to the sax section blend as well.  More highs in the sound brings out the unique articulation a trombone has when laid on top of how saxes articulate.  The highs also blend really nicely with trumpets and create a wonderful bridge of sound between all sections in a big band.  However, 11C's consistently box me in when improvising.  When I stand up to take a solo, I feel like I don't have any room to move around, and I can't blow the way that I know I can.  Accuracy is also paramount - in a larger rim, I feel I have a bit bigger target to pick out high notes, much like you said.  

Now I am playing a 6.5A for my main piece and have been for around four months now.  I bought four, and found one that works for me.  Sometimes I play my 11C when I need to get a very bright sound and have to be really punchy without a lot of volume, like in a recording session or close-mic'd pit situation.  I also carry around my Pickett 5CS just for fun, because the rim is so comfortable.  But 6.5A seems to be a good "in the middle" mouthpiece.  I can still zing it when needed, but I don't feel like I'm playing into a coffee stirrer straw (hyperbole to get my point across).

Again, some folks have the sound and concept where 11C totally works for everything - totally possible and wish I could do that.  I did over a year on just 11C mouthpieces on my small bore and made it work in every setting except jazz improvisation.   Even if you don't feel great on it, give it at least 3 months if you already feel it sounds the best.  I definitely achieved a workable level of comfort with my 11C foray and still pop one in when the time calls.

I've have owned around ten 11C's - my favorite is a NY Bach (I have two), the Marcinkiewicz Ian McDougall model, and a Greg Black 11C/9 rim (flat, wide rimmed 11C) that works well.  I also had a Bach Corp 11C (no period) that I foolishly put a Shires 5GS rim on.  Unbeknown to me, the company I had do that for me told me the original 11C rim was lost forever.  If you can find a Bach Corp from '65-'70, snatch it up. Mt Vernon Bachs are also very good.  

For salsa, I find the Yamaha Nils Landgren to be a really good piece.  Matches nicely with the 3B. 

My two cents.  

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« Reply #5 on: Jun 14, 2017, 03:34AM »

What shanks are you using?  They make a surprisingly big difference, at least to my perception.  The "2" works better for me on 500 bore horns than on 508 horns. 

I can echo Doug's recommendation about the smaller series with same rim. He made an ST104N for me that I like for that application. I don't have quite as much endurance or flexibility on it as I do the XT104N which I'm used to, but for some gigs the sound I get does seem to have a hint more of a traditional 'small bore sound' (if there is such a thing!)

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« Reply #6 on: Jun 14, 2017, 08:34AM »

Try an ST 101. 

What he said. Try some of his different cups and shanks, too.


P.S. That said...I personally have not yet found any smallbore m'pce that sounds characteristically "right" as a lead m'pce in jazz, latin and most "commercial" large ensembles with a rim larger than a 7C. I have had m'pces that should work in those areas...11C-ish ones particularly...altered so that they use 6-ish rims. No good. Not for me, anyway. I have nothing but years of extended attempts at finding m'pces for all sizes of horn to back up what I am about to say here, but...I think rim diameter and cup depth/shape have a balance point kind of relationship. Too large a rim on a smallish m'pce or too small a rim on a larger one...things get unbalanced. Soundwise, above all. I know that Doug espouses a "one rim" approach, and he gets great results with it. I find it easier to find my own balance point on mainstream rim sizes for a given cup size area and then learn how to maintain that balance, myself.

Whatever works?

Use it.



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« Reply #7 on: Jun 15, 2017, 12:31AM »

I have come to the conclusion that one rim to fit all sizes of horns does not give the best result. I found I need a Bach 11C-ish mouthpiece for small bores, a Bach 6-ish mouthpiece for .525 horns and a Bach 5 or larger on .547 horns. The rims do matter to me. Since I mostly play Hammond mouthpieces I found that both the M and ML depths work on each size of horn. I usually keep two mouthpieces in the box for each horn. As an example I use both the small shank 13 M and 13 ML (Bach 6-ish) on my .525 horns depending on what I'm going to play. The small shank 12 M and 12 ML (Bach 5-ish) works too but not as good but the large shank 12 M and 12 ML work perfekt on my .547. This has made me think there is something in the rim too in combination with bore size that makes a difference. To me one rim to fit all is not the best way to go.

« Last Edit: Jun 15, 2017, 08:30PM by watermailonman » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: Jun 19, 2017, 02:11PM »

Nope, it doesn't take anything away.

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« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 09:53 AM »

Sound in the section relating to lower bones and lead trumpet seems like everything. If the 11c makes the sound, it seems advisable to work with it till it does everything else, too.


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« Reply #10 on: Today at 12:16 PM »

There is a minor alteration you can make to the BACH 11C throat that will make the sound huge, and yet keep the flavor of the 11C with out the blow back or back up.  DOES NOT WORK as well on 11C copies from other makers.  Peppy did this alteration to Watrous's mouthpiece.  He is still playing it!  I also use it on my 11C pieces.  Contact me outsode of this thread if you want to know more about it.

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