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On Buying a Brass Mouthpiece - What the Experts Say

Denis Wick:"The brass player’s mouthpiece is the most important piece of equipment he or she possesses. It is as personal as shoes and should be fitted as carefully. Instruments need mouthpieces which bring out their best characteristics and players need mouthpieces that will help them realise their full potential. There is no easy answer to this complex requirement. No two players are alike and their requirements from the same instrument can be wildly different. Care taken in choosing the right mouthpiece for instrument, type of music and player can make the difference between steady progress, leading to ultimate success and wasted effort leading to constant frustration. Brass instruments are hardly ever made with really accurate keyboard-precise intonation. Manufacturers usually try to find the best intonation compromise by the intricate matching of the internal tapers. The natural harmonics of any tube are governed by natural laws and can never be perfectly in tune as western man hears the notes. A well designed mouthpiece should assist the compromise and make the instrument more usable. The perfect match can give perfect results. The best players can, with careful training, produce intonation which transcends the narrow confines of equal temperament."
Vincent Bach:"Choosing the perfect mouthpiece is often more difficult than choosing the perfect instrument. Your success as a musician depends on the choice of equipment that will do justice to your capabilities."
Vincent Bach on choosing a mouthpiece:"When selecting a mouthpiece, a brass instrumentalist should choose one with a solid, compact tone of large volume. A carefully selected Bach mouthpiece can help improve a player's embouchure, attack, tonguing and endurance. Professional musicians and advanced students prefer the musical results of large mouthpieces, such as the Bach 1B, 1C, 11.4C, 11.2B, 11.2C, 21.2C, 3C, which provide a maximum volume of tone with the least amount of effort. By opening up the lips so that they do not touch, the larger mouthpiece produces a clearer, purer tone. The large cup diameter also allows a greater portion of the lip to vibrate, producing a larger volume of tone, and keeps a player from forcing high tones by encouraging the correct functioning of the lip muscles. However, a student may find a medium-sized mouthpiece suitable. Do not select a certain mouthpiece because another player uses it. Because no two players have the same lip or tooth formation, what is perfect for one may be entirely unsuitable for the other. Bach produces many different models so that each player can find the best mouthpiece for their individual embouchure."

Mouthpiece Comparison Chart for DW and VBI

Arnolds & Sons Trumpet Mouthpieces

Arnolds & Sons Trumpet Mouthpieces

These mouthpieces are exact copies of the famous American originals. State of the art production methods guarantee consistent high quality. With ascending numbers the cup depth gets flatter, and the cup diameter smaller. Generally speaking, the larger the muthpiece, the more demanding for the player. All mouthpieces are made of brass, with 15 microns of silver plating. The gold plated versions have 15 microns of silver plating and 3 microns of gold plating.

Key to Models/Numbers
  • "C"⇒Medium Cup
  • "D"⇒Medium Shallow
  • "E"⇒Shallow
  • "U"⇒Wide Rim
  • "W"⇒Wide Cushion Rim
  • "L"⇒Large Shank
  • "S"⇒Small Shank
  • High Number⇒Small Cup Diameter
  • Low Number⇒Large Cup Diameter
 ⇒⇒To Product 

Vincent Bach 351 Trumpet Mouthpieces

Vincent Bach 351 Trumpet Mouthpieces Vincent Bach 351 Trumpet Mouthpieces

Vincent Bach was a rare combination of artist and engineer. A mechanical genius and acclaimed trumpet soloist, his instruments and mouthpieces are used today in every major studio and orchestra in the world. Bach personally designed the tools and composed the plans that continue to set the high standards for making all Bach products today.  ⇒⇒To Product 

Vincent Bach K351 Megatone Trumpet Mouthpieces

Vincent Bach K351 Megatone Trumpet Mouthpieces Vincent Bach K351 Megatone Trumpet Mouthpieces

MegaTone® Mouthpieces Symphonic and jazz trumpet players have always experimented with ways to create a darker sound by using various mouthpiece add-ons to add weight and mass. The Bach Mega Tone Mouthpiece takes these experiments one step further. To create the Mega Tone, Selmer starts with genuine Vincent Bach mouthpiece designs and more than doubles the outside mass. This darkens the sound and allows you to play at higher dynamic levels without distortion.

Mega Tone slots extremely well so pitches center dependably, and a slightly larger throat affords less resistance and greater flexibility. The result is a warmer, more powerful sound that adds a new dimension to concert, pop and jazz playing.  ⇒⇒To Product 

Denis Wick 5882 Trumpet Mouthpieces

Denis Wick 5882 Trumpet Mouthpieces Denis Wick 5882 Trumpet Mouthpieces

The first Denis Wick mouthpieces were made in 1968, and the range has grown so much, that it is now one of the largest and most comprehensive in the world. They are famous for their wonderful sound and brilliant designs, and are produced to the highest technical specifications. Special attention is paid to the rims, which are both comfortable and consistent. Special techniques are used to produce beautiful and extremely hard-wearing silver and gold plating. Many mouthpieces are available in Heritage and Heavytop formats as well as in the Classic shape.

The range of Denis Wick mouthpieces is huge, over 100 models, each of which has been individually designed and modified by Mr Wick himself. They are all made in Britain by fine engineers and craftsmen. Every mouthpiece is hand finished and made to precise tolerances, with a good standard of polishing and plating. The rims of all models are designed to give the best compromise between maximum comfort and best playing results.  ⇒⇒To Product 

Denis Wick 6882 Heavy Top Trumpet Mouthpieces

Denis Wick 6882 Heavy Top Trumpet Mouthpieces Denis Wick 6882 Heavy Top Trumpet Mouthpieces

Denis Wick Heavytop models use a completely different principle in not feeding back to the player the vibration of the instruments, transmitting all the energy through the bell. This gives a much more powerful sound when needed, more security in the high register and more control and focus in all registers. Design based on the mouthpiece used on the F trumpet by John Solomon, principal trumpet of the London Symphony Orchestra 1904-1936. This was done in 1972, under the supervision of John Wallace, OBE, then co-principal of the LSO. The sound quality is rich and dark, with a powerful presence, able to ride over a modern brass section. It demands a strong embouchure and breath control. The HeavyTop version gives even more power than the classic versions.  ⇒⇒To Product 

Trumpet Mouthpiece Kits

Trumpet Mouthpiece Kits

"Stomvi offer this unique Mouthpiece system which makes it possible to use the same rim on Trumpet, Cornet or Flugel Horn (Flugel Shank extra)." It enables the artist to keep the same feel on all instruments and gives you the security of having the 'exact' contact point on all instruments with inter-changeable cup depths to give total flexibility on all mentioned models. Basically 14 mouthpiece options in each kit, with a Flugel Horn backbore adding another seven choices. Excellent idea for the beginner, or one uncertain of which mouthpiece type they desire. The kit with separate stem and cups consists of the following: the silver plated shank is threaded and can fit with a combination of: No 2 medium wide rim (16.72 inner and 27.12 outer diamter), or No3 rim also medium wide (16.46mm inner and 27mm outer diamter) both gold-plated. These can be played with a combination of 4 different gold-pated "inner" cups - 2b (16.72mm medium deep), 2c (16.72mm medium), 3b (16.46mm, medium) and 3c (16.46 medium shallow).
Trumpet Mouthpieces - Rims, Shanks and Chambers

Denis Wick and Vincent Bach Brass Mouthpieces - A Brief Guide to Brass Mouthpieces

Mouthpieces come in many different shapes and sizes and can present a minefield to any player wanting to change mouthpiece or buy for the first time.

Trumpet Mouthpieces - General

The physical shape of the brass mouthpiece has always been of great interest; manufacturers and players claim that the various parts - rim, cup, throat, backbore and shank - affect tone and playability. However, factors such as the shape and size of players’ mouths, their embouchure, and perception of sound should also be taken into account.

According to Vincent Bach, the "selection of a satisfactory mouthpiece presents to the average player an immeasurably greater problem than the choice of an instrument".

The mouthpieces of brass instruments have a "rounded" section that fits against the lips (the rim), an "enclosed volume of air" (cup diameter and depth), a narrow constriction (throat and shank), and a taper that widens out to meet the bore of the body of the instrument (the back bore). The enclosed volume may be approximately conical, as in many horn mouthpieces, or cup shaped, as in most other brass instruments (see left and below).

Trumpet Mouthpiece Parts Labelled

It is useful to know, especially when ordering, what the letters and numbers ascribed to each mouthpiece mean, how they affect play and to whom they are suited. This again is a minefield, as neither manufacturer nor player seem to agree on what is best generally for any player. They do seem to agree on what the separate parts of the mouthpiece achieve.

Trumpet Mouthpiece - Rims

Generally, a wide rim increases endurance, a narrow one improves flexibility and range, and a round one improves comfort. While a sharp rim (the sharpness of the inner rim), advocated by most sellers and players, increases "brilliance and precision of attack", a thick rim creates more lip contact and may make high notes easier to reach, and increase endurance. A sharp "bite" may make playing pitch more accurate, but lip control may be limited as may comfort and endurance. A soft bite will make up for this, but may lessen the "clarity of attack".

In both Denis Wick and Vincent Bach mouthpieces a "W" in the name implies a wider cushion rim on the cup. "X" usually signifies a large "cushion" rim. For Denis Wick, "N" (trombone and French horn) means a narrower rim.

Trumpet Mouthpieces - Throats

A large throat is thought to increase blowing "freedom", volume and tone. It may also sharpen the higher register, and lower register. A smaller size may increase resistance, endurance and brilliance, but flatten the higher register. All standard Bach mouthpieces are made with medium-sized throats No 27 (3.66 mm). Special throat sizes are available. The lower the number assigned, the larger the throat.

Trumpet Mouthpieces - Cups

A larger cup diameter may increase volume and control, while a smaller one may help to relieve fatigue and weakness. A deep cup may darken tone, while a shallow one may help to brighten it. A large cup will also lower the pitch - thus the importance of matching the cup of the mouthpiece with the pitch of the instrument.

VBI trumpet, cornet and flugel horn mouthpieces are numbered from the largest to the smallest diameters, and from the deepest to the most shallow cup. Numbers progress from 1 (largest cup diameter) to 20 (smallest). Cup depths are notated with letters: "A" is the deepest, standard cups have no letter, and "F" is the shallowest. "V" models, as the letter suggests, have "V" style cups - for these, cup depth is notated with "S" shallow or "M" medium. So 5MV is medium deep V style cup.

Denis Wick mouthpieces work in a similar way: the lower the number, the larger the cup diameter and vice-versa. The lettering system is more idiosyncratic. Generally speaking, "B" is medium depth, "C" is shallow, "E" is very shallow. For flugel horn, "F" is very deep. For trombone, Euphonium and baritone, "A" is deep. For tuba, "S" is shallow cup. So 5BFL flugel horn, is medium-deep cup, large fitting.

Back Bores - Trumpet Mouthpieces

Backbores vary in size and taper, and can help adjust tone and pitch depending on how these combine, and what sort of cup and throat the mouthpiece possesses. If the backbore of a mouthpiece is too small, the higher registers may be flat; if too large, the mouthpiece will make the player suffer and exhaust their embouchure. Size alone is not a very accurate way of gauging backbore, as taper and shape also change.

For Denis Wick trombone, "L" is large bore and "S" is medium bore. For tuba, "L" is large fitting (S is shallow cup). Generally, the first letter suffix applies to cup depth, and the second (if there are two) to bore/fitting. So tuba 2SL is shallow cup/large fitting, and trombone 4BL is medium cup large bore/fitting.

VBI mouthpiece backbores are assigned numbers, although these apply to factory parts, not to the size and shape of the backbore. Trumpet and cornet "C" mouthpieces have a No10 back bore as do mouthpieces with no letter. This can probably be considered medium, however, VBI claim that backbores cannot be considered in terms of "large or small" because of the variation in size and taper. They attribute different qualities to each style of backbore.

Up to three mouthpieces can be taken at one time. All three must be paid for.
Protection must be used to prevent bitemarks on mouthpiece. Damaged mouthpieces cannot be returned.
If you do not possess mouthpiece patches we will supply one pack black rubber 0.8mm thickness patches for £1.
Mouthpieces not required must be returned within 7 days of receiving them.
Special Delivery Postal Service must be used for mouthpiece testing.
20% surcharge for cost of mouthpieces if this service is used.

Saxophone Mouthpieces Saxophone Mouthpieces
Clarinet Mouthpieces Clarinet Mouthpieces
Trumpet Mouthpieces Trumpet Mouthpieces
Cornet Mouthpieces Cornet Mouthpieces
Trombone Mouthpieces Trombone Mouthpieces
Flugelhorn Mouthpieces Flugelhorn Mouthpieces
Tenor Horn Mouthpieces Tenor Horn Mouthpieces
Baritone Horn Mouthpieces Baritone Horn Mouthpieces
Euphonium Mouthpieces Euphonium Mouthpieces
French Horn Mouthpieces French Horn Mouthpieces
Tuba Mouthpieces Tuba Mouthpieces
Embouchure Practice Adapter Embouchure Practice Adapter
Arnolds & Sons Trumpet Mouthpieces Arnolds & Sons Trumpet Mouthpieces
Vincent Bach Trumpet Mouthpieces Vincent Bach Trumpet Mouthpieces
Vincent Bach Megatone Trumpet Mouthpieces Vincent Bach Megatone Trumpet Mouthpieces
Denis Wick Trumpet Mouthpieces Denis Wick Trumpet Mouthpieces
Denis Wick Heavytop Trumpet Mouthpieces Denis Wick Heavytop Trumpet Mouthpieces
Trumpet Mouthpiece Pouches Trumpet Mouthpiece Pouches