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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpet520, Nov 12, 2006.
How much do the mega tone mouthpeices really help your tone?
It has been my experience that my tone does not become "mega" by using those mouthpieces. You'd be better off saving your money and getting a mouthpiece with some serious R&D behind it (GR, Monette, etc) or just sticking with a standard Bach mouthpiece.
i found my sound to actually get dull with one
As many people have learned the expensive way: heavy means nothing all by itself. Most instruments were not designed to have heavy mouthpieces, valve caps or any other after market tuning. Adding this stuff generally only succeeds in "unbalancing" an otherwise "balanced" system. The trumpet is a resonant SYSTEM and changing any parameter can alter the entire playing characteristics in an unpredictable way. Horns designed heavy are completely different than horns designed in other ways.
I know this statement will bring many posts with "success" stories or even criticism. Except for Derek Reaban and a hand full of other people(not at TM), I do not know of anyone else that has objectively quantified anything pertaining to trumpet sound. Without real proof, there is no argument - just opinion based on, well, "opinion". The standard phrase "whatever works for you" is not much help for someone looking for real answers. If any of you have scientific results pertaining to mouthpiece weight versus playability, intonation and sound, I sure would be interested! Don't forget though, professional players with iron chops can get away with more than the rest of us!
If you still really think that it is worth a go, don't forget to:
1) try the mouthpiece in various size rooms - have people whose ears you trust listen to you up close and far away - mid, low and high register playing. Blind testing yields more honest results. See if what you hear up close matches what they say............
2) make sure that the intonation is still ok - play thirds, fourths, fifths, octaves.
3) with a heavy mouthpiece, the horn might not be as balanced in your hand (heavier on the mouthpiece side than on the bell side). If you play a lot, this means more work just holding the instrument.
Another approach to this would be to ask yourself: what could be better about my playing, my sound, etc. If you want a darker sound, there are ways to achieve that. If you are lacking an octave upstairs, the same applies. Hardware can be a solution if you have defined a problem.
If you just are interested in what heavy mouthpieces change, I have to say it depends on the horn and you. It could change intonation(for better or worse), increase the "thickness" of the sound, could reduce brilliance, make the upper register harder sounding. It could make a naturally edgy sound much nicer - or all of the above. One thing for sure, it will change the amount of money that you have left for beer.
Good luck and remember-you have to live with your decision-take our comments with a grain of salt!
My experience is that megatones create a darker tone by cutting out the upper harmonics, not by enhancing the lower ones.