Mouthpiece Gap ... seems important but seldomed discussed

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by coolerdave, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    Well, they only want sensible instructions, they can't perfom magic! ROFL

    What do the computer guys say? GIGO:-P
     
  2. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

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    So are some digital calipers! Measure both and do some 5th grade math. The hard part is then you have do decide what the right gap should be, and what do do about it. THAT is where the opinions are all over the place.

    The best solution to me would be to change the whole lead pipe, and preserve the original one. Find a pipe you like and play it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011
  3. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    A pencil works great too. The measuring is easy, it's the changing that's hard.

    For the moment, since I wanted to put all but one trumpet away in storage for the rest of the year, I'm only really interested in matching the Monette to the Olds Studio. I love the sound I'm getting with that combination, an instant favorite. Gap .... 1/2 inch. :-(

    It's a tossup as to which is more valuable, mp or trumpet, they cost about the same. It seems like it would be easier, safer, quicker, and cheaper to have the trumpet adjusted.:dontknow:

    But, not with a new leadpipe. For one thing, it would never sound the same.

    Turtle
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011
  4. JNINWI

    JNINWI Piano User

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    Incorrect gap can make a horn perform like a tank. I experienced this first hand and have had my last two horns gapped. Personally I will always have the correct gap set on any horn I own, the difference is like turning a horn that performs like a “Tank” into performing like a formula 1 racer : ) I asked the question “Why” to a well known trumpet specialist and he told me that at the “Gap area” is where the air is initially introduced into the horn, this area sets up the proper eddy current in the horn, if the gap is incorrect it will cause improper air flow and disrupt the air current through almost the entire horn causing poor performance. It made sense to me when I handed him a tank and got back a race car for a horn. :thumbsup:
     
  5. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    bump
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  6. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    Good idea. So, I went back and looked at them all (bad safari:roll:) ...... one of them just happened to be much closer to the ideal gap when fitted into the Studio; A Curry 1.25M. How random is that??? The other two Currys I have aren't as close.

    Yes, it's a better flow of air through the horn ..... but, I still like the sound of the Prana better in the Studio. So ..... I'll acclimate to playing a non-Monette mp again and then maybe take a trip to Portland to discuss with Dave and Co. I've been wanting a good excuse to go check out the shop.

    Turtle
     
  7. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

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    Another very cool thread ... I do wonder if a non-optimal gap is used to customise the sound of a horn ... no you won't be able to play some highly technical multi-octive piece but it might change the timbre of the horn for a desirable effect.
    another question.
    If the horn has a bent reciever does that possibly make for an irregular gap? Is the stop point in the reciever not the point where the mouthpiece hits the leadpipe.
     
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I think that a lot of what is attributed to the gap has nothing to do with the gap itself. I think it has to do with the length of the horn. I believe that there is a "Sweet Spot" for the tuning slide based on the player, mouthpiece, room and horn. The reason that I think this is that the horns that I have with tuning bells have much less effect from "gap changes". I had an adjustable receiver on my Bach C before I had it converted. Now I have had it removed because I can't tell the difference anymore. One less thing to be different on days where everything goes wrong.

    Monette does have a gap philosophy for his horns. He replaced one of my mouthpieces free of charge because the original went too far in (after 8 years of use!).

    As sensitive as those pieces are, I can imagine that the differences could be substantial - even with standard horns.
     
  9. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

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    Amen
     
  10. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

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    I wondered about this too (i.e. the length of the horn), and if the mouthpiece insertion depth was the place to change the length over micro-adjusting the tuning slide. But with so many variables in the mouthpiece alone as it is (cup, throat, backbore taper/diameter/length) let alone the leadpipe and rest of horn I am not so surprised that getting one or two variables "correct" so close to the vibration source would make all the difference.
    But in the (admittedly short) time I spent mucking around with gap checks and tests I did not notice a great change in tone or response compared with finding which way up to insert the mouthpiece which made the most surprising difference.

    --bumblebee
     

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