What brand of mute should I buy?

Discussion in 'Mouthpieces / Mutes / Other' started by groverdot, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. groverdot

    groverdot New Friend

    Aug 27, 2010
    Hi everyone

    I'm fairly new with mutes. I used my school's HB stonelined straight and cup mutes for a while because I didn't need mutes in my repetoire all that often. Then, a few weeks ago, I bought a Vacchiano straight mute because more and more of my repetoire required mutes. The Vacchiano is nice. I used it for my regional honour band (but still used my school's HB cup :oops:) A lot of guys, not just from that honour band, but in my city's youth symphony orchestra and also my school have some really nice mutes. So now I'm looking for a solid straight and cup mute so that I'm not the odd one out anymore (preferably the same brand) I've been doing my homework and looking things up on the internet.

    Apparently the Jo-Ral Tri Tone Cup is preferred by many, however followed closely by the Denis Wick Adjustable Cupe. (Should I get copper bottomed mutes? Windy City is the only brand with copper bottom cup mutes then...)

    As for straight mutes, all brand carry brass, aluminum and copper bottomed mutes. Again Jo-Ral and Denis Wick are preferred, however the Tom Crown brand is very present.

    Initially, I was all for the Denis Wick straight and cup combination, but then I saw Jo-Ral, Windy City etc. Also, I don't know whether or not to get copper bottomed or aluminum bottomed mutes. Thanks for your feedback and I'm sorry for my lack of mute knowledge. (If it helps, here is some background information: I'm a fairly advanced player, hoping to go into music in university, I don't often play jazz and I use a Yamaha Xeno. Please don't hate on my trumpet preference. :D)
  2. F.E.Olds

    F.E.Olds Pianissimo User

    Aug 28, 2010
    I enjoy the humes and berg mutes. Their cut mute is outstanding when you file the corks to make the cup touch your bell. I have had good luck with all of the Humes and Berg mutes. They have preformed exactly how I wanted them to.
  3. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    I play only big band jazz and have used a Vacchiano straight ,H&B cup and Harmon brand mute for 45 years. Those were brands everyone always used and pretty much still do. Now the name of the game is blend,so if you want to blend with the other players ,you should get what ever brand and type they're using. If there is no rule that everyone use the same exact mutes ,so that there is a variety of brands and types,stick with what you have until university.
    Brass bottom mutes sound darker than aluminum,and copper mutes sound the darkest.
  4. dsr0057

    dsr0057 Pianissimo User

    Dec 20, 2009
    Denton, TX
    I use a TrumCor straight and cup mute. I like them mainly because you "don't have to tune" with the straight mute. I got them at a discount though through my professor.

    Jo-Ral makes amazing mutes. If you can afford them I recommend their cup and straight.
  5. walldaja

    walldaja Pianissimo User

    Feb 25, 2008
    Kokomo, IN
    I use Tom Crown and Dennis Wick mutes exclusively. Lately I've been impressed by the quality and the pricing of the Wick ones. I used to use a Vacchiano but don't like it in the lower ranges, it really varies the pitch. My Dennis Wick is solid both low and high and at any volume level.
  6. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    I'm going to be a little unusual here and suggest that you match the mute with your horn and what sound you want. No one mute makes exactly the same sound with every horn.

    Also it matters who you play with. I have a Denis Wick straight that I can "never again" play with my community band, because it's the wrong sound, regardless of how wonderful it is.

  7. RMS

    RMS Pianissimo User

    Aug 5, 2010
    Haven't played a lot of different ones but after playing the Humes and Berg for many, many years and then trying the Tom Crown, oh what a difference. To me they have a great sound and the feel is much more open and less resistant.
  8. keehun

    keehun Piano User

    Feb 4, 2010
    I'm gonna tell you that when I went back stage of Minnesota Orchestra Hall, I saw Manny's mute rack.

    It was one of those cheap frame garage racks that was just FULL of every mute I could've imagined. From the standard HB Stone lined straight to the best looking cup mute to a mute made out of a Coca-Cola can and a lot of duct-tape.

    I went "OMG"

    It was quite a sight. :cool:
  9. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

    Apr 30, 2010
    dubuque iowa
    I like the sound of my Bach straight mute and its stainless steel so it WONT dent when you drop it...and eventually you will. Best wishes.
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I've never fretted the subject of mutes too much. I've always owned Tom Crown straight mutes - I still have the one I inherited from my sister that she got when she was in the 8th grade in about 1981.

    When I was in the Army band program I was issued a Vacchiano straight mute, and I always preferred that for concert band, but used my Tom Crown mute for big band.

    As for cups and harmon mutes, I prefer a plain old H&B Stonelined for cup. I had a Dennis Wick cup for a while - the one where the cup is adjustable - but I didn't see it as being any better than the H&B.

    I've used various brands for harmon, the plain old Harmon brand is just as good as any although the Jo Ral bubble harmon (issued to me while with the Nat Guard band) is probably the easiest to play with. I had an Emo harmon mute for a while and it was pretty much a clone of the Harmon, which is what I'm currently using.

    Bucket mute - the Jo Ral internal bucket mute I think is the way to go with that, but not so much for the sound as the ease of use.

    Plunger - head to the hardware store and spend $2 on a small sink plunger - it's just as good as anything else.

    Again, I never fretted it too much - it would be hard to go wrong with the Tom Crown or Vacchiano for a straight mute, but there are other good mutes to use too. Mutes are mutes - as long as they stick in the bell and you can still blend with a section, you can use almost anything, and especially when you aren't yet gigging professionally, where like Manny, it might be to your advantage to own a lot of different things so you can dial in on the subtleties of a sound.

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