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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Mouthpiece intensifiers, is this a "gimmicky" kind in the General forums; I had asked about sound posts earlier and got good info on it. I figured I'd ask about the mouthpiece ...
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    Mouthpiece intensifiers, is this a "gimmicky" kind

    I had asked about sound posts earlier and got good info on it. I figured I'd ask about the mouthpiece intensifiers. In theory, it makes sense, but since I don't have the opportunity to test it out, I have my doubts.

    Anyone here use them? What is your opinion?

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    Utimate User trickg's Avatar
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    I've used the Curry Sound Sleeve in the past, but eventually I quit using it. I'm not sure that it did much for my sound but it makes the mouthpiece feel a bit different while you're playing, if that makes sense. I think that maybe the reason that I quit using it looking back on it is that maybe it made the slotting on more horn a little more defined than I wanted it.
    Patrick Gleason

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    I understand your response. Not sure if I understand the term slotting though. I'm a comeback player (25 years since playing). I only have H.S. horn knowledge.

    Another thing that is new to me are those heavy bottom valve caps. Not too sure how they affect the sound.

    Sound posts, mouthpiece intensifers, heavy bottom valve caps, oh yeah, and those new spit valves. Much has changed in 25 years. Wait, the new term is "water key", I guess even trumpets have to be "politically correct".

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    Just my opinion....but anything done to a trumpet can affect either/or the sound or the "responsiveness" of the horn. To work well, the body of the trumpet must "respond" to the vibration set up by your lips and then feed back some of that vibration into the air column that is vibrating within the tubing. Any change in mass, metal thickness, weight of finish, location of the "added masses", brace location and design, bell shape, leadpipe taper, tension from stressed solder joints, etc. will change the way the horn "responds". (If you don't believe me, try playing a horn with a broken brace then get the brace repaired and try the horn again!)

    You may (or may not) be able to "feel" the difference, you may (or may not) be able to hear the difference. But rest assured that there will be a difference.

    Remember...a trumpet sound (indeed, the sound of any wind instrument) is a combination of the vibration of the air column and the vibration of the body of the instrument (and how that body vibration is fed back into the air column).

    I fooled around for a week or so with a Dennis Wick sound enhancer (a heavyweight metal "cover" for a mouthpiece which is held in place by two O-rings). It certainly "felt" different to me with some notes slotting "differently" (either easier OR more difficult). I ended up getting rid of it since I didn't think it was working for me and I was going to GR mouthpieces anyway. Whether I "sounded" different with it I can't say...a trumpet sounds mighty different from the "other side of the bell".[/i]

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    GR mouthpieces
    What are those?

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    Click on the "Northern Brass" ad at the top of the page. It's all explained in there. Bruce Lee would be more than happy to discuss them with you. In short, however, it is a mouthpiece design which is founded in digital technology and (as I understand it) uses entirely "radiused" intersections between the backbore taper and the bore, the bore to the final cup, etc. so that it plays "more efficiently" and is more reliably reproducible than "ye olden mouthpieces" which are generally modelled on a shaped cutting tool. But...talk to Bruce.

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    Utimate User trickg's Avatar
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    Patrick Gleason

    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"
    "At my signal, unleash hell."
    - Maximus Decimus Meridius

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    Thanks for the insight/information.

    Wow! How to pick the right mouthpiece? So many variables to choose from? How do you decide?

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    You talk to Bruce Lee. They use a form on which you "as honestly as you can", complete the required information. From there they take a "position" on where your playing is at now...where you want it to go, what kind of horn you play, what experiences with other mouthpieces you have had, and then "dial in" what you "probably" could work with. For most people this works very well but you have to be absolutely honest when answering the questions.

    In my case I was tired of intonation problems (but loved the sound) of a Dennis Wick cornet mouthpiece on my Getzen Eterna. So I got in touch with Ted Sparks and ended up buying a Sparx #4 cornet piece (GR makes cornet pieces for him using their CAD/CAM programs and machines). After a couple of months I was so happy with it that I decided that maybe they had something that would work for me on trumpet as well. I had been playing a Warburton setup but had a couple of "issues" with it. I talked to Bruce, told him the situation. He recommended the 66*** as having the rim, alpha angle, etc. most like the Sparx #4 and that would be most likely able to "take me where I wanted to go" in terms of range, etc.

    I bought it. It works. No more mouthpiece swapping between 3rd parts and 1st parts. Wanna buy some Warburton bits?

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    Before I get too far ahead of myself, I'll play/use the mouthpiece that will come with the Kanstul trumpets.

    Wayne Bergeron model ZKT1600 & CHI1001 Chicago are the ones that Priscilla will be sending to me.

    After I decide which one I am keeping, and get back into the swing of things, I may be better able to shop for a mouthpiece (if I decide I do need one).

    Thanks for sharing the knowledge you responders have shared.

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