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24AW - in praise of

Postby PhilGreen » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:32 pm

In a thread in the For Sale section

bloke wrote:
Don't tell the UK members that 24AW mouthpieces are "good for students".



I saw this and it made me laugh (Bloke and I had an off-air conversation about UK peculiarities earlier) as the 24AW was listed as a Student Model or similar. It made me think - either UK brass band tuba players would be Soooooo much better if they changed mouthpieces or else someone somewhere is missing a trick on marketing in the US for this mouthpiece?
I suppose that if, like me, you were rehearsing full pelt for 4 -6 hours a week in band, an hour a day on your days off, performing in 40-50 concerts per year, producing 2-3 commercial CDs per year, 5 or 6 high profile contests you'd make a decent noise on any mouthpiece.

In the UK we don't let players get to 24AW until they have the lip to manage it as it needs so much control but makes such a great noise when mastered.

Why is it seen as a beginners mouthpiece in the US?
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby ShoelessWes » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:38 pm

PhilGreen wrote:Why is it seen as a beginners mouthpiece in the US?


Because it isn't the "hot! NEW!" thing, it costs less than $100USD, it is made of traditional materials, and because "my favorite tuba player....so and so" doesn't play it.

Pretty much like most things here in the States. Sometimes we reinvent things and get so caught up in new things, we lose track of the old things that worked just as well or better. I.E. tuba gear, shaving, beer, clothing, technology...
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby cjk » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:39 pm

The inner diameter is too small.
The rim is too wide.
The throat is too large.

Seems like it might work OK on those "resistance filled" compensating E flat tubas.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby bloke » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:09 pm

cjk wrote:The inner diameter is too small.
The rim is too wide.
The throat is too large.


Image

As a reminder, it is an American invention, which should be a reasonable excuse for Brits to reject it.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby PhilGreen » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:44 pm

cjk wrote:The inner diameter is too small.
The rim is too wide.
The throat is too large.

Seems like it might work OK on those "resistance filled" compensating E flat tubas.


Surely that depends though.

A not-too-wide inner diameter seems to me to be ideal for playing stuff that isn't ledger lines below the stave, as most "band" music is. Playing above the stave for prolonged periods on a bucket or similar is tiring to say the least.
Many tuba parts in orchestras seem to come after many bars rest (or movement rests). In quintet, 10 piece and band (brass) the mouthpiece is never off your face so a good, wide rim is most comfortable and allows you to play the novelty tuba solo, with cadenzas up high Z's as the penultimate piece in a 2 hours concert with some degree of a lip left.
A large throat allows me to get as much air as possible through the instrument. Isn't that the point of playing a tuba - air flow?

Perhaps I just don't understand the physics?

As for the comment regarding compensating tubas - yes 99.9% of UK brass band tubas are compensating. Mine however is not. I'm currently trying out some replacements for my 24AW as I wanted to see if I could improve my playing through the simple process of a new gob-iron.
I have a TU21 - great for the high stuff but makes me sound quite thin sounding in the low register.
I have a PT84 - super tuba sound but quite an edgy sound for me in the medium to low register and tiring up high.

When Bloke and I talked off air I mentioned that the group I played with were doing the Bach Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor. I thought the PT84 would be the mouthpiece I should use but very quickly swapped back to the 24AW due to the mellowness that was required, rather than edge, in the lower register. I've given each a really good go, doing all manner of rehearsals and concerts on each; perhaps you just can't this old dog a new trick?

I'm not dissing (you see, I can talk US styley too) those that think the 24AW makes a better door stop than mouthpiece but I fail to see why all the positives I've listed are so negatively received by many people who's opinion I have no reason to doubt is informed.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby bloke » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:58 pm

The 24AW squanders air and potential, and severely restricts movement.

The tubist with the top orchestra in the UK is a *FINE* player, but in one of his videos (playing excerpts) I can hear the "24AW" in his sound. He works around it very well, but I just don't see the point.

I'm not-at-all fond of any the Wick tuba mouthpieces, but all of them are superior to the 24AW in just about every respect. They're English. Why not use those ?
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby tofu » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:17 pm

bloke wrote:The 24AW squanders air and potential, and severely restricts movement.

The tubist with the top orchestra in the UK is a *FINE* player, but in one of his videos (playing excerpts) I can hear the "24AW" in his sound. He works around it very well, but I just don't see the point.

I'm not-at-all fond of any the Wick tuba mouthpieces, but all of them are superior to the 24AW in just about every respect. They're English. Why not use those ?


Hey Joe I see you are offering the Imperial with a small English shank. How about the Symphony? I've got a Euro Symphony for one of my horns and think the Symphony might also be a good replacement for the Wick I'm using on my BBb Besson New Standard brass band horn which takes the old small shank. I prefer not to change the receiver so need the smaller shank.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby PhilGreen » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:18 pm

bloke wrote:
I'm not-at-all fond of any the Wick tuba mouthpieces, but all of them are superior to the 24AW in just about every respect. They're English. Why not use those ?


Bloke, unlike many people, quite a few on this board in fact, I don't (always) purchase goods based (purely) on their country of manufacture :lol:
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby ginnboonmiller » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:18 pm

We drive on the right side of the road and call them "slices of bacon," too. It's a crazy, mixed-up world.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby PhilGreen » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:20 pm

tofu wrote:
Hey Joe I see you are offering the Imperial with a small English shank.


Most, if not all, UK tubas require a large shank fitting. My MW2040/5 certainly does.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby bloke » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:58 pm

We're offering that one mouthpiece with the old-style/small "British" shank as a courtesy to a few. It's not a big seller. The Yamaha YBB-201/YBB-321 receiver is an ideal "standard shank" replacement for Besson/B&H "British" receivers, is readily available to repair shops, and is quite low in cost. I've mailed two or three of these to English owners of older Besson/B&H tubas (though their own repair people should have been able to order them). As far as installation labor for replacing a (small) "English" receiver with a (standard) Yamaha receiver, heating/removal/cleaning/installing/polishing shouldn't take a competent repair person more than twenty minutes.

bloke "who wasn't trying to respond to comments with advertisements, but who would consider setting aside the tuba permanently if forced to play for the rest of my career with a 24AW 'piece"
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby tubaguy9 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:41 pm

For me, I believe it was the first type of mouthpiece I had...
I started a bad habit on it too...it was something like "anchoring" the bottom lip to the bottom rim of the mouthpiece.
Maybe it's why I still have issues with reaching pedals?
I think I might end up as a grumpy old man when I get old...
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby bloke » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:27 pm

As someone who sells mouthpieces of my own semi-informed (this is not a "science") trial-and-error designs (and those which make it into my own tubas' mouthpiece receivers and to market all being chosen by Mrs. bloke's blind tests), I avoid making negative comments about other mouthpieces...except for the wretched 24AW. :|

Were I to comment about any other mouthpieces (which I will not, because it's "unprofessional" :wink: ), I might possibly comment on some very substantial mouthpieces which feature "false resistance" and a designer presumptuous enough to suggest to players that they do not know how to play.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby imperialbari » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:55 pm

Even if I have my ideas about the meaning of false resistance, I still would like you to elaborate on that sub-topic.

My own criteria sort of come down to whether a mouthpiece is alive/responsive or not. If I feel it is alive as is, I trust I can modify the backbore to get the warmth of sound I want (doesn’t go for steel mouthpieces).

Overly shallow or narrow mouthpieces are not alive in my book, as they do not give room for a full specter of overtones.

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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby PhilGreen » Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:19 am

Thanks for the feedback so far - although I have to say that it's less than illuminating.

What I've learnt from the board is

The inner diameter is too small.
The rim is too wide.
The throat is too large.

It squanders air and potential, and severely restricts movement.

It possibly creates /features "false resistance"

Surely the first 3 are subjective? I gave a my opinion on these points as a player but still don't understand the negativity - too small, wide and large for what....tuning, tone, flexibility, range, power, dynamics????

The fourth point about squandering potential and air is interesting to say the least but how has this been measured / proven? What is the effect on the player?

Like imperialbari I'm keen to understand more about the false resistance mentioned in the fifth point - what is it and why does it happen in this mouthpiece?

I'm keen to improve as a player if possible given the limited time I now have to practice and if my mp is holding me back somehow, particularly after investing a lot of £s in a new non-compensating rotary valve tuba, I'd like to understand why, not just be told that it is.

Looking forward to some more interesting debate.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby PaulTkachenko » Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:01 am

24AW seems to work well on my King sousa.

I'm back to the factory mouthpieces on all my other (yamaha - 631, 621F, 661) tubas. I'd be interested to know what else works, but it if it isn't broken I'm not going to be too quick to fix it.

I certainly prefer the 24AW to all the Wicks (the older ones) that I've tried.

Curious.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby bloke » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:11 am

The inner diameter is too small - for most players (except for those with very front-pointed facial structures) to truly realize their own sonic potential

The rim is too wide - for most players to truly realize their potential regarding flexibility, particularly when legato and/or quick jumps between ranges are required

The throat is too large - needlessly wasting air needed for long phrases, and requiring needless extra work when achieving a majestic sound in the low range

PhilGreen wrote:Looking forward to some more interesting debate.


Debate" never resolves anything in the real world; How about something more substantial than "debate"...something actually three dimensional...?? :D

bloke "I don't know how much postage costs FROM the UK, but postage TO the UK costs $12 USD. This one time I'll pay the first leg, if you would like to A-B a 24AW with something else. [possibly presumptuous, but...] Most any reasonably well-designed mouthpiece, though, might require a learning curve."

_________________________________________________
*The term, "false resistance", referred to a completely different mouthpiece -
a mouthpiece with a small cylindrical backbore approximately the diameter of a pencil,
and whose maker states that if good results are not being achieved, this is the fault of the player.
Those who have tried and rejected them know to which ones I refer.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby PaulTkachenko » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:21 am

OK, I'm interested.

I really like my 24AW on the sousa and I'm very happy with it.

However, the passion with which you slate this mouthpiece means that I am listening ...

Which mouthpiece would you recommend I try that would improve things for me (but, like I said, 24AW seems to do everything well for me ...)?
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby bloke » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:25 am

How about a "private message"? :wink:
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby PhilGreen » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:28 am

bloke wrote:
Debate" never resolves anything in the real world; How about something more substantial than "debate"...something actually three dimensional...?? :D

bloke "I don't know how much postage costs FROM the UK, but postage TO the UK costs $12 USD. This one time I'll pay the first leg, if you would like to A-B a 24AW with something else. [possibly presumptuous, but...] Most any reasonably well-designed mouthpiece, though, might require a learning curve."

_________________________________________________
*The term, "false resistance", referred to a completely different mouthpiece -
a mouthpiece with a small cylindrical backbore approximately the diameter of a pencil,
and whose maker states that if good results are not being achieved, this is the fault of the player.
Those who have tried and rejected them know to which ones I refer.


That's a very nice offer and one I'd be happy to accept. I'll PM you with some details.
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