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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby cjk » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:47 am

I find trying to play a 24AW like trying to go jogging in a pair of clown shoes that are one size too small for my feet.

The dimensions are just so extreme, just so far away from what I would consider normal, that the results are fairly comical.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby jeopardymaster » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:00 am

I rather like it myself. But then, I could never get comfortable with a Conn Helleberg, however much I tried.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby bloke » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:00 am

cjk wrote:I find trying to play a 24AW like trying to go jogging in a pair of clown shoes that are one size too small for my feet.

The dimensions are just so extreme, just so far away from what I would consider normal, that the results are fairly comical.


...which is why I admire players who do well with them. :|
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby Donn » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:31 am

If nothing else, here we can see the futility of mouthpiece advice. Of the kind usually found here - as in `Hello, my name is Fred, I play tuba and need a better mouthpiece' -> `Hello Fred! I use a ____ mouthpiece and it's great!'
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby bloke » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:01 pm

Donn wrote:If nothing else, here we can see the futility of mouthpiece advice. Of the kind usually found here - as in `Hello, my name is Fred, I play tuba and need a better mouthpiece' -> `Hello Fred! I use a ____ mouthpiece and it's great!'


' sorta saw how THE mouthpiece which is THE topic-in-particular was discussed and reasonably specific details/opinions-with-non-minced-words were offered...

Many mouthpieces are "great/good/pretty good" and "work". I view the "24AW" as the (reference 1980's) "Rico 'graftonite' clarinet mouthpiece" of the tuba world. The 24AW is (possibly) THE one tuba mouthpiece (with an analog to THE one clarinet mouthpiece) which I would in-black-and-white personally label as "not good".
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby PaulTkachenko » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:07 pm

How can I be so happy with it, then? I've got loads of mouthpieces knocking around at home ...

Totally up for trying another one though ...
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby bloke » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:31 pm

PaulTkachenko wrote:How can I be so happy with it, then? I've got loads of mouthpieces knocking around at home ...

Totally up for trying another one though ...


Something is on the way to Phil. I extend the same offer to you.

Getting off this thread and doing PM's (or an email) is best, yes?
Last edited by bloke on Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby imperialbari » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:21 pm

Meta-message to this thread:

A private message ended up in my in-box. Only it was obviously not intended for me. As it obviously would be obsolete by now, I have deleted it with no further action beyond this posting.

Anyway it is my suggestion NOT to use personal messages whenever the email option is available. The TN-inbox has a limited capacity which calls for action not to run full. At least with my set-up emails are handled much more easily.

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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby PhilGreen » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:05 am

bloke wrote: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


Lucky for me then that most of my work calls for staccato playing, in or around the same octave with a pretty mediocre sound. And not saying I'm goofy but I've been known to eat an apple through a tennis racket. Now I know why I love my 24AW so much!!!
:D

Bloke has very kindly offered to send me one of his custom mouthpieces; he's aware of my playing requirements (and facial anomalies) so I'm really looking forward to comparing my sound (after all, that's what its all about isn't it?) on it during the trial period. If anyone is interested I'll update the board periodically with progress and thoughts.

Just getting my arguments in line for my next thread - Why don't you all use proper, compensating tubas......? :mrgreen:
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby bloke » Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:31 am

PhilGreen wrote:Why don't you all use proper, compensating tubas......? :mrgreen:


I know you were (sort-of) kidding, but I'll answer that one.

- Many of the BBb's over here (due to very heavy school use over several decades) are old and leaky, which makes people think they are "stuffy". Another thing that makes people believe they are "stuffy" is that on quite a few of these - BOTH the BBb's and Eb's (and you should check yours...) - the valve stems are too short for (with even the thinnest bumper washer under the button) the ports to be able to properly line up on the down-strokes of the pistons.

Having been able to play BOTH BBb's and Eb's that are [1] NOT leaky and which [2] sport enhanced-length valve stems, both the BBb's and Eb's are nice tubas. As Roger Bobo has hinted in his writings, the 19" bell Eb sounds (vs. the original 15" bell) a bit too "pretty" and is somewhat mono-sonorous. That doesn't keep me from LIKING it, though.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby PhilGreen » Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:14 am

bloke wrote:
PhilGreen wrote:Why don't you all use proper, compensating tubas......? :mrgreen:


I know you were (sort-of) kidding, but I'll answer that one.

- Many of the BBb's over here (due to very heavy school use over several decades) are old and leaky, which makes people think they are "stuffy". Another thing that makes people believe they are "stuffy" is that on quite a few of these - BOTH the BBb's and Eb's (and you should check yours...) - the valve stems are too short for (with even the thinnest bumper washer under the button) the ports to be able to properly line up on the down-strokes of the pistons.

Having been able to play BOTH BBb's and Eb's that are [1] NOT leaky and which [2] sport enhanced-length valve stems, both the BBb's and Eb's are nice tubas. As Roger Bobo has hinted in his writings, the 19" bell Eb sounds (vs. the original 15" bell) a bit too "pretty" and is somewhat mono-sonorous. That doesn't keep me from LIKING it, though.


I liked mine too - both the EEb and BBb Sovs. However I do know what you mean, having helped out some brass bands on their Bessons in the last 12 months. Personally, I joined the Rotary club about this time last year and haven't looked back (except for when I need to get a high E natural above the stave -jeez, I miss that note!)
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby pwhitaker » Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:15 am

I often use a really old (1920's) custom made H.N.White mouthpiece which is a 24AW on steroids. The inner rim is about 36 mm., the cup is AAA deep - almost 2 inches, the backbore is about 9.5 mm and this mouthpiece was cut from a piece of 2.25" brass stock. The rim is very rounded and about 11 mm wide. I've had this mouthpiece for abour 35 years now and have had 5 copies with slight modificatios made in the interim - brass, stainless and titanium. This is my go to mouthpiece, along with its siblings. I've played almost every commercial mouthpiece there is and always wind up back with this group. I like the blokepieces, the Warren Deck, the Bayamo and other GW and Hauser mpc's. I just can't get really comfortable with these "smaller" mpc's (< 34.5 mm).

I have used these mpc's on all of my BB's and Eb's over the years. The only drawback is that the treble clef is a bit dicey with these pieces, but since I play primarily traditional jazz it's not a problem. Since I've switched exclusively to old 6/4 recording bell 3 valve BB's these mpc's are ideal for my style of playing and let me produce the tuba sound I have in my head.

FWIW.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby Wyvern » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:22 pm

PhilGreen wrote: Personally, I joined the Rotary club about this time last year and haven't looked back (except for when I need to get a high E natural above the stave -jeez, I miss that note!)

You are playing a Melton 2040/5? That was always the troublesome note for me too and one reason I eventually sold what was otherwise a great tuba.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby Wyvern » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:27 am

On the 24AW, I used one for a number of years and it does provide a lovely rich tone and some of the best playing I have ever heard live has been on such a mouthpiece.

What I don't now like quite so much about the 24AW is the tone is slightly woolly compared to other mouthpieces and it does seem small to me now. With the EEb I currently prefer the Denis Wick Heritage 2XL which has similar wide rounded rim but is slightly larger and gives good definition. Phil if you have not tried, worth check out.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby sousaphone68 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:53 am

Neptune wrote:
What I don't now like quite so much about the 24AW is the tone is slightly woolly compared to other mouthpieces and it does seem small to me now. With the EEb I currently prefer the Denis Wick Heritage 2XL which has similar wide rounded rim but is slightly larger and gives good definition. Phil if you have not tried, worth check out.


I would agree with the woolly comment I tried one for a day and did not like the amount of extra effort and concentration required to achieve the articulation and tone that I wanted and was used to getting from my other mouthpiece.
I use a DW 1l heritage with my Eb having moved over the years as I grew and my instruments changed from a DW 5 to a DW 3 to DW 2 for my New Standard and DW1L for my Sousaphone and clone.
I am going to borrow a 24AW to see if I can get to grips with it.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby bilmac » Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:59 am

Hmmmmmmmmm. Have been watching this one for a few days. I've been playing for 40 plus years now on compensating instruments mostly but not always. When I started ,Fletcher was the Man and everybody seemed to copy what he did so you got yourself a VB 24 AW and off you went. So did I.I made a really good sound on it both in bands and orchestra but never felt entirely confident playing it, it had a nasty bad habit of catching you out when you least expected it. Probably due to my deficiencies as a player as much as anything but it did knock what was otherwise a fairly confident/competent player.I wrote to Fletcher about this and to his great credit not knowing me or anything about me, he took the time to write me back to say he had something of a love /hate relationship with it himself . I still have that letter as a treasured possession.I perservered but did try things along the way like Wicks(not very comfortable and bland) Schilke(blow the house down but sounds like a power tool when pushed)Perantucci( 84,very good but hard work in a band when you've got to play all night and it 's never off your face)Breslmair(liked that a lot)JK(probably what I'm drifting towards at present)and lastly a Floyd Cooley special which is like an old Conn Helleburg. It's very good but my tuba playing son has purloined it. My slight criticism is that it is slightly lean in sound but it is crisp and clear.The point is that they are all much easier to play. I find I don't have to think about note preparation, production etc.at all or very little, I just blow and it all comes out just fine.( By the way, mouthpiece collecting for tuba players isn't cheap.)
I used to wonder if face shape had something to do with it. I have a broad flat face with even dentition and plenty of lip tissue . My tuba playing son is just the same. He won't play the 24AW at all.Would somebody like to pick up on this face shape and tuba players point?
I have drifted backwards and forwards from the 24AW but always seem to end up where I started.
Now , here's the trap. None of the other mouthpieces make that big comfortable sound that integrates so well in a brass band as the 24AW when stuck on a compensator EE flat. The conjunction of the two is undeniably effective.Other mouthpieces sound good but not as good. As long as we are faced with compensating instruments as part of our set up in British brass bands we might be stuck .
I have played Rotary and non british instruments in brass bands but none of them had the blend.
Outside of bands I have done quite a lot of orchestral work but not much recently. I have a different sound in my head for that and readily use a different mouthpiece(s) for that.Not the 24 AW which can be tricky after having sat out for ten minutes and then having to play something pp in the middle register.
So perhaps the trade off is to sacrifice some of the voluptious sound for manoeuvrability and use the JK 5A. Not sure.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby bloke » Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:35 am

The mouthpiece that I'm sending to Mr. Green will not be a really effective A-B comparison to his 24AW, because (well) there just isn't much of anything that is particularly close to a 24AW. The cup design that I offer which is approximately the same depth as a 24AW is considerably wider (and designed with contrabass tubas in mind). Instead, mouthpiece that I'm sending was designed with large Eb tubas in mind. It's shallower and wider than a 24AW, but not "shallow" (sort of "medium deep"). It will sound considerably "clearer" than a 24AW, but not as "bright" as a typical F tuba mouthpiece. I also chose a rim (as they are interchangeable) which is the rim I offer which is MOST different from a 24AW rim. (After all, this is supposed to be a "comparison", so why not compare extremes?...and it's a rim that I personally use.) Whether or not Phil will "like" it depends on (yup) whether he likes it. :D
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby peter birch » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:20 am

I am sure that one day someone will produce a mouthpiece that will cause Bach, Wick, Perantucci, G&W, mike Finn and everyone else to say "that it folks, this beats everything we have ever done, lets pack up!". Until then we are left with a range of very good mouthpieces from which we have to choose the one (or two or several depending on resources) that suits us best. Now, if that is a VB24AW, or a Denis Wick 3, or one of Blokes mouthpieces, what of it?
Based on my 40 or so years of playing, the 24AW is superior to the Denis Wicks playing the compensated EEbs and BBbs that I have played. Now I am nothing special, so my experience is just that - my experience, no less or more valid or right than anyone else's. I would recommend the 24AW, but I am not offended if someone ignores me. Yes it is harder work to play with, and if you had to make some physical and mental effort to play beautifully with one, then I would have say "man up and make that effort" it is worth it.
the 24 shaped mouthpiece does have its challenges, if you over blow it sounds truly awful (even more so than the Denis Wicks), but I have never burned my embouchure out playing on one, and it would appear that the DW XL mouthpieces are incorporating some of the features of the 24AW in their design.
there is a fairly new kid on the block over in the Alliance brand from Roger Webster, with input form James Gourlay for the tuba mouthpieces. They have taken over from the Wicks as the supplied mouthpiece for Besson instruments and have been well received and reviewed, I have just got hold of a Les Neish signature from Alliance and I'm having some fun with it, it has a good focussed, ringing high range, it is a bit more difficult below a bottom F but I have the 24 for when I need that range.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby bloke » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:51 am

The UK awaits a modern-day St. Patrick to come and drive all of the 24AW's out of the band halls... :lol:
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby PhilGreen » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:40 pm

bloke wrote:The UK awaits a modern-day St. Patrick to come and drive all of the 24AW's out of the band halls... :lol:


Won 't be me - I can't stand the black stuff!
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