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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby Wyvern » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:38 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:

It amuses me that the Americans seem to have so little regard for this classic American mouthpiece - while over the pond in England it is the most popular tuba mouthpiece and not just in band rooms, but music conservatoire's, and concert halls too... :roll:
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby sousaphone68 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:44 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:


You need a modern St George to slay your 24aw dragon for England
St David for Wales and St Andrew for Scotland and Ireland can keep St Patrick.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby peter birch » Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:02 pm

Neptune wrote:
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:

It amuses me that the Americans seem to have so little regard for this classic American mouthpiece - while over the pond in England it is the most popular tuba mouthpiece and not just in band rooms, but music conservatoire's, and concert halls too... :roll:



Maybe the Americans don't like it because we do... :wink:
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby fairweathertuba » Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:08 pm

It seems as if the 24AW has filled a specific niche in the tuba playing world, at least the UK world that is.

Like many a young lad, my first mp was a 24aw that I chucked out into the woods behind my parents house after a year or so of agony with it.

However I can understand the need for a mp that doesn't wear the chops out with continuous playing, which is the main reason I use a smallish feeling Blessing 18. Feels a lot smaller than the Bach 18, also it has a wider more comfortable rim than the Bach, but not crazy wide and fat like a 24aw.

Funny thing is after 35 years of not having a 24AW I'd kind of like to try one again. This very thread is making want to try one!

One more thing, I remember some bloke (not "bloke", but some bloke) possibly a bloke from the UK who had a spreadsheet with the specifications listed for quite a variety of mp's. Anyone have a link for that webpage with the spreadsheet?
Last edited by fairweathertuba on Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:01 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby bloke » Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:16 pm

Clearly (when included with a purchased tuba), this should be considered the "Old Maid" of tuba mouthpieces.

I'm very reluctant to give them away (free) to students. They're too large to use as drivers for tuba rotor bearings. I have one that I use (clamping it into a vice) to solder inside very badly stuck baritone horn slide tubes and rotate them out.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby bloke » Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:57 pm

This is the only mouthpiece which I would go out of my way (as I have in this thread) to label a scourge.

No tuba player needs that much metal pinning down their face, and the vast majority of tuba players can benefit from a mouthpiece with a cup wider than 31mm - particularly if it is going to be that deep. :|
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby PMeuph » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:01 pm

Tubajason wrote:............The father of the tuba Harvey Philips........




How is Harvey Philips the "father of the tuba?" .... :? :? :?


I always though it was Bell who had that title....
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby bloke » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:28 pm

This is the ONLY man who could POSSIBLY father a tuba... :|

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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby PMeuph » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:33 pm

bloke wrote:This is the ONLY man who could POSSIBLY father a tuba... :|

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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby Art Hovey » Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:00 am

Harvey Philips, there is a great story about how when he first started out as a professional he forgot his mouthpiece for a gig at a high school. The story goes he went to the band director and he handed Harvey a 24 aw. Harvey went on to play the show and all went well. Ever since then Harvey always used a 24 aw because, in his words, he would always be able to find one when needed in any high school across America.


I am afraid you are mistaken about that. It was a Conn mouthpiece that Harvey borrowed after breaking his special bakelite mpc, and it was a Conn that he used for the rest of his career because he knew he could find one in every high school. Look at any photo of Harvey playing.

He told me that story himself, after trying one of my plastic mouthpieces.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby modelerdc » Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:24 am

Harvey settled on the Conn 2, a nice mouthpiece close in size and characteristics to the Helleberg 7B. He said one reason for chosing this mouthpiece is that he could find one anywhere should his get lost. I have one, typical flat Conn rim with a well defined inner edge, funnel style cup, a good mpc for those who don't require a really big one.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby fairweathertuba » Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:23 am

So, the guys in the top brass bands really use 24AW's? And Chuck Norris, what does he use?
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby tuba-tobias » Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:52 am

fairweathertuba wrote:And Chuck Norris, what does he use?


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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby Wyvern » Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:07 am

fairweathertuba wrote:So, the guys in the top brass bands really use 24AW's?

A lot do and probably the majority of orchestral pros too. In fact I would go so far as to say the 24AW almost defines the British tuba sound
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby MikeW » Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:59 am

Neptune wrote:
fairweathertuba wrote:So, the guys in the top brass bands really use 24AW's?

A lot do and probably the majority of orchestral pros too. In fact I would go so far as to say the 24AW almost defines the British tuba sound

That would explain why instrument shops in ex-pat British enclaves stock the Vincent Bach 24AW with the old B&H/Besson small European shank (it has a B stamped on the shank): When I needed a mouthpiece in a hurry, they pulled one right off the shelf - shame really, I was looking for a small Denis Wick (4 or 5).

Oh well, any port in a storm, but with hindsight, the 24AW is a tad over-powered for a Besson 2-20 three-banger 2/4 size Eb (long story short: I was stranded away from home at the time, and short of both tuba and cash). Now the dust has settled, it works fairly well on my Imperial Eb, but I seem to be getting a more pleasing sound from a DW3.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby PhilGreen » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:44 am

fairweathertuba wrote:So, the guys in the top brass bands really use 24AW's?


Some do, in-fact lots do but not all.

My old section at Fodens used to play on 24AW, 24AW, Bach 18, Bach 7

Some of the finest BBb players also used 24AWs to get the mellifluous BBb pedal sound required in the top bands (like dry ice falling off the stage was the way one top player described it to me).
Many use Wick 2s, more are starting to use the 3 (some based on the knowledge it's designed to be like a 24AW). PTxx mps are starting to become more popular, mostly amongst college students where they have to play in more things than bands.A fellow board member and player of fantastic banding pedigree uses an M Finn mp. He makes a great sound and uses BBb in smaller groups too, blending really well - although he does play bass trombone so I'm not sure you could count him as a proper player :twisted: Sorry Andy.

In 1988 I flirted with a Schilke 67 and a PT90 in some serious banding action but neither helped, in fact exactly the opposite, me to blend with the rest of the section so exotic mps have been around here in the UK for a long time but in the banding world have never taken off.

Perhaps the blending is the main reason the 24AW is so popular. In a banding bass section we need to provide a sound more akin to that of an organ pedal than the lower range of a grand piano - same octave but totally different timbre - to fit in with the mainly conical instrumentation. In an orchestra we're either with the cylindrical trombones or the (cylindrical) horns so the fat organ sound isn't suitable here; in a brass quintet the difference in sound requirement is even more marked.

Personally I don't believe that there is a better brass band orientated mouthpiece than the 24AW but can understand why it doesn't work for lots of other people in different ensembles.

I'm very much looking forward to trying out the Imperial + #2 in quintet, 10 piece and orchestra over the next 4/5 weeks - was asked to play with Grimethorpe on Saturday but have an orchestral workshop with young kids to do - on Dvorak New World Symphony. I wonder what mouthpiece is best for those 8(?) notes? Oooh, I can feel another thread coming on.......
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby bloke » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:32 am

modelerdc wrote:Harvey settled on the Conn 2, a nice mouthpiece close in size and characteristics to the Helleberg 7B. He said one reason for chosing this mouthpiece is that he could find one anywhere should his get lost. I have one, typical flat Conn rim with a well defined inner edge, funnel style cup, a good mpc for those who don't require a really big one.


Conn 2/7B is an OK mouthpiece...' not terribly dissimilar to the Laskey 30H. ' not my favorite, but easily qualifies as "a mouthpiece that works".
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby modelerdc » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:02 am

The Conn 2 or Conn 7B would be closer to a Laskey 28H, would be about like a 26H if he made one. For most of what Phillips did, brass quintet, solos, great mouthpieces.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby Peach » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:03 am

bloke wrote:
modelerdc wrote:Harvey settled on the Conn 2, a nice mouthpiece close in size and characteristics to the Helleberg 7B. He said one reason for chosing this mouthpiece is that he could find one anywhere should his get lost. I have one, typical flat Conn rim with a well defined inner edge, funnel style cup, a good mpc for those who don't require a really big one.


Conn 2/7B is an OK mouthpiece...' not terribly dissimilar to the Laskey 30H. ' not my favorite, but easily qualifies as "a mouthpiece that works".


Also, I believe, the 7B was used by John Fletcher more than is given credit for on the Eb.
Anyone know the story about Jacobs sending Fletcher a Helleberg or two to use - presumably for the Holton C?

24AW's work great for a lot of players over here but I can see if folks grow up used to quite different designs, it might seem like a strange choice.
I've just switched on Eb from a shallow piece to a much deeper one with a pretty large throat (ie. quite 24AW-esque in those regards), but with a narrower rim and a wider opening internal diameter.
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Re: 24AW - in praise of

Postby modelerdc » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:22 am

The one time I meet Fletcher, in 1980 as I recall he was still using a 24AW, asked why he said it was the largest mpc he could find in Britain at the time he started playing tuba. Slightly off topic asked why he used an E flat, he said when he started tuba (from horn!) he had a good E flat but did not have a good F! At some point in time, don't know the year, he meet with some of the brass players from the Chicago symphony. I'm telling this story 2nd hand, so bear that in mind, stories sometimes morph with retelling. Anyway by this time Fletcher was using a Holton CC when he thought it was appropriate. He mention to Jacobs that he felt that he hadn't found the mpc that really worke the best with his Holton CC. Jacobs had Fletcher try a Vintage Conn Helleberg (not the same as either the Current Helleberg or the 7B) Fletcher quickly found it worked better on the CC and when He tried to return it to Jacobs, Jacobs said to keep it, he had several like it. At this point Jay Friedman, who was present, said something like aren't you the lucky boy! So this became the lucky boy mpc, which I recall was the basis for one of the Wick mpcs, the 2L if it remember. On youtube you can find some videos done for British television with Fletcher as soloist. The mpc he using looks like a Conn 2. So, it's well known that Fletcher established himself as a world class player with a 24AW on a Besson E flat, but it's also known that he played, in additon to E flat, CC and F tubas and used other mpcs, at least later on.
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