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24AW alternatives?

Postby pecktime » Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:48 pm

I recently bought a MW2011TA 'HoJo' tuba (ridiculous price from Music123) and have been on a small mouthpiece safari. I've played a Kelly Helleberg on my 3450 for the last few years but the 2011 sounds great with a Faxx 24AW for my purposes (small group jazz).

Reading the posts on this forum it seems that the 24AW is a polarising Mouthpiece (to put it mildly), but there do not seem to be many suggested alternatives along the lines of: "If you like the 24AW, you'll LOVE the ....".

Can the TNFJ help me out? :tuba:
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Re: 24AW alternatives?

Postby GC » Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:17 pm

I guess the most common variant modeled on the 24AW would be the venerable Wick 3, which has a small shank model, a large shank model (3L), a shallow cup model (3SL), a model designed for longer term comfort (3XL), and a new Helleburg cup model (3CC).
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Re: 24AW alternatives?

Postby cambrook » Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:26 am

In my experience there is a huge variety of mouthpieces with the description 24AW, and most of them have little in common with each other. There is a bigger difference between some "24AW's" than there is between different model numbers from most manfacturers.

I've tried a few (Bach and others) over the years and not really cared for them, but recently tried the JKlier version and it's good. It's also quite cheap at $70 (Dillons)
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Re: 24AW alternatives?

Postby pauvog1 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:06 am

GC wrote:I guess the most common variant modeled on the 24AW would be the venerable Wick 3, which has a small shank model, a large shank model (3L), a shallow cup model (3SL), a model designed for longer term comfort (3XL), and a new Helleburg cup model (3CC).


I like the 3L much better than most 24aw mps I've tried. I used a 3L through my early years on tuba. Great mouthpiece!
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Re: 24AW alternatives?

Postby oedipoes » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:08 am

I bought a PT24+ for the Besson compensating EEb, and it's quite good for that purpose!
I believe it's based on a Bach 24AW in some way ....
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Re: 24AW alternatives?

Postby GC » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:31 am

The Wick 3 was designed to be an "improved" version of the 24AW that addressed some of the problems and criticisms of the original. The 3L is the same but with a larger shank. Wick later started playing around with the cup, rim, throat, and backbore for folks who wanted some variety in a mouthpiece with the same inner diameter.

Personally, I've found that the 3 does an excellent job of taming the quirks of a lot of antique tubas with smaller receivers. I used one for several years with Civil War-era horns. I still use it on my tiny Fillmore Bros Eb. I recently bought a 3CC and a 2CC (newest models from Wick) and find that they work extremely well on my antique Conn monster Eb. The taper of the receiver is a little narrower than modern American taper, and I'm going to have the receiver replaced to fit these properly.
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Re: 24AW alternatives?

Postby ken k » Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:23 pm

Tuba exchange used to have a Marcinkewisc (Sp?) Rose model which was similar

nice big round bowl cup without the big fat rim

also the Wick 3L which has been mentioned.

I would love to try a Bach 24A, if such a thing exists... (minus the "W"ide rim)

I think this wide rim was intended to help cushion the embouchure while marching.

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Re: 24AW alternatives?

Postby MikeW » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:37 am

If you are looking at the wick3 as an alternative for a 24AW, you should probably note that the 24AW has a very wide rim, which is supposed to make it more comfortable for long sessions, or for marching. If that is the feature you are looking for, the wick3 doesn't have it (it has a narrower rim than the 24W, and I think it also a wider throat).

According to a note I seem to remember reading on the Wick website, the cup of the wick3 was based on the Bach 24AW. However, it does not have the huge "cushion" rim of the 24AW, so it more closely resembles what a "Bach 24A" would have been like, had Bach ever made one.

If your tuba has an "American Standard" receiver, then the Wick website mentions a "3XL" model, which is described as having a wider and more rounded rim, which would presumably be nearer to the original 24AW.

There is also a Kelly 24AW (plastic) piece which is lighter, cheaper (about $32), tougher when dropped, better in hot and cold conditions etc. You either like them or hate them. Also a Kelly stainless steel 24AW for about US$191 (plus shipping, taxes, import duty etc.). I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Kelly models are more free blowing - maybe a wider throat?.

Comparing the Bach24AW side by side with the DenisWick3, I get more and better sound through the 3, but of course YMMV.
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Re: 24AW alternatives?

Postby GC » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:14 pm

The 3XL rim is a little wider and a good bit more rounded, but it doesn't really approach the rim size of the 24AW.
Last edited by GC on Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 24AW alternatives?

Postby bloke » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:01 am

I just sold a very nice compensating Eb tuba (yeah, a high-end Asian-made instrument) to a very talented young soft-spoken military bandman (very little formal education beyond high school...a hard worker, and incredible talent) a few days ago.

He plays a 24AW. He had heard about my mouthpieces, and I set him up with something I thought appropriate to test.

He sounded the same (absolutely fantastic) on his 24AW and my mouthpiece.

The young man - again - is an incredible talent, and makes a beautiful sound. (He was on his way to a solo - or small ensemble...?? - performance at one of the conferences, and used the tuba he bought from me just one or two days later in that performance.)

I told him (and his colleague agreed) to keep playing his 24AW.

Usually, they're fairly easy to "beat", but some players are just so incredibly talented - and with such a strong sound concept in their heads - that they're going to sound sublime with anything that is functional.

my general opinion of the 24AW mpc's:
- extra-wide rim pins down the embouchure, making flexibility across ranges more challenging
- extra-large throat diminishes resistance that otherwise could be utilized for more control and finesse

...but not with that young man...not at all... :|
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Re: 24AW alternatives?

Postby winston » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:33 pm

Look at the larger mouthpieces in the newer Denis Wick "ultra" series - AT1U, AT2U, etc.. Large (wide) comfortable rims with larger backbores.
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Re: 24AW alternatives?

Postby PaulTkachenko » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:50 pm

The Yamaha is a good alternative and my preference.
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Re: 24AW alternatives?

Postby pecktime » Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:54 am

Thanks for the replies everyone! I'm still trying to get a hang of the main types of tuba mouthpiece.
I played a Kelly Helleberg on my Meinl CC 3450 for a few years and thought i was set until it didn't work on my Bb Meinl 2011 'HoJo'. On the 2011 the helleberg sounds dull and distant- which surprises me as the 2011 and the 3450 share the same bell. Anyway i'm liking the brashness and density of the 24aw, it responds immediately and i can put the bassline down at the front of the beat like a double bass.
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Re: 24AW alternatives?

Postby peter birch » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:01 pm

there is a reasonably new kid on the block in the UK (its been around for 5-6 years),http://alliance-products.net/featured/les-neish the Les Neish model is a similar size to the 24AW but has a different aesthetic and a different feel.
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Re: 24AW alternatives?

Postby Dan Bradley » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:00 am

The Perantucci PT-24 is based off of the Bach 24AW. I used one for years. The PT-24+ is the same mouthpiece with a heavyweight shell. I prefer the regular PT-24 to the heavyweight variety. It has the same characteristics of the 24AW: wide, round rim, huge throat. I think that the throat is bigger than almost any mouthpiece around! I recommend checking it out if you liked the Bach.

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Re: 24AW alternatives?

Postby Three Valves » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:03 am

Dan Bradley wrote:The Perantucci PT-24 is based off of the Bach 24AW. I used one for years. The PT-24+ is the same mouthpiece with a heavyweight shell. I prefer the regular PT-24 to the heavyweight variety. It has the same characteristics of the 24AW: wide, round rim, huge throat. I think that the throat is bigger than almost any mouthpiece around! I recommend checking it out if you liked the Bach.

Dan Bradley


How about the bowl and huge throat of the 24AW but with the rim of a Helleberg120s??
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Re: 24AW alternatives?

Postby bloke » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:47 pm

Admittedly, I know about as much about this line of mouthpieces as I know about Mongolian cuisine (~0~), but doesn't this one seem to hint towards the same deep/narrow cup - SANS the (eyebrow-bending) 24AW ("Walmart-wide") rim and sans the 24AW ("Walmart-wide") throat?

http://www.perantucci.com/pt83_en.html
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Re: 24AW alternatives?

Postby pecktime » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:16 pm

Update: I ordered a PT24 from Custom Music International. It is very different to my Faxx 24AW.

The PT24 makes a big wooly foghorn tone on my 2011. Like a 1920s Conn bass sax compared to a modern Selmer 'super baritone' if that helps anyone. Feels like driving a big Chrysler with vague yet finger-light power steering.

Sounds great on my 3450 though.

I think I need to do more research. Is there a sticky or FAQ anywhere on mouthpieces? I'm glad I moved away from Hellebergs, what's the quintessential non-helleberg?

And what are other people using on their Hojos?
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Re: 24AW alternatives?

Postby TheGoyWonder » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:25 pm

+1 to Yamaha YBB 66D4. I like their 67C4 a lot better than bach equivalent Bach 18 so good chance 66D4 is also better. Yamahas have pretty fat rims, I wouldn't worry about the rim being too skinny.
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Re: 24AW alternatives?

Postby Michael Bush » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:46 pm

pecktime wrote:Is there a sticky or FAQ anywhere on mouthpieces?

I sent you a PM.
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