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Re: Bowl Mouthpiece help

Postby bloke » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:02 am

whatever applies
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Re: Bowl Mouthpiece help

Postby Donn » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:18 am

When I've been playing a mouthpiece for a few months, that's the one that probably sounds the best to a listener. The more unusual the mouthpiece, the more I expect that would be true.

Another part of it could be, I wonder, if maybe many players would sound better to a listener with a smaller cup diameter mouthpiece. Like a Schilke 66, or a Conn 7B, or the even smaller 24AW (OK, that's from published measurements, which we know are not a good basis for comparison.) For fun lately I've been trying out an antique Conn Giant on my Big American Holton, which despite the name is probably closer to a Bach 25 in diameter - but with a pretty large throat.

For anyone who's been wondering, how could I measure my Bach mouthpiece throat to help resolve the questions posed above - if you have a decent collection of "twist" drill bits, the larger 8.83mm throat should just barely pass an 11/32 bit, but you'll have to go down to 5/16 with the smaller 8.33 throat. Correct me if I got that wrong. Hold the cutting edge and put the bit in shank first.
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Re: Bowl Mouthpiece help

Postby Three Valves » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:41 am

bloke wrote:whatever applies


I guess she COULD use a little "work!!"

:oops:
Who needs four valves??

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Re: Bowl Mouthpiece help

Postby bloke » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:56 am

High-speed twist drills don't consistently offer great results with tuba mouthpieces.
You can get away with it with trumpet mouthpieces, but...

...well, a high-speed twist drill bit will "get the job done"...in the same way that a reciprocating saw will make the same cut that a table saw will make.
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Re: Bowl Mouthpiece help

Postby Three Valves » Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:53 pm

I think he was using them to measure only, not drill.
Who needs four valves??

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Re: Bowl Mouthpiece help

Postby rodgeman » Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:23 pm

I had the same issue with the 18 - it was not deep enough. I then got a Dillon Geib 5. It is a smaller than the PT-88 I used a few years ago. I was hesitant about the back bore because "The G5 has a 7.5 mm throat. The throat is C4 sized." from: http://forums.chisham.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=36609 .But it is working for me. I have read on the forum about the Geib mouthpieces and am trying it on my Mirafone 186 with pretty good results.
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Re: Bowl Mouthpiece help

Postby bloke » Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:42 pm

Three Valves wrote:I think he was using them to measure only, not drill.


' good to know...
Had it been one of my personally-owned/used mouthpieces, I might have used the word "relieved".

That having been said, I dunno if I would stick a piece of steel (whether smooth or with sharp cutting edges on board) up inside a mpc I cared about.
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Re: Bowl Mouthpiece help

Postby Donn » Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:58 pm

That's more or less what I was thinking when I suggested that the bit be introduced into the throat shank first, holding the cutting edges. I assume the shank is exactly the nominal size of the bit. But you know, most of the time a mouthpiece could use a little cleanup, gunk in the throat, and as long as you don't really lean on it, maybe a good thing.

I'm not the only one who ever uses drill bits as a mouthpiece throat gauge, am I? I am sure I didn't come up with the idea on my own. Seems to me some people use other sizes, not metric but some kind of letter gauge - suit yourself of course, but I like the explicitly dimensioned bit sizes, because simple person that I am, if I am trying to determine the size of a mouthpiece throat, and the answer is "P", that means I now just have another question. Where if the answer is 11/32 it's just arithmetic, multiply by 25.4 for mm.

Don't let us forget though, this is not one of those ridiculous tangents all, we're waiting with bated breath for Bach 7, 18 and 12 owners to report actual throat dimensions.
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Re: Bowl Mouthpiece help

Postby bloke » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:10 am

I had this scribbled down...They may or may not be correct...(??)

.328" is standard for Bach
.348" is standard for the 24 mpc's (W/AW)
.348" is also an available 'S' back-bore for 18 and 7
.339" is an available "R" back-bore for 22 and 12
.354" is an available "S" back-bore for 'Megatone' 24AW, 18, and 7

fwiw...My own throat sizes on the mouthpieces that I offer don't creep up much above 8.2mm, and Bach's smallest and most-common (jillions of 24AW mpc's floating around in the world aside) offering is c. 8.3mm
I don't consider 8.2mm to be "small" by any means, and (though some of my throats feature hybrid tapers) I believe there is a great value in a well-pronounced venturi in a brass mouthpiece throat-point.

For measuring back-bores, a very smooth and very gradually-tapered rod is considered a safe method - using a set of measurements. Another method is to gently drop these (see picture, below) down through a throat until one doesn't make it. If the previous one fell through slowly, it's diameter is probably quite close to that of the mouthpiece's throat. If it required a gentle nudge, it may have only been 1/1000" or so smaller than the throat. If it fell though quickly, perhaps 2/1000" - 4/1000 could be added to the diameter of the ball to offer a best-guess at the throat size. These dent balls feature a size graduation of c. .005" (just a bit more than a tenth of a millimeter).

Image

to the topic of "very deep mouthpieces"...
Mine can be made "very deep" via the taller rims ("Profundo") or the machined cup extender rings. Unlike many other "extra-deep" mouthpieces, mine are not (as I do not offer any in my line of mouthpieces) accompanied by "extra-large" throats. Therefore, the amount of work to play mine (when made "extra-deep") remains about the same, bass resonance is added, and very little focus is lost.
I would encourage reserving the use of "very deep mouthpieces" for specific instruments (which benefit, sonically, from their use - determined after extensive review).
Last edited by bloke on Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bowl Mouthpiece help

Postby Donn » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:27 am

Interesting. Assuming those are "throat" dimensions (which I understand to be different from "back-bore"? Their brochure says No. 810 backbore for the full size mouthpieces) ... it doesn't do much to dispel the confusion from Bach's brochure, inasmuch as it's still ambiguous on the dimensions of (say) a Bach 18 you'd find on the shelf at a music store.

Is it the "standard for Bach"? Is it the dimension that you list as "available", brochure says "Special" but also "Standard"? Likely the latter - the .348 throat on the 18 as well as 24AW, as listed on David Werden's chart - but there's that ambiguous language and the popular impression that the 24AW has a large throat, not the same throat and backbore as the 18.
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Re: Bowl Mouthpiece help

Postby bloke » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:33 am

Donn wrote:Interesting. Assuming those are "throat" dimensions (which I understand to be different from "back-bore"? Their brochure says No. 810 backbore for the full size mouthpieces) ... it doesn't do much to dispel the confusion from Bach's brochure, inasmuch as it's still ambiguous on the dimensions of (say) a Bach 18 you'd find on the shelf at a music store.

Is it the "standard for Bach"? Is it the dimension that you list as "available", brochure says "Special" but also "Standard"? Likely the latter - the .348 throat on the 18 as well as 24AW, as listed on David Werden's chart - but there's that ambiguous language and the popular impression that the 24AW has a large throat, and not the same throat and backbore as the 18.


Honestly, I'm not much of an expert on Bach mouthpieces. I had some stuff scribbled down here...
I used an off-the-shelf #7 several decades ago with a 186, also an Alex, and with a 22K sousaphone, and I know that it (as well as a #12...as I have a #12 in glove box of my car as a "you forgot your mouthpiece, stupid" mouthpiece) is a "bowl"-style mouthpiece for under $100 that works. In the "contrabass" mouthpiece category, I wandered from mouthpiece-to-mouthpiece-to-mouthpiece (after abandoning the #7 in my early 20's) for decades until I finally decided to start goofing around on the lathe (starting out with mouthpieces that I knew offered enough material to remove) and having Mrs. bloke judge what sounded best with arrays of models of tubas (as quite a few models find their way here for repair, etc.) Dave cleaned up my shitty prototypes and sent me non-shitty versions of them to re-test...and we were off to the races.
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Re: Bowl Mouthpiece help

Postby royjohn » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:12 am

bloke wrote:
....and having Mrs. bloke judge what sounded best with arrays of models of tubas..."

Ahh-haaa! So Mrs. Bloke is the actual inventress of these! I hope she gets the money! :wink:
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Re: Bowl Mouthpiece help

Postby royjohn » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:34 am

On a more serious note...looking at the discussion here, it looks like the throat diameter would determine how efficient the mpc is in using air. So if I want something that will help in this department, then should I pick a mpc with a fairly narrow throat (~8.2mm or a little less?) and adjust the other parameters (rim diameter, mpc shape, mpc depth, backbore) to produce the kind of sound I want, or is there more to it than that?
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Re: Bowl Mouthpiece help

Postby Donn » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:31 am

Yes, there appears to be more to it. Or less, but anyway, not just like that. I've been kind of persistent about the throat sizes of these common Bach mouthpieces, because they're very well known - and there's a perception that the 24AW has an especially large throat, while the 18 is the ultimate vanilla mouthpiece. So it's interesting that the published throat dimensions appear to be the same.

The 24AW does have a relatively large throat, and apparently it must play like we expect with a mouthpiece with a large throat, so it reinforces that idea, but when you start checking that against various mouthpieces at random, I believe it would break down very quickly. My latest random example: an old Dillon F1 I've been giving a little time, against my Conn 7B. The F1 is bigger, and it needs more breath support, and ... surprise, slightly smaller throat than the 7B.

Now, when you get to balancing throat with all the other parameters - it's hard to argue with that. Easier said than done, though. Might also need to factor in the tuba and its natural resistance etc.
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Re: Bowl Mouthpiece help

Postby royjohn » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:46 am

Hi Donn,
Thanks for your reply...I get the part about "no, it's not just the throat and some mpcs with larger throats don't actually take more air," but beyond that I'm not sure what you are saying...or are you just saying it is a complicated relationship and you just have to cut-and-try and figure it out empirically?
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Re: Bowl Mouthpiece help

Postby Donn » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:58 am

I don't know of another way, besides empirical trial - and of course that can lead you down the wrong path, too, but at least there you can exercise your awareness and judgement and hope to come out ahead. I'm all for conventional wisdom, if it isn't based on abysmal ignorance, but in this matter it appears there's some risk it might be. But right now I'm just asking - what are those throat sizes? Is there a better explanation? etc.
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Re: Bowl Mouthpiece help

Postby royjohn » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:59 pm

Well, today I'm testing mpcs in my Miraclone, looking for the best tone, the least "vanilla" tone. Oddly enough, given this thread, the best mpc for tone seems to be a Benge 24AW. Then, just holding a mid-range note as long as possible, using that (throat 8.84mm by lookup) and my Bobo Symphonic (throat 7.5mm by lookup) there seems to be little difference in how long I can hold a note. In fact, the 24AW may do a little better. the Bobo is the shallowest mpc I have, and the 24AW is medium deep. The 24AW is 31.25mm in diameter while the Bobo is 32.90mm. The backbores don't seem too much different, as far as I can tell. Total cup volume might be about the same, but they're quite different mpcs, yet my ability to hold a note seems dependent more on my vital capacity and ability to hold my breath than it does on the mpc. I sure would like to try this same test with different tubas...has anyone done something like this?
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Re: Bowl Mouthpiece help

Postby iiipopes » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:11 pm

Some years ago, I had the same issue, especially for sousaphone. I had Jim New when he was still at Kanstul make me one of their "18" models, which has the slightly smaller throat, but I had Jim widen the cup from 1.26 to 1.28 for my personal preference. I still have it, but am not using it right now. If you would like to borrow it to see what you think, please sent me a PM.
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