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New Mute for BAT?

Postby the elephant » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:20 am

My new Denis Wick aluminum straight mute arrives tomorrow. I was under the impression that these work well in 6/4 bells with modifications to the corks.

True?

If not, I will set it up for use with my 4/4 CC and my 6/4 F tubas and be done with it.

But I *really* bought it for the Holton 345...

I can re-cork it completely with no problems. If it works in a BAT then that will work out fine for me. Anyone do this? Please share your results from re-corking a DW mute to fit a BAT.

Now, if I do not like this mute in my BATs what are my options for such a bell? I am also interested in the Schlipf mutes, but which one gives the most buzzy metallic tone with a lot of volume?

Not interested in chopping down the large H&B mute. I owned one of them and did not like the tone much. It was really dull. I want something that better matches what our trumpets and trombones get from their metal mutes. I don't want the BAT to just sound muffled, I want it to sound like a really good mute is in the horn. (I like the smaller H&B aluminum mute in smaller tubas, but the large one sort of sucks. I do not want to trim it to get the opening larger or you have to then extend it so it does not go sharp. My personal experience was just that, too...)

I want metallic, buzzy, loud and clear. For a Holton 345 or MW 2165. Have I found this in the DW? Or is that only going to make me happy with my smaller horns?

Anyone?

Bueller?
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Re: New Mute for BAT?

Postby Mark Finley » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:39 am

I find it ironic that the only place I'm asked to ever use a mute is when I'm playing my orchestra gig, (3 times already just this season) but the one horn I dont have a mute for that actually WORKS is my cerveny 601. It's the one with the 18" bell, but has a large throat with just a bit of flare. I don't know if a mute designed for a York bell would work or not, but I'd love to see another option out there for metal Mutes. Right now we basically have "small and medium" as available sizes
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Re: New Mute for BAT?

Postby the elephant » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:55 am

Yep. I feel your pain. I rarely use a mute so I have never invested in a really nice one. Now I have several major works with mute on the schedule for the next three seasons, and I want to remedy that. I have played the DW in a Miraphone 188 and really liked its sound and response. I have read on TN about it being used with a BAT. DW says it was made for a B&H Eb bell (which is like a 4/4 CC bell in many ways) and they say it works well in "larger" bell throats using the additional corks they provide.

I would simply re-cork it to fit my bells specifically. It would no longer fit in the smaller horn bells unless I made the corks removable, which I might do.

Most tuba mutes are garbage, anyway. A mute that is simply *decent* costs like $300 (as did this DW I just bought). Tuba mutes are a niche market, to be sure...

[EDIT: fixed idiotic misspelling]
Last edited by the elephant on Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Mute for BAT?

Postby Mark Finley » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:02 pm

When I had the piggy I actually enjoyed muted parts. When you get a mute that has the tone color change you're looking for without screwing up your intonation or response, it's a nice experience. The piggy with the large h&b did that. My frankentuba Eb with the small H&B has it as well, but I have nothing that is close for my large tuba. It's to the point that I.. Ready to take an extra tuba on stage with me to just play muted parts (if rests dictate it possible)
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Re: New Mute for BAT?

Postby tubapix » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:06 pm

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Re: New Mute for BAT?

Postby Chris Olka » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:17 pm

Remind me in a few days and I’ll do a video of the perfect mute hack for big tubas!
Been doing it for years and it works great for both the Dennis Wick and H&B large mutes.
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Re: New Mute for BAT?

Postby the elephant » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:34 pm

tubapix wrote:Is this an option for you?
http://www.galvanizedjazz.com/tuba/TubaMutes.html


No, not really. I have an excellent homemade mute for my F tuba. I am looking for a VERY NICE spun aluminum mute for my work in the MSO on my 6/4 tubas.

Thanks, though.
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Re: New Mute for BAT?

Postby the elephant » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:34 pm

Chris Olka wrote:Remind me in a few days and I’ll do a video of the perfect mute hack for big tubas!
Been doing it for years and it works great for both the Dennis Wick and H&B large mutes.


Thanks. I would love to see that, Chris.
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Re: New Mute for BAT?

Postby YORK-aholic » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:39 am

the elephant wrote:I would simply record it to fit my bells specifically. It would no longer fit in the smaller horn bells unless I made the corks removable, which I might do.


First of all, I know nothing about mutes.

If you make the corks removable, what about putting the removable 6/4 sized corks between the 'stock' corks, equally spaced? Then with the 6/4 corks on you have a 6/4 mute. Remove them and it could work for your 4/4 CC and your big F...

Just a thought.
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Re: New Mute for BAT?

Postby the elephant » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:48 am

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Re: New Mute for BAT?

Postby bloke » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:53 pm

For a while - until recently - I owned two F tubas with slightly different size bell throats.
I sold one of them, because [1] owning two F tubas is fun - but kinda dumb, and [2] a good kid nearby
was looking for a good F tuba.

When I was using both instruments, though, I bought a roll of composition cork and a roll of Velcro from McMaster/Carr.
I made the additional cork needed (for the slightly larger bell) removable with long Velcro strips well-glued to long cork strips.
(I actually had to use a solvent to remove the not-good-enough factory sticky-stuff from the Velcro, prior to applying my own adhesive.)

Ironically, I ended up leaving the extra cork in place (for use with the smaller-bell-throat F tuba that I kept), because the slight sound-color change loss experienced with the thicker corks ~bothers~ me ~less~ than the added convenience of ~less~ main tuning slide position discrepancy between "muted" and "open" pleases me.

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Re: New Mute for BAT?

Postby the elephant » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:14 pm

Yeah, I have already done this, sort of like Ion does with his mutes, but with much longer strips, and I like the model railroad track insulation, that cork/rubber composite used in cheap water key "corks" on some student horns. It works great as the rubber bits keep it from slipping out or moving around, and the cork is slick enough that it comes out easily, even when shoved in pretty tightly. Good stuff for some things, available at the hobby shop near me.

Mine look a lot like yours, but the ends do not taper down. Nice stuff. I made my mute (with the corks like this, but not removable yet) in 1993. It still works better (pitch-wise over the full range of the horn) than any I have ever used. It is tunable, and that helps a lot. But it is not metal, and that sort of sucks. I use it in quintet as it is also not all that loud, unfortunately. I have one of Ion's earliest mutes (perhaps a prototype or pre-sale version?) from many years ago. It also works very well, but is much more a dampener and less of a tone buzzifier. I need a metal mute for work.

I am just looking for a metal mute that fits the throat of my bells without resorting to two or three inch stacks of cork, as this always seems to remove the buzziness. They are louder, but they sound less like a trumpet mute and more like a load of socks dumped down the bell, which is exactly what I am trying to avoid here.

I cannot use the large H&B because you have to chop the end off, and that makes it play sharper than I have time to adjust for on the fly. I cannot tape (or whatever) a tin can to the end to keep the hole larger while not shortening the mute body, because we have that one uber rich patron who used to play tuba and who now threatens to withhold his $XX,XXX donations if I don't start polishing my horn, my shoes, and have fully professional LOOKING gear. The can would necessitate paining to hide it, and that would kill the advantages of metal, so that would leave me using my vulcanized fiberboard mute I made in 1993, which again, is too small. I made it for my Kalison DS tuba at the time. No way it fits in the Holton or 2165 - it would need 4" corks simply to not fall so far inside that I could not retrieve it while playing.

I am hoping this DW will fit without having to use much more than 2" thick cork strips and that it will be loud and buzzy enough for my job. What is the term you use: snarliness? I need to adopt that term. It is much more descriptive than "buzziness" IMHO.

Any way, if it does not work to my satisfaction I will use it with my smaller two horns and get a Schlipf. Or is that Schlitz?

I have toyed with using a 4/4 tuba bell I have that matched the curvature of the Holton's bell to make a mute, but am unable to find a suitable end cap. I am thinking of sacrificing a larger H&B (the 608?) to make an end cap, but I have no idea how to attach aluminum to brass in that manner.
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Postby bloke » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:25 pm

I agree that there is no real "honest-to-goodness" 6/4 mute that is actually "good" - at least, not that I've encountered.

I'm really lucky that the Wick "sounds good" (whatever that means) in my 5/4, ~yet~ with extra corks added (not shown in previous pictures: Wick mute with additional cork stacked).

I'd like to see a model 208 redesign...more like the profile/shape - *yet larger - of the 206, but with a larger opening in the bottom (ref: Wick)

*

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSMWR5MPCgU
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Re: New Mute for BAT?

Postby Mark » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:55 pm

bloke wrote:When I was using both instruments, though, I bought a roll of composition cork and a roll of Velcro from McMaster/Carr.
I made the additional cork needed (for the slightly larger bell) removable with long Velcro strips well-glued to long cork strips.


I've been considering this. When the extra cork is removed does the Velcro make contact with the bell? Is that the loop side of the Velcro?
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Re: New Mute for BAT?

Postby Chris Olka » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:07 pm

My video on mute hacks will be live in about 2 hours. Internet in the country is a little slow for uploads....
I'll post it as a separate thread when it's live.
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Re: New Mute for BAT?

Postby the elephant » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:22 pm

Thanks, Chris! I will look for that this evening.

To all: It arrived about 30 minutes ago, in perfect condition. It works well in my Kurath F but it is too large, honestly. The sound is very good, though, like my excellent homemade mute but with more volume and clarity, and above the staff is closer to being in tune with the rest of the range. It is sharp, however, like most mutes. I imagine that is due to its not fitting all the way down into the bell as it should. Those B&H Eb tubas mush have pretty open bell throats.

There is no way I will use this in my Holton, though. It will take about four inches of cork just to get the cap to not touch the bell, and to get it where I think it needs to be would require almost 5" tall cork stacks. Nope. Too unstable.

I will keep this excellent mute for work with my 4/4 CC and maybe the F, and have my Balu and my homemade one if I need a different sound or response.

I think I will be calling Lee Stofer to chat about the Schlipf line and see what he can get me.

The DW is an excellent mute, though. I like it as much as my old smaller H&B aluminum (the 206?) and a lot more than the big one (208?). So good purchase after all, even if my goal was not met.

To Chris: I look forward to your video regarding mutes. I read up on mute making (Two Master's theses from the 1960s and 1970s) and made a really good one for myself that I have used for 25 years now. It is just too dull in tone and not loud enough for the orchestra. And I am still interested in using an old bell to make a mute if I could figure out the end cap and how to attach it if it is not brass. Hmm...
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Re: New Mute for BAT?

Postby Chris Olka » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:47 pm

Video is up:
Hope this is a help!
https://youtu.be/2Wk2k4aTjK0
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Re: New Mute for BAT?

Postby bloke » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:54 pm

Roger is asking us, "Do we want his R&S aluminum mutes to be reintroduced to the market?"

Obviously, Roger already has the molds for those he offered in the past...I wonder if he might (??) mess around with working to make an honest-to-goodness GOOD 6/4 mute (again: better shape than the 208, and usable low range response with larger opening).

Admittedly being redundant, I was JUST BARELY able to adapt (though successfully so, thankfully) the Wick mute for my 5/4 size tuba.
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Re: New Mute for BAT?

Postby the elephant » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:13 pm

The R&S mutes were the plastic ones with the little knobs for feet.

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Re: New Mute for BAT?

Postby bloke » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:58 am

Several years ago, Roger displayed/sold some spun aluminum mutes that - frankly - were similar in size/scope to H&B, but sported fancy faceted aluminum tops.

I'm sure Roger has pictures.

I'm thinking this may have been during his "TubaDome" and the "wwbw bankruptcy" and the subsequent "DEG losing USA Willson distribution" era...roughly a decade ago...
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