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Tuba mouthpiece shank sizes, a description.

Postby Matt Walters » Tue Sep 27, 2005 4:24 pm

A year or two ago, I made this simplified explaination of the different mouthpiece shank sizes and have sent it to my Dillon Music Customers when I needed to clear up confusion on the shank size issue. I hope this will be a valuable tool to everyone on the TubeNet BBS.

TUBA SHANK SIZES

In the world of tuba mouthpieces, it seems there are five (5) general shank sizes and that, can lead to confusion. The Standard American and European Shank sizes, followed by the Large Shank, are the most common sizes that fit modern production tubas. From smallest to largest, we offer the following information to shed a little light on the subject.

SMALL EUROPEAN: Having a diameter of .490" at small end of shank, this size is offered by Dennis Wick in the sizes 1 through 5. Just make sure you order the one without the "L" in the model number. This size is most commonly used on old Besson tubas and old American Eb tubas. I hear this referred to as the Eb tuba size. Some old German, etc. 3/4 size BBb tubas have also shown up with that receiver size. If you are having trouble figuring out what small size shank your old tuba needs, it is about the same size as a large shank trombone mouthpiece. Borrow one from a trombonist and see for yourself. You can order a Denis Wick mouthpiece, or to have a wider variety of mouthpieces to choose from, consider replacing the receiver for about the price of a mouthpiece.

STANDARD AMERICAN: The reference point for this size of about .520" at the small end of the shank. A good example would be the Bach, and Conn Helleberg tuba mouthpieces. This is the most common size here in the United States. In the Dennis Wick line, you need to make sure it has the "L" in the model number to get this standard size. Our regular size shank Dillon Mouthpieces are also of this size. Besides American built horns, many European horns like Miraphone can use this size.

EUROPEAN SHANK: This is an increasingly popular shank size of about .530" diameter at the small end of the shank. It is found in mouthpieces like the JK Exclusive, Perantucci, Laskey "E" shank, and of course our wonderful Sheridan Series of mouthpieces. Most every European and American tuba built these days, will accept this shank size.

LARGE SHANK: This is a larger size that measures about .550" diameter at the small end of the shank. It works well on the larger European tubas. Especially horns with large diameter leadpipes like the "York" copies and most Alexander model 163 CC tubas. This is the size of our Dillon Music "L" shank mouthpiece and the new Wick 2XL.

KAISER SHANK: With a measurement of about .585" in diameter at the small end of the shank, this truly is a "Kaiser" size. It fits the largest Alexander model 164, a few ‘one off’ model 163's, and some original York receivers we've come across. Anyone needing this size shank will need to get a custom built mouthpiece, or have an adapter made.

I hope this explanation will be of help to you.
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Shank sizes

Postby TubaRay » Tue Sep 27, 2005 4:34 pm

Wow! What a clear and definitive reference on mouthpiece shank sizes. I have already made a hard copy for my files. Thanks, Matt. This is quite helpful.
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Postby Kevin Hendrick » Tue Sep 27, 2005 6:12 pm

Very helpful indeed -- it's nice to have numbers to go with the sizes. Much appreciated. 8)
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Thanks!

Postby sc_curtis » Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:17 pm

I have to agree with Kevin, it is good to have those specific numbers to match up with. I really appreciate this post!

Thanks Matt!
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Postby iiipopes » Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:17 pm

Hey, Sean -- this has "sticky" written all over it! Or at least add it to your tips section link at the top of the forum.
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Postby SplatterTone » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:57 pm

And then ...
There is the size officially known as Chinese Oddball. End of the shank about 0.512". Larger than small shank, smaller than American shank. Came with no-name Chinese horn from Bandfolio about 3-4 years ago. It makes a great paper weight. The horn does very well with American shank MPs even if they do stick out a bit.
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Postby cjk » Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:54 am

Miraphone shanks (at least my C4, TU21, and Rose Solo) have a shank that's a tiny bit larger than American and smaller than European.

http://www.dougelliottmouthpieces.com/cbtuba.html has some additional interesting information about shank sizes too.

[quote="Doug Elliott's web site "]

Shank sizes and tapers: (Shank should fit into the receiver 1â€
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Re: Tuba mouthpiece shank sizes, a description.

Postby KevinMadden » Mon Nov 23, 2015 6:01 pm

Don't mind me resurrecting an 8 year old thread but...

One of my fellow students and I find ourselves repairing some OLLLLLLLLLD York Ebs for the local Salvation Army and they have the SMALL (slightly smaller than large shank Euph) old American shank.

1) Does anyone other than Denis Wick and Doug Elliot make mouthpieces for this shank?

2) how involved is changing out the receiver and how likely are we to completely screw up the taper of the leadpipe if we tried to put a modern American receiver on it?

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Re: Tuba mouthpiece shank sizes, a description.

Postby cjk » Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:40 am

Kelly offers several models in the smaller Eb shank size:
http://www.kellymouthpieces.com/kmstain ... /index.asp
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Re: Tuba mouthpiece shank sizes, a description.

Postby TubaBeage » Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:39 am

Interesting post, well worth a bump.

Are all the tapers the same angle?
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Re: Tuba mouthpiece shank sizes, a description.

Postby joh_tuba » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:29 am

Isn't the Perantucci shank between American and Euro?
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Re: Tuba mouthpiece shank sizes, a description.

Postby Donn » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:40 am

cjk wrote:Kelly offers several models in the smaller Eb shank size


I have one of those, and had to sand it pretty thin to get it into my Italian Eb receiver, where a Denis Wick small shank fits. Denis Wick measures .490, in agreement with the above.

From as best as I can measure, American standard shanks from mid 20th century Conn and Schilke are more like .530 than .520.
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Re: Tuba mouthpiece shank sizes, a description.

Postby jeopardymaster » Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:54 pm

That's good information with respect to the mouthpiece, but what about from the standpoint of the horn? How do these measure at the opening of the receiver? I'm looking at one Alexander with an aperture of 18 millimeters, and another with an insert that reduces the aperture to around 15 mm, and accepts a standard US mouthpiece shank.
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Re: Tuba mouthpiece shank sizes, a description.

Postby TubaBeage » Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:18 am

TubaBeage wrote:Interesting post, well worth a bump.

Are all the tapers the same angle?



It tuns out the Small European shanks are 1:20 (ref Jarno#5 comes up a lot).

The Large European and current standard type MP (13.3mm at the small end of the taper) are 2:45 (or 1:22.5) which does not seem to meet any machining standard?
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Re: Tuba mouthpiece shank sizes, a description.

Postby iiipopes » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:36 am

TubaBeage wrote:Interesting post, well worth a bump.

Are all the tapers the same angle?

If not, and the receiver is not worn, a reamer can fix that.
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Re: Tuba mouthpiece shank sizes, a description.

Postby basslizard » Wed Jan 29, 2020 3:24 am

cjk wrote:Kelly offers several models in the smaller Eb shank size:
http://www.kellymouthpieces.com/kmstain ... /index.asp" target="_blank


Given that this post is 5 years old, Kelly may have changed their sizing.... according to their website,

Receiver diameter sizes:

Small-shank Tuba .55
American-shank Tuba .58
European shank tuba .59
Kaiser shank tuba .61

They have large bore trombone mouthpieces listed as the same receiver diameter as the small-shank tuba, which would agree with my ability to use the same VB 6.5 on my bass trombone that I do on my Eb tuba, except that I just ordered and received one, and it doesn't fit very well at all. It's too long and sets my pitch too low for me to compensate for. I was trying to see if a small tuba mouthpiece would be a better option than a large trombone one. The answer is yes, and no.

I need to measure my receivers. Then I need to go ahead and order the correct shank size from Bloke. I already have a solo cup. I'm starting to prefer the other cup/shank combo I have for my Bb anyway.
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Re: Tuba mouthpiece shank sizes, a description.

Postby Donn » Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:26 am

basslizard wrote:They have large bore trombone mouthpieces listed as the same receiver diameter as the small-shank tuba, which would agree with my ability to use the same VB 6.5 on my bass trombone that I do on my Eb tuba, except that I just ordered and received one, and it doesn't fit very well at all. It's too long and sets my pitch too low for me to compensate for. I was trying to see if a small tuba mouthpiece would be a better option than a large trombone one. The answer is yes, and no.


You got a Kelly small shank? If it was too big, that matches my experience - as I mentioned, I had to sand it pretty thin.
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Re: Tuba mouthpiece shank sizes, a description.

Postby basslizard » Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:18 am

Donn wrote:
You got a Kelly small shank? If it was too big, that matches my experience - as I mentioned, I had to sand it pretty thin.


You said that in another thread, and I took it to heart, but then decided your horn must have a smaller receiver than mine, and maybe it does. But the Kelly doesn't fit in the large bore/bass trombone that I have either, so I wonder if they make them too big? It's already pretty thin, but I'm going to try to sand it a bit as well.

I'm not as enamored with the sound - I think it's a little dull. I was trying to find something inexpensive to see if I was on the right track before spending serious money on a good mouthpiece, as well as whether or not I continue to rehab this old horn on my own, or find someone who actually knows what they're doing.
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Re: Tuba mouthpiece shank sizes, a description.

Postby iiipopes » Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:40 pm

I just realized that my above two posts in this thread are almost exactly thirteen years apart. Tempus fugit!
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Lexan 32.6 Modified Helleberg rim & modified .080 extender
Wessex BR115 & B&H 3-valve comp w/ Wick Ultra SMB6
King Super 20 trumpet w/ Bach 3C/76
Fanned fret bass and electric guitars
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Re: Tuba mouthpiece shank sizes, a description.

Postby Donn » Thu Jan 30, 2020 6:58 pm

basslizard wrote:I'm not as enamored with the sound - I think it's a little dull. I was trying to find something inexpensive to see if I was on the right track before spending serious money on a good mouthpiece, as well as whether or not I continue to rehab this old horn on my own, or find someone who actually knows what they're doing.


I have the "X-SMALL", described as a "student" mouthpiece. I have not yet noticed that it has provided any educational experiences (other than "don't believe shank size descriptions", but I'm guessing that wasn't what the student is supposed to get out of it.) Anyway, it may be a little brighter than my Denis Wick 5, but maybe a little thinner in tone.

After reading TubaBeage's observations on shank tapers, on the preceding page in this thread ... it would be funny if they had indeed sized it to match a bass trombone mouthpiece, but a Brown & Sharpe taper like an old Conn 3B. Unfortunately, I didn't think to check that before I started sanding, but as best as I can make out at this time, it's more like a normal Morse taper.
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