Bass trombone and Eb tuba

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brtnats
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Bass trombone and Eb tuba

Post by brtnats » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:59 am

(This may need to be moved to History, but Mouthpieces seemed like a good place to start.)


There’s a thread in the old form archives talking about Edward Kleinhammer and his Eb tuba mouthpiece that he described in The Art of Trombone Playing. Seems to be a lot of anecdotal evidence flying around that Schilke copied that mouthpiece and came up with the Schilke 60. Here’s my question:

I recently bought a Conn 14J Eb tuba from a forum member. It’s a small shank tuba that uses a bass trombone shank. I normally play bass trombone on a Yamaha Yeo, and as Doug has related, his mouthpiece is based on the idea of improving the Schilke 60. I plugged the Yeo in the to Eb tuba, and I had immediate access to the entire range of the instrument, including the false tones between low A and pedal Eb. I wanted to see if a bigger rim or cup would improve anything, so I got some other small shank tuba mouthpieces and started experimenting. Every time the Yeo is the winner, which got me thinking about Kleinhammer’s original statement.

Are these larger bass trombone mouthpieces really descended from Eb tuba mouthpieces? Do small Eb tubas generally work better with Schilke 60 sized mouthpieces? Can anyone actually verify that the Schilke 60, and thus the 1G and all variants, started with the Eb tuba mouthpiece Kleinhammer kept in his case?
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BGuttman
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Re: Bass trombone and Eb tuba

Post by BGuttman » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:09 am

I have an old Conn Eb tuba (1892) that is actually bass trombone shank. I get my best results on a Marcinkiewicz 105 or 107. The original mouthpiece for it was actually closer to a Schilke 59 than any tuba mouthpiece I own.
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dershem
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Re: Bass trombone and Eb tuba

Post by dershem » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:22 pm

I have one of those Conns, and used a Marcinkiewicz 107 on it for a while, but it made it sound and feel like a big Euphonium. Had a tube receiver put on and now use a 25.
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Re: Bass trombone and Eb tuba

Post by dukesboneman » Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:14 am

I`ve had 2 older Conn Eb Tubas (3 valve) The mouthpiece that I`ve (by accident) found is an older Miraphone Eb (that`s all it says) mouthpiece
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Re: Bass trombone and Eb tuba

Post by hyperbolica » Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:10 am

I had a very small Eb tuba and the mouthpiece that came with it was much larger than any bass bone mouthpiece.

I also have a couple small tuba shank mouthpieces (plastic Kellyberg and Wick 2) and both are way too big for a bass bone.

I take the mouthpieces of trombone deities with a grain of salt. That mouthpiece did not make Kleinhammer great. He made it great. I am not Kleinhammer, so I know I cannot make gear like that sound good. On bass bone I prefer 1.25g size and on small Eb i can tolerate a wider range of size.

Don't worry about what Yeo or Kleinhammer played unless you're in their league.
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Re: Bass trombone and Eb tuba

Post by Kbiggs » Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:13 am

Many years ago, I played on a Marcinkiewicz 105. Yes, it’s very much like a small tuba mouthpiece.

I think the point of Kleinhammer’s story was that musicians sometimes have to go to extremes to achieve the desired effect. In the example he writes about, he used an Eb tuba mouthpiece for pedal tones in pieces like Symphonie Fantastique.

Based on Kleinhammer’s experience, I think it would be hard to say that modern very large bass trombone mouthpieces descended from Eb (or even F) tuba mouthpieces. Yes, some bass mouthpiece designs may have borrowed elements from tuba mouthpieces—rim size and shape, perhaps depth, etc. That is, Kleinhammer’s experience (and other’s) might have contributed to the tendency beginning in the 70’s and 80’s to use larger and larger equipment. Some small tuba mouthpieces may even work in bass (or contrabass) trombones, and vice versa. But I think they’re different things.

Some people can play very large equipment and still sound like a bass trombone rather than a “slide tuba.” (I’m not one of them.) Some tuba players can use small mouthpieces and maintain a good sound. I think it’s more important to ask, “Does it sound good?” rather than “Does it work?”
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Pre59
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Re: Bass trombone and Eb tuba

Post by Pre59 » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:31 pm

Around '68-'70 I was playing a Boosey and Hawkes 555 on a Eb tuba m/p. Years later I recognised it as a Conn Helleberg copy. It was the best available option the time, and much better than the supplied B+H m/p.

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brtnats
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Re: Bass trombone and Eb tuba

Post by brtnats » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:32 am

Kbiggs wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:13 am
Many years ago, I played on a Marcinkiewicz 105. Yes, it’s very much like a small tuba mouthpiece.

I think the point of Kleinhammer’s story was that musicians sometimes have to go to extremes to achieve the desired effect. In the example he writes about, he used an Eb tuba mouthpiece for pedal tones in pieces like Symphonie Fantastique.

Based on Kleinhammer’s experience, I think it would be hard to say that modern very large bass trombone mouthpieces descended from Eb (or even F) tuba mouthpieces. Yes, some bass mouthpiece designs may have borrowed elements from tuba mouthpieces—rim size and shape, perhaps depth, etc. That is, Kleinhammer’s experience (and other’s) might have contributed to the tendency beginning in the 70’s and 80’s to use larger and larger equipment. Some small tuba mouthpieces may even work in bass (or contrabass) trombones, and vice versa. But I think they’re different things.

Some people can play very large equipment and still sound like a bass trombone rather than a “slide tuba.” (I’m not one of them.) Some tuba players can use small mouthpieces and maintain a good sound. I think it’s more important to ask, “Does it sound good?” rather than “Does it work?”
With all respect, I think you’re missing some of the story.

I’ve confirmed through some research this summer that yes, the size of mouthpiece that was supplied with early 20th-century Eb tubas correlates to our modern Schilke 60-sized mouthpieces. So when Kleinhammer said he kept an Eb tuba mouthpiece in his case (and I really don’t care WHY he did it—he’s Kleinhammer—he does what he wants), he had a mouthpiece that correlated to approximately a Schilke 60.

The part I CAN’T verify yet is the rumor that Schilke copied that mouthpiece and marketed it as a Schilke 60. It’s pretty commonly told that Vincent Bach asked his mouthpiece makers to make the biggest mouthpiece they could out of a tenor trombone mp blank, and that’s where we got the 1G. But the rumor says that Kleinhammer’s Eb tuba mouthpiece was the genesis of the Schilke 60, and I’ve read that the 1G was Bach’s response to the 60.

Earlier Eb tuba mouthpiece are the same size, and often the same shape, as large bass trombone mouthpieces today (larger than 1.5G size). I’m just looking for confirmation on the Kleinhammer/Schilke connection at this point.
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Re: Bass trombone and Eb tuba

Post by FOSSIL » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:44 am

Nearly 20 years ago I used an old tuba mouthpiece as my regular equipment on the bass trombone.... I still have it... made by Holton when they were in Chicago. The rim is slightly smaller than a Schilke 60.... cup about as deep with a very big throat . I played it for 2 or 3 years. I remember Denis Wick looking at it and asking me about it..... shortly after that the Wick 00AL came out.... a connection ??? .... no, not at all. Easy as an amateur historian to put two and two together and make five. Proceed with care. It really doesn't matter anyway.
I have never heard the 'commonly' told tale of Vincent Bach and the 1G.... any first hand accounts ? I thought his company connections were more symbolic by the time the oversize stuff came out.
If you are not used to modern tuba mouthpieces, you are very likely to get 'better' results from a large bass trombone mouthpiece... to begin with. It will change if you get more into tuba.

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Basbasun
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Re: Bass trombone and Eb tuba

Post by Basbasun » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:27 am

I think it was 1970 when the Chicago orchestra visited Stockholm, Edward Kleinhammer was playing an bored out Schilke 60. I have heard him sounding much better than that in my taste. (Actually very good)
In the 80th I experimented a lot with mpc together with George Strucel. We made (among lots of othe things) a tuba mouthpiece with a trombone rim. A 1 1/2G rim. Actully it worked over the whole range, I used on some jazz gigs with bigbands. Even the lowest pedals could be played (and lower). But I got feed up with the sound. Some players liked it though. I did put a tuba mpc in the trombone jus to investigate if I could find tones lower than the double pedals. I would never play that combination in an orchestra though, far from how I want to sound.
Kbiggs
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Re: Bass trombone and Eb tuba

Post by Kbiggs » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:37 am

brtnats wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:32 am

With all respect, I think you’re missing some of the story.

I’ve confirmed through some research this summer that yes, the size of mouthpiece that was supplied with early 20th-century Eb tubas correlates to our modern Schilke 60-sized mouthpieces. So when Kleinhammer said he kept an Eb tuba mouthpiece in his case (and I really don’t care WHY he did it—he’s Kleinhammer—he does what he wants), he had a mouthpiece that correlated to approximately a Schilke 60.

The part I CAN’T verify yet is the rumor that Schilke copied that mouthpiece and marketed it as a Schilke 60. It’s pretty commonly told that Vincent Bach asked his mouthpiece makers to make the biggest mouthpiece they could out of a tenor trombone mp blank, and that’s where we got the 1G. But the rumor says that Kleinhammer’s Eb tuba mouthpiece was the genesis of the Schilke 60, and I’ve read that the 1G was Bach’s response to the 60.

Earlier Eb tuba mouthpiece are the same size, and often the same shape, as large bass trombone mouthpieces today (larger than 1.5G size). I’m just looking for confirmation on the Kleinhammer/Schilke connection at this point.
You’re right, I am probably missing part of the story. The “why” got from his book, where he mentions it in one paragraph. His other mouthpiece approaches to specific musical problems—the bored-out mouthpiece, the adjustable cup mouthpiece, etc.—take up about 1/2 a chapter.

An Eb tuba mouthpiece might have been the origin of the Schilke 60. What’s more important, though, is how many people play a stock 60 and sound good on it? There are no figures available, but I think it’s fair to say that we hear a lot of people use a variation on it—one of CV 60’s, or another brand like Hammond, Laskey, Elliott, etc., because it’s pretty difficult for most people to play a 60 and sound like a trombone.

I’ve heard many different things about the 60, and I found it true when I tried to play it: it’s unbalanced, it makes people sound like a tuba, the high range is flat, etc. Some of that can be mitigated by practice. But practice can only overcome so much.

Don’t underestimate the motivation that many people have to buying a bigger mouthpiece: “Professional X uses this, I want to sound like X, therefore I must use his equipment,” or “Bigger is better.”

In other words: just because Edward Kleinhammer, one of the greatest bass trombonists, played a Schilke 60, doesn’t mean it’s a great mouthpiece. If, indeed, the story is true—Schilke based the mouthpiece on an Eb tuba mouthpiece—then that would account for the many difficulties people have when attempting to play on it. What is beyond doubt: Kleinhammer sounded great no matter what equipment he used.
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Re: Bass trombone and Eb tuba

Post by brassmedic » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:13 pm

I have an old Eb tuba mouthpiece. The inner rim diameter is about 29.8 mm, the throat is about 8 mm, and the rim is much wider than any bass trombone mouthpiece. The schilke 60 is supposedly 29.03 and 7.94. Doesn't seem to be copied fron the size I have, at least.
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Savio
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Re: Bass trombone and Eb tuba

Post by Savio » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:02 am

I tried an Eb tuba mouthpiece yesterday, but didn't get much out of it. I believe big bass trombone mouthpieces might have been inspired from tuba but the design have to be modified to fit a trombone? Both inside and outside?

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Re: Bass trombone and Eb tuba

Post by Basbasun » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:34 am

Some tuba mpc:s made in the 40:s could probably be used in a trombone. In some sitations. Like very loud tone in the contra octave. With a conductor with absurd taste. But, the swedish basstrombonist Anders Wiborg play a special mpc with an inner rim that is 30mm. And he does sound very good on that. Som you never know.
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