Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

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Savio
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Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by Savio » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:46 pm

It has been up to discussions many times. And we love and hate that that discuss. Today I played two family performances with lot of disney songs. In a small setting, no mic so I had to be mostly very soft but also loud a few times. I have played the Mt Vernon for some years and today I know there was some people recording it, so I used Mt Vernon in the first performance and the Hammond 19 in the second.

Why will somebody ask? I admit I sometimes feels the Mt Vernon is not the most easy one to play. It feels good on my chops but not easy compared to similar size in other brands. As said, two identical performances today and no surprise , the Hammond feels easier. I felt I did everything right on it.

Then the recording came. Even if I thought I did it boring and bad on the Mt Vernon, it was very clear the best in all aspects. I thought there was some mistakes, out of tune, and a little boring in dynamic. It was not at all the case. I wish I could show you the recordings, but there is other people involved so I can't. So with words, the big difference was the sound. Cant explain it, sorry. Deeper, much more present in all dynamics.....the list goes on. And the mistakes I thought I did was not there...Maybe because the first performance we always is more aware of mistakes and the second performance is more relaxing?

Mostly it shows that what you feel is not the same as what you really sound out in public.

Be aware all of you, equipment is a tiny part of it....music, fun, practicing, being with friends is all that means something.

Leif
imsevimse
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by imsevimse » Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:08 pm

The only one who never will know exactly how you sound is you :hi: It sounds weird but if you think about it even though you hear yourself to the death you will never hear the true you. The sound travels thru your body and gets coloured by the bones on the inside on its way to your ears. This sound inside mix with the sound in the room which always has bounced at least once before it gets to your ears. You will never hear your direct sound. Okey, there are recording devices that you can use but we all know it is not the same sound as the live sound. You can compare your recorded sound to other recorded sounds and that way you may have a clue.

I think you are right about practice. No equipment can replace the practice session and no gear can substitute musicality, but if you do practice a lot then gear is important. If we talk about mouthpieces the differences are big. The size makes a difference, the rim makes a difference. The feel and sound is also different if the weight is different. First of all is practice but then gear makes difference to tromboneplayers just as skies makes difference to a skier. A person who can not ski will not do much better with a professionals choice of gear, but a professional skier wins seconds with the high tech skies. It makes him win the race.

Hold on to that Mnt. Vernon. Not all will do that well with such a treasur :good:

What size? Is it Bach 1 1/2?

/Tom
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blast
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by blast » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:35 am

Well Leif, not a big reaction. The population of this forum seem to play Doug Elliotts or AR resonance's they wouldn't know what you are talking about. The players whose sound you admire, mostly played Mt Vernon 1 1/2G and 2G models.... so you get closest to that sound with just such a mouthpiece. No surprise really.
Those old Bachs are not the easiest to play on, but give great results to those who persevere. Many, many young players here in the UK seek out those mouthpieces and do not regret it. I do not consider mouthpieces are like shoes and are all about fitting the player's face... there is much more to it than that, as the mouthpiece, through it's size and design has a massive effect on the final sound... at least with advanced players.
In the last 30-40 years, many bass trombone players have gone with the easier option of larger mouthpieces and the resulting change of tone has now become the accepted norm in many parts of the world.
It is what it is.
You and I are fossils, clinging to that old sound. I don't care though.... I LIKE that sound, as do you.
A couple of years ago a gentleman called William Symington had some CNC copies made of one of my Mt Vernon 1 1/2Gs, I did a couple of tweeks to prototypes and the result works very well.... not exactly the same as a Mt Vernon, but easier both high and low. I have just started using one made of Zirconium and find this closest to the MV..... but it does cost about the same as a MV....
As has been mentioned, no equipment is a substitute for hours invested in musical and physical development and the vast majority of trombonists are better off investing in practise and lessons.

Chris
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by sf105 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:57 am

@blast. I tried one of Bill's copies in a recently acquired pre-war 70H and it just sings. That's probably helped because, as I understand it, the shank was already adjusted for Conns.One thing II'm curious about is an equivalent Conn bass mouthpiece. I'm sure you have an opinion :)
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by imsevimse » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:03 am

Chris, I think I'm a dinosaur too :-) I have never liked the idea that bigger is better. To me the biggest mouthpieces I have are not the best choice. On small bores 11C'-ish are great or the great Mnt. Vernon 12C that I played until the plating was lost. Now I'm on a 6 3/4C, still close to 11C. On medium and large bore I play Bach 5-ish mouthpieces by Hammond (12M) and on bass a Bach 1 1/4-ish Hammond (20BL).

In the Johan Stengård Jazz Big Band the tenors use Conn 44h, 24h, 4h or Bach 6 which all are .485 bore to be as close to the dinosaur-old trombone-section-sound of the Basie Band as possible. We have to play vintage because no new horns exists over here in that size. Are there any new .485 horns made?

After I bought my Holton 169 I have used that horn on every Big Band gig I've had. Even though it has only one valve the sound is worth every fake C and B. I have started to practice to play E-tuning to be more fluent when I retune.

I have never liked the sound that often comes with too large equipment, often the trombone sound gets muddy and hollow. I think some go bigger as it hides the nasal sound you get if you can not play a smaller mouthpiece properly.

The hollow sound can happen even with professional players. When the best players, soloists with very well developed chops play it is different, but I guess it is individual and they have the strength to do that. Weaker emboushures tend to produce an unfocused sound with no core on too large mouthpieces.

I do understand if people with very large lips choose to play wider rims, but wide is not the same as deep There are individual physical reasons why we like different mouthpieces, but larger mouthpieces are not better per se. Choose the mouthpiece that gives the sound you want.

Yes, I'm a dinosaur too. I would love to try a Mnt. Vernon on my Holton 169 Bass.

/Tom
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Matt K
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by Matt K » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:43 am

imsevimse wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:03 am
In the Johan Stengård Jazz Big Band the tenors use Conn 44h, 24h, 4h or Bach 6 which all are .485 bore to be as close to the dinosaur-old trombone-section-sound of the Basie Band as possible. We have to play vintage because no new horns exists over here in that size. Are there any new .485 horns made?
There are actually numerous options, though fewer are exactly a .485 specifically; dual bore options that are similar to the 2B's specs seem to be the norm:
  • The quintessential King 2B is still produced, and is a .481/.491
  • Shires offers a 485 as a stock option, as well as several dual bore options as custom.
  • One of Thein's models is .488.
  • Rath's R12 is .481/.491.
  • The Yamaha 897z is .484/490
But I think the 'age' of the equipment is a bit of a red-herring. Back 60 years ago, there was a tremendous amount of self-selection bias in players because of the limited amount of equipment available. Players either were able to play it or they weren't and they did something else with their life. Now there is a tremendous amount of diversity of sounds that reflect the physiology of the players. I tried a Mt. Vernon 11C on a Bach 6 for the better part of a year when I was in graduate school --- even in that time period, I immediately sounded better switching back to one of Doug's pieces; an experience that reflect's Doug's as well. He tried something akin to an ST97 or something if I recall when he was in the Airmen for an extended period of time but the 'larger' rim size provides an absolute advantage for players like us.

If you work well with the 'older' equipment, there's little reason to switch to something more 'modern' if those are the paradigms you want to put them in. The equipment has been tested and proven over years and years and years of refining. But similarly, if they don't work for you, there's such a wonderful amount of diversity that you can have something that matches your physiology that you don't need to force yourself to play it. You aren't going to sound like George Roberts doing that, but maybe it isn't possible for everyone to be him. I don't necessarily think that is a lamentable position in the same way that I don't think it is lamentable that if someone does put the time in and has the right physiology to get that sound, that that player is inferior in anyway. They're just two different sounds.

What is unfortunate, in my estimation, are the players who are physiologically setup to be closer to one side of that spectrum who feel like the need to be on the other solely because of peer pressure. In other words, someone who would be better served by playing something smaller that feels the need to play a 'handcannon' or 'tuba-on-a-stick' as it is pejoratively called and ends up with an unfocused sound. Or the player who tries tirelessly to make something vintage work (for the sake of balance, pejoratively called a 'peashooter') when they would be better served with something that has more timbral flexibility. Or maybe something that is less flexible but different in some capacity. (E.g. I can sound bright on basically any equipment but other people have the exact opposite 'problem')
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by harrisonreed » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:58 am

I pine for the old days and those flat rimmed, raw brass mouthpieces, and .430 bores.

You Mt. Vernon guys are playing on some crazy equipment.
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Burgerbob
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by Burgerbob » Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:11 pm

Ah, the good old days, when men were men and the mouthpieces only sounded good.

I've heard some of those UK players on old 2Gs and 62Hs. I love that sound. Do I want to sound like that? Nope.
blast
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by blast » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:19 pm

Well I didn't mock you guys....
If I start you won't be happy. There some pretty big glass houses around here.

Chris
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by Schlitz » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:13 pm

blast wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:19 pm
Well I didn't mock you guys....
If I start you won't be happy. There some pretty big glass houses around here.

Chris
I can probably drink both of them under the table, several times over. So yes, I have my Bach’s, and a Conn 72H. I do use a 2G, Conn 1 1/4H, and some others. Looks like a few 8 ounce whine coolers here...
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by Burgerbob » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:27 pm

Chris, I have the utmost respect for you and your playing. I love the recordings I have heard. Don't misinterpret what I am saying.

Some of us don't live on the island and need to play what the people around us play, especially when we don't have big jobs yet. Honestly, for me, the 2G is not an option.
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by blast » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:15 pm

Thanks Burgerbob. I already admitted that I am a fossil. The classic sound thing seems just as strong with the young generation here which in a way surprises me. I think when I was young I was looking for something new. Always looking for a new sound... then I realised that the sounds I grew up with I actually liked.... life is odd. We have played old Conns in the UK since they weren't old Conns and have sought out Mt Vernon Bachs where possible for years.... the way it is here. Some Germans use even older stuff ... some modern... great traditional sounds that are important to them. I used my 1850 Piering in a recording a couple of years back, but Ian Bousfield was using an even older Sax trombone so it was appropriate.
Right tools for the job... simple as that.
This old fossil presently uses a Rath R9 with Mick's seriously funky scratch lacquer finish and a Zirconium MV copy mouthpiece, so I try and put a slightly new twist on things .
There are different sounds and good and bad examples of every variation. Choose the gear that might help you make your desired sound... whatever it is.... and work at it.

Chris
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by Tbarh » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:49 pm

Burgerbob wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:27 pm
Chris, I have the utmost respect for you and your playing. I love the recordings I have heard. Don't misinterpret what I am saying.

Some of us don't live on the island and need to play what the people around us play, especially when we don't have big jobs yet. Honestly, for me, the 2G is not an option.
Why do You need to play what People around You play..? . I Just saw an interview with Jay Friedman where he stated that the members of the Chicago Section (the former) had very different sounds.. Jay, very dark, Crissafulli bright but big, Kleinhammer very clear... Denis Wick said that they sounded like One giant trombone... You are supposed to carry your own weight in the Section by supplying a distinct voice and captivating sound... Blend is a question of doing Your Job and listen more than You play!

Trond
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by Burgerbob » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:45 pm

blast wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:15 pm
Choose the gear that might help you make your desired sound... whatever it is.... and work at it.

Chris
Thanks, Chris! :biggrin:

And my gear is changing shortly, actually.

Tbarh wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:49 pm

Why do You need to play what People around You play..? . I Just saw an interview with Jay Friedman

Trond
All of this is true. Yes, I should sound like me, but not to the expense of playing with others.

You have to realize that he's talking about a section 40+ years ago that had been in the job for years already- not people new to the scene trying to win a job.
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by LeTromboniste » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:54 pm

harrisonreed wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:58 am
I pine for the old days and those flat rimmed, raw brass mouthpieces, and .430 bores.

You Mt. Vernon guys are playing on some crazy equipment.
:shuffle:
Maximilien Brisson
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by harrisonreed » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:25 pm

LeTromboniste wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:54 pm
harrisonreed wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:58 am
I pine for the old days and those flat rimmed, raw brass mouthpieces, and .430 bores.

You Mt. Vernon guys are playing on some crazy equipment.
:shuffle:
Got'immm!!! That was for you!

Chris I was just kidding with my comment, and it was really meant to show how there is no one true correct choice of mouthpiece or gear, and not trying to put you down.

In any case, my favorite trombonist plays on the smallest mouthpiece I've ever tried and I have no idea how he does it. Christian Lindberg would have a lot to say about mouthpieces and no one here would agree with him. But I'd wager he's had the biggest audience, whatever you say about his crazy ideas.
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by Tbarh » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:29 am

Burgerbob wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:45 pm
blast wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:15 pm
Choose the gear that might help you make your desired sound... whatever it is.... and work at it.

Chris
Thanks, Chris! :biggrin:

And my gear is changing shortly, actually.

Tbarh wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:49 pm

Why do You need to play what People around You play..? . I Just saw an interview with Jay Friedman

Trond
All of this is true. Yes, I should sound like me, but not to the expense of playing with others.

You have to realize that he's talking about a section 40+ years ago that had been in the job for years already- not people new to the scene trying to win a job.
Why do You think that winning a Job has so much with what equipment You are playing? I should sound like me but not to the expense of playing with others, You say.. Are they mutually exclusive? I dont think so!... Be a musician, not a sound generator!
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by Burgerbob » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:38 am

Still have to be a musician that other people want to play next to. We don't get to play in a vacuum.
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by Tbarh » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:44 am

Burgerbob wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:38 am
Still have to be a musician that other people want to play next to. We don't get to play in a vacuum.
My point exactly! :shuffle:
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by Burgerbob » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:56 am

Yup... And when those people expect something, they don't want to hear something radically different.

A good friend of mine sent a tape to a UK orchestra for an audition. They told him that his sound basically not appropriate for their needs. He is a really great player and has done plenty of professional work--but he doesn't have the sound they are looking for. It's that simple.
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by Tbarh » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:59 am

Burgerbob wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:56 am
Yup... And when those people expect something, they don't want to hear something radically different.

A good friend of mine sent a tape to a UK orchestra for an audition. They told him that his sound basically not appropriate for their needs. He is a really great player and has done plenty of professional work--but he doesn't have the sound they are looking for. It's that simple.
Maybe his sound simply wasnt good enough.. The Brits are spoiled with good bass trombone sound..
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by Burgerbob » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:59 am

I'll just rest my case.
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by FeelMyRath » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:56 am

This is simply boiling down to sound concept. Different players, countries, regions etc. all have their own concept. My wife thinks it's odd that I can guess which country an orchestra is from when listening to a random recording on the radio. I do it by listening to the bone section - the UK/US divide is quite startling in terms of sound concept.
Making the world better, one note at a time

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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by harrisonreed » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:49 am

Until Brexit happens. :twisted:
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by Pre59 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:16 am

This is howling at the moon, I know, I'm guilty of it..

If the instrument at the present time is a lot different from the one that first inspired the student years ago, there's bound to be some dissatisfaction that may never quite be resolved. That is, until a skill or style from a former time, or one that is more out of reach with modern (large) horns is required.
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by JoeStanko » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:53 am

Aidan and Chris make great points..but there are substantial differences in concepts and instruments. Look at the choice of tuba - the beautiful clarity of the Eb typically used in the UK is not found in the US - CC is required.

And the oboe sound is different from the UK to the US..not to mention brass concepts in other parts of Europe like F tuba being commonly used.

I hope this discussion continues from both sides - this is not a case of right or wrong.

Joe
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by norbie2018 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:41 am

I've got some recordings of Armin Rosin which I really enjoy. His approach is very different from what you hear out of classical trombonist in the US, as is the sound/playing concept of Ribarski. I was under the impression that these regional differences were being lost with globalization, but it doesn't seem to be the case from this discussion. That's good, imo.
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by fwbassbone » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:51 am

Joe is right, different doesn't mean wrong. When I was younger I was listening to bass trombonists with names of Kleinhammer, Anderson, Ostrander, Roberts, Premru, Reynolds, and many I didn't know the names of from orchestras in Berlin, London, Halle, Moscow, and other far away places. If these players sat in a room and played for you the sounds would be quite different but all were fine players. More importantly they were fantastic musicians and that's the key. I remember Mr. Kleinhammer saying that no matter what always play music not just the trombone. Good advice I think.
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by BGuttman » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:46 am

I don't know that I can add to this discussion except that when I was in High School and starting to play more bass trombone my father got me a 1 1.2 G.

It was a Mount Vernon because that's where Bach was at the time. Did it immediately improve my playing? No. Practice improved my playing. I still have the mouthpiece, although I don't use it much-- I've moved on to other sizes.

Sum total: If the size is what you need, it's great. If not, it's not worth any premium price.
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Re: Mt Vernon mouthpieces - hate and love

Post by imsevimse » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:41 pm

Matt K wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:43 am
There are actually numerous options, though fewer are exactly a .485 specifically; dual bore options that are similar to the 2B's specs seem to be the norm:
  • The quintessential King 2B is still produced, and is a .481/.491
  • Shires offers a 485 as a stock option, as well as several dual bore options as custom.
  • One of Thein's models is .488.
  • Rath's R12 is .481/.491.
  • The Yamaha 897z is .484/490
Thanks for info. I guess Shires would be the choice if I need a new slide then. The dual bore are quite different compared to the .485 horns. I have a King 2b as well as others in that size

This evenings concert with the Johan Stengård Jazz Big Band at the Olynpia Theatre I played second on a Conn 24h. It was a different horn compared to the silver 4h I used last week. The silver 4h was more dense and sophisticated compared to this 24h that was wide open and loud as hell. The first trombone player liked that very much :twisted: Next week I will try another 4h with a light weight slide and the week after probably my Bach 6.

I have a couple more .485 horns but I don't think they will fit our sound concept. I have a Conn 38h with tuning in slide, a Selner K23, and I think an old tuning in slide Olds that is.485. The older small bore tuning in slide horns are a more outdated sound, a sound a friend of mine described as "muffled" :D I think that was a good description, not what we are after. I think I will pass the ones with TIS.

/Tom
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