Recommendations for Plunger Mute

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walldaja
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Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by walldaja » Sun Mar 01, 2020 2:55 pm

Looking for recommendations for a good plunger mute. Looking for something lighter than a rubber plumber's plunger.

Thanks!
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by harrisonreed » Sun Mar 01, 2020 4:25 pm

The H&B stonelined one might be marginally lighter. But it's not quite a plunger either.
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BGuttman
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by BGuttman » Sun Mar 01, 2020 6:46 pm

harrisonreed wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 4:25 pm
The H&B stonelined one might be marginally lighter. But it's not quite a plunger either.
The Tuxedo plunger is not lighter. The swirled rubber one might be, but you can buy an awful lot of conventional plungers for what they charge for it.

Some of the cheaper "dollar store" plungers tend to be lighter than many. Makes for a lousy toiled unclogger, but would meet your requirement.

My plunger isn't too heavy, though. Why do you need something lighter?
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by baileyman » Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:41 pm

Whatever you get, smell it first. Some rubber has an awful organic stink to it, and it takes a long time to dissipate. Months.

If you intend to become a plunger artist, choose one that is flexible, as the best users manipulate the thing like a pair of lips, pouts and smirks included.

If you just want something light, a styrofoam soup bowl may work.
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by dukesboneman » Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:38 am

I do a lot of plunger playing (with the Pixie)
The Humes & Berg Plunger is the worst I`ve ever played. Clumsy and heavy.
The regular Basic Bb toilet plunger (the Brown ones) are still the best. Getting harder and harder to find.
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by afugate » Wed Mar 04, 2020 6:06 am

BGuttman wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 6:46 pm
Some of the cheaper "dollar store" plungers tend to be lighter than many. Makes for a lousy toiled unclogger, but would meet your requirement.
That's what I've discovered as well. Cheap dollar store plungers are lightweight and flexible. And, probably not at all useful for clearing a clog. But they work well for tenor trombone.

-- Andy in OKC
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by Slidehamilton » Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:49 am

I have discovered a great plunger! It's called the New Orleans style plunger. They play great! It's a bit deeper than a standard rubber plunger. A grip on the outside that makes it easy to hold too. I am sure you can get them in a lot of places. Even amazon carries them!
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by andym » Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:38 am

I was looking to see what the New Orleans style looks like when I came across this trumpet plunger on Amazon. It offered to put it on subscribe and save with the most common being one mute every two months! What the heck are trumpet players doing? I mean, I’ve been using the same plunger for over 40 years.

Mutec MHT160 Plunger Mute for Trumpet - Black Rubber https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002M8HVXC/re ... BFbM47EQKH
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by Doug Elliott » Thu Sep 24, 2020 6:56 am

There's also a Mutec trombone plunger that I like.
On the Hickey's website it says it's going under the FAXX name, same item. Witness Protection Program, I guess.
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by Dennis » Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:16 pm

Is anyone still using Jolly Balls?
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by BGuttman » Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:17 am

Dennis wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:16 pm
Is anyone still using Jolly Balls?
I went into a pet store recently and they didn't have any.
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by quiethorn » Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:23 am

Looking for a new plunger and found this thread from last year.

Jolly Balls are sold on Amazon.

Next question: how do you use Jolly Balls? Cut them in half and it's a plunger?
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by BGuttman » Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:39 am

There was a whole topic on how to prepare a Jolly Ball on TTF. I don't know if it came over when we tried to merge the old Forum.

You have to cut it in half, but the handle is not dead center -- it's off by about 1/3. Doing it that way lets you hold the Jolly Ball with your palm under the bell rim. I don't think an 8 incher is a good size for most trombones (except basses). I think the next size down is 6 inches. That's not too far off from the size of an old toilet plunger. How you cut it is another issue. I think a hack saw was suggested.

I still have my 60 year old plunger from when I was in High School which I still use. Also have a Harmon Triple Play and use the cup part as a plunger.
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by sacfxdx » Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:26 am

I did this “jolly ball” plunger thing. It is easy to do and makes a giant mute. Problem is that holding the bass and trying to manipulate the mute is just too much. Also how useful is a wah -wah mute on a bass trombone. I put a cabinet knob on it to hold onto. Still a challenge.

If you are talking about a tenor then a toilet plunger is all you need. No handle of course. :D

Jolly Ball is real thick so it might be too stiff.
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by greenbean » Fri Feb 12, 2021 10:08 am

walldaja wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 2:55 pm
Looking for recommendations for a good plunger mute. Looking for something lighter than a rubber plumber's plunger.

Thanks!
Many players cut off the inner rim of the regular toilet plunger. It will be considerably lighter and more flexible. Use a utility knife; try not to lose a finger.
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by quiethorn » Fri Feb 12, 2021 11:25 am

Hmm.... interesting. Maybe I'll just try some more plungers. The Jolly Ball looks like too much work. I'm having trouble finding something for an 8 1/2" bell. I had one years ago, just something I bought at a dollar store, that was great, had more "bite" than any other I've ever had. But the rubber was cheap and it started falling apart so I had to throw it away.
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by BGuttman » Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:48 pm

Nothing to stop you from taking an aluminum pie pan and screwing on a drawer knob. That would be lighter. And a 7" pie pan is a good size for the trombone.
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by quiethorn » Fri Feb 12, 2021 3:01 pm

BGuttman wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:48 pm
Nothing to stop you from taking an aluminum pie pan and screwing on a drawer knob. That would be lighter. And a 7" pie pan is a good size for the trombone.
Oh that's not a bad idea.
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by Bach5G » Fri Feb 12, 2021 6:03 pm

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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by dukesboneman » Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:35 am

I don`t know about the rest of the country but... In Florida CVS is the only place I`ve found that still has actual sturdy old-style plungers that are the size needed for Trombone, not the flimsy things I see most other places.
I bought 4 when I saw them right before Christmas, Walked up to the cashier who gave me a really weird look having 4 plungers. I just told her that they make really nice stocking stuffers
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by jbeatenbough » Sat Feb 13, 2021 7:36 pm

I found one at a dollar store after checking everywhere else I could think of.
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by dembones » Mon Feb 15, 2021 12:36 pm

The great Las Vegas trombonist Curt Miller raved about the Hirschman plungers on Facebook. Website says they are still in prototype phase but should be available "soon":

https://www.hirschmanmutes.com/
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by noordinaryjoe » Mon Feb 15, 2021 12:47 pm

dembones wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 12:36 pm
The great Las Vegas trombonist Curt Miller raved about the Hirschman plungers on Facebook. Website says they are still in prototype phase but should be available "soon":

https://www.hirschmanmutes.com/
The 'Kenny Penny' is a clever idea.
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by greenbean » Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:21 pm

Here is a question. This Ace plunger is 5" in diameter. Is that big enough for a typical 8" bell-ed jazz horn? I have seen recommendations for a 6" plunger.

https://www.acehardware.com/departments ... rs/4824876
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by Posaunus » Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:07 pm

greenbean wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:21 pm
Here is a question. This Ace plunger is 5" in diameter. Is that big enough for a typical 8" bell-ed jazz horn? I have seen recommendations for a 6" plunger.
I use a 6" diameter plunger on my 9½"-bell bass trombone. Can't remember where I got it. Does the job; I think it's O.K. [No one complains.] Not sure I could handle anything much larger anyway. :idk:
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by harrisonreed » Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:18 pm



Stonelined. The only way to rattle your bell on the Berio.
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by quiethorn » Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:43 pm

harrisonreed wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:18 pm


Stonelined. The only way to rattle your bell on the Berio.
Hmm could be converted to a solotone mute with a little work.
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by baileyman » Tue Feb 16, 2021 5:29 am

Whatever mute you get, smell it first. Seriously. If it's Chinese rubber, as most all now are, some will off-gas a really noxious odor for months. I've gotten good Chinese mutes, but some of them will make you very unhappy and prolly irritable, too.
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by noordinaryjoe » Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:50 am

greenbean wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:21 pm
Here is a question. This Ace plunger is 5" in diameter. Is that big enough for a typical 8" bell-ed jazz horn? I have seen recommendations for a 6" plunger.

https://www.acehardware.com/departments ... rs/4824876
I picked up one of these 6.5" plungers from Amazon last year, big enough for my bass and my 8" bell tenor.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00XI ... UTF8&psc=1

doesn't seem to be available, but here is another 6.5"

https://www.amazon.com/Premium-Original ... X2WW&psc=1

and one listed as 7"

https://www.amazon.com/Premium-Original ... X2WW&psc=1

They don't seem to have great reviews as a plunger, but my usage is less rigorous!

To use proper TC parlance: that is 6.5" outer rim diameter, 5.5" inner rim and a medium-deep cup depth.
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by soseggnchips » Tue Feb 16, 2021 10:52 am

I've been really surprised at how hard it is to track down a decent plunger the last few years. All I want is a basic hardware store cup-on-a-stick, but finding one that's made of actual rubber and not some sort of hard plastic is becoming a real challenge.

Incidentally, a guy in one of the bands I play with claims to have the perfect plunger. He found it, 'used', in a public toilet whilst on a trip to China and brought it back in his luggage. :shock:
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by Posaunus » Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:01 am

soseggnchips wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 10:52 am
Incidentally, a guy in one of the bands I play with claims to have the perfect plunger. He found it, 'used', in a public toilet whilst on a trip to China and brought it back in his luggage. :shock:
Did he get it tested for COVID? :horror:
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by greenbean » Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:25 pm

soseggnchips wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 10:52 am
I've been really surprised at how hard it is to track down a decent plunger the last few years. All I want is a basic hardware store cup-on-a-stick, but finding one that's made of actual rubber and not some sort of hard plastic is becoming a real challenge.

Incidentally, a guy in one of the bands I play with claims to have the perfect plunger. He found it, 'used', in a public toilet whilst on a trip to China and brought it back in his luggage. :shock:
Did he get it tested for fecal material?... << a better question
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by soseggnchips » Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:26 pm

greenbean wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:25 pm
soseggnchips wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 10:52 am
I've been really surprised at how hard it is to track down a decent plunger the last few years. All I want is a basic hardware store cup-on-a-stick, but finding one that's made of actual rubber and not some sort of hard plastic is becoming a real challenge.

Incidentally, a guy in one of the bands I play with claims to have the perfect plunger. He found it, 'used', in a public toilet whilst on a trip to China and brought it back in his luggage. :shock:
Did he get it tested for fecal material?... << a better question
I think he left it in a bucket of bleach for a couple of weeks... I still don't know if that would be enough for me.

There's something to be said for not being too uptight about equipment, but personally I feel better knowing none of mine has ever been down a public latrine. If that makes me a gear snob then so be it!
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by mwpfoot » Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:36 pm

greenbean wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 10:08 am
Many players cut off the inner rim of the regular toilet plunger. It will be considerably lighter and more flexible. Use a utility knife; try not to lose a finger.
I did this and then rounded the inner/cut edge w sandpaper. Much more flexible.

I also cemented a German coin in the hole where the stick used to go, bc I'm fancy. Er ... for that Teutonic sound!

:idea:
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by sporto » Mon May 10, 2021 7:07 pm

try a canning funnel. They come in aluminum, plasitic, steel..
https://www.ebay.com/itm/184803326633?h ... SwfdZgjEpd
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by BGuttman » Mon May 10, 2021 10:03 pm

sporto wrote:
Mon May 10, 2021 7:07 pm
try a canning funnel. They come in aluminum, plasitic, steel..
https://www.ebay.com/itm/184803326633?h ... SwfdZgjEpd
That's a bit on the small size. You should find something more like 6 inches (15 cm). 8 inches (20 cm) for a bass trombone.
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by dembones » Thu May 13, 2021 2:21 pm

I just came across this online, looks interesting!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/942439796/ ... ve_6&pro=1
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by BGuttman » Thu May 13, 2021 3:47 pm

Only cost 10 times what I paid for a toilet plunger, but if it floats your boat -- great!
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by sporto » Thu May 20, 2021 9:07 am

BGuttman wrote:
Mon May 10, 2021 10:03 pm
sporto wrote:
Mon May 10, 2021 7:07 pm
try a canning funnel. They come in aluminum, plasitic, steel..
https://www.ebay.com/itm/184803326633?h ... SwfdZgjEpd
That's a bit on the small size. You should find something more like 6 inches (15 cm). 8 inches (20 cm) for a bass trombone.
Not with a 7" bell.
Actually, they work very well. (I don't have a bell larger than 7.5")
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by Posaunus » Thu May 20, 2021 9:49 am

sporto wrote:
Mon May 10, 2021 7:07 pm
try a canning funnel. They come in aluminum, plasitic, steel..
https://www.ebay.com/itm/184803326633?h ... SwfdZgjEpd
Apparently out of stock from this vendor - what should be a 6 dollar funnel is now listed at $24 !

That's a pretty huge hole in the funnel. Does it really provide much muting? Does it sound like what we would normally expect from a "plunger?" :idk:

Aside from the low cost, one advantage of a standard rubber plunger is that you can store it in your trombone bell. (I wrap mine in a microfiber cloth that I use to wipe my trombone clean and dry after playing.)
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by sporto » Thu May 20, 2021 8:28 pm

Posaunus wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 9:49 am
sporto wrote:
Mon May 10, 2021 7:07 pm
try a canning funnel. They come in aluminum, plasitic, steel..
https://www.ebay.com/itm/184803326633?h ... SwfdZgjEpd
Apparently out of stock from this vendor - what should be a 6 dollar funnel is now listed at $24 !

That's a pretty huge hole in the funnel. Does it really provide much muting? Does it sound like what we would normally expect from a "plunger?" :idk:

Aside from the low cost, one advantage of a standard rubber plunger is that you can store it in your trombone bell. (I wrap mine in a microfiber cloth that I use to wipe my trombone clean and dry after playing.)
You can put 1, 2 or 3 fingers across the hole. It does have a plunger sound
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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by WGWTR180 » Fri May 28, 2021 6:39 am

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Re: Recommendations for Plunger Mute

Post by muschem » Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:06 pm

dembones wrote:
Thu May 13, 2021 2:21 pm
I just came across this online, looks interesting!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/942439796/ ... ve_6&pro=1
Thanks for that link. I'm rebuilding my equipment inventory, and I didn't yet have a plunger. I played for years with just a regular rubber plunger, and they worked fine for me through various big bands, small ensembles, show pits, and other playing. But, the one you linked looked nice, so I figured why not.

The Etsy store was having a 25% off sale when I ordered, which brought the cost down a bit, but it is still by far the most expensive plunger I've ever bought. Shipping was relatively quick from the Ukraine to US - just over two weeks. The box it came in was thin corrugated and pretty well beat up by the shipping process, but the plunger inside was in perfect condition. In terms of playing - what can I say? It's a plunger. It is no more or less effective as a plunger than the rubber variety I've used in the past. The diameter measures right at 6", making it a good fit for my small bore tenor... not sure how well it would work on a bass, as I don't have one to compare, but judging from the earlier comments it should be ok there as well. I like the finger ring on the outside of the cup. It has a conveniently placed magnet sewn into the finger ring, and it is just strong enough to hold the plunger to the underside of a music stand shelf for easy access, without being so strong as to risk tipping a typically-weighted stand over in a hasty detachment. I think the leather looks nice (it should develop a great patina over time), and the customization option is well done, assuming you never plan to part with it. It smells as leather typically does (much better than I recall my rubber plunger smelling). I don't know how well it would nest inside the bell for travel, as was suggested earlier, but I don't carry mine that way, so it isn't a concern.

Anyway, that's about it. Yes, it is pricey for what it is. Yes, it works. I like it, but ymmv.
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