Need Suggestions for Alto Trombone Mouthpiece

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ttf_ssking2b
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Need Suggestions for Alto Trombone Mouthpiece

Post by ttf_ssking2b » Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:53 am

As the subject says, I am looking for suggestions for an alto trombone mouthpiece. I have a Bach 12c, 11c, Marc Charlie Loper and whigham mouthpieces. These don’t give a good over all response with the horn.   Suggestions would be appreciated.
ttf_timothy42b
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Post by ttf_timothy42b » Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:09 am

Philip,

I have no expertise here but I have a spare 15C you are welcome to try.  I'll bring it to bone choir next time if you want.

When I've tried altos at conferences the 15C was much better than the 6 1/2 I had along.  At home I have only the pBone alto, and on that I can't tell any difference between the 15 and the 4 I use on my small bore. 
ttf_hyperbolica
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Post by ttf_hyperbolica » Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:17 am

You might want to provide the model alto you are playing.

When I was playing alto I used a Lindberg 15, which seemed to do the job.
ttf_harrison.t.reed
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Post by ttf_harrison.t.reed » Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:21 am

If you want one on the smaller side, the 15CL or 13CL are great. Otherwise get a Doug Elliott piece with the same rim size you normally play and a C cup and proper shank (tell him the kind of alto).

You could also do the Bousfield alto piece (on the small side), or pick an Alessi alto piece with the correct rim size. I believe there is also an Oft mouthpiece for alto. Karl Hammond makes alto pieces as well.
ttf_vegasbound
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Post by ttf_vegasbound » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:06 am

IMHO work with Doug Elliott , as you list yourself as a pro player it will make more sense to keep the rim size same as your large bore....also very jealous that you have one of Kai's horns!!!
ttf_Doug Elliott
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Need Suggestions for Alto Trombone Mouthpiece

Post by ttf_Doug Elliott » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:19 am

Quote from: ssking2b on Nov 17, 2017, 05:53AMAs the subject says, I am looking for suggestions for an alto trombone mouthpiece. I have a Bach 12c, 11c, Marc Charlie Loper and whigham mouthpieces. These don’t give a good over all response with the horn.   Suggestions would be appreciated.
If those mouthpieces are all that bad, it's the horn. 
ttf_Le.Tromboniste
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Post by ttf_Le.Tromboniste » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:41 am

Quote from: vegasbound on Nov 17, 2017, 07:06AMas you list yourself as a pro player it will make more sense to keep the rim size same as your large bore....

I don't get that reasoning. Playing on different rims on each instrument is for amateurs and playing with a unique rim is "professional"? We all have different morphology and different technique - for some, having a unique rim gives the best solution, for some having vastly different mouthpieces for each horn is best, and for others, somewhere between those two extremes on the spectrum.


For the OP, if you like small alto mouthpieces, you might want to get in touch with John Cather. His alto mouthpieces are very very small, smaller than any standard model on the market that I know of. Really really not everyone's cup of tea, but interesting to at least try. I get a brighter but also much fuller and resonant tone on alto with mine than I did with the various 12C and 15C I've used.
ttf_Ellrod
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Need Suggestions for Alto Trombone Mouthpiece

Post by ttf_Ellrod » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:10 am

Yamaha provides a 48A with its altos. The A designates an alto backbore.

Not expensive, designed for alto (or, at least, some consideration paid to alto). If you find one at WWBW or MF, you can likely return it if you don't like it.
ttf_Matt K
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Post by ttf_Matt K » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:21 am

Did I miss the indication for which alto it is?

Some altos have different receivers and so it may make sense that none of those work.  Or it could be the horn. Is it a Jin Bao/Roy Benson/etc.?
ttf_Doug Elliott
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Post by ttf_Doug Elliott » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:25 am

My reasoning for using your tenor rim size is that you get stronger and better at playing on one rims size if you're not switching and relying on that as a crutch for high range.  The fact is, the range you use on alto is no different than the higher side of tenor range.  And for me it's not limited to "reasoning," it's what I've been doing professionally for several decades.

It's true that for some players a smaller rim will give a very resonant sound - like bass trombonists who get a big sound on a 2G or 1-1/2G, or the fact that French Horn players use our full range on a comparatively tiny rim size.

But others, including myself, are unable to play low range, even an alto's low range, on a small rim size.  It makes a lot more sense to use what I'm already successful on.

Quote from: Ellrod on Nov 17, 2017, 10:10AMYamaha provides a 48A with its altos. The A designates an alto backbore.
As far as I know, in the numbering system used by both Schilke and Yamaha, "A" immediately after the size number designates a shallow cup.  Maybe Yamaha has changed that.
ttf_sonicsilver
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Need Suggestions for Alto Trombone Mouthpiece

Post by ttf_sonicsilver » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:26 am

Quote from: Doug Elliott on Nov 17, 2017, 08:19AMIf those mouthpieces are all that bad, it's the horn. 

That was my first thought.

But all those pieces are a similar size. Might be worth trying something smaller, like the 15s suggested above, or a bit bigger like a 7c or even 6.5 size.
ttf_Doug Elliott
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Post by ttf_Doug Elliott » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:30 am

That would be reasonable, but any of those mouthpieces should at least be acceptable if they fit reasonably well into the receiver (and they're a size you can play tenor successfully on).  Going into the receiver farther would probably help more than a smaller or bigger size.

What's the horn?  It's more than likely a bad leadpipe design.
ttf_Le.Tromboniste
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Need Suggestions for Alto Trombone Mouthpiece

Post by ttf_Le.Tromboniste » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:42 am

Quote from: Doug Elliott on Nov 17, 2017, 10:25AMMy reasoning for using your tenor rim size is that you get stronger and better at playing on one rims size if you're not switching and relying on that as a crutch for high range.  The fact is, the range you use on alto is no different than the higher side of tenor range.  And for me it's not limited to "reasoning," it's what I've been doing professionally for several decades.

It's true that for some players a smaller rim will give a very resonant sound - like bass trombonists who get a big sound on a 2G or 1-1/2G, or the fact that French Horn players use our full range on a comparatively tiny rim size.

But others, including myself, are unable to play low range, even an alto's low range, on a small rim size.  It makes a lot more sense to use what I'm already successful on.

As far as I know, in the numbering system used by both Schilke and Yamaha, "A" immediately after the size number designates a shallow cup.  Maybe Yamaha has changed that.

Yes, I agree with you, my comment wasn't geared at your approach to rim sizes - I have plenty of friends and colleagues who use the same or similar rims on different instruments. It was aimed at Chris' argument of "if you're a pro, better keep the same rim", which I don't get. Your approach is valid - but surely we can all agree that there are pros who do change rims between instruments and that other approaches can also be valid. I don't see how it has anything to do with being a professional player is all...
ttf_harrison.t.reed
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Need Suggestions for Alto Trombone Mouthpiece

Post by ttf_harrison.t.reed » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:22 pm

There are plenty of alto mouthpieces being made., and none of the mouthpieces you listed are those.  You should try those. The mouthpiece makers know more about it than anyone, and the artists they made them for are happy about that. FWIW, a Conn 7C comes with the Conn altos, and I've found that the artist type alto mouthpieces are head and shoulders above standard small tenor designs. If out of the Oft, or Bousfield, or Alessi, or Lindberg, or Friedman, or Slokar alto mouthpieces you find nothing that works, it might be the trombone or your approach to playing it.
ttf_Le.Tromboniste
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Post by ttf_Le.Tromboniste » Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:06 pm

Quote from: harrison.t.reed on Nov 17, 2017, 12:22PMThere are plenty of alto mouthpieces being made., and none of the mouthpieces you listed are those.  You should try those. The mouthpiece makers know more about it than anyone, and the artists they made them for are happy about that. FWIW, a Conn 7C comes with the Conn altos, and I've found that the artist type alto mouthpieces are head and shoulders above standard small tenor designs. If out of the Oft, or Bousfield, or Alessi, or Lindberg, or Friedman, or Slokar alto mouthpieces you find nothing that works, it might be the trombone or your approach to playing it.

Yes this!
ttf_Ellrod
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Need Suggestions for Alto Trombone Mouthpiece

Post by ttf_Ellrod » Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:32 pm

Quote from: Doug Elliott on Nov 17, 2017, 10:25AM
As far as I know, in the numbering system used by both Schilke and Yamaha, "A" immediately after the size number designates a shallow cup.  Maybe Yamaha has changed that.

You're right. Yamaha says as follows:

"The 48 rim combined with a very shallow cup. For alto trombones. Bright tone with good volume. Ideal for baroque compositions."
ttf_Le.Tromboniste
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Post by ttf_Le.Tromboniste » Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:48 pm

Quote from: Ellrod on Nov 17, 2017, 02:32PMYou're right. Yamaha says as follows:

"The 48 rim combined with a very shallow cup. For alto trombones. Bright tone with good volume. Ideal for baroque compositions."

I must say every person I've ever heard play one (included myself) sounded terrible on that mouthpiece (of course I might have heard somebody in concert or recording play one and not known they were playing one and some people might sound wonderful on it - I'm talking people I know). The throat is (almost ridiculously) tiny and quite sharp. Bright tone, sure, good volume, I don't know about that. I sounded like the dead squirrel in the trombone player joke using that mouthpiece. Airy sound, difficulty playing in the center of the note...
ttf_sonicsilver
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Post by ttf_sonicsilver » Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:41 am

Quote from: Le.Tromboniste on Nov 17, 2017, 02:48PM I sounded like the dead squirrel in the trombone player joke using that mouthpiece.
Surely a dead squirrel doesn't make any sound?

I think it's a mistake to go for a particular baroque sound on alto because the repertoire also includes, for example, Schubert 9 and The Burning Fiery Furnace. Gear that helps the player make a variety of timbres is preferable, I think.

Can anyone enlighten me about the design differences in these newer alto pieces compared to common small shank choices? The names Oft, Bousfield and Alessi suggest relatively recent products. Maybe Slokar and Lindberg alto pieces have been around for a while, I don't know.
ttf_Doug Elliott
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Post by ttf_Doug Elliott » Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:01 am

I don't know about those mouthpieces, but for mine I make a separate alto backbore for each of the appropriate cups.  I won't discuss what's different about it, but it's not the same as any of my tenor backbores.

A tenor mouthpiece tends to feel a bit unbalanced between high range and low range on most altos.
ttf_trombonemetal
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Post by ttf_trombonemetal » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:45 pm

I’ve got a Griego Oft Alto mouthpiece   I’m trying to sell if you’re interested.
ttf_heinz gries
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Post by ttf_heinz gries » Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:55 pm

What alto do you play?
ttf_ssking2b
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Post by ttf_ssking2b » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:00 am

The horn is a JinBao from the HornGuys with a Stauffer leadpipe. Currently using Dennis Wick 10CS with an opened throat. Works pretty well, but asking to see if I can make it work even better.  FYI I use different rim and cup sizes in my horns. Right tool for the right job thing. Switching stuff up doesn’t bother my playing at all.  Appreciate the input.
ttf_Doug Elliott
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Post by ttf_Doug Elliott » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:20 am

The JinBao is stuffy but I haven't tried it with that leadpipe.  How far does the Wick's shank go into the receiver?
ttf_hyperbolica
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Post by ttf_hyperbolica » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:21 am

Even with the improved leadpipe, that horn has a bad low range. It's really just a learner's instrument. I don't think any combination of leadpipe and mpc will make it a really satisfying horn to play.
ttf_Doug Elliott
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Post by ttf_Doug Elliott » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:24 am

But it looks just like a real instrument...
ttf_harrison.t.reed
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Post by ttf_harrison.t.reed » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:31 am

It looks just like the Slokar horn. A better horn would probably help out a lot!
ttf_watermailonman
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Post by ttf_watermailonman » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:07 am

I have a Bach 39 alto, a rather small alto. It can be played with a lot of different mouthpieces. It depends on what kind of sound you want. Do you want to sound like a small tenor or do you want a "lighter" touch. I have used the Yamaha 48A as well as several other mouthpieces: Bach 15E, 12E and Hammond 14S and 14XS, and the Christian Lindberg alto mouthpiece - can't  remember the number of that one now maybe it was 15CL?. All these are alto mouthpieces. All work. The only one that I struggle with is the Bach 15E that came with the horn because the rim-size is so small. I can't squeeze my lips in to that mouthpiece.  After long search I finally settled with a Bach 12E. That mouthpiece gave me the best alto sound when I played Mozarts Requiem and Brahms Requiem, but that was more than 20 years ago and at that time my tenor mouthpiece was a Bach 12C. I still think I got the best sound from that 12E.

I have also tried my small tenor mouthpieces. Bach 12C, 11C, 7C but do not like the sound. Maybe if you want to sound more tenor-ish, but then why don't use a small tenor.

Today I played the second symphony of Mendelsons. It was for alto, but I used my Bach 6 VII and a Bach 6 3/4 C. Think my 12E alto sound is a bit small for that one. Could have done it on alto with the Yamaha 48A though.

/Tom
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Post by ttf_Le.Tromboniste » Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:46 pm

Quote from: hyperbolica on Nov 19, 2017, 09:21AMEven with the improved leadpipe, that horn has a bad low range. It's really just a learner's instrument. I don't think any combination of leadpipe and mpc will make it a really satisfying horn to play.

My experience was actually the opposite. I had a hard time making the Jin Bao I was borrowing sound good and wasn't really learning how to play alto until I got a really good horn I that didn't have to fight against. Which I since then sold because I wasn't playing much modern alto anymore, but going back to a Jin Bao when I do need a modern alto, I can now make it sound good. I don't think I could if I hadn't had a good instrument to learn on first. I wouldn't recommend the Jin Bao as a learning instrument, more as a back up horn.

Little funny thing, a Jin Bao alto was used at a major symphony orchestra's concert I attended... Quick calculation, the principal trombone was playing an instrument worth 10,000 times less than that of the soloist playing in the same concert Image
ttf_harrison.t.reed
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Post by ttf_harrison.t.reed » Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:35 pm

Jin bao works better if you don't touch the tuning slide. Most altos do
ttf_Matt K
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Post by ttf_Matt K » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:13 pm

I found that when I had a JinBao with the improved leadpipe, that one of Doug's shanks specifically for alto made a substantial improvement. But I also play on an XT104N/C for alto stuff, so the larger rim definitely helps out my alto playing.  That said, also consider that the alto is going to give a different response than a tenor.  What you are experiencing might be more perception rather than an actually stuffy lower register. An alto does not have the carrying power in that range compared to a tenor trombone, especially if you're comparing it to a large bore. 

Have you tried another alto that did have a really great low range (in comparison to your Jin Bao)? Or are you comparing it to the a tenor? Because your approach might just need to be more nuanced and/or putting in enough time to get used to the sensation of the bell being in a different spot/bore being smaller than a tenor.
ttf_ssking2b
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Post by ttf_ssking2b » Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:48 am

Ah where to begin...
To Doug - the Wick seems to fit the receiver almost identically to my king or XO jazz horn

For the others - the low range is not suffering with any of these mouthpieces I have mentioned. Quite the contrary, it seems to get stuffy a bit in the upper register, but not with the Wick.   I have also altered the horn to improve the focus and slotting and that has made a fantastic difference.  (Added a trumpet Acousticoil to the gooseneck)

Here’s the thing. None of the pieces are awful...I simply want to find what is optimum for that horn.
ttf_ssking2b
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Post by ttf_ssking2b » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:39 am

I have found a Shilke 45B.  It works very well.
ttf_heinz gries
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Post by ttf_heinz gries » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:22 pm

Quote from: ssking2b on Nov 27, 2017, 09:39AMI have found a Shilke 45B.  It works very well.

for its small size, this mouthpiece has a great full sound Image
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Post by ttf_sackbut-Nate » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:54 pm

Don't be afraid to take some risks, and don't be afraid to make a bright alto sound, as compared to a little-42B sound. 

Last month I played the Mendelssohn Lobgesang (also published as Symphony nr. 2) with an early instruments group using my Lätzsch alto, and the mouthpiece I used was a very short, very V-shaped little thing that may have once belonged to a German alto horn, plus a short tuning bit.  Cup diameter is under 23mm.

I didn't make the sound people might have expected - but the response, both in and outside the section (BTW we were all playing old German trombones), was universally very positive.

Granted, I also tried a JK 7C, a couple of 12Cs, a Miraphone bass trumpet mouthpiece, a Bach 15EW, and a half-dozen old, anonymous German mouthpieces, and they all felt too big for this horn. It sang with this itty bitty lil' thing.

Your embouchure can probably be more flexible than you think it is, given the chance.
ttf_ssking2b
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Post by ttf_ssking2b » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:02 am

I wish to thank you all for your comments! The Shilke mouthpiece I have found seems to be working rather well . As far as the brand horn is concerned,if you're a good player you can make anything sound decent. That being said a better horn is much easier to make sound good. This particular JinBao alto has been playef by several people who own altos: Yamaha, zzz Shiires, and. Conn. Their comments were that mine is a pretty good alto, they liked the way it slots. I did not tell them I put an acoustical in it.

I have played in public once and gotten favorable comments from fellow trombonist, and listeners. So how bad it be?
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Post by ttf_Doug Elliott » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:15 am

I took my JinBao on a trip last year and ended up sitting in on several tunes on a jazz quartet gig.  I don't know how it sounded out front but it felt terrible, like I had to work really hard to get any projection.  But that was maybe a different situation.
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Post by ttf_watermailonman » Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:04 am

Quote from: Doug Elliott on Dec 01, 2017, 08:15AMI took my JinBao on a trip last year and ended up sitting in on several tunes on a jazz quartet gig.  I don't know how it sounded out front but it felt terrible, like I had to work really hard to get any projection.  But that was maybe a different situation.

Probably sounded good  Image I think it is brave of anyone to use an alto on a jazz quartet gig. I know it can be done because we have one member at the forum,  jazzaltobone who improvise and sound fantastic in that context. I would probably fail completely with an alto in a big band or a jazz quartet because I have never done that. Hard to imagine my alto sound in a big band or jazz quartet. Think I would have to change mouthpiece for that and try to sound like tenor.

/Tom   
ttf_Doug Elliott
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Post by ttf_Doug Elliott » Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:19 am

I'm playing my K&H on this, starting at about 7:00

https://youtube.com/watch?v=3M2cw36qEd4
ttf_watermailonman
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Post by ttf_watermailonman » Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:48 am

Quote from: Doug Elliott on Dec 02, 2017, 07:19AMI'm playing my K&H on this, starting at about 7:00

https://youtube.com/watch?v=3M2cw36qEd4

Wow Image such great playing from you all!!!

/Tom
ttf_watermailonman
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Post by ttf_watermailonman » Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:48 am

Quote from: Doug Elliott on Dec 02, 2017, 07:19AMI'm playing my K&H on this, starting at about 7:00

https://youtube.com/watch?v=3M2cw36qEd4

Wow Image such great playing from you all!!!

/Tom
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