Denis Wick size help

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DutchGuy
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:32 pm
Location: Netherlands

Denis Wick size help

Post by DutchGuy » Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:36 am

Hi guys,

I'd like your help on something. I currently play on a King 4B trombone, with a 6AL Denis Wick. I've been playing for 2 years (1 year of lessons), but have had 10 years of trumpet lessons over a decade ago. In my experience, this mouthpiece size is not ideal for playing a lot of high parts. My tone is dark and fluffy, and can be really loud. What I don't have is sharpness in sound and articulation, and range is an issue (as in playing a lot of stuff around / above F above the staff. I get tired too soon). I don't necessarily want to move to a smaller trombone, so I'm looking at mouthpieces instead. I don't have any other ones to compare the DW 6AL to, and I really cannot make much sense of the Denis Wick comparison chart.
My guess would be that a shallower cup, narrower throat and smaller diameter would improve all of those things, right?
Now to Denis Wick letters and such:
They make a 6AL and a 6BL. They say that one has a medium , the other a V-type backbore. What's the difference? The first has improved high register, and the second has good in all registers... not a very useful description either. The throat on the second seems to be smaller though.
Next one on the list is the 9 BL. It's 0.4 mm smaller in diameter. Doesn't sound like much. Same throat and also a V-type backbore. And they call it perfect for lead.

Can anyone explain what to expect of these mouthpieces?
Suggestions from other brands are welcome too.
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BGuttman
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Location: Cow Hampshire

Re: Denis Wick size help

Post by BGuttman » Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:55 am

When I played a King 4B I used a Wick 4BL because the 4AL was an air hog.

Going to the 6BL may not help you high range as much as you want, but it will help you air flow.

The 9BL may solve you problem, although I'd not recommend one to anybody but an ex-trumpet player.
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
"Almost Professional"
Vegasbound
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:11 am

Re: Denis Wick size help

Post by Vegasbound » Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:29 am

I would suggest a Skype lesson with Doug Elliott, will save you time and money as he will suggest the optimum size for your chops

Now that being said the modern 6al is a bucket of a mouthpiece, since Denis redisigned them about 20 years ago I have a new 6al and it is deeper than an original 4al

So try a 6bl they are the most popular of his size for a reason, but as I said for best result talk to Doug
DutchGuy
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:32 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: Denis Wick size help

Post by DutchGuy » Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:04 pm

Thanks guys. Remember, there is no reason I play the 6AL right now other than that it came with the trombone and I don't have another one.

@ GButtman: Not even an ex-trumpet player. I still play the trumpet, probably more than I play trombone.
@ Vegasbound: well that explains a lot. I was under the assuption that is was quite small already.

Recommendation from other companies are OK too.
RConrad
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:08 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Denis Wick size help

Post by RConrad » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:06 pm

I'd avoid going up to the 9BL. I use a 9BS on my medium bore and love it but if I had a large bore I'd stick a little larger. As for the backbore...

https://image.slidesharecdn.com/dwdeale ... 1396609522

Found a Denis Wick dealer training slide show. lol
PhilE
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:31 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: Denis Wick size help

Post by PhilE » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:26 pm

I think it was on the DW web site where I read that the 6AL is a similar design to the 5ABL but with a smaller cup diameter.

The 5ABL and 6AL are quite a deep combination V and bowl shape cup.

FWIW I cant seem to get a lively sound out of either of those.

The 4AL is a typical bowl shaped cup and very open. Great sound. Hard work.

The 4BL and 6BL/S are along those lines but shallower and less open.

I find the 4BL works very well on the Bach 42 and the 6BS or 9BS on the Bach 36.

I occasionally play a Yamaha 631 (0.5" bore). The 9BS is great on that too but the slide is far too narrow for comfort.
mrdeacon
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Joined: Tue May 08, 2018 2:05 am
Location: Los Angeles, California

Re: Denis Wick size help

Post by mrdeacon » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:10 pm

Wick is a lot like Schilke. All the pieces were designed for a certain instrument or purpose first and then assigned a name later.

The 6AL (at least the newer one) was designed as a British Baritone mouthpiece not a trombone mouthpiece which is why it's so deep. The 6BL is a spin on a Bach 6 1/2AL.

Don't look at the numbers so much as the design purpose for the Wick pieces.
Bach 42 1974, Elliott XT
Bach 42B 1977, Elliott XT
Conn 6h, Elliott XT
Minick Bass Trombone 1980s, Symington 1.5 ZR
Vegasbound
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:11 am

Re: Denis Wick size help

Post by Vegasbound » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:55 pm

The 6Al was most definitely designed for trombone, the baritone versions of Denis's pieces all have a Y designation as the shank and backbone are different

The 6Bl was the second piece Dennis produced based on a Clarke 61/2.
mrdeacon
Posts: 512
Joined: Tue May 08, 2018 2:05 am
Location: Los Angeles, California

Re: Denis Wick size help

Post by mrdeacon » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:05 am

Vegasbound wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:55 pm
The 6Al was most definitely designed for trombone, the baritone versions of Denis's pieces all have a Y designation as the shank and backbone are different
Oops! You're right! I knew it was 6A something!

My point still stands that all the Wick pieces have a specific purposes to then and that the printed specs are pretty meaningless.
Bach 42 1974, Elliott XT
Bach 42B 1977, Elliott XT
Conn 6h, Elliott XT
Minick Bass Trombone 1980s, Symington 1.5 ZR
Doug Elliott
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Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:12 pm

Re: Denis Wick size help

Post by Doug Elliott » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:35 am

As far as I know the Y designation is specifically a small shank and I always thought it was for Yamaha small shank baritones or euphoniums but I could be wrong.

The 6AL seems like a deep design similar to a Schilje 51D, which would make it better for euphonium than trombone... And possibly very tiring to play on trombone. But I don't have one to compare.

The 4AL is popular for euphonium even if it was originally a trombone design.

But to answer the OP, I don't like to make a recommendation without seeing somebody play. The right thing for one player can be very wrong for another.
TonyNeal
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri May 11, 2018 3:27 am

Re: Denis Wick size help

Post by TonyNeal » Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:46 pm

I am a big fan of the 6AL. It has similar dimensions to a 5AL of the 1980s. (Newer ones are larger). The 6AL has a comfortable rim, a deep cup and a wide throat. With all this it plays with a big sound across the register. However, for players that are not in top form or practising every day the deep cup can make the top register difficult. For the OP, whom I presume is an amateur band player, the 6BL, although it has a narrower rim and smaller diameter cup, will probably suit his situation very well. I would not recommend a smaller mouthpiece for large-bore. He may also like a Bach 5GS which is very versatile.
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