Rath R900 MP combination?

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Blenky
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Rath R900 MP combination?

Post by Blenky » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:10 pm

Interested in thoughts here, apologies for the long thread!

I’m just an enthusiastic amateur with a reasonable playing standard. I’ve been playing for about 30 years but as I now have a bit more time on my hands I’ve started to practice a lot more and have just purchased a Rath R900 for some of the brass band bass gigs I’ve been asked to help out with.

I’ve had a Conn 88HT for some while and found the Conn 5G mouthpiece that shipped with it produced a nice tonal quality (I’ve been on a Bach 5G forever prior to this). However, as I started playing bass more often I found that no matter how hard I practiced my range on this MP was limited and the low register was awful.

So, I started to delve into the world of different MP’s and found to my delight that a V4 or O4 series Bousefield seemed to fit my chops better, I seem to have a lot more range both up and down without any noticeable change in endurance.

Recently, I made the stupid mistake of using the Conn 5G again for kicks and immediately noticed that the tonal quality was MUCH better, no change in range though. So I have been debating on whether to have a session with Mr Elliot to see if I can find a better combination that delivers the tone and range I want to hear.

My real surprise however, came when I picked up my new R900 yesterday. I really didn’t like the unbranded MP that shipped with it and my 1 1/2G seemed like a bucket, so I tried the Bousefield 04 and incredibly I get just the same range (High C/D down to pedal G) as on my Conn 88HT but with the tonal quality of the Conn/5G combination and the added bonus that the pedal notes are crisp and clear.

So, now my questions.

1/ Is it typical to get a clean range like this using a ‘small’ MP like the O4 on a bass?

2/ Is there any reason why I shouldn’t just use the Rath for most of my playing as it seems to deliver the range I typically need?

3/ If I were to try another MP to make better use of the Raths lower register, what would be a good choice? From what I’ve read, a Doug Elliot selection with a common rims for tenor and bass seems to be discussed frequently?

Many thanks for any advice.

p.s. for an ‘off the shelf’ Bass the Rath R900 is pretty amazing :-)
Last edited by Blenky on Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Conn 88HT, Rath R900, Griego-Bousfield 04, Bach 1 1/2G.
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BGuttman
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Re: Rath R900 MP combination?

Post by BGuttman » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:22 pm

1. We are all different. Use whatever works for now. If you need to go larger, consider the Bach 2G (or similar sized mouthpieces).

2. You may find yourself pretty tired after a rehearsal playing 1st on the Rath. But for the parts for which it is intended (3rd in Orchestra or Concert Band, 4th in Jazz Band) it's a great choice.

3. A session on line with Doug can help focus on the best mouthpiece for you. Expect this to change as you get more playing time on the Rath. Note that common rims don't usually go to Tenor and Bass. More so between alto, tenor, and Euph..
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
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Blenky
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Re: Rath R900 MP combination?

Post by Blenky » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:36 pm

Thanks Bruce, as I’ve only had the new Rath since yesterday and only done around 4 hours of practice on it you are probably right that entire rehearsal/concert on 1st/2nd would be too tiring. I’m guessing the section blend would probably be unbalanced too?

It’s looking increasingly like a Doug Elliot session is on the cards 👍
Conn 88HT, Rath R900, Griego-Bousfield 04, Bach 1 1/2G.
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BGuttman
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Re: Rath R900 MP combination?

Post by BGuttman » Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:18 pm

In amateur organizations I worry less about section blend. You have people with whatever they happen to own on whatever part. Not unusual to have somebody with a Bundy on 3rd and a large bore symphonic horn on 1st. In a community band getting the three to play in tune and on time is of key importance. Worry about bore size comes WAY down the list.
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
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Doug Elliott
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Re: Rath R900 MP combination?

Post by Doug Elliott » Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:38 pm

I'm around, send me a PM
modelerdc
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Re: Rath R900 MP combination?

Post by modelerdc » Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:04 pm

You have to consider that you will adapt to the new mouthpiece on the bass if you play it very often. Tenor trombone players used to smaller mouthpieces can find a 4G, 3G or 2G to feel large even on a bass trombone. But play one of these regularly and it will cease to feel so large, and you may begin to be aware of it's limitations. You may then move up to something a bit larger. Same thing works in reverse for bass boners who pick up a tenor-some can't play anything smaller than a 1 1/2G or so at first. But play the tenor regularly and what works best may change.
Blenky
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Re: Rath R900 MP combination?

Post by Blenky » Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:06 am

Doug Elliott wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:38 pm
I'm around, send me a PM
@dougelliot

Thanks Doug, I will have a good blow on the Rath for a couple of weeks and that should give me a better idea of where I think my problems are before I set something up.

I dropped into Prozone in Chesham, UK yesterday and they said they were waiting on some of your MP’s for customers to try out.
Conn 88HT, Rath R900, Griego-Bousfield 04, Bach 1 1/2G.
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Geordie
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Re: Rath R900 MP combination?

Post by Geordie » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:55 am

Blenky wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:06 am
Doug Elliott wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:38 pm
I'm around, send me a PM
@dougelliot

Thanks Doug, I will have a good blow on the Rath for a couple of weeks and that should give me a better idea of where I think my problems are before I set something up.

I dropped into Prozone in Chesham, UK yesterday and they said they were waiting on some of your MP’s for customers to try out.
Didn’t know they retailed here in the UK. However, based on my recent experience I’d be surprised if you didn’t find a pre-purchase Skype/Zoom conversation with Doug helpful.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Life is not a rehearsal
Basbasun
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Re: Rath R900 MP combination?

Post by Basbasun » Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:36 am

"1/ Is it typical to get a clean range like this using a ‘small’ MP like the O4 on a bass?

2/ Is there any reason why I shouldn’t just use the Rath for most of my playing as it seems to deliver the range I typically need?

3/ If I were to try another MP to make better use of the Raths lower register, what would be a good choice? From what I’ve read, a Doug Elliot selection with a common rims for tenor and bass seems to be discussed frequently?


Thanks Bruce, as I’ve only had the new Rath since yesterday and only done around 4 hours of practice on it you are probably right that entire rehearsal/concert on 1st/2nd would be too tiring. I’m guessing the section blend would probably be unbalanced too?"

The bass trombone is not only a question about range. Actually in many brassbands the range never calls for anythong lower then low C. (in more modern brass band reportoire it is some lower pedals I resently saw pedal C# in brassband music) What you want from the basstrombone is a bass voise under the tenors. The sound. I can play all pedals on a basstrombone with a tenor mpc. It will not sound like a good bass voice. The horn will not line up the partials the same way. A "small" mpc for basstrombone is for many player very good. That is like 2G. It is more hard to use the same horn for everything than to use the right tool for the gig. That is why players don´t use the same horn if they can avoid it. You can use the same rim for bass and tenor, for most people it does not work good enough. The same rim for alto, small tenor and big tenor often works good though. For many players, not for me though. Indeed hook up with Doug, he will give you good advice.
WGWTR180
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Re: Rath R900 MP combination?

Post by WGWTR180 » Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:01 am

I agree with several here on the 2G concept. Any bass piece will feel large at first but don't waste your time using a tenor size piece in the bass trombone. Just dive in and stick with whatever you choose for at least 6 months. If money is no object Greg Black has just made a Ray Premru 2G and they are in stock. Greg's quality is top notch and you'd never need to buy another piece considering your self-described level of playing. Good Luck!
Basbasun
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Re: Rath R900 MP combination?

Post by Basbasun » Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:48 am

If you chose to buy a 2G mouthpiece, why not buy a Fax 2G. They are good mouthpieces, are not expensive, and you can have the mouthpiece in a much shorter time if you chose Greg Black, Greg is very busy. Well, ask Doug.
mrdeacon
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Re: Rath R900 MP combination?

Post by mrdeacon » Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:42 pm

Basbasun wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:48 am
If you chose to buy a 2G mouthpiece, why not buy a Fax 2G. They are good mouthpieces, are not expensive, and you can have the mouthpiece in a much shorter time if you chose Greg Black, Greg is very busy. Well, ask Doug.
I think Faxx only makes a 1 1/2g bass piece... I could be mistaken.
Rath R1 2000s, Elliott XT
Bach 42B 1977, Elliott XT
Holton TR185 1968, Elliott XB
Holton 169 1960s, Elliott LB
Minick Bass Trombone 1980s, Elliott LB
Basbasun
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Re: Rath R900 MP combination?

Post by Basbasun » Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:37 am

mrdeacon wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:42 pm
Basbasun wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:48 am
If you chose to buy a 2G mouthpiece, why not buy a Fax 2G. They are good mouthpieces, are not expensive, and you can have the mouthpiece in a much shorter time if you chose Greg Black, Greg is very busy. Well, ask Doug.
I think Faxx only makes a 1 1/2g bass piece... I could be mistaken.
Right. No Faxx 2G. Use your Bach 1 1/2G. Get use to it.
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