Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by ..JB.., Nov 10, 2009.
Hi has anyone used or is using the sm3 ultra mouthiece?
What are your views?
There are a couple of reviews on Steven Mead's site (for starters) ...
Hi i have seen them already but i would take a guess that there more than likely bias views
Hi. If you send me your address by private message, I'll send you one, and you can do your own review for TMP. Sound good ?
I am trying to find prices and places to buy but am struggling!! any ideas?
Denis Wick lists his UK retailers here (search engine).
The RRP prices on the new Ultra euphonium mouthpieces are as follows:
These prices include VAT. The first 500 are now being sent to dealers who have already ordered and the next batch is now in preparation too.
I have a new UK based online store, opening hopefully at the end of November, which will have stock for sure, (www.euphoniumstore.net) and its quite likely your normal Wick dealer will have their first supplies by then too.
The gold price is a little higher than we originally anticipated due the ever rising price of gold, but the good news is that these Ultra mouthpieces will have 3 times the normal thickness of gold.
The interest from around the world has been massive but hopefully all dealers will have them soon.
Send me one Steven and I'll write a book! Seriously, though I am on a 4AL Wick at the moment. I find modern testpieces are soaring in the gods and I've just done a piece with a 'G' above top 'c'. Above a 'D' is particularly thin despite many weeks of lip flexibilties (Collins). I want to try new modern solos and limiting myself, does'nt everything finish on a top 'F'?
Sterling Virtuoso if you think it matters.
Is there a baritone model in this range of mouthpiece? If not, when can we expect them?
The final design of the Ultra baritone mouthpiece is just about ready, with a similar outer shape to the euphonium mouthpiece, and to begin with we are producing just an Ultra 5. This hopefully will take the best features of the old SMB4 and SMB6 and fuse them into one mouthpiece. We'll let the market decide if a bigger or smaller one is deemed necessary after that. In all honesty I don't think you'll see the baritone Ultra mouthpiece this side of Christmas, but we'll do our best.
What model will be in production for the melophonium (Small bore, Euphonium cup).
It obviously wont make it sound nice but is this a market you have considered?
No mouthpiece can make the mellophone sound nice. I'm still thinking about taking it up as a soloists instrument. Jazz mellophone anyone?
The Music Cellar now have them in stock. (www.themusiccellar.co.uk)
I've tried them. - Though having not played in anger for over 2 years, and having a daft tache for Movember - I couldn't possibly give a definate opinion.
However, they do seem rather good.
There does 'appear' to be an extra premium price with this new range?
Standard SM Gold range I can buy at less than £60 ea, and Silver at £42 (delivered).
I currently use an SM3.5 but having read the reviews I am very interested in the Ultra. As they only currently come in either a 3 or 4, can anyone suggest which way I should go or should I wait until perhaps a 3.5 comes on to the market.
I've played on a 3 since before Christmas. Compared to my previous MP of 20 years or so (4AL) it seems to speak easier and provide more support for top range PROVIDED you have a decent range to start with. I swapped as I fancied a change and - but if I was to identiffy the weakest part of my playing it would be the lower register C down to just above the pedals. In respect to this it has helped me a great deal so far - but early days yet. IMHO you need months and not weeks to assess a new mouthpiece. The sound of the high notes (say - top G to F ) really sing. Will be staying with it needless to say.
So far so good...I'm not a fan of Denis Wick mouthpieces, and in the main have been a Vinnie Bach chap, however, Steve Mead was taking the band very recently and offered me an SM3U to try. I had (possibly very ignorantly) always ruled out DW mouthpieces and never really found anything which I was happy to replace my current VB model. In trying the SM3U I must admit that I found almost everything to my benefit, especially comfort. The only thing I am finding with my initial trials is the lower register isn't quite as powerful and accessible as I would have expected; however it's early days and I must allow more time to adjust to the mouthpiece to give it a fair crack of the whip. I would definitely recommend this as one to try out though!! (we'll sort out commission later, Steve - ha ha!)
Can anyone suggest any comparison models by other manufacturers?
I have been using the SM3U since January after having used at one time or another a 4AL, SM4, SM3, SM3.5, Bach 4G in both standard and megatone guises and Alliance 2. I always found the 4AL the least satisfactory in terms of producing the euphonium sound that I like - despite the fact that by and large my favourite payers have played on one. The Bachs were fabulously comfortable but again the sound was too bright, although the megatone did improve this. Until the Ultra was released I had switched between the SM3 and 3.5, eventually sticking with the 3.5. These are some thoughts that I have had since switching.
My initial reaction was the mouthpiece was smaller than the SM3.5. It isn't but the rim profile made me feel it was a more snug fit. I'd decided to test the mouthpiece using Gordon Jacob's Fantasia For Euphonium which has more than enough ptfalls in terms of range, dynamics and articulation. I'd always felt the SM3.5 "good enough" for most things, but the one area I thought lacking was below bottom G. The Jacob has a fair amount of playing in this register - which is why I chose it. After having played it through once, I swapped to the SM3U - what an immediate difference! I'm a cynical fellow and know that any change in mouthpiece will usually provide an instant positive effect. Notes that I previously felt not totally satisfied with - bottom Db, top Ab, top Db and top E seemed to speak more easily. Bottom Db seemed to be of the same tone characteristic as the surrounding notes and the higher notes "slotted" more comfortably. The awkward low register between bottom G and pedal C projected much easily and articulation was made much less difficult. So far so good, but this was the first time I'd played it - only time would tell.
So....after having used the mouthpiece for a month and a half at band I will say that this mouthpiece is a definite improvement on the standard SM range. My stamina has improved - no doubt the sharper rim makes articulation easier and reduces fatigue, my sound has improved and my range is more comfortable. I'm aware that there is significantly less embourchure "work" needed for the more extreme intervals - my playing is more streamlineda and more efficient as a result. I'm not the strongest player either and this mouthpiece, I feel, gives me the chance to have a little more impact on the band sound, without recourse to the ludicrous overblowing that seems to be the vogue amongst certain bands at the moment.
Like any mouthpiece, I only know what works for me, but would advise any euphonium player to give these a try, even if they are comfortable with their current set up. All good fun!
I always like to try new kit. However, I got on well with my old 956GS 4 valve leaky old besson and my SM4B. However, just before Harrogate, last year, I chopped it for the new Prestige 4 valve. BE2056. This bugle has a slightly larger bore and I get the best results now using a VB3 or 4! I hope you will consider making a 4, at least for us old codgers with 'lived in' mouths.
PS the new bugle is great but still leaks all over my strides!
How did the SM3U Compare if you tried it?
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