Sop mouthpieces

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by yorkyboy, Oct 10, 2003.

  1. yorkyboy

    yorkyboy Member

    Bit of advice from you sop players out there.
    Ive been playing on a VB 17c however im not 100% comfortable on it. I recently tried a Schilke 14a4a which was nice when playing loud - quiet sounded terrible. Looked at getting a slightly deeper schilke cup to improve the sound.
    What mouthpieces is anyone out there on. Any suggestions please.
  2. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member


    I can't claim to be a sop expert (well I could, but I'd be lying....) but having meddled with lots of mouthpieces in the past, I've settled for a Warburton 11 backbore with a 3 DD cup. Suits my Mick Jagger-esque lips!

    Dave Payn
  3. yorkyboy

    yorkyboy Member

    ive heard a bit about the warburton mouth piece. anyone know who supplys them etc.
  4. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

  5. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

  6. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    FWIW, I use a Schilkie 15a4 on Sop...

    How long did you try the 14a4 for ? A deeper cup won't necessarily improve the sound!! practice will :) .. it does take quite some time to get used to the characteristics of different mouthpieces..
  7. Soppy

    Soppy Member

    I currently use a VB 1.5C on my Sop and Bb. It's great for the Sop, but I'm going to try a Schilke 10B4. I liked the cushioning really :D but the sound was almost identical to that on my VB.
  8. yorkyboy

    yorkyboy Member

    anyone on here tried the warburton mouthpieces on the sop?
  9. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    Yep, I use a 6D with a 7* backbore. Terrific, very comfortable and range doesn't suffer. I also have a couple of soprano backbores but I found them a little restrictive. Best thing to do is try a few combinations out first. The warbutron web site has a chart to compare which should help you find a starting point.
  10. yorkyboy

    yorkyboy Member

    Ok can somebody explain to me the difference between the backbores and the cup size as the website does not appear to make it very clear
  11. Kerwintootle

    Kerwintootle Member

    Go to and go to their mouthpiece section which explains the differences between cup and backbore sizefor the Warburton mouthpieces.

    I use a Schilke 9C4. It is good projection wise but the rim is very wide, so I am looking to maybe change.
  12. JamesGamble

    JamesGamble Member

    Not an expert either, but I tried a couple of different ones before settling for the old Dennis Wick S. Another good one to use though might be the Vincent Bach 10 1/2 CW. Nice sound, great for tone at high and low registers!

    Anyone tried a plastic or glass mouthpiece... just out of interest?
  13. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    not on a sop, but i've played a clear plastic trombone mouthpiece. It was a bit strange, and people kept complaining that they could see spit shooting through it...
  14. yorkyboy

    yorkyboy Member

    Can someone confirm then that with a warburton mouthpiece you buy the top and the backbore seperate and the do they just screw together??
  15. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Correct, but it's essential to keep the 'joins' lubricated, otherwise the top and backbore will probably jam together.
  16. Richard Pugh

    Richard Pugh New Member

    I use a Stork 7C which I find really good. The only problem is trying to find them! I have also tried a Warburton on the Sop and it was really good too...can't remember the size though so probably not much help there sorry!!
  17. Emb_Enh

    Emb_Enh Member

    Bit of advice from you sop players out there.
    Ive been playing on a VB 17c however im not 100% comfortable on it. I recently tried a Schilke 14a4a which was nice when playing loud - quiet sounded terrible. Looked at getting a slightly deeper schilke cup to improve the sound.
    What mouthpieces is anyone out there on. Any suggestions please.


    Yes try a SCHILKE 14B4 I'm sure you'll like it better in the pp passages.

    ...someone also asked about cup characteristics --here's some info...

    Mouthpiece characteristics.

    Here's some thoughts on mpc characteristics. It would be wise in making ANY choice to remember that your choice needs to be a moderate/comfortable one for yourself alone.

    Inner Rim Diameter
    A large diameter generally enables the lips to vibrate more freely. It will also aid in the production of a bigger tone but if too large, the tone will be too open (unfocussed). In some players a smaller diameter can sometimes lead the use of a spread embouchure to gain volume of sound which then in turn leads to excess mpc. pressure in an effort to close the lip aperture once more. Excess mpc. pressure leads to inefficient endurance.

    Cup Depth
    Basically, the deeper the cup or overall total cup volume will darken the tone. A more shallow cup will give a brighter tone. For playing in the upper register a mpc. that is more shallow than average will give the tone and support required to perform in this register.
    Shallow cups (at the extreme end) will make the tone thin / edgy

    Cup Volume
    The mouthpiece(s) of your choice need to suit the style / sound of the genre you are playing in. Using multiple mpcs. for multiple styles must result in extra practice on each particular mpc relevant to that particlar style. This will help to cope with the types of articulation/dynamics that you will meet within those particular styles. The larger the cup volume the fuller and louder the tone; the smaller the cup volume the softer and thinner the tone. If you choose a cup volume at either end of the extremes, control will be compromised. If you find switching mpc's difficult you are probably too mpc dependant.

    Inner Rim Bite or Alpha Angle
    The sharper the bite, the more grip is perceived. With a flatter or rounder rim, less grip is felt but more comfort acquired. Personal mpc. pressure plays a big part in choosing a mpc which will aid performance.

    The backbore volume and shape can affect pitch greatly. The backbore has several tapers, an initial and an average taper. If the initial taper is greater than the average you have a backbore with more volume, less resistance, and different harmonics. The diameter of the backbore also influences timbre and resistance. The length of the bore affects the blow resistance too. A narrow backbore results in increased resistance, brighter tone, and easier playing in the high register. A larger backbore decreases resistance and gives a darker tone and easier playing in the lower range.

    "U" / "V" Shaped Cups
    Most U shaped cups have a fairly sharp shoulder which results in an easy to play resistance and a well defined bright sound. V shaped cups have a smoother, rounder shoulder which produces low resistance and softer, darker tone.

    Throat Diameter
    The throat is the narrowest part of the mpc. bore. The diameter and length of this set the restrictions for playing resistance (back pressure). A narrow, long throat gives a high level of resistance which then in turn equates to fast response/brilliant tone and an aid to playing in the high register. A wide, short throat is more playable in the lower register and results in greater volume of tone but requires a great deal of air support from the player.

    Model Numbering System
    Most companies have their own way of numbering their Mpc's with the differences in Rim / Cup / Throat Specifications. The Schilke 12A4a can be deciphered as this...

    The "12" part of this mpc. is the inner cup diameter.
    The "A" is the cup volume plus shape.
    The "4" is the rim contour.
    The "a" is the back bore.

    Mouthpiece Weight
    Light weight mpcs. produce fast, flexible response while heavier mpcs. produce a more focussed tonal core. Much the same can be said for horns too!

    Mouthpiece Finish
    Gold plating IMHO helps with lip flexibility and is more suited to the player who uses a wet embouchure but is not so suitable for the dry lipped player who requires more grip. Silver plating is generally preferred by dry lipped individuals. Gold plated mpc's also tend to keep a constant temperature better. Solid silver adds to the weight and therefore adheres to the above.

    Rim Thickness
    A thick rim provides greater lip contact resulting in extended endurance but lip movement is limited therefore in extreme cases you lose some flexibility. A thin rim gives flexibility and control but provides less support for the lip thereby causing fatigue earlier than a mpc. rim of more average dimensions.

  18. Keppler

    Keppler Moderator Staff Member

    super post Roddy - I'll be printing that one out..
    welcome to tMP

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