Sparx Mouthpieces

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Soppy, Jan 11, 2004.

  1. Soppy

    Soppy Member

    is there anyone who uses a Sparx standard cornet mp? I am thinking about getting one, but @ $130 I'm a bit cautious! :shock:

    Also, what effect does the diameter sizr have? I current use a VB 1.5C with a 17mm diameter, and a Dennis Wick 4B with 16.25 feels a bit too small. The biggest Sparx I can get is 16.75mm. Is 0.25mm gonna make much difference (bearing in mind I can play a DW4B, I just prefer a bigger one).

    Lots of numbers there :shock: . Can anyone help.

  2. stevie

    stevie New Member

    Have you tried the DW W range. They do a 'wide' rim diameter for the No. 4 and the 4b. The standard 4b has a rim width of 5.17 wheras the 4bw is 5.50. I think I would try this option before buying spending a fortune on a sparx.
    Hope this helps.
  3. bennem

    bennem Member

    A DW 4b has an inner rim diameter of 16.5mm as does the sparx 4.

    I have played on a DW4b and 4bW for a number of years and to my mouth the sparx mouthpiece feels slightly smaller although the specs suggest otherwise. Now this could be due to the actual width of the rim, the bit that presses against your lips as opposed to the hole, being larger therefore the inside feels a bit smaller when in reality there is no difference. In contrast though I found that the sparx 3 felt significantly larger than a 4b on my mouth but I didn't play on that mouthpiece for any significant time, less than half a rehearsal. I was sent it by mistake.

    Lots of people say that the sparx mouthpieces are wonderful. In my first exposure to the them I haven't got on with them particularly well. But I am persevering and have to say that dynamics are easier to control pp-ff.

    As with all mouthpiece voodoo what works for one person doens't necessarily work for another.

    If you are going to buy a mouthpiece I would suggest that you buy direct from Ted Sparks as with the current exchange rates you get a better price than buying direct from the UK distributor.
  4. Sparky

    Sparky Member

    I've had my Sparx 3 for about a year now and think it's great. I played for a number of years on Lewington McCann but found that my top register was not as secure as I would like it to be. I then tried a DW4b which improved my top register but made my sound too bright. I then took a risk and bought a Sparx 3 which made a tremendous difference to the security of my top register and actually extended it without effecting my sound. I was lucky that I hit on a mouthpiece which suited me without much trial and error. The Sparx mouthpieces are made by GR Technology, the produce a questionnaire and will recommend a mouthpiece to you, it may be worth contacting them.
    Good Luck
  5. floral_dance

    floral_dance Member

    I have been playing on a SParx 3 for a couple of months now, it took me a wee while to get used to it but find it has improved my sound and range, although bottom range is not as good but top range excellent. Prior to changing I played on a DW4B. I spoke to Ted Sparx by e.mail and phone and found him to be very helpful.
  6. Soppy

    Soppy Member

    I relised that my meausurements were wrong! So now I'm gonna get the #3 because that's slightly smaller than the VB. I'll buy direct because the ex. rate in now $1.85 :shock:

    But what is the cup size like with the #3 compared to the DW4B? I can't find any DW measurements.

    @Sparky: Where can I get that questionaire?

    Thanks all :D
  7. bennem

    bennem Member

    I don't think the measurements help particularly as different manufacturers measure from different places.

    From what Ted Sparks says about the mouthpiece and from looking at them the depth is pretty much the same between a sparx 4 and a DW4b, sparx 3 and DW3b. A DW4b and 3b just vary in rim size.

    The major difference is the shape of the cup. The sparx is more conical whereas the DW is more spherical. In case that isn't clear I'll confuse the issue furthe by saying that the sparx tends to be more like a V and the DW is more like a U.
  8. Sparky

    Sparky Member

  9. sparx

    sparx New Member

    Sparx Cornet Mouthpieces

    Dear tMP members,

    Please feel free to contact me directly with any Sparx Mouthpiece concerns you may have.

    The rim and cup of the Sparx mp. are quite different from the DW mps. The references on my web site are posted to give you a guide for sizing your mp.

    The Sparx rim is more rounded than the DW rims and the cup on the standard line mp. is deeper than the DW 'B' cup. It is also more 'V' shaped.

    You can hear the Sparx # 2 mp. on my web site in the sound room ........... Yes I know we will all sound different on the same mp. but this will at least give you a sense of what the mp. sounds like. Make sure you listen to the last sound file as the 1st. ones featuer the Sparx -soloist- mp. which is more suited to orch. playing than Brass Band work.

    The Sparx standard line and DV mps. work best for Brass Band.

    Hope this helps.


    ps....... see the "order now" page of the site for Trial policy details.
  10. Soppy

    Soppy Member

    I've just spent $130 dollars on a bloody mouthpiece! I can't believe it!!!!! I know the exchenage rate is good (for UK anyway :D ) atm, but it's still £70+. :shock: :shock: 8)

    I was finally swayed by the recordings and some of the amazing comments on the website from so many top proffessionals.

    I looked on the GR site, and I never knew it was sooooo complicated! All this stuff about Alpha size and things. It gives you pleanty of things to blame when you sound c**p :D
  11. Chippy_Cornet

    Chippy_Cornet Member

    I purchased a Sparx 4 this time last year and have had no cause to regret my choice.

    For me i have found that i get a nice full, dark sound. It is also the most comfortable mouthpiece i have played on, even after having it on the chops for hours on end. I used to get tired far quicker on a DW4B and my practice routine has not changed!!

    They are expensive, but in my experience, the cost is justified!!
  12. Graham Young

    Graham Young New Member

    Sparx 2 and 4C

    Like many North American playersI came to brass band from
    orchestral trumpet playing. When I first went on Soprano
    (18 years ago - they won't let me off the thing) I used my cornet shank Bach 7E/117. Other variations on trumept mouthpiece of varying size
    followed. I was never really comfortable with them on Bb or Eb.

    A few years ago I switched to Monette mouthpieces and have both
    a Bb and Eb which were close my trumpet mouthpiecs.
    This was good for cornet inthe orchestra but not as good in Brass Band

    I have tried the DWs but like many who also play Bach trumpet mpcs I
    could never get used to the rim.

    When the Sparx mouthpieces came out I found the 2 a perfect match
    to my usual Bach 1B (Monette 1-5M) trumpet mouthpieces.

    When the Sparx 4C became available I found a Soprano mouthpiece
    that gave me the dynamics (above the staff ppp) and the intonation
    stability I had never found. The rim shape has given me increased endurance. There's still a FF top C at the end of a night.
    ( the reason sops play so loud is that they can)

    For the heck of it one day I used the GR trumpet adapter and the Sparx 4C with a Scherzer piccolo and found a very nice synergy for the Messiah TTSH solo. I can do the DC on that now.

    With the 4C I do not feel I am fighting the instrument as much.
    I can just play not constatnly adjust.
  13. Having had problems recently with finding a mouthpiece that i feel confident with , I tried a sparx 4 and was amazed at such an impressive piece of kit. the mouthpiece was as comfy at the end of a three hour rehearsal as it was at the start, and my tone was much improved in all the registers. The problem is that to buy one directly from the Sparx website would be well above my budget, so I am wondering if there is anyone out there who has a sparx for sale....I would be very interested in doing a deal with you... im willing to go for any size sparx as it is the design of the mouthpiece that seems to suit my playing style.
  14. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    I don't want to depress you unnecessarily, but I hope you are prepared for the fact that, unless you are one of the very lucky few, when your 'piece arrives in the UK, it will be stopped/inspected by UK customs. They will charge you import duty of something like 4% of the total value (ie. including shipping costs), then 17.5% VAT on top of that (again, including the shipping cost). Then to add insult to injury, Royal Mail will charge you a further £22 approx. "handling fee" - ie. they charge you for the privelege of having your parcel "randomly" selected for presentation to customs.

    At the end of the day, I can't say that it will cost you more than it would have to have bought from a UK distributor, but it may not be quite the "bargain" you thought it was ...

    And if anybody thinks I sound bitter and twisted about it, you're right; I've been stung as well in the past ...
  15. Chippy_Cornet

    Chippy_Cornet Member

    I am guessing if Customs were going to show an interest, they would have done so in 2004 when the order was placed and that post was written ;)

    Not sure if there are any UK distributors of these now, best bet is to know someone who is going to toronto that could bring one back for you!
  16. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    Personally, I would just get a Wick Heritage 1X - a larger mouthpiece with an incredible tone (and much cheaper/easier to obtain)
  17. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member


    Whoops! Hadn't realised it was an old post resurrected! Wonder if I can get a friendly Mod to spare my blushes?
  18. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    No reason to blush. Regardless of how old the original post was, the information is still relevant. International shipping is very expensive these days. If there's a way to tax something multiple times, any government will figure out how to do it.
  19. tat

    tat Member

    I have one sat in my case, dont know what size it is exactly as im at work at the moment, think its a 4 as I got it to replace my DW4W. Tried it for a month, didn't like it as it felt more like a trumpet mouth piece.
  20. MrBb

    MrBb Member

    I used to play on Denis Wick mouth pieces (either a 4, 4b or 4 bw) but always after around 1 - 2 years all the finish would come off them and be left with a dull grey colored thing that wasn't comfortable any more as it was dull and then end up spending another £25 - £30 on one. I then Got my sparx 4 about 3 years ago and it looks a new today as when i 1st purchased it, yes i imported it from Canada and i think it cost me about 125 Canadian dollars (about £85), but it was false economy keep buying crappy Denis wick ones and binning them after a year or so. I really like it and would be hard persuaded to go back to a Denis wick.