Tuba mouthpiece shank shaving

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by B.Portas, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. B.Portas

    B.Portas Member

    Hi all,

    Does anyone know of a repairman in the UK (doesn't matter where, I will try and use postage) that would shave down a large shank mouthpiece to fit a Boosey Imperial EEb?

    I've tried searching, can't find anything/anyone - surely someone must have someone to recommend?


  2. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Anyone with a lathe could do it. A woodworker friend shaved down a plastic mouthpiece for me on a round piece of wood that he'd taped into the end of a power drill that he held between his knees... Not that I'd recommend that for a metal piece!

    What mouthpiece are you looking at shaving down? If its a Wick, be aware that you can buy all the Wick models with shanks that will fit your Imperial - end result two nice mouthpieces rather than one mutilated one...
  3. phildriscoll

    phildriscoll Moderator Staff Member

    I recently had some issues in this area. I had been playing with a Wick 1L on my 1980s imperial EEb bass for about a year. I loved the mouthpiece, but the shank only fitted in a few mm, so wasn't very secure. I then bought a Wick 1 which fitted the instrument, but even after two or three month's playing, I was disappointed that it didn't seem to give me any where near the power or precision of the 1L. On measuring both with callipers, it became clear that the dimensions of both mouthpieces had very little in common. The internal diameter of the 1L was over 1mm larger than the 1, and the throat diameter was also significantly bigger. A friend (in York Bryn, who may be prepared to use his lathe in exchange for beer!) turned the shank down on his lathe, and the mouthpiece now fits my Imperial and plays as well as it did before. By dint of not turning all the way up the shank, and leaving a little step, it also fits a modern sovereign.
  4. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Bear in mind that Wick's QA was notoriously unreliable for many years - you can't draw the conclusion that 1Ls are systematically bigger than 1s from measuring one pair of mouthpieces... Moral is to take your calipers to the shop and try a whole basket of mouthpieces in that one size.
  5. phildriscoll

    phildriscoll Moderator Staff Member

    I had assumed that these things were made on CNC lathes, so I had decided that either the CNC programming or the tooling setup on the machines was rubbish. If the former, then there may be some consistency on a single model of mouthpiece, but I wouldn't believe anything without measuring it!
  6. simonium

    simonium Member

    I have three 4ALs from the same era (the tiny stamped model designation which are all the same) and one from a later era, a later, more digitised, computer-assisted era and they are poles apart. I bought a new gold 4AL as a treat and couldn't play on it- it was so different from the previous generation. Clearly it was an entirely different cup profile, as according to my micrometer (not the most accurate way of analysing admittedly) they all measured 26mm in diameter. Perhaps a misbadged 4.5? Needless to say it wasn't in my collection for long, and the old ones are back.
  7. B.Portas

    B.Portas Member

    Dave, its a Perantucci PT-65 that I got on a whim second hand for really cheap. It'd be a great idea to only shave it down a little, so it would fit a Sovereign, but my bass plays slightly flat as it is, so having it only just fit may increase the problems. It would need to fit the same way as my Wicks do.

    Phil, if you could private message me the details of your mate in York, that would be fantastic.

    Thanks for your help chaps.
  8. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    The old manually made cornet mouthpieces are very different to the current ones so I would guess that the bass mouthpieces will have similar issues. I suspect they chose one mouthpiece of each type to digitise and in some cases they may not have been typical e.g. the current Wick 2 cornet seems to have a narrower flatter rim with more bite than the originals, which are close to a Bach 1.5C, the 3 is similar unlike the earlier 3 which was close to a Bach 1 1/4C rim. The shanks also got bigger, but I think that was deliberate - does mean they don;t really fit the maestro cornet properly.
  9. JDH

    JDH Member

    The PT mouthpieces are also available with small shanks. I have a PT65s (the small fitting) I no longer use I would be prepared to sell if you are interested
  10. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    shaving down and then using in sov later could result in playing sharp. a problem I had with a pt 84. I left the PT84 shaved for use in imperial and bought a Loud. They are available in small and large shank.

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