Heavy top mouthpieces

craigcornet1

New Member
Just wondered if anyone had used a Denis Wick heavy top mouthpiece and if there had been any benefit to using one instead of a normal or heritage mouthpiece???
 

DS2014

Active Member
I played around with a DW3B Heavy Top. Now, what I say must be taken in light of the fact that I am a comeback player and am still getting to grips with playing regularly again.

That said, the Heavy Top does give an extra feeling of security by adding extra weight and it feels solid against the face compared to regular mouthpieces. They say it limits the range somewhat, but my range wasn't all that great to begin with, so, I couldn't comment on that. They also say that its construction is designed to push all the energy through the instrument, and some don't like this feeling since the player gets less physical feedback (via vibrations through the mouthpiece).

Personally, I could see a lot of pluses in using it on the march, since it does affect the balance of the instrument and (I play cornet) a bell-heavy cornet becomes more balanced in using the Heavy Top. It is also a comfortable mouthpiece to play in the back row where range is not really a factor, because it does help produce a more secure articulation (well, for me, at any rate). Personally, I have gone back to the old reliable (DW4B) until I feel confident that I am back playing at a solid level.

I haven't ever played a Heritage, so, couldn't comment.
 

MoominDave

Well-Known Member
Any effect on playing from changing the mass distribution of the mouthpiece or instrument is going to be vastly smaller than the effect of changing the shape of the inside in any way, or of changing one's playing regime a bit. Further, Wick mouthpieces are more consistent now, but certainly historically, including the period when they introduced heavy-top mouthpieces, they varied hugely within sizes.

The thing to do is to treat each individual mouthpiece on its own merits - don't assume that all 4Bs (or whatever) will be the same, even if they are made to the same external style. Find a mouthpiece you like, whatever it's outside shape, try several examples of it to find the best suited to you, and don't get hung up on trying to make regular vs Heavytop vs Heritage comparisons - chances are that any small effects are due to minute (or not so minute) differences in the internal shape due to manufacturing inconsistencies.
 

craigcornet1

New Member
Thanks for your views... :)

I currently play on a Warburton 2XD mouthpiece and 5* backbore. I would like to try a Denis Wick mouthpiece to fit in with the section I currently play in. However, I need a Denis Wick 1B to match up to my present mouthpiece.

Obviously I would like to try the BC Warburton model but at nearly £100 it's an expensive gamble!!!!
 

Tom-King

Well-Known Member
Thanks for your views... :)

I currently play on a Warburton 2XD mouthpiece and 5* backbore. I would like to try a Denis Wick mouthpiece to fit in with the section I currently play in. However, I need a Denis Wick 1B to match up to my present mouthpiece.

Obviously I would like to try the BC Warburton model but at nearly £100 it's an expensive gamble!!!!

There are plenty of mouthpieces that will blend nicely with a section of wicks - some fairly common (Yamaha's 16E comes to mind) and some less so.

I like my BC Warburton for Bb (3BC, 8* backbore), the sound is more than warm enough to blend with a section of Wicks - I'd put it between a no-letter and a B cup Wick. Not sure where you're finding them for under a hundred though?


DS2014's impressions of heavier mouthpieces mirror mine - you get less feedback. The sound is slightly different and you get a touch better projection, but it's something you may or may not like - you'd have to compare back-to-back with a size that suits you (same for both pieces) and have someone listen to you playing both to really get a good idea of whether it's for you or not. As Dave says, these are subtle nuances, they're noticeable but the mouthpiece (and your practice regime) must be right first or there's no point worrying about it.
The heritage's rim-feel is very different (again, you'd have to try to know if you like it or not), some people like them and some don't - whether the rim suits you or not is more likely to change your mind than any change in sound with these.
 

craigcornet1

New Member
Obviously I would like to try the BC Warburton model but at nearly £100 it's an expensive gamble!!!![/QUOTE]


Typo!!!! I would definitely snap one up for that amount!!!

I've played on Warburton for 13 years and would not like to change but my sound is bright because of the mouthpiece...
How much of a difference does a higher number backbore change the sound???
 

Tom-King

Well-Known Member
Obviously I would like to try the BC Warburton model but at nearly £100 it's an expensive gamble!!!!


Typo!!!! I would definitely snap one up for that amount!!!

I've played on Warburton for 13 years and would not like to change but my sound is bright because of the mouthpiece...
How much of a difference does a higher number backbore change the sound???[/QUOTE]

It does broaden the sound, but needs much more air support and you have to be careful with intonation - more open (higher number) gives you a sharper upper register.

I can't compare directly for you, I have a 5XD which I've used on sop (normally use a 5D) and a 3BC - if you're finding the XD too bright the chances are the BC will be almost exactly what you want. If you're looking for a full-on Wick 2 sound then it (or atleast my 3BC/8*) falls a little short, but IMHO it's a mellower tone (and no harder to play) than a 2B.


May be worth finding out if any of the Warburton dealers (philparker's would be 120 quid, I don't know if they stock them) have BC's in stock that you could try?
 
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trumpetmike

Well-Known Member
I am a Warburton user when playing trumpet (1D) or flugel (1FLX) but use a Wick Heritage 1B on cornet. Used to use the heavytop 1B but moved to the Heritage as soon as it was available (actually slightly before, I had one of the trial models). Never found the Warburton tops (even the BC) gave me the sound I was looking for - the heavy Wick was good but the Heritage is exactly what I look for in my cornet mouthpieces.
 

craigcornet1

New Member
I am a Warburton user when playing trumpet (1D) or flugel (1FLX) but use a Wick Heritage 1B on cornet. Used to use the heavytop 1B but moved to the Heritage as soon as it was available (actually slightly before, I had one of the trial models). Never found the Warburton tops (even the BC) gave me the sound I was looking for - the heavy Wick was good but the Heritage is exactly what I look for in my cornet mouthpieces.

I'm pretty sure the 1B is what I'm looking for...
After years of trumpet abuse, my cornet sound isn't what it used to be!!!
Thanks for your thoughts
 

trumpetmike

Well-Known Member
The original idea (according to Denis!) behind the 1B Heavytop was as a mouthpiece for trumpeters so that they sounded more like cornet players.
 

JimboFB

Active Member
Any effect on playing from changing the mass distribution of the mouthpiece or instrument is going to be vastly smaller than the effect of changing the shape of the inside in any way, or of changing one's playing regime a bit. Further, Wick mouthpieces are more consistent now, but certainly historically, including the period when they introduced heavy-top mouthpieces, they varied hugely within sizes. QUOTE]

Geeky question for you here dave, i'm now using a heritage wick 3, used to be on an old style wick 3. Reason i swapped was because the plating was worn and i couldnt find another old wick to buy anywhere at the time. Thought i'd try the heritage and that was that. I since had my old wick coated in that coloured plastic stuff that was being done by some guys over Cardiff way (i think theyve knocked it on the head now by the way). I recently went back to see if the old wick played differently now its been coated and it feels like a totally different mouthpiece on the inside of the rim.

Is the shape of the inside of the rim totally different from the old mpiece to the new shape as well as the outside shape?
 

MoominDave

Well-Known Member
I think it isn't supposed to be. Is it possible that the new rim coating on your old one isn't quite the same as it was before?
 

JimboFB

Active Member
Possibly. its very very odd to play now. I think because of the coating its more slippery on the old chops in general so maybe just feels different.

While you're there - do you know if an Edwards lead pipe would fit a Rath slide?
 

MoominDave

Well-Known Member
I have tried Edwards bass leadpipes in my Rath bass slide - they had had the fittings modified - they belonged to someone who had a whole box full of leadpipes, few of which had the original collars still. I would guess that they would press in fine, but the thread probably wouldn't match. But you could still test them fine.

For what it's worth, I found those that I tried (couldn't swear exactly which two, as I was testing blind, and the chap was swapping them in and out in rapid succession) uncomfortably tight to play in the Rath down the bottom. His general take was that Edwards pipes work great in Edwards instruments, but it's rare for them to work well in anything else.
 

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