Mouthpieces: Sparx Cornet

Keppler

Moderator
Staff member
Arrived home yesterday to find a nice shiny new Sparx 4 cornet mouthpiece waiting for me.

I don't claim to be the finest cornet player in the world ever, or an expert in the realms of all things mouthpiecey. Rather, I'm a standard player who works hard, and my opinions should be taken from that point of view.

Having started with a VB7C, and played that for several years, about 5 years ago I switched to a DW4. After some work with this, I found an improvement in the sound I was making, and settled on a deep, broad sound that I found pleasing, and was happy with.

When I saw the arrival of the Sparx range, I decided to go for it and get one - as I'd be unlikely to come across any in general circulation. The mouthpieces are produced in Canada for Brass Band playing. So I ordered a Sparx 4 cornet mouthpiece to try out. As I said, it arrived yesterday, and I had my first blow through at rehearsal this morning.

On first impressions, it seemed long and heavy. There's a booster-like solidity to it about the backbore. It also has a slightly wider rim than the DW. It's also a deal shallower, having a standard depth, instead of the deep cup DW4. I would describe the cup shape as V though - certainly nothing as round as a VB

On playing it through a rehearsal - I found it to have a softer rim bite than the DW. Also the shallower cup made some difference to my sound, but not unpleasently so. The higher register was easier, although the very low wasn't as full. I also found it to be easy to play - not being as tired after rehersal as normal (although I will need more sessions to test this)

Overall, a super mouthpiece - great across the range, and good for intonation (it plays fine no matter how you bend the note) I won't be giving up my DW4 completely, for some pieces I might need the extra breadth of tone, but I'll be using the Sparx a lot.

Also comes in 2 and 3 sizes, being wider, and also in a "DV" mode (deep V)

Very good service from Canada. Only thing is it's not cheap ($90+$10 shipping) No idea what that is in sterling.

Would recommend it

www.sparxmusic.com
 

super_sop

Supporting Member
xcellent summary on your new Sparx mp. can you do a follow up in a few weeks time as its a mp i was looking at buying :tup
Super_sop
 

Keppler

Moderator
Staff member
Just as an addendum..

I found the Sparx very comfortable on the march - my lip wasn't as shattered as normal after 90 mins of marching...
 

Soppy

Member
If it can help me play higher......................

There's an article on them @ 4barsrest which I'm now going to read.
 

Sparky

Member
Sparx mouthpieces

I bought a Sparx No. 3 mouthpiece a couple of months ago and it is the biz. Endurance improved and has extended my register both up and down. I played for years on a Lewington McCann but the Sparx is so much better. I like the mouthpieces so much that I have been talking to Ted Sparkes about importing them into the UK, if anyone out there wants a mouthpiece let me know.
 

Sparky

Member
Super Sop,
The mp's come in 3 rim diameters 2,3 & 4, these are the same as the rim sizes of the Dennis Wick mp's. They also come in 3 cup volumes:DV-for back row cornets, standard (I use one on the front row) and C-which Ted recommends for sop (thats what he used to play). Unfortunately,because they are manufactured to very high standard they don't come cheap, with Vat, carriage etc. the cost is £105. If you buy direct from Ted in Canada it would be about £90. Let me know how you want to proceed. For me it was a small price to pay for something that works as well as this mouthpiece does. E.mail me if you need anything else.
 

super_sop

Supporting Member
thanx for geting back.is ther antwere in the uk you can try these mps.
Ive herd they are good, but its a lot of money to forkout without being able to try them. sorry if i sound a bit negative, it just that i like to try things out before i buy :oops:
 

Sparky

Member
Don't think there is anywhere to try them but Ted Sparkes has an approval scheme, he may run the scheme for the UK, it may be worth asking him. He charges the full cost and allows you to try the mouthpiece for a time and, if you send it back undamaged, charges a restocking fee (I think it is 10%) and returns your balance.
 

Keppler

Moderator
Staff member
20% Sparky..

I got mine from Ted direct for $100 US, which came to about 90 euro at the time.

A couple of weeks on.. I think it's great, although I still go back to my DW4 when a really rich tone is required and the range is not too demanding
 

dah1dj

New Member
I've been on the Sparx 4 DV for a few months now and I would consider it to be the best piece I have used in 40 years. Having started on an old Besson 5 and then on to a Wick 4 for a number of years, the Sparx seems to have the best compromise for tone and high register. I played flugel for a while with a Wick 2F and got quite used to the deep cup for that true "brass band sound". Have tried the Bachs and the Wick 4B and it doesn't take much of a change in cup depth to brighten up the sound.
Of course the struggle continues for some of those high notes but they are far easier to get with the Sparx. The 4 DV kind of resembles an old Kosicup still played by our principal.
 
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