Mystery Sshhmute

Jack E

Well-Known Member
This has got me scratching my head. Having just bought a trombone off Ebay (Boosey & Hawkes Regent tenor, 60s / early 70s?), I was looking at the Sshhmutes to sort out one for the bone, as I'm very happy with the one I've been using for years with my baritone (and kindly spare me the suggestions that the best mute for a baritone would be to fill it with concrete; I find stupid children, and their jokes, a bore).

But I noticed that there is no Sshhmute listed for baritones, and the only reference I can find to one was in a Sshhmute press release from 2015, in which Bremner said he was working one two new designs, for euph and baritone - so what do I have?? Unfortunately, none of the websites I've looked at give any dimensions, so the only clues I have are as follows.

My Sshhmute looks much the same shape as the one advertised for a tenor horn, with the cork fitted in the same way - but to judge from the way it fits in the bell of my baritone (bell size, 8"; bore, 0.504"), I very much doubt it would fit in a tenor horn. Another feature in common with the tenor horn Sshhmute is that the colour of the end cap is blue - whereas both the trombone Sshhmutes have a red end cap.

So I'm baffled as to exactly what I've got - and I would like to know, so that I can pass this info on to any other baritone player who'd like one. If it helps anyone to identify it, I'll attach a picture of the advertised tenor horn Sshhmute, with dimensions, in case anyone has one to compare:

With best regards,
Jack

Mystery Sshhmute.jpg
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
With regard to Trombone mutes they can be an ergonomic disaster in that they make the Bell heavy and so the instrument twists in your hand. I sold my practice mute but used a Dennis Wick one which was OK, a cheap alternative is to unplug the bell side of the Tuning slide - worked for me but YMMV.

Baritones, the second part is widely acknowledged as often awkward and the first part is often high up the stave and difficult stuff supporting the Euphoniums. I play valves rather than slides these days but if I still played Trombone then being able to double on Baritone would be handy and ergonomically easier / less tiring than the Trombone.
 

Jack E

Well-Known Member
That's a good point re. the weight of practise mutes, 2nd tenor - and one that hadn't occurred to me re. using one with a trombone. I just weighed the Sshhmute I use with my baritone, and it comes out at 7.6 ozs, 215 grams. In use with the baritone, the weight is near vertical and resting on my lap, so it doesn't notice too much. But I can see that out on the end of a trombone bell, especially as the Sshhmute sticks out several inches beyond the bell, that overhanging weight would be a serious consideration - so thanks for bringing it to my attention.

There's a couple of videos on Youtube re. mutes by a jazz trombonist called Daniel Johansson, which cover the subject in a lot of depth (including the weights!), so I'll watch them again.

PS - my Regent trombone arrived to day, and for a 50 year old instrument, is in surprisingly good shape; only serious issue I can see is that one of the slide legs is slightly out of line, but nothing that Hansen's can't sort out for me (as they did with my previous Selmer trombone). As I only paid £87 for it, including shipping, I can afford to spend some extra cash to get it in good fettle, and still be worth the money.

Interesting point, though - the sound may well be very 1960s era! It's a small bore - 0.500" - and the bell diameter is a mere seven and a quarter inches!

Like you, I think that being able to double on baritone and trombone is a worthwhile shot to have in your ammo locker - and I do, very much, like the distinctive sounds of both.

PPS - do you know anything about a Boosey & Hawkes G.60 trombone mouthpiece?

With best regards,
Jack
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
I’m glad that you found the point about ergonomics useful. Years ago I damaged my arm playing Trombone and had to take a break for some time.

I’ve had very positive experience with my Regent Tuba, they might be beginners instruments but really my thoughts on that are: ‘lucky beginners’.

I used to know something about the G60 but that knowledge is now gone, sorry - someone on the Trombone Forum will know something. A Wick 6BS or a (small shank) Bach 6&1/2AL will doubtless be just grand. I used to have an Imperial of similar bore but bigger Bell, it played well but it’s FF wasn’t quite load enough next to large bore instruments (only so much air will go down a small bore).

It’s a small bell and a small bore but enjoy them, I would. It’ll likely be better balanced than today’s offerings, an easy blow (good on air) and have a bit of trumpet like bite about it.
 

Jack E

Well-Known Member
Me, again - re. the ergonomics; I had a similar left arm problem to you when I was shooting a BSA Martini a few years back. Despite only being a .22, its heavy target barrel and massive walnut stock meant it weighed 6lbs more than a Lee-Enfield .303! After a while, I had to pack it in, as even shooting from the prone position, I developed uncontrollable left arm shake. And yet, when I tried shooting a Brno .22 hunting rifle earlier this year, I didn't have any problems with that at all.

Re. the G.60 mouthpiece; that's a good idea - I'll do a search or ask a question on TromboneChat, and see what I can find out. As for the sound; if it sounds a bit like a trombone in a 1920s or dixieland jazz band, I shan't complain, as I really enjoy that bright and punchy sound ;) . Besides, if I get on well with it, I can always buy a bigger one later on, eh? After all, so far I only have the JP baritone, the Regent, a five string nylon-strung Grafton banjo and a mountain dulcimer - plenty of room for a few more! :cool:

With best regards,
Jack
 

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