We are sticklers for testing our mouthpieces, and like to share them with players far and wide to get their thoughts on how each one plays, feels and sounds.
A little while back Matthew Palmer, a freelancer based in the north west, put some of our trumpet mouthpieces through their paces, read his thoughts below…
This large mouthpiece is very deep with a ‘V’-shaped cup . It makes a very dark sound, big and open. It projects well and is very free blowing, the notes almost falling out of the trumpet. It is very comfortable, but it is very large, suiting the player who likes to have a lot of lip in the mouthpiece. Its response is immediate, especially in the lower register, and the tonguing sounds good and clear. A broad range of dynamics is easy to achieve, with both louds and softs speaking with minimal effort – especially the louds! Superb finish and very comfortable to play.
Comparison – Denis Wick 1X but with deeper cup, Warburton 1XD
This has a super tone, rounded but brighter in sound than the 1. It is possible to mould, change and adapt the sound on this mouthpiece. In the upper register, when really pushing the air through it, the mouthpiece creates an exciting sizzle without becoming edgy or harsh, which is excellent. This mouthpiece would be suited to principal trumpet players who prefer a brighter sound quality, helping them soar atop an orchestra with little effort. Slightly resistant which helps with stamina in the upper register especially. The notes are very ‘slotted’, as is the intonation. The 2 plays comfortably in all dynamic ranges and is very responsive in flexibility and tonguing. The low register is not as open as the 1, which is huge. The high quality of the polishing and plating literally shine out in this mouthpiece, which is perfect for a soloistic principal trumpet or a solo performer.
Comparison – Warburton 2
This is a great sounding mouthpiece! It produces a warm and rounded sound, often sweet in the quieter dynamics but when you put a lot of air through it, it really came alive. There is a lot of width in the tone, whereas the 2 produces a more direct sound. This mouthpiece also produces more overtones, creating a ‘bloom’ to the sound. This mouthpiece blends well in an orchestral section and particularly suits the down-the-line player. It has less resistance than the 2 and the response is quick and accurate. The notes feel very ‘slotted’ and the intonation is very good. More effort is required on top notes than with the 2, but it is a larger mouthpiece. Across the range low to high the tonguing has real clarity.
Comparison – Bach 1C, Warburton 3MD
The Alliance 4 is an all-round favourite! The rim is similar in size to the Alliance Prestige 2, but with a shallower cup than the 2, making everything feel easier to play. The sound has real breadth and width like the 3, but more refined and sweeter. It is like the perfect mix of the 2 and 3. The response is excellent and this mouthpiece makes playing all over the range of the instrument very easy indeed, giving a sense of control that is great for the confidence of any player. The 4 strikes a very happy medium in terms of resistance, always working with the player and not against. The tuning is first-class. A good dynamic range feels easy to achieve, and it feels nice and responsive when playing quietly in particular. This mouthpiece is an ideal size for any classical player, and is perfect for both orchestral and solo playing!
Comparison – Bach 1½C
This mouthpiece is aimed at the cornet player who plays the trumpet but doesn’t want to stray away from the feel of a cornet mouthpiece. Its deep cup gives it a naturally warm, soft sound but not so much that it begins to sound “cornety”. This has not always been the case with crossover mouthpieces in the past, but this mouthpiece has got it spot on. When giving it a little more air the mouthpiece takes on a livelier characteristic, all the while retaining the lovely large sound it creates in the mid-range dynamics. This is a very adaptable mouthpiece. It moves through the ranges smoothly and effortlessly, but good support is needed in the high register. The low register is large and open. It creates a lovely clarity when tonguing. A superb crossover mouthpiece.
Comparison – Denis Wick 3 but with a deeper cup
This mouthpiece is brighter in sound and would suit the player who wants to be adaptable in the ensembles they play in without changing mouthpiece. It is lively and really takes off in the upper register giving the player a helping hand, without having to put in too much effort. It feels very secure picking out lines and phrases above the stave. Articulation is quick, responsive and very clear. A wide range of dynamics can be achieved and much less physical effort is needed to play loud, helping greatly with stamina. Intonation is very accurate in all registers. The build quality was superb and the slightly flatter rim feels really secure.
Comparison – similar to a Bach 5C but fractionally wider cup
The 7 is very similar to the 6 but with a shallower cup, which makes the 7 slightly more responsive. This mouthpiece can float in on notes with great ease. The sound is on the brighter side and records well. It would suit a commercial trumpet player. It plays easily in the upper register with notes feeling very ‘slotted’. The low register is slightly less open but it produces nice, fruity notes right down to the bottom of the range. Very comfortable to play and with a secure ‘feel’, this mouthpiece is perfect for the studio and for commercial playing.
The Alliance 8 would suit any beginner trumpet player. It is very similar in size to the Bach 7C, a traditional mouthpiece for young players. Notes speak easily on the 8, and minimal effort is required to produce a lovely sound. This is not always the case with mouthpieces aimed at the beginner! It feels very comfortable to play, giving new players confidence and helping them find the correct playing position. High notes are nice and easy to play, and when used with a piccolo trumpet the high notes feel effortless to achieve and give the piccolo a rounded and warm sound.
Comparison – Bach 7C
You can view our full range of trumpet mouthpieces here.