Jiri and Leanne, two of our mouthpiece engineers, have kindly taken the time to get some photos of Alliance mouthpieces in production.
We can’t show you everything that goes on behind the scenes of course, but we thought you might like to see what happens to those rods of brass before they become the beautiful mouthpieces you play!
All our mouthpieces are handcrafted in England. Today Jiri and Leanne were making some Les Neish tuba mouthpieces, so we took some photos while they were working for you to see what goes on behind the scenes!
You can see in this picture a Les Neish Signature Line Tuba Mouthpiece being machined by a state-of-the-art CNC lathe. The lathe is computer controlled, as the advantage of a computer controlled machine is that it ensures every mouthpiece is accurately made and consistent in size – even those complex curves of the rim are the same on every mouthpiece.
During the machining process a coolant is used to prevent the carbide tooling from overheating. We use specialist cutting tools to create the smoothest possible surface – which is why our mouthpieces always feel so comfortable to play.
In this picture you can see the Les Neish Signature Line Tuba Mouthpiece after being cut from the raw brass in the CNC machine – it is still clamped tight in the jaws of the machine.
After the mouthpiece is ‘cut’, a conveyor belt sends the mouthpieces from the CNC machine into a ‘snail’, where they are very gently (we don’t want any accidental ‘dings’) collected. You can see below the Les Neish Signature Line tuba mouthpieces prior to being polished and ultrasonic cleaning – the raw brass really gleams!
Finally after the mouthpieces have been polished and cleaned, they are plated and the finished products are carefully packaged up by hand ready to go to their new owners – here’s one we prepared earlier!
You can see more from the Les Neish line here.