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Denis Wick Heritage 4AL, 4ABL, 4BL

Hello everyone,

While I have the chance to, I have been doing some experimenting trying to find what might be a better suited mouthpiece for me. Over the course of the year, I have changed instrument brands as well as mouthpieces, trying to find the right combination between me, the instrument and the mouthpiece itself.

I originally started out mainly on a Besson Sovereign 967 with a Denis Wick SM4U in gold plate, which I have used for about a year now. What I like about this was that the Ultra had the capacity to push the 967 and really make it sing. I also really liked the articulation and the sound from the SM4U. However late this year, I have switched to a Yamaha Maestro which for me I think is a better suit, and I am now trying out a Bach 4G, as I didn't find the SM4U combined as well with the Yamaha as it did with the Besson. I love the rim of the Bach much more then the Ultra, and it has a narrower throat, so there is no 'Wick fuzz'. However I just feel like I have to do more work on this mouthpiece to get it to open up and really project. Plus the mouthpiece feels a little too 'heavy' and that I have to work harder to make it do stuff it probably doesn't want to do. I know that is a weird statement coming from an Ultra, but I just feel like the Ultra had more life in the sound when I played it.

So I have in a way come full circle - to the Heritage line. Now I have had a little bit of experience with the Heritage mouthpieces already. I used a 6BS Heritage on baritone before, in which it is a very nice mouthpiece. What I loved about the Heritage (on baritone anyway), was the vibrancy in the tone which gave the instrument a bit of life instead of feeling 'dead'. I could still get a dark 'British-style' baritone sound from the Heritage, but it didn't sound dead like if you were using a Megatone. The articulation and response were on point, and it had a great deal of flexibility. The rim was slightly sharp, but I didn't feel it to be as sharp as the Classics (in which I have never been a big fan of their rims).

I did originally try out a 4AL Heritage when I first moved to euphonium last year, and I (probably to my stupidity at the time) quickly discounted them after a minute because I found them to have too much of a trombone like tone to them. However I am very much interested in trying them out again just to see if anything has changed (in my playing anyway to agree with them).

So I was wanting to hear people's opinions on the 4AL, the 4ABL and the 4BL in the Heritage line. I am particularly interested in the 4ABL because it has the depth of cup that the 4AL has (which is great coming from an SM4U), but the throat and backbone of a 4BL (which again I like because this is in between the Bach 4G - which is a bit too small because I have to work harder to open the horn up, and a SM4U - which is slightly too big because the Wick fuzz has it slight affect on certain notes). So in theory, this is maybe what I have been searching for.

Just a side note, I am not looking at the Classic mouthpieces as I am not a big fan of the standard Classic rims. If anyone has any information to share, that would be very appreciated. I am planning on giving these a try before I get into the busy season, where I won't have relay yet any time to play around with different mouthpieces.


This post first appeared on Euphonium-Tuba And General Music Forums - Recent B, please read the originial post: here

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Denis Wick Heritage 4AL, 4ABL, 4BL


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