What Our Customers Say...
"This is an incredible mouthpiece top. After some 50 years of playing the trumpet as a professional musician, I finally realized that much of the swelling to my chops was the result of an allergic reaction from the silver plating on my mouthpiece rim.
The older all plastic cup/rim mouthpiece I purchased from Dr. Dave, while solving the allergic reaction issue, created other issues ie. sound, slotting and tonal response.
The 63 Lead V Hybrid Top is a total game changer. Much less swelling, shorter warm ups, more accuracy, greater tonal response and an incredibly centered sound. Thank you Dr. Dave. You have added additional 10 to 15 years due to your innovative designs to my playing life!"
"I recently tried a hybrid version of my brass Wedge RT cup, and a new MDV hybrid one-piece Wedge, the latter intended to provide an option that is slightly shallower than the RT and easier in the high range. Bottom line - the hybrids are more comfortable than brass and stay in place on the chops with less pressure. The hybrids performs so similarly to brass that I can’t see a reason to use brass any longer. The hybrid may be a shade darker, but a sonic meter shows I’m actually producing overtones slightly better with the hybrids. Great development!!"
Why Choose a Hybrid?
A Wedge Hybrid is an excellent choice if you want any of the following:
* A warmer, rounder sound, with more overtones compared to a comparable brass mouthpiece.
* A rim that feels warmer and more comfortable than brass.
* A plastic mouthpiece that avoids the problem of metal allergies.
* A slightly increased grip for better endurance.
* A plastic option that avoids all of the usual negatives of playing on plastic. Read more about that below.
The Good and Bad of Plastic Mouthpieces
Plastic mouthpieces have certain advantages. I have personally played on an acrylic top and brass backbore for several years. I prefer the plastic because it feels softer on my chops, provides better endurance due to the increased grip, and always feels warm.
However, plastic has certain disadvantages. Acrylic is fragile and will often crack when dropped. When comparing an acrylic mouthpiece to brass the slotting is not as defined or secure, the sound lacks a certain amount of core or density, and the start of the note lacks some of the clarity of brass. Plastic also does not provide the same feedback or connection between the player and the horn the way a brass mouthpiece does. I always feel a bit separated from the trumpet when I play on an acrylic top.
Wedge Hybrid Design
All that has changed with the new Wedge Hybrid mouthpiece. The Hybrid is a combination of a resin rim and cup insert permanently bonded to a brass base. The resin is a very hard, smooth, medical grade photopolymer designed for making dentures. It is therefore safe for long term mucosal contact, and unlike consumer grade photopolymer resin, is certified as non-irritating, non-allergic, and non-mutagenic. It is 51% nano-ceramic particles, and is basically synthetic bone or tooth material.
The insert is made using a highly accurate, medical grade SLA 3D printer. It is then adjusted, hand polished and fitted to the base with a solid connection.
The resin is still somewhat prone to breakage, but much less so than an acrylic top, due to the hardness of the material and the bonding of the insert to a brass base without threads. I have personally drop tested a hybrid trumpet top onto concrete 20 times from a height of 7 feet with no damage to the insert. As of 8 months of production we have had one trombone mouthpiece and one trumpet mouthpiece returned for repair from breakage.
Now on to performance. The great part of the Hybrid is how it plays, combining the best characteristics of plastic and brass. The Hybrid has the comfort and warm feel of acrylic, with a grip between acrylic and brass. It is more responsive than brass, with a clear start to the note. Slotting is excellent, and the feedback to the player is the same as brass. The sound has a great center and core than acrylic, and is slightly warmer and has more overtones compared to a brass mouthpiece of the same design. Projection is excellent when the mouthpiece is pushed.
Hybrid mouthpieces are now available for most models in the online store.