Overview of Wedge Flugelhorn Mouthpieces
The current Wedge flugelhorn mouthpiece system consists of a top and screw on backbore. This system lets you use your top on different flugelhorns requiring different shanks, and also with your trumpet or cornet using the appropriate special shank. The previous one piece system has been discontinued, although we do have a few one piece models available with French/Cousenon tapered shanks.
Tops are available in silver plated brass, black delrin, clear acrylic plastic, and our new hybrid configuration.
Optional 5 or 10 degree angled rim for players with overbite.
Naming of Rim Diameters
The current Gen 2 Wedge cornet rims are named according to the inner diameter (ID) of the rim measured in the long, vertical axis at a depth of .04 inches into the cup.
For example a 66 series rim measures 0.660 inches at that specific point. Keep in mind that manufacturers measure their rim sizes at different points, so the ID often does not translate between brands.
What Mouthpiece is Best for You?
Are you thinking that you need a different size?
Do you want to do your own research on what size might be better for you?
Wanting to Improve a Specific Aspect Of Your Playing?
Assessing Your Sound Profile
You will find that we talk a lot about range and endurance in this fitting guide. Why do we focus on them so much? It is because range and endurance are the two things most players say they are looking for in a new mouthpiece. The key is to improve range and endurance along with getting a better sound. Although they can be addressed separately, range and endurance are often linked. Range becomes much bigger issue when we are tired. That, basically, is the definition of endurance.
You can get good information about possible ways to improve your range and endurance by doing an honest assessment of your sound. That means asking yourself if your sound quality in all registers is ideal or at least acceptable, and if your range is ideal or at least acceptable.
Most players have one of the following three sound profiles, and very few have the "Ideal Sound Profile".
1) Do you have a "Pyramid Sound Profile"?
The most common problem players report to us is a sound that is big and fat in the mid to low register, but small, strained, and limited in the upper register. Their sound is shaped like a pyramid. It has a broad base, but does not extend as high as they would like, as depicted in the "Pyramid Sound Profile" graphic. Compare the breadth of sound between the lower and upper register, and note their range.
You can see that there is an imbalance. The sound is broader than what is expected or required, and their range is not optimal or even acceptable.
2) Do you have an "Ideal Sound Profile"?
A far more desirable sound profile is shown in the "Ideal Sound Profile" graphic. The breadth of sound and range are both in the ideal range.
3) Do you have a "Balanced Sound Profile"?
Unfortunately, there are few things that are ideal when it comes to brass playing, and especially when it comes to mouthpiece selection. Rather than playing the "perfect" mouthpiece we play the best mouthpiece possible based on a series of decisions we make and compromises we accept in the playing characteristics of a mouthpiece. Our goal should be to arrive at the best balance of sound and other playing attributes in a mouthpiece. The result is a sound profile that looks like the "Balanced Sound Profile" graphic.
Players switching to a Wedge mouthpiece will often get a more even response between the registers. In many cases players with a pyramid sound profile can balance their sound even more with a slightly smaller mouthpiece.
Better Range and Endurance
Better Range and Brighter Sound
I want better range and endurance without changing my sound.
Most players will get better range and endurance with a similar sound when they switch to a Wedge mouthpiece. However, range is usually more of an issue when you are tired compared to when you are fresh. For that reason a good way to get an extra boost in range is to try a mouthpiece with a similar cup depth and slightly smaller diameter.
The smaller diameter will usually increase endurance, and therefore range when tired, without having making the sound significantly brighter. A smaller diameter has more of an effect of reshaping the sound, making it a little less broad at the base and bigger at the top. Imagine changing the shape of your sound from a broad based pyramid to a narrower, but still strong based column that reaches higher.
One other disadvantage of switching to a smaller diameter can be a loss of flexibility. The Wedge rim usually increases flexibility, so a slightly smaller size is usually not a problem.
A darker sound can be achieved a few different ways:
1) Deeper Cup
2) Heavier Mouthpiece
3) Plastic Mouthpiece
1) Deeper Cup
Using a deeper cup will produce a darker sound and bigger low register, but the upper register gets harder.
One way to minimize the loss of range that comes with a deeper cup is to reduce diameter at the same time. You might change from medium to deep cups and 67 to 66 rim size.
2) Heavier Mouthpiece
We do not make heavy weight Wedge horn mouthpieces. However, you can increase the mass of the mouthpiece by adding a brass tone modifier. The extra mass dampens the brighter overtones, makes slotting more secure, adds core to the sound, and makes it slightly darker.
3) Plastic Mouthpieces
Plastic mouthpieces can produce a darker sound. However plastic mouthpieces also feel sticky on the chops, which can reduce flexibility. They are easy to play softly, but the start of the note is not as clear as with a brass mouthpiece. Plastic mouthpieces do not feel as secure as brass, with less defined slotting and less core in the sound. For more details about plastic visit our Brass vs. Plastic page.
I want more range and am happy with a brighter sound.
Getting more range with a brighter sound is usually easy. It just means trying a shallower cup, and sometimes a smaller diameter.
Note: Depending on the type of playing you do, it often makes sense to also go to a smaller diameter when more range is desired along with a brighter sound.
Which Cup Depth Should I Choose?
Flugelhorn Tops Come in Regular (FLC), Deep (D), and Shallow (FLS) Cup Depths.
FLS (Shallow) Cup
- V shaped cup that is shallower than our regular cup.
- Provides easier upper register and a more focused sound
- Still has characteristic flugelhorn sound.
FLC (Regular) Cup
- Excellent combination of a dark tone and access to the upper register.
- Best choice for most players.
FLD (Deep) Cup
- Deep cup similar to Denis Wick flugelhorn mouthpieces.
- Deeper option that provides an extra dark sound.
- Trade-off is an upper register that is less supported.
What Shank Should I Choose?
We also offer special shanks that allow your flugelhorn top to be used in your trumpet, or as a British cornet mouthpiece.
It is important to know which shank your particular flugelhorn takes before ordering. The best way to confirm the proper shank for your instrument is to check with the manufacturer, however, we have included some general guidelines below.
Flugelhorn Shank Guide
Flugelhorns are made with receivers designed to fit different mouthpiece tapers. Some receivers will fit more than one taper, for example a Bach shank will fit in a French receiver, but horns will play best with shank for which they were designed.
There is a fair bit of confusion about choosing the right shank, partly because some manufacturers use two or even three types of receiver, and some provide more than one leadpipe with their horns. The following is a list drawn from a variety of sources.
If you do not find your make and model in the following list, it is because there is either no or conflicting information depending on the source. In that case the best strategy is to contact the manufacturer of your instrument.
French (No Taper):
- Outer diameter at the tip of the shank typically measures about .388 inches.
- Compatible with: French Besson, Couesnon, Flip Oakes, Kanstul CCF 925, 725, Miraphone.
- Outer diameter at the tip of the shank typically measures about .354 to .358 inches.
- B & S, Bach, R, S, Berkeley, Besson Sovereign, Courtois, Eclipse, F. E. Olds, Holton, LeBlanc, Taylor, Kanstul models 725, 1025, and newer 1525, Miraphone , Olds FE, Phaeton, Reynolds, Schilke, Selmer, Taylor.
- Outer diameter at the tip of the shank typically measures about .368 inches.
- Adams, Allure, Austin Custom flugelhorns, Benge, Blessing, Calicchio, Callet, Conn Vintage One, Eclipse, Gerd Dowids, Getzen, Josef Lidl, older Kanstul 1525, King, Lawler, Miraphone , Orlando Wind Instruments, Schilke, Stomvi, Thomas Inderbinen , Weril, Yamaha.
- Outer diameter at the tip of the shank typically measures about .386 to .390 inches.
- Gerd Dowids, some other German rotary flugelhorns. Our trumpet taper shank will work well in most German rotary flugelhorns.