Announcing Our new Hybrid Mouthpieces
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 at the threads 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.
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.
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, and is slightly warmer than a brass mouthpiece of the same design. Projection is excellent when the mouthpiece is pushed.
Hybrid mouthpieces are now available for trumpet and trombone, and will be introduced for all instruments in the coming weeks. We have already shipped out the first few mouthpieces and will be adding the entire line to the online store very soon. Meanwhile, if you would like to try a Hybrid please contact us through the Contact Us page.