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Schilke Trumpet Mouthpieces

You don’t have to be a lead player to appreciate the value of these fine trumpet mouthpieces by Schilke Music Products, Inc. The models I reviewed, Schilke’s 13, 13A4a, and the Faddis XL, are heavyweight mouthpieces geared toward players wishing to aid their upper register but not wanting to sacrifice their core sound. The concept of adding mass to the mouthpiece has been around for quite some time, and these heavyweight mouthpieces are being used by a growing number of trumpet players to obtain a darker, more focused sound. That extra mass also helps the notes “slot” better. And with many of the players also playing heavier-weighted trumpets, adding more mass to the mouthpiece can help them get the most out of the horn.

The 13A4a, one of Schilke’s best-selling mouthpieces, is exceptional for lead trumpet playing, and the heavyweight model can add more depth to the high register. The mouthpiece size breaks down like this: 13 is the diameter of the cup; the larger the number, the larger the cup diameter. A refers to the cup volume: A is small/shallow, B is medium small, C is standard size, D is medium large, and E is large. The smaller, shallow cups produce a brighter tone and aid the upper register. 4 refers to the rim contour, with 4 being a semi-flat rim. A no. 3 rim is standard. The lowercase a represents the size of the backbore: a is tight, b is straight and a little more open, c is standard size, d is medium large and slightly curved out, and e is a large backbore.

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