Posted by Jay Bertolet on June 23, 1999 at 07:30:57:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Silent Brass!? posted by Dave on June 22, 1999 at 22:59:20:
I only had my Willson Eb with me when I tried the Silent Brass so I can't tell you how it would fit in my big Cervany. However, as I stated in my "review", I wouldn't use it on my Cervany because of the nature of the contact with the bell. I would be afraid it would damage the bell over time. If you are considering using it with your new Holton, I would think it might be okay because the Holton is made from a much thicker metal. Still, I would constantly be watching for scratches and metal fatigue at the contact point on the bell. I would also try to get some sort of padding for the contact point to help keep the bell from being damaged.
As to the weight of the mute, I'd say it is a good news/bad news situation. The thing definitely weighs less than it looks like it should. The box part that rests on the bell is much larger than the similar portion of any mute that I know of. But you are absolutely right about the balance of the horn being an issue. Probably 80% to 90% of the total weight of the mute is in the box part that is resting on the bell. And because of how the mute is secured to the bell (via 3 elastic straps attached to clips that are clipped to the bell rim), I would never keep the horn in anything other than the upright position. If you did tip the horn while this thing was on your tuba, I'd be afraid of the weight unbalancing your grip on the tuba or that the mute would fall off the bell and bang your tuba on the way down. I completely agree with your assessment in that this mute is extremely cumbersome. I'm also not sold on the clips and how they hold the mute in place. I've thought up a better way to attach the mute to the bell that would also modify the contact with the bell to a more safe situation. But with these mutes already in production, it seems unlikely they'll be open to suggestions. It really is a shame because other than the physical problems, I thought the mute played better than any other practice mute I've tried and by a wide margin. I hope they'll consider more alterations.