Posted by Jay Bertolet on September 12, 1999 at 23:06:08:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Physics of mouthpieces and buzzing posted by Alan Baer on September 12, 1999 at 22:01:33:
Alan, please forgive me but I have to disagree with you. I've tried side by side comparisons with mouthpieces where the inside dimensions were identical but the overall mass of the mouthpiece was substantially different. In each case, the heavy walled mouthpiece put out a more focused, core-oriented sound with a higher percentage of fundamental frequency in the tone. The only heavy walled mouthpiece I didn't experience this with was the Bach MegaTone. It is my belief that Bach didn't put enough extra metal on its mouthpiece to make a substantial difference. Particularly effective are the R & S Helleberg and Helleberg II heavyweight models, both of which I own and use. It is true that articulation changes with the extra mass of the mouthpiece but I find it at least manageable. I've never experienced the high range problems you describe on my mouthpieces. I find it particularly ironic that you think these mouthpieces make playing harder. My experience has been exactly the opposite. I have a much easier time centering pitches and really hammering, when necessary, loud passages with the heavyweight mouthpiece. I agree completely with your statement that "vibration makes sound". The common wisdom is that regular walled mouthpieces dissipate the vibration you put into them more than heavy walled mouthpieces do. Therefore, more of that sound energy is put into the horn resulting in more tuba sound.
I guess the dictum we've stated time and again on this BBS still holds true. Whatever works for you...