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KGU Booster



 
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lakejw
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Joined: 06 Jan 2010
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Location: Brooklyn, New York

PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:44 pm    Post subject: KGU Booster Reply with quote

Lately I've been experimenting with add/subtracting weight from various parts of my setup. I ordered a KGU Booster directly from their website back in September, in brushed gold, for ~$120.

As far as the product itself, it definitely had an interesting effect on the slotting and the sound I received back from the bell. It's a fun thing to experiment with, and absolutely changes the feeling and projection of the instrument. Is it better? ...maybe not better, just different. I will say it's tricky to attach to the mouthpiece, and when it's on it will often come loose while I'm playing (they're not made to fit GRs, maybe a more typical blank design works better). So, ultimately, it's not practical for me to carry around and fiddle with every time I pull my mouthpiece out.

Is it worth it? Well, here's where the bad news comes in. I had been communicating with the proprietor for a couple weeks to see if they had one that fit GR mouthpieces. He said they did not, but that he would make me an adapter, which he did. The first problem was that his shipping time ended up being 2 weeks beyond his original estimate, which was already at 2 weeks. Not a big deal, I thought, to wait a month for a custom item. He was apologetic and send me a free valve cover.

Unfortunately, when I open the box, I immediately said to myself, "that's not gold, that's raw brass." Upon contacting the owner about the mixup, he confirmed that it was in fact gold, just that the latest batch of gold pieces weren't very lustrous. ...Uh huh. So I take to a prominent brass tech in NY. "Not gold," he says after one look. I take it to a jeweler who performs a chemical scatch test..."Not gold" from her too.

Mistakes and delays I can tolerate, lying I can not. I emailed him again, requesting nothing more than a partial refund so that I would have paid for the brass version instead of gold. After a week of no response, I issued a dispute with my credit card, which was resolved a couple weeks ago in my favor.

Lesson learned: make sure you have purchase protection for all your online orders!

I did not learn to stop fiddling with my setup, however.
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Rapier232
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like boosters on my mouthpieces. Fortunately I use Smith-Watkins Mike Lovatt mouthpieces and the matching boosters screw on.
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TrentAustin
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Joined: 06 Nov 2002
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Location: KC MO

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:27 am    Post subject: Re: KGU Booster Reply with quote

lakejw wrote:
Lately I've been experimenting with add/subtracting weight from various parts of my setup. I ordered a KGU Booster directly from their website back in September, in brushed gold, for ~$120.

As far as the product itself, it definitely had an interesting effect on the slotting and the sound I received back from the bell. It's a fun thing to experiment with, and absolutely changes the feeling and projection of the instrument. Is it better? ...maybe not better, just different. I will say it's tricky to attach to the mouthpiece, and when it's on it will often come loose while I'm playing (they're not made to fit GRs, maybe a more typical blank design works better). So, ultimately, it's not practical for me to carry around and fiddle with every time I pull my mouthpiece out.

Is it worth it? Well, here's where the bad news comes in. I had been communicating with the proprietor for a couple weeks to see if they had one that fit GR mouthpieces. He said they did not, but that he would make me an adapter, which he did. The first problem was that his shipping time ended up being 2 weeks beyond his original estimate, which was already at 2 weeks. Not a big deal, I thought, to wait a month for a custom item. He was apologetic and send me a free valve cover.

Unfortunately, when I open the box, I immediately said to myself, "that's not gold, that's raw brass." Upon contacting the owner about the mixup, he confirmed that it was in fact gold, just that the latest batch of gold pieces weren't very lustrous. ...Uh huh. So I take to a prominent brass tech in NY. "Not gold," he says after one look. I take it to a jeweler who performs a chemical scatch test..."Not gold" from her too.

Mistakes and delays I can tolerate, lying I can not. I emailed him again, requesting nothing more than a partial refund so that I would have paid for the brass version instead of gold. After a week of no response, I issued a dispute with my credit card, which was resolved a couple weeks ago in my favor.

Lesson learned: make sure you have purchase protection for all your online orders!

I did not learn to stop fiddling with my setup, however.


$120 for a chunk of brass to put on your mouthpiece? Man I'm in the wrong business I guess.
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kehaulani
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Joined: 23 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being told that it was definitely gold when professional testing proved that it wasn't is inexcusable. Maybe even fraudulent.
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Craig Swartz
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:41 am    Post subject: Re: KGU Booster Reply with quote

TrentAustin wrote:

$120 for a chunk of brass to put on your mouthpiece? Man I'm in the wrong business I guess.
YEAH, Trent, but it's gold plated brass! (Or is it?)
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lakejw
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Joined: 06 Jan 2010
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Location: Brooklyn, New York

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just now seeing this, but Trent if you made a booster I'm sure it would arrive on time and be the material specified!
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lakejw wrote:
Just now seeing this, but Trent if you made a booster I'm sure it would arrive on time and be the material specified!

See my asociated post.
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boog
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Joined: 04 Jun 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are experimenting with mouthpiece weights, try "lock collars". They are used on shafts on machines to prevent something, like a wheel or such, from coming off the end of a shaft. I have bought them in 1/2" sizes and 3/8" sizes (which, BTW, fit trumpet mpc shanks almost perfectly). They have a allen set screw to hold them in place. They will mar your mouthpiece if you tighten them too much, but my Curry megasleeve does this, also. Try general hardware stores, not big box hardware stores. Or, machine shops, auto parts stores, etc. A cheap way to add mpc weight for experimentation.

Back when I taught marching band, I found a bag of these at a flea market for cheap, and I put them on all the trumpet section's mouthpieces. I don't know if it helped all that much with High School kids, but they thought it was cool.

You may already know this, but an easy way to experiment with weighting different parts of a trumpet is with stick-on automotive wheel weights. You can buy these online, at motorcycle shops (they are used to balance wheels), and auto parts stores. Not real pretty, but they are removable without damaging the finish, if you are careful.

I have gotten away from heavy mouthpieces for the most part, but I still like the feel of heavy valve caps, and they give you an option to hold the trumpet on the bottom, a'la Maynard, Lynn Nicholson, etc.

Have fun with this. It is very enlightening to see the difference that some added weight makes in sound and playing on different parts of an instrument.
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Trumpetingbynurture
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Joined: 18 Nov 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently purchased one of these (used) off eBay and I have to say having tested it out that I *really* like it. I really wasn't expecting an improvement, at least not without any obvious trade offs. I bought it thinking it might be fun for Jazz playing, but I very noticeably felt I was using less effort in the upper register especially, and thought it all around had a positive effect on both sound and feel in all register. I would say flexibility seems a bit improved as well, probably by virtue of the slots being more secure?
I'll have to keep playing on it and see if I change my mind... But my first impression is one of pleasant surprise. An improvement for both Jazz and upper register playing I think.

So there you have it. The only other mouthpiece booster I have tried is the little Curry sleeve (the normal one) which I never really got into.
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