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Bach versus Greg Black


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Karel
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:29 am    Post subject: Bach versus Greg Black Reply with quote

I know they speak highly about the Greg Black mouthpieces. Just curious but what are the differences in playing characteristics between those two brands? Does a Greg Black 5C/ 3C/ 7C play so much different than the Bach 5C/ 3C/ 7C??
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chrisf3000
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely. Greg's mouthpieces have a certain ring to them that seems to be lacking in other brands. It's not necessarily brighter, it's more of a presence of sound. Another way to say it might be that they are less diffuse and more efficient.
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John Ford
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chrisf3000 wrote:
Absolutely. Greg's mouthpieces have a certain ring to them that seems to be lacking in other brands. It's not necessarily brighter, it's more of a presence of sound. Another way to say it might be that they are less diffuse and more efficient.


+1
I tried one of my trumpet professor's Greg Black 'pieces for a few weeks, and they definitely had a different sound to them. They also seem to play more in tune than an equivalent Bach. I ended up sticking with my Monette, but if I was looking for a more "conventional" trumpet sound I woukd have gone with the Greg Black.

The only negative thing is that some of my colleagues had trouble actually getting a hold of Greg , and ended up waiting for almost a year to get their orders shipped. That was a few years ago so he may be better about that now, but keep that in mind if you decide to order one.
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chrisf3000 wrote:
Absolutely. Greg's mouthpieces have a certain ring to them that seems to be lacking in other brands. It's not necessarily brighter, it's more of a presence of sound. Another way to say it might be that they are less diffuse and more efficient.


There's an expression in advertising that goes like this: "When you have nothing to say, sing it!"

"Certain ring?" What's that? "Presence of sound?" What's that? "Less diffuse?" Exactly how do you define "diffuse" and how much "less" is "less?" "More efficient?" Exactly how do you define "efficient" and how much "more" is "more?" And all this applies to the entire line of Greg Black mouthpieces? "Absolutely?"

The above is so vague, general and unsupported by any proof of actual testing of multiple comparisons that it should be set to music. I'm all for expressing opinions but this is being presented as a blanket statement of fact applying to the entire line of Greg Black mouthpieces.

There are no "magic" mouthpieces. Bach has plenty of mouthpieces that will work for any individual player. So does Greg Black. If the mouthpiece is in a reasonable range of your physiological requirements it will work for you. Yes, differences in such mouthpieces can fine tune things but dramatic changes are not going to happen among such mouthpieces.

I just think it is extremely misleading to make any claims to the contrary. I think claims like this just induce people to buy mouthpieces in the hope they find one that works magic. Mouthpieces are such a personal thing that I think the best a person can honestly say is, "This works for me. Maybe it will work for you, too." Unless you have a good working knowledge of the player in question, anything more is just speculative hype.

Thanks for listening. I've expressed myself. The soapbox is ready for the next critic.
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TKSop
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Bach in hand is worth two Black's in the bush...

If you can get a Bach that suits you and work with it, it'll do you more good than waiting months/years for a piece that may be slightly better.
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adagiotrumpet
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HERMOKIWI wrote:
chrisf3000 wrote:
Absolutely. Greg's mouthpieces have a certain ring to them that seems to be lacking in other brands. It's not necessarily brighter, it's more of a presence of sound. Another way to say it might be that they are less diffuse and more efficient.


There's an expression in advertising that goes like this: "When you have nothing to say, sing it!"

"Certain ring?" What's that? "Presence of sound?" What's that? "Less diffuse?" Exactly how do you define "diffuse" and how much "less" is "less?" "More efficient?" Exactly how do you define "efficient" and how much "more" is "more?" And all this applies to the entire line of Greg Black mouthpieces? "Absolutely?"

The above is so vague, general and unsupported by any proof of actual testing of multiple comparisons that it should be set to music. I'm all for expressing opinions but this is being presented as a blanket statement of fact applying to the entire line of Greg Black mouthpieces.

There are no "magic" mouthpieces. Bach has plenty of mouthpieces that will work for any individual player. So does Greg Black. If the mouthpiece is in a reasonable range of your physiological requirements it will work for you. Yes, differences in such mouthpieces can fine tune things but dramatic changes are not going to happen among such mouthpieces.

I just think it is extremely misleading to make any claims to the contrary. I think claims like this just induce people to buy mouthpieces in the hope they find one that works magic. Mouthpieces are such a personal thing that I think the best a person can honestly say is, "This works for me. Maybe it will work for you, too." Unless you have a good working knowledge of the player in question, anything more is just speculative hype.

Thanks for listening. I've expressed myself. The soapbox is ready for the next critic.


I guess the initial response to the OP's question really hit a nerve. The problem is, the original question requires a somewhat subjective response. In my own case, I played Bach 1C's for 30+ years for all my classical playing, and yet on a whim, I tried the Yamaha Sullivan and Gould Models. I found both of them to sound and play better than the various 1C's I had (newer 1C, early Elkhart 1C, Artisan 1C). I would try to describe the difference, But I don't wish to raised Hermokiwi's blood pressure any further.

The OP asks a legitimate question and, at least to me, the initial response made sense and was appropriate.
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adagiotrumpet wrote:
I guess the initial response to the OP's question really hit a nerve.


Your observation is fair. My response is a reflection of my frustration with the notion that changing equipment can make a big difference in results when you're already playing a decent horn in good working condition and a mouthpiece within a reasonable range of your physiological requirements.

Among students I see too much focus on equipment and not enough focus on developing mechanics and fundamentals. Not all students have this inordinate focus on equipment but too many students do. Why is that?

I think a lot of it is the fact that it's easier to blame playing deficiencies on equipment than it is to take personal responsibility for those deficiencies. So, it's very attractive psychologically to avoid that responsibility.

I think a better philosophy is stated by the Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu in his historic treatise The Art of War:

To advance without seeking fame and to retreat without avoiding blame brings security to the people and advantage to the View (the political structure). This is a treasure for the organization.

I'm very passionate about students improving their skills. I want everyone to enjoy trumpet as much as I do. I've yet to have a student approach me with a trumpet that is "holding him back" or a mouthpiece he couldn't play successfully IF he would apply proper mechanics and fundamentals.

Does anyone even know what the "best" trumpet or "best" mouthpiece is? These things are so personal that no one can make an absolutely accurate recommendation without a thorough knowledge of the player, the type of music being performed, the playing situation and many, many more variables. Even under those circumstances it would be extremely difficult to be certain in one's recommendation. There are just too many variables and unknowns.

I admit to being hypersensitive about this topic. I'm in full agreement that changes in equipment can tweak various playing characteristics and that it's legitimate to consider equipment changes for that purpose. In contrast, I'm troubled by any notion that an equipment change is going to be the difference between playing poorly and playing well for any player who is already playing a decent trumpet in good working condition (horns meeting that description are plentiful) and a mouthpiece within a reasonable range of the player's physiological requirements (mouthpieces meeting that description are also plentiful).

I never intend to be obnoxious even if it seems otherwise. I try very hard to be honest and candid in my views and to respect everyone who posts here. I want everyone to love playing trumpet. I want everyone to have objective facts where playing trumpet is concerned and the most objective fact out there is that success on trumpet is a function of correct mechanics and fundamentals. Discussions about the quality/results of equipment are almost always highly subjective and, because of that subjectivity, such discussions have a disconcerting potential to be seriously misleading.

Someone once suggested here on TH that I must be drinking the cheap Scotch. I've tried to fix that. Now it's Laphroaig, Ardbeg and Lagavullin. Smokey, smokey and smokey. Which may explain a lot about me (for those who know those brands of Scotch).

I'm going to have a glass now. It will calm me down and make me drowsy enough to stop adding to this thread. In the meantime, TH is a great place for spirited discussion about this topic we all love. More power to everyone contributing to TH. Thank you all for being a part of TH.
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theslawdawg
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Bach versus Greg Black Reply with quote

Karel wrote:
I know they speak highly about the Greg Black mouthpieces. Just curious but what are the differences in playing characteristics between those two brands? Does a Greg Black 5C/ 3C/ 7C play so much different than the Bach 5C/ 3C/ 7C??


Maybe the last sentence should have been left out to avoid the "don't try anything different...EVER!!!".

It's amazing the difference between the trumpet forum and the guitar forum I belong to. In the guitar forum, if someone asked about equipment, you would get a relatively technical response. I don't ever see, "don't switch guitars because the guitar won't make you sound like Wes Montgomery.". I think that's just implied so the lecture is not needed (nor wanted really). instead, I usually see, "well, the difference between this guitar and that guitar can typically be this this and this...". There is discussion about the warmth, sustain, different strings or amps, etc.

The OP asked the difference in characteristics between a Bach and a Greg Black. It was a fair technical question. I don't think the OP was going to throw his whole life and playing career away if he tried to at least look into it through a forum.
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trpthrld
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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Last edited by trpthrld on Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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RussellDDixon
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trpthrld wrote:
Bach is dead.

Greg is very much alive.

My money is on Greg in a Bach vs Black bout.

Plus...Greg will fight dirty if he needs to. :P
p

+1 - LOL

Greg Black makes awesome pieces. Every time I see a this versus that I immediately think of big time Wrasstlin.
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Daniel Barenboim
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trpthrld wrote:
Bach is dead.

Greg is very much alive.

My money is on Greg in a Bach vs Black bout.

Plus...Greg will fight dirty if he needs to.


You have a much better chance of Vincent Bach returning your call/emails/texts than Greg Black. #fact



DB
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theslawdawg
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daniel Barenboim wrote:
trpthrld wrote:
Bach is dead.

Greg is very much alive.

My money is on Greg in a Bach vs Black bout.

Plus...Greg will fight dirty if he needs to.


You have a much better chance of Vincent Bach returning your call/emails/texts than Greg Black. #fact



DB



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Karel
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hahaha, thanks for all those great responses on, I thought, a typical question for the mouthpieces forum 😉. Anyway, I”ll stay with my Yamaha 😂
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TrumpetMD
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Karel wrote:
Hahaha, thanks for all those great responses on, I thought, a typical question for the mouthpieces forum 😉. Anyway, I”ll stay with my Yamaha 😂

There are no simple questions about mouthpieces. They're more controversial than politics and religion.

Mike
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zmatook
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:51 am    Post subject: Mount Vernon 6 Reply with quote

If anyone hasn't tried one of these, it's pretty amazing. Just scooped one up and it's a dream! MV6
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mdarnton
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. As someone who literally makes his living adjusting violins for high level players, chrisf3000's comments made perfect sense to me. The vocabulary he used is spot on and very familiar. I can see questioning if equipment makes changes, but questioning whether words have actual meanings is a bit silly. I am fairly sure that 100% of words do have definitions.
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lipshurt
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I make mouthpieces
most of what i do involves helping a player get exactly what they wan out of a mouthpiece. Almost every time this means making some tiny tiny adjustment to a mouthpiece that is a very good fit for a players embouchure and sound concept, but it still lacks something. That something can be a very important ingredient in the player's success. It is not subtle. That tiny adjustment makes a very significant difference.

Tiny adjustments that make big improvements are usually:

1) rim contour. Here a tiny shave off the bite, or shave off the highpoint, or shave off the outer radius can be a huge thing. And its a tiny tiny shaving like bare removing the silver plating

2) changing the entrance to the throat. Usually opening things there ruins a mouthpiece, and the inverse is true too. adding material there (by making a whole new mouthpiece essentially) can bring a piece to life. Most BAchs are too open there especially 1.5C and 3C

3) a shave off the area just below the rim. A tiny tiny shave there changes the "alpha" angle a little bit and can either ruin it or make it magic.

4) changing the mass of the mouthpiece. The weight and where the weight is can have a dramatic effect, especially compared to Bach which have a rather low mass area between the cup and backbore.

throat size has less of an effect actually than the above, Shaving per shaving.

Cup depth changes have to be way more pronounced to have a dramatic effect. Same with cup shape. Same also with Backbore. When you open a backbore say one "size" a pretty major amount of brass comes out. Its a massive change in the mouthpiece, and it does not have nearly as much effect as the pile of shavings would suggest.

so a greg black piece with the greater/different mass could easily be vastly superior to a play player even if that was the only difference. And they would use words like "efficient" Alive" "Difused" "projecting" "slow" "Quick" Dark bright full empty lethargic presence dead etc to describe the difference. That is the nature of things
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chapahi
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Greg Black 5C and use it if I want a more legit sound compared to the smaller lead pieces I play. It's very efficient, colorful, and really projects. It's a great mouthpiece.
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JVL
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RussellDDixon wrote:
trpthrld wrote:
Bach is dead.

Greg is very much alive.

My money is on Greg in a Bach vs Black bout.

Plus...Greg will fight dirty if he needs to.
p

+1 - LOL

Greg Black makes awesome pieces. Every time I see a this versus that I immediately think of big time Wrasstlin.


Hello Russell, with all the respect, you must change your pseudo now that you appear changed : RussHairDDixon
Best
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O00Joe
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I prefer my VBC. 5C to my Greg Black 5C. The Greg Black has a much more even and I would argue classical sound plus I found it more effort to play.
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