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Pixie Mute



 
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trptmindfk
Regular Member


Joined: 05 Mar 2010
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:41 pm    Post subject: Pixie Mute Reply with quote

I'm looking for a pixie mute (mini straight mute) to use with a plunger. I have a Humes & Berg that doesn't have the right sound. I've heard aluminum ones that sound good, just cant seem to find one online. Any ideas?

Thanks!
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Ed Kennedy
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 2907

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the 1920's they came with Conn trumpets and cornets as part of the kit. They were supposed to be practice mutes. I once restored one that belonged to Clyde McCoy. He used it with a metal ice cream dish for the Sugar Blues recording. You might check with Rob Stewart in LA. He's known for working on antique instruments.
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Uberopa
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Joined: 11 Dec 2003
Posts: 835
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,
Try the H&B pixie mute precious metal series. The corks are really thick so you can easily file them to fit your bell. Combine with their Trixie mute for a classic sound.
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jhatpro
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Joined: 17 Mar 2002
Posts: 9425
Location: Chicago area

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I get better results with a Wick Eb/D mute. $19 bucks and a bigger sound than an H&B pixie. The Lincoln Center Jazz Orch trumpets use this method.
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Mike Prestage
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Joined: 09 Oct 2012
Posts: 551
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is your current pixie the type that's like a miniature version of the traditional H&B straight? (Cone shaped and made of a lightweight 'fibre' type material.) The one time I tried one of these it seemed particularly awful so a new metal H&B would probably seem like an improvement. If yours is metal, a new one will almost certainly be just as dissappointing. The 'Precious Metal' name is just a typical H&B gimmick - I think they adopted it when they started offering their metal mutes in a choice of finishes. There are rumoured to be H&B metal pixies out there that are substantially different to the recent ones but if they exist at all, they're really old.

The Conn practice mute previously mentioned looks like it was the basis for H&B's metal pixie design. I've never tried one myself but opinion seems to be split on whether they're significantly better. There's another historic mute which is supposed to work extremely well as a pixie. These are quite long and have a hemispherical end. I'd love to try one but they're rare and fetch high prices.

I use the Wick Eb myself. I wasn't exactly blown away by it when I bought it but it is more user friendly than the metal H&B. It's really a more 'natural' fit for a horn with a rather wide bell throat, unlike the Bach 37 I play most of the time. I filed the corks on mine as much as I could get away with before it got too stuffy, and it still sticks out too far to work with most plungers. It's not bad with an unusually deep sink plunger I have, and slightly better with the H&B 'Trixie'. I once tried one of these mutes with factory fresh corks in my 37, combined with a Wick aluminium plunger. I've always considered those to be a slightly ridiculous product but to be honest the combination was probably the best pixie setup I've ever experienced. I should probably get over it and buy one! They're possibly the closest thing to Clyde McCoy's ice cream dish that's available to buy off the shelf in 2019.

Regardless of gear choices, the magical quality of good pixie playing is pretty much all down to concept and technique IMO. A lot of this is growling and other forms of 'vocalisation' as well as what's happening with the plunger.

Hope this is of some help and apologies for not having time to edit it down!

Mike
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trptmindfk
Regular Member


Joined: 05 Mar 2010
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mike, yes, I have the H&B pixie, red and white. Sticks out too far with my Bach 37. Has a rather dull sound and doesn't work with my H&B Glenn Miller Tuxedo plunger. OK with my deeper bath plunger. I will try the Eb Mute you and jhatpro suggested.

Thanks!
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AJCarter
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 29 Apr 2007
Posts: 1193
Location: Indiana

PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom Crown just came out with a new pixie. I havent tried it, but it looks like it could be promising. I personally have the mini HB straight mute pixie that Mike mentioned. It is terrible, but for the amount I ever personally need pixie it is fine.
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