Bob Reeves Brass mouthpieces are celebrated for their playability and exceptional tonal quality by professionals in the field. Each mouthpiece, regardless of its size, is meticulously crafted to bring out a rich spectrum of overtones, enhancing the color and depth of your sound.
Searching for an ‘equivalent’ mouthpiece is a bit like chasing your own tail—why settle for the same when you could aim for better? At Bob Reeves Brass, we focus on functionality over mere measurements, because we understand that musicians often seek improvement when exploring new mouthpieces. To find your perfect match, reach out to us via phone or email. Better yet, book a complimentary 30-minute consultation via phone or Zoom to get personalized guidance.
I like everything about my current mouthpiece except it feels constricted or stuffy in some registers, what should I do?
If you’re experiencing issues with specific registers—whether it’s pitch or playability—the culprit is often an incorrect gap. We recommend trying our ‘paper trick’ to diagnose the issue. Once you’ve done that, reach out to us with your findings, and we’ll provide expert advice tailored to your situation.
You can physically screw any Reeves or Purviance rim on any Reeves or Purviance underpart but there may be a mis-match from the rim to the cup. Please note that older (pre-2010) Dynamic Mass Mouthpieces have a different thread so you can’t put an older Dynamic Mass rim on a conventional Reeves or Purviance mouthpiece).
Think of Tupperware: If you try to put a 6 inch lid on an 8 inch bowl or vice versa there will be a mis-match. The difference as far as mouthpieces is concerned is usually very small. If you don’t feel the mis-match with your lips it will not affect the sound or playability of the mouthpiece.
Why does Bob Reeves only make screw rim mouthpieces? In other words, why can't I get a solid mouthpiece?
The answer is two-fold:
First, with the rising price of brass we have been able to hold prices more consistent by discontinuing solid (one piece) mouthpieces. Two thirds of the brass needed to make a solid mouthpiece is wasted in the machining process.
Second, having a screw rim allows you to buy additional underparts (used for different sounds or horns or type of music) in the future for less money than a complete mouthpiece.
Absolutely, our Vintage Purviance trumpet and trombone mouthpieces are crafted using the very same tooling that Carroll Purviance himself employed. When Purviance passed away in 1969, Bob Reeves inherited this invaluable tooling, which remains in impeccable condition to this day. Fun fact: some of this tooling was actually created by Earl Williams, a master craftsman at the Olds Company and a legend in the world of trombones. Purviance’s original workshop was even situated in a corner of Williams’ Burbank shop.
We offer the Purviance trumpet mouthpieces in two configurations. The Vintage Purviance configuration comes as a one-piece mouthpiece on the original Purviance outside blank shape and with the original Purviance model numbers. The Reeves-Purviance configuration is a two-piece, screw-rim mouthpiece on the Reeves outside blank shape and uses the Reeves-Purviance numbering system (RP1, RP2, etc.).
However, it’s worth noting that if you own an older Purviance mouthpiece, its markings may not accurately reflect its specifications. Carroll Purviance often customized stock models without altering their external markings. So, if you’re seeking a replacement, we typically need to examine and measure your existing mouthpiece to ensure an accurate match.
Purviance mouthpieces are designed to reflect the musical aesthetics of the 1940s, a time when musicians commonly used smaller, tighter instruments. As a result, Purviance mouthpieces are crafted to play more openly, complementing the characteristics of those vintage instruments. On the other hand, Bob Reeves Brass mouthpieces are engineered with modern players in mind, who often use more open instruments. This makes them a go-to choice for those seeking a mouthpiece that aligns with the demands and nuances of today’s instruments
No, Reeves Cylinder Reinforcers and heavy valve caps serve different purposes. The Bob Reeves Brass Cylinder Reinforcer enhances your trumpet’s performance by directing more energy through the instrument and out the bell, thereby increasing projection and often improving note slotting. It achieves this by damping the cylinder, akin to stopping the tube of an organ pipe. Heavy valve caps, on the other hand, only add mass to your instrument which creates different acoustical effects.
Our “A” adapter was designed with the Schilke piccolo in mind, however players of other piccolo brands that have cornet shanks have used it with great results.
Value Alignment Questions:
Unless you’ve bought a C. Davis trumpet, which comes pre-aligned with our Reeves Valve Alignment, the answer is a resounding yes. Here’s why: All mass-produced horns are subject to accumulated manufacturing tolerances, which can affect alignment. Additionally, most horns use pad materials like felt, rubber, or neoprene, which are inherently unstable. Even if your new trumpet seems well-aligned initially, these materials can shift, altering the alignment over time. For a deeper dive into why alignment matters, check out our informative video.
Unfortunately, ordering pads alone is not advisable. Our pads are specifically engineered to complement our valve alignment process, and using them on an unaligned horn could exacerbate existing alignment issues. They’re not designed to be a standalone solution for unaligned instruments.
While local shops may offer alignment services, our expertise is unparalleled. Over the last 50 years, we’ve aligned close to 20,000 instruments, honing a specialized process that sets us apart. We’ve examined instruments aligned by other establishments and, upon measuring them with our proprietary techniques, often find those alignments lacking in effectiveness. Our unique approach involves precise measuring methods, specific port prioritization, and the use of stable pad materials, all designed to address the nuances of valve alignment more comprehensive.
Before you even think about shipping, give us a call to make sure we’re around to receive your trumpet. Once you’ve got the green light, follow these comprehensive packing steps:
- Leave the case out of it—seriously, don’t send your trumpet in its case.
- Swaddle your horn in multiple layers of bubble wrap for maximum protection.
- Choose a sturdy box (we suggest 24″x12″x12″ for a Bb trumpet) and fill it about one-third of the way with packing peanuts.
- Place the bubble-wrapped trumpet snugly in the center of the box.
- Fill the remaining space in the box with more bubble wrap, ensuring the trumpet won’t shift during transit.
- Include a note at the top of the box with your contact details and a description of the work you’d like performed.
- Take your securely packed box to UPS, FedEx, or your courier of choice and ship it to: Bob Reeves Brass Mouthpieces 25574 Rye Canyon Road, Suite D Valencia, CA 91355
- We strongly recommend adding insurance for the full replacement value of your trumpet.
- Did we mention not to send it in a case? Because really, don’t.
- After shipping, shoot us an email with the expected arrival date so we can be on the lookout for your instrument.
Still not sure how to pack your instrument? Watch this video of John packing up a horn!
Due to high demand for our Reeves Valve Alignments, in-person visits do require an appointment. You can easily book your slot by giving us a call or sending us an email. If you’re planning to mail your instrument to us for alignment, an appointment isn’t necessary. However, it’s a good idea to call ahead to ensure we’re not out of town or closed for a holiday.
Our valve alignments are designed to be permanent and are unaffected by regular play. However, the alignment can be compromised if any parts of the valve assembly are altered, replaced, or augmented with aftermarket kits like heavy trim kits, by anyone other than Bob Reeves Brass. The pad material we use generally lasts between 5 to 10 years, depending on usage and individual body chemistry. If you suspect that the pads have shifted over time, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll consult our records for your specific horn and send you the appropriate replacement pads.
While pad replacement is a crucial component, it’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our comprehensive valve alignment process. Depending on the valve positions, we may need to employ expert machining, craft precision washers, or utilize other specialized techniques from our extensive ‘bag o’ tricks.’ The time required for a proper valve alignment can vary—some instruments take as little as 2-3 hours, while more challenging cases have kept us busy for an entire day.
If it’s got piston valves, rest assured, we’ve aligned it. As Bob likes to say, ‘We’ve seen it all!’ Our expertise extends to a wide range of instruments, including Schmidt French horns with single piston valves, mini trumpets, plastic trumpets, tenor horns, mellophones, and even bugles.
The benefits you’ll experience depend on the initial state of your instrument’s alignment. However, even horns that were fairly well-aligned to begin with often show noticeable improvements. Common enhancements include a more even tone enriched with a broader spectrum of colors, as well as improved pitch, slotting, sound consistency, and projection.
We’re open Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time. To ensure you receive the best service possible, we kindly ask that you schedule an appointment prior to your visit.
We’d be delighted to welcome you! However, to ensure that we can give you the personalized attention you deserve, please schedule an appointment in advance. Think of us like a doctor’s office (but less painful!); we want to allocate the right amount of time to work one-on-one with you and optimize your setup.
If you’re keen on diving into the acoustics of trumpets and wind instruments, the following resources offer a wealth of information, ranging from historical perspectives to scientific analyses:
- (1878) D.J. Blaikley, “On Brass Wind Instruments as Resonators”
- Published in Philosophical Magazine Ser. 5, this paper provides an early look at the resonant properties of brass instruments.
- (1929) H. Bouasse, “Tuyaux et Resonateurs”
- This French publication delves into pipes and resonators, key components in the acoustics of wind instruments.
- (1929) H. Bouasse, “Instruments à Vent: Tome I”
- Another work by Bouasse, focusing specifically on wind instruments.
- (1930) H. Bouasse, “Instruments à Vent: Tome II”
- The continuation of Bouasse’s comprehensive study on wind instruments.
- (1960) Arthur H. Benade, “Horns, Strings, and Harmony”
- This book by Anchor Books covers a wide range of musical instruments, including horns.
- (1966) Philip Bate, “The Trumpet and Trombone”
- A focused look at these two brass instruments, published by Ernest Benn Ltd in London.
- (1969) John Backus, “The Acoustical Foundations of Music”
- A foundational text that covers the acoustics of various musical instruments, with a second edition published in 1977.
- (1970) W.T. Cardwell Jr., “Cup-Mouthpiece Wind Instruments”
- This U.S. Patent offers a technical perspective on the design of wind instrument mouthpieces.
- (1973) Arthur H. Benade, “The Physics of Brasses”
- Published in Scientific American, this article provides a scientific look at brass instruments.
- (1976) Arthur H. Benade, “Fundamentals of Musical Acoustics”
- Especially Chapter 20, this book is a comprehensive guide to the acoustics of musical instruments, including brass.
- (1977) Earle L. Kent (Editor), “Musical Acoustics. Piano and Wind Instruments”
- Part of the “Benchmark Papers in Acoustics” series, this volume focuses on the acoustics of piano and wind instruments.
These resources offer a deep dive into the subject, from historical context to modern scientific understanding.
GET TO KNOW US!
Bob Reeves Brass Mouthpieces has been making the finest handcrafted trumpet. trombone, and horn mouthpieces since 1968.
25574 Rye Canyon Road, Suite D
Valencia, CA 91355
Mon – Fri 10:00AM – 4:00PM
PHONE: (661) 775-8820
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