Mouthpiece Questions:

What is the greatest benefit of a Bob Reeves mouthpiece?

Bob Reeves mouthpieces have been consistently rated as being easy to play and having a great sound by professional players. All of our mouthpieces, whether large or small, are balanced to maximize the colors, or overtones, in the sound.

I play a (insert mouthpiece here), what is the equivalent Bob Reeves Mouthpiece?

We believe making “equivalent” mouthpieces is similar to reinventing the wheel. Our experience shows that most players are looking for an improvement when they go searching for mouthpieces. We always work from the standpoint of how a particular mouthpiece functions versus how it measures. For a place to start, try our mouthpiece advisor or give us a call at (800) 837-0980.

I like everything about my current mouthpiece, except it feels stuffy in some registers, what should I do?

When one register is not optimal in either pitch or feel, it is often related to an improper gap. Try our paper trick and see if it gets better or worse. Then give us a call with the results and we can better advise you.

Can I put a 42 rim on a 43 underpart?

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. (Dynamic Mass Mouthpieces have a different thread so you can’t put a 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.

Are the Purviance mouthpieces the same today as when Carroll Purviance made them?

Aside from the outside shape they are made with the same tools to the same specifications. For a limited time we are offering one piece original blank Vintage Purviance Mouthpieces.

Please be advised that if you have a very old Purviance mouthpiece it may not be what it says it is on the outside. This is because many times Carroll made a custom mouthpiece by modifying a stock model and did not change the markings. Therefore, if you are looking for a replacement, we often have to see and measure the existing mouthpiece to verify its specifications.

What characterizes Purviance mouthpieces compared to Bob Reeves mouthpieces?

Purviance mouthpieces in general have a sound reminiscent of the time they
were designed (1940’s).

Accessory Questions:

Is the cylinder reinforcer the same as using heavy valve caps?

No, the cylinder reinforcer effects how the trumpet plays by channeling more energy through the horn and out the bell. This increases projection and often improves slotting as well.

Does your "A" adapter work in other piccolos then the Schilke?

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:

I just bought a brand new horn, does it need to be aligned?

Unless it’s an early V~Raptor, or a Bach Piccolo (VBS-196) our answer would be (surprisingly) yes. There are a few reasons for this: All manufactured horns suffer from accumulated tolerances. On top of that most horns use either felt, rubber, or neoprene pad material, none of which is stable. If you are lucky enough to get a horn that has good alignment from it’s maker, because of the unstable pad material, the alignment will continually change.

Can I just order pads without having an alignment?

No. Just ordering pads from us will most likely cause your horn to be further out of alignment than  it is now. This is because we use pads of a dimension designed to optimize our valve alignment and are not compatible with unaligned horns.

My local repair guy does alignments, why should I mail my horn to you?

We have seen many horns lined up by other shops. Upon measuring them using our process, we find that the alignment performed by others is not as effective in solving the problems associated with incorrect valve alignment. Other shops use different measuring techniques, different port prioritization, and unstable pad material compared with our material and process.

How do I ship my horn to you?

We have detailed instructions here.

Why do I have to set up an appointment when I'm mailing in my horn?

Because of our popularity and limited resources for performing Valve Alignments, it’s best to make a mail-in appointment. It’s like you’re walking in the door, but, instead of you, it’s the UPS or Fedex guy, for example. With a mail in appointment, your horn is not in our shop for more than a day. Horns that arrive without an appointment may take up to 2 weeks for us to get to.

How long does a Bob Reeves alignment last?

The work we perform is permanent and is unaffected by playing the horn. If any parts of the valve assembly are replaced or worked on by other than Bob Reeves Brass, the alignment will be compromised. The only variable is how our pad material reacts with your body chemistry. This varies from person to person, but most can expect to get a minimum of 5 years use before needing to replace the pads. If you’ve had an alignment by us and think the pads have drifted, contact us and we’ll send you the appropriate pads based on the record of your horn.

Don't you guys just replace the pads when performing an alignment?

Replacing the pads plays an integral part in the alignment, however, it is only a small part of the process. Depending on the position of the valves, some parts of the valve may need to be expertly machined, precision washers made or any of our other techniques in our bag o’ tricks.

Can you align my flugel, valve trombone, euphonium, baritone, tuba, helicorn?

If it has piston valves we have aligned it. As Bob says, “We’ve seen it all!”

Now that Bob Reeves Brass has aligned my valves, what changes should I expect?

Depending on the severity of misalignment, your results will vary. Even horns with relatively close alignments will play more even with more colors in the sound after alignment. Improved pitch, slotting, sound, even-ness, and projection are all common improvements.

General Questions:

How do I get to your shop?

Click here for driving directions. If you’re still lost give us a call (800) 837-0980.

What are your hours?

Monday through Friday from 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. Pacific Time.

I'm flying in from (insert city), can I come in and visit the shop?

We are more than happy to work with you, but please make sure you have an appointment first. We work like a doctor’s office and want to have the appropriate amount of time to work with you one on one to help you maximize your setup.

Do you do any other repairs besides valve alignments?

As Bob says, “We can do anything except for flying around the room, and we’re working on that.” Between Bob Reeves and our neighbors, Anbrass, we can take care of any repairs, overhauls or custom work you might need.

I'm interested in learning about trumpet acoustics. Where should I start?

Here is an Adobe Acrobat file of Basic References on Cup Mouthpiece Wind Instrument Acoustics.


Bob Reeves Mouthpieces has been making the finest handcrafted trumpet and trombone mouthpieces since 1968.


25574 W. Rye Canyon Rd Suite D
Valencia, CA 91355
Mon – Fri 9:00AM – 5:00PM


USA: (800) 837-0980

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