It’s time for the “geek” corner, our monthly look at trumpet and trumpet-related equipment. Today we will examine the stainless steel and titanium mouthpieces from Giddings and Webster. According to their website:
Our mouthpieces are made from the finest surgical Stainless steel and Titanium. These Materials are unique, and in our experience superior to brass. Stainless steel and Titanium will never have to be silver-plated. Brass mouthpieces however can be very harmful when their thin silver plating wears through. This can lead to brass infection, and possible brass poisoning. Surgical stainless steel and titanium are proven materials that are safe for humans from medical applications to food preparation, and now instrument mouthpieces. Both of these materials create a unique sound and response that surpasses that of brass. Brass is a very soft material, and absorbs vibrations resulting in a tone that can often get muddy, be difficult to project, and make articulations seem non-existent. Stainless steel and titanium project vibrations into the instrument giving the player more control. This makes it easier to produce the sound you desire, and make great music.
A good friend, Colin Traquair, told me about these mouthpieces. He said “You too can play a mouthpiece that was once part of the landing gear of a Russian MIG.” Ha! We are certainly becoming more aware of chemicals and other impurities that we come into contact with on a daily basis. The thought of a mouthpiece made from something as pure as surgical-quality stainless steel peeked my interest. So I purchased a “Dave Hickman” model, with a .673 inner rim, deep cup and #24 throat in brushed stainless steel. (Unfortunately not available in Titanium…) It is a beautiful mouthpiece. My first impressions were that the stainless steel felt colder on the lips than the delrin or gold-plated brass that I’m used to. But the mouthpiece warmed up quickly, and had great response. Their “Helios radius” rim is very comfortable. Though it seems at first impression to be smaller than my Bach 1c, it still felt very comfortable and offered good response in both the high and low registers. I’m planning on using this for the next few weeks to get a better opinion of it.
Remember, whenever you try a new mouthpiece, it can often take several weeks to get a full estimate of it’s characteristics. Don’t base your decision solely on initial perceptions. I’ll write more in the coming months about my opinion of this mouthpiece, but my initial reaction is quite good. I might have to pick up the piccolo trumpet version.