When you need a new mouthpiece, you might consider many different measurements and specification to determine a unique fit to your needs. Do we need to take the same measures for a cup mute? Of course not, but there are some key things to consider before you choose what cup mute to purchase.
Make a Sound Choice. In everything, lead your choices with your sound. Are you in the market for a cup mute for a specific ensemble? Solo piece? Or you just need a good one for all around playing? What type of sound or tone do you need for that situation? Cup mutes can be made from many different materials and formed into a variety of "cup mute" shapes that will affect the sound. The Denis Wick Cup incorporates an adjustable cup that allows you to modify your tone by adjusting the position of the cup closer-to or farther-away from your bell. This makes it a great choice for just about anything you need to do!
Tuning. While we pride ourselves at Denis Wick in creating a well tuned mute, not all manufacturers are the same. If a mute is poorly tuned in its design, as soon as you place it in your bell it will throw off the tuning of your whole instruments. A mute that is requiring you to make large tuning adjustments is going to make quick mute changes impossible, as well as very unstable feeling performance. Bring a tuner to test the performance of your instrument with the mute in the bell to save yourself the hassle of a poorly tuned mute.
Longevity. While you don't know how long your mute is going to last here are some aspects of its construction that can give you a clue. All natural cork will always last longer than synthetic, or a synthetic mix. That is why Denis Wick uses all natural cork from Portugal for our aluminum mutes. If a cork starts to crumble or deteriorate, it fits poorly in the bell, and will eventually start falling out rendering it useless. Finding replacement cork can be tricky and many brass players opt to buy a new mute at the point the cork is no longer functional.
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