Q: What is the
greatest benefit of a Bob Reeves mouthpiece?
A: 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?
A: 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.
Q: I like everything about my current mouthpiece,
except it feels stuffy in some registers, what
should I do?
A: 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.
Q: Can I put a 42 rim on a 43 underpart?
A: 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
canít 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.
Q: Why does Bob Reeves only make screw rim
mouthpieces? In other words, why can't I get a solid
A: 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.
Q: Are the Purviance mouthpieces the same today as
when Carroll Purviance made them?
A: 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.
Q: What characterizes Purviance mouthpieces compared
to Bob Reeves mouthpieces?
A: Purviance mouthpieces in general have a sound
reminiscent of the time they
were designed (1940ís).
Q: Is the cylinder reinforcer the same as using heavy
A: 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
was designed with the Schilke piccolo in mind,
however players of other piccolo brands that have
cornet shanks have used it with great results.
Valve Alignment Questions:
Q: I just bought a brand new horn, does it need to
A: 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?
A: 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?
A: 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
How do I ship my horn to you?
A: We have detailed instructions here.
Why do I have to set up an appointment when I'm
mailing in my horn?
A: 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?
A: 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
A: 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?
A: 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?
A: 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.
Q: How do I get to your shop?
A: Click here for driving directions. If you're still lost give
us a call (800) 837-0980.
What are your hours?
A: 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?
A: 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
A: 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.
Q: I'm interested in learning about trumpet
acoustics. Where should I start?
A: Here is an Adobe Acrobat file of
References on Cup Mouthpiece Wind Instrument