After unsuccessfully trying to get an exact duplicate of the mouthpiece I played for almost 20 years, I found you, who were not only able to duplicate, but able to work with someone as picky as me. Our work together lasted about 15 months until we got what we wanted, but I've never played a more balanced mouthpiece, and you passed the acid test by duplicating it many times -- eight or nine times alone for me and some of my colleagues. I hope others can benefit from our work together, and I hope other players will have the nerve to give up on their standard name mouthpieces and work with you, to find out what works for them.
Principal trumpet, Duisburger Philharmonic
Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein
(Roger was instrumental in creating the "BC cup" Trumpet models)
I use the Curry Tuba Mouthpieces on all of my horns, both in the Buffalo Philharmonic and in the Eastman Brass. I recommend them to my students without hesitation. The sound that they produce is exactly right in all cases. The level of consistency is perfect and the service is gratifyingly quick. Thanks, Mark.
Tubist, Buffalo Philharmonic
Eastman School of Music
(Don encouraged me to add the Helleberg style rims to my Tuba Line.)
When I got tired of going through box after box of stock mouthpieces looking for solid sound, intonation and accuracy and never finding it, I decided to try to design a mouthpiece that was right for me. A mouthpiece that would be efficient, comfortable, cover a variety of performance demands and, most importantly, capture that sound I'd been hearing in my head. That's when I turned to Mark Curry. His vast experience and creative approach to mouthpiece design made him the logical choice in my quest to find the perfect mouthpiece. Now I'm no longer searching, and thanks to Mark, have a wonderfully crafted trumpet mouthpiece that precisely fits my playing style.
Associate Principal Trumpet, The Philadelphia Orchestra
I have found the Curry mouthpiece to be an enormous help to my trumpet playing career. Because I play both on the orchestral and jazz stages, product consistency is extremely important to me. Curry rims are not only the most comfortable I have ever played, they are also the most consistent. It has been a blessing to find a mouthpiece maker whose off-the-shelf stock is equipment sound-tailored to meet any of my various professional requirements.
Trumpet, Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Trumpet, University Of Michigan
I have been playing Mark's mouthpieces for a little over a year now and am amazed by his craftsmanship, quality control, and consistency. I have ordered over 5 mouthpieces all at different times and have been extremely pleased. While touring with the Artie Shaw Orchestra I was able to meet Mark and have him watch how I play. He custom fit a few 3M's in Bach style Blanks and they are amazing. He's always a pleasure to talk with on the phone, and extremely helpful.
Trent on the Curry 3TF mouthpiece....
You can use those clips! By all means, I love that mouthpiece. Just mention they are "rough clips." You can play all over the horn on it. I don't play my flugel anymore really and I own an Olds Clark Terry model. I nailed at 'A' on the end of invitation like I was playing a 3D Bach piece (a rough estimate of what I'm playing with the Osmun piece) When I go into the studio I'll give you really great sounding clips as well.
Here's a little bit of Trent Austin playing the 3TF mouthpiece in his home studio:
Artie Shaw Orchestra
Mark Curry does several things very well. He has a line of mouthpieces based on Bach rims and diameters. These are very accurate and every diameter is available in several depths. All of the different depths have the same rim. (What a concept.) So you can have your Bach 1, 3 whatever with the very deep cup, deep cup, medium cup, medium shallow cup and shallow cup.
Mark also has a line of commercial mouthpieces with a softer bite on the rim in shallow and medium cups. These are in all sizes from .600 - .690"
I really like and play the 600 series. The cup gives a little assist in the upper register but the backbore lets the low notes ring out big and full. Low F# to Double C + in tune.
You have not lived until you play one of his flugel mouthpieces. The sound is like butter. He has REAL cornet pieces too. Mark is not only a great craftsman he is a player. A real plus. Mark played lead for Woody Herman, and Ray Charles for years.
Mark was in my house for a lesson not too long ago. He is a nice guy and understands what trumpet players go through. Oh yeah, Flip Oakes let Mark Curry design and make the Wild Thing line of mouthpieces. That says it all.
Clint "Pops" McLaughlin
Information about Pop's trumpet & embouchure books:
(Pops is a great teacher who can play what he teaches....He likes the 90M. Bored out to #22, of course.)
As a collector and player of vintage Olds cornets, I needed a good deep-cup cornet mouthpiece to fit the nonstandard, oversized receiver on several of my horns. After trying numerous alternatives, I settled on the 1.5 DC Curry cornet mouthpiece with the special Olds shank. This mouthpiece provides a perfect fit to the early Olds cornets, with the rim, cup, throat, and backbore suited to my specific needs. For me, the 1.5 DC provides a very comfortable and responsive mouthpiece with a warm traditional cornet sound.
For my 1921 Conn Victor cornet, Mark provided a vintage cornet mouthpiece with an authentic look, a deep V cup, and a #18 throat, and the same identical rim as for my Olds mouthpiece. In comparison to other modern deep-V cup mouthpieces, I find my Curry vintage cornet mouthpieces to be more responsive and more authentic to the sound of the original vintage Conn mouthpieces.
For my trumpet playing, I use a Curry Mega Sleeve to add heavyweight mass to my existing trumpet mouthpieces. The added weight helps to focus the sound, to darken the tone slightly, and to lock in the notes in the center of the "slots." With the Mega Sleeve I have the convenience and flexibility of converting my favorite mouthpieces into a heavyweight or standard weight mouthpiece according to my needs.
Mark Curry knows that even the slightest difference is discernible to a professional player. His custom work for me included several variations onthe same mouthpiece. The variations are perfect and the parts that are the same are not just the same, they're identical! I don?t think Mark turns mouthpieces on a lathe, I think he clones them!
Principal Trumpet, L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Mark,I've really been enjoying the mouthpiece you made me. it rocks. Thanks a lot.
University of Illinois
(Neil helped me develop the large shank 4.5D trombone mouthpiece)
In response to Spencer Hager's post of 9/20/00 12:41pm, concerning the quality of Mark Curry's work, I totally agree with him. I have had outstanding experiences with Mark's work over the last year and a half. He's been a huge help to me. I'm an old comeback player, (played professionally between 1944 & 1960 then stopped completely). Started again about 2 years ago and am now playing lead/solo in our local American legion concert band, and an 18 piece swing/dance dance band that plays paying gigs. They have me playing the solos on things like Bunny Berigan's "I Can't Get Started," Randy Brook's "Tenderly," Sonny Dunham's "Memories Of You" and others, as well as preparing to play some of Phil Driscoll's hymn arrangements with back ground tapes by the London Philharmonic Orchestra at my local church. I mostly attribute the stage I'm at currently, to Mark?s help. After 30+ yrs of inactivity, the comeback attempt was interesting, frustrating, and rewarding. After all that time I found my old mouthpiece didn't do it for me. (lips got thinner, flabbier and teeth changed-a fixed bridge) During this time, as my embouchure developed, and I settled on a permanent diameter, rim and bite, Mark would make slight adjustments to the throat, cup or backbore in order to get what I was looking for as my chops developed. The precision and accuracy was outstanding. All the pieces felt the same as far as diameter, rim and bite were concerned. A bonus dealing with Mark is that he is an outstanding trumpet player and understands our needs. He's a former lead player with Woody Herman, Ray Charles, and others as well as currently being a top on call player and studio musician. He is fast in filling orders, and his fees are very reasonable.
Mark's custom mouthpiece work is great. Getting a custom mouthpiece often involves trial and error. You may a want certain cup to match a certain rim. I know I did. When I went to other mouthpiece makers, I was asked to provide original mouthpieces that had identical Inner Rim Diameters. Mark Curry never asked me for a dented dime.
Through phone conservations, emails and personal meetings, Mark has helped me develop a custom line of mouthpieces for all my horns. His work is done with a computer that controls a giant lathe. Mark then does the rest.
It's really an amazing process. Mark's turnaround time and consistency are unequaled in the trumpet mouthpiece business.
Trumpet, arranger, composer, keyboards
SF Bay Area
I began using Mark Curry's Sound Sleeves and Mega Sleeves on mouthpieces for most of my trumpets in the early 1990s. They give me more projection, more buzz in my mutes when I want it, more certain response at all volumes, and are especially effective at taming cracked notes when playing fortississimo. After using a set of Curry CCAPs to dramatically upgrade the tone and stability of a herald trumpet that I was using regularly in a very demanding performance situation, I tried them on other horns with excellent results. Adding CCAPs to my piccolo trumpet made a great instrument even better, and, for years, CCAPS have been permanent parts of my C trumpet and "legit" B-flat trumpet.
In 2001 I was having an impossible time finding the right cornet mouthpiece to use in a British brass band. Even among the British and Japanese manufacturers that were offering mouthpieces made for that particular style of playing, I could not find the combination of tone, comfort, facility, range, and pitch that I required. I had lost touch with Mark, but discovered that he was making specialized cornet mouthpieces as well as stock and custom mouthpieces for most of the brass instruments. The decisive factor in deciding to buy yet another mouthpiece was that Curry offered his old-style, mellow-voiced cornet mouthpiece with a 1-1/4 rim -- the rim size (from another manufacturer) that I had been playing for 35 years.
The Curry Vintage Cornet mouthpiece is fabulous! Other cornet players in my band switched to the Curry Vintage Cornet mouthpiece, and the sound of the section (and the entire band) improved greatly. I also purchased a Curry Deep Cornet mouthpiece with the same rim, and find it to be exceptionally useful for times -- such as outdoor performances and certain solo situations -- when I need to "carry" a little more.
With such positive results (and such a comfortable rim) from the Curry cornet mouthpieces, I purchased a Curry Chicago model trumpet mouthpiece in my rim size. The rim, throat, and back bore are the same as I usually play, but the deeper cup in the one-piece Curry design helps me produce a tone that is closer to my ideal and which I only have experienced in an expensive, two-piece combination. Again encouraged by such great equipment from Mark Curry, I consulted him about a semi-custom trumpet mouthpiece, and he built it for me.
The Curry Chicago trumpet mouthpiece with a Curry Mega Sleeve is the best front end my C trumpet has ever had. Similarly, the Curry custom trumpet mouthpiece with a Curry Mega Sleeve gives me the most consistent and satisfying results I have ever experienced on my B-flat "legit" rig. Thanks, Mark!!
Principal Solo Cornet
Brass Band Northwest
Curry Mt. Vernon style mouthpieces produce greater tonal focus, enhance flexibility, and produce a more complete overtone pattern than any mouthpieces I have ever tried that are designed for the orchestral player. Way to go Mark!!!
Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
As you know, I'm a freak for mouthpieces, I try everything I can get my hands on. What's really telling is that I keep returning to Curry mouthpieces. I recently switched from a Bach 72* to a Schilke B5 and my P460 series pieces just weren?t making it with the new horn (felt small) so I went to the drawing board, tried some new brand XX pieces (which were nice in the practice room but didn't make it on the gig) and settled on two pieces which were comfortable and "lit up" the horn, a beat up old Elkhart 3C (I have 2 others and they?re all different) and a Curry 1 1/2 M. Which one I can order over the phone and receive a perfect duplicate? Duh! The Curry, of course! Plus I already have a whole set of 1 1/2 pieces for the flugel, C trumpet, etc.
Mark, thanks for the great work on my custom mouthpiece. I have been looking for years to have someone help me in developing my sound. The RC 2 MP sounds great on my "Bel Canto Severinsen-Akright" horn. You remember the horn I bought from you 12 years ago. (hehe) I am looking forward to using it on my New "Wild Thing" Trumpet.
"Gospel Trumpet Soloist"
I had Mark copy a couple of classic mouthpieces and knew he'd do a great job-but he took it a step farther and not only duped the originals but built some better sounding pieces than I sent him! I've also used at various times his CCAPS on my horns. Check his stuff out!
I have been playing trumpet professionally since 1985. An important concept I have found over the years is that to be a successful performer, and to stay successful, one should not get a "label" on their work. You know: "Player X is a great lead player, but sounds like ripping sheet metal in the staff." Or: "Player Z is a great jazz soloist, but can't read worth a darn." I have been fortunate to work with some wonderful teachers who have helped me develop my classical skills. However, I also have a reputation as a solid lead player for swing bands, shows, etc. One of the most critical skills a musician should have is the ability to change his/her sound and style to suit the particular performance situation. Often I have played as an extra with the Minnesota Orchestra on a Saturday night, then had a Sunday morning church service where I had to sound like a lead player. For years I have struggled with mouthpieces; always changing rims, cups, backbores, etc., in order to get the sound I needed. Like most of us, I have a small fortune invested in custom and stock mouthpieces from other manufacturers, and have enough rejects to sink a ship (or at lease a rowboat).
But no longer! Mark Curry is the first craftsman I have worked with who understands what I need to do my work, and also make my work as easy as possible. He is also a wonderful player, so he can personally test his designs. (Great concept!) Whether you use his stock line or have him do custom work, you get CONSISTENCY. How many times have we gone to a music store and spent a few hours trying all the 3C's they had? If you are lucky, you will find 2 that feel the same. Mark, thanks again for all your help, and I look forward to continuing to work with you.
I just purchased a 30M 600 series Trumpet mouthpiece 5 days ago. Oh my God is this thing great. I've been playing on another manufacture's mouthpiece (Bobby S..w model 1.25) for 8 years and thought I happy with it. Boy was I mistaken.
Anyway, we have been rehearsing 3-4 hours a day for a big band concert this week and I decided to plug it in since I had yet to even test it out. After the first chart, the lead bone player turned around and asked if my trumpet was on steroids. Your description of the 600 series mouthpieces is right on the money. Intonation is awesome, my horn has a huge vibrant sound and I can play forever without even the slightest sign of fatigue. I sound like Superman on our rehearsal recordings!!
Time for me to rethink the rest of my equipment...
Kenneth S. Pfabe
USNA Band Next Wave
Hi Mark: Just a quick note to let you know the mouthpiece is great! I have to do some impossible scream stuff often and even though I love the "M" cup, the "S" has that sparkle that I like up high. It amazes me that after years of trying to find a mouthpiece maker to do something that I thought was simple, make an identical mouthpiece with two different cup depths, you are the first! Thanks for everything and picture will be arriving soon. Also check out my website at www.stunttrumpet.com for demo's from my up coming CD "This Ain't Your Father's Big Band". Listen to CD sample now
Rex plays the 600 Series 30S and 30M and 30TF.
http://stunttrumpet.com/open up mr toad.MP3
After trying mouthpieces from most of the major makers I came across Mark's website one day. We corresponded by email a few times and he sent me a mouthpiece that was almost perfect straight away. After a couple of tries I now have a mouthpiece that suits me and my playing perfectly. The comfort, sound, and intonation are just what I have been looking for. I am amazed by Mark's ability to do this by email! On top of that his prices are very reasonable and service is very fast (even with overseas orders). I unhesitatingly recommend his work to anybody who is unsatisfied with their current mouthpiece.
Have not had time to write you back and say thanks for all your workand patience with me. The duplicate you made feels exactly the same, and I can't thank you enough for replating the mpc I had sent back. I just finished a couple of recording projects and people really noticed a difference in center of pitch, intonation and just over all sound. I can finally push my tuning slide in!! The other mouthpiece I was playingtended to go sharp on me. The 70M w/lightweight blank really feels great and I am finding it very easy to play at all volumes. Which makes it fun to be able to practice softly and then let it go on the gig. It also allows me freedom to do what I want when playing lead, but then be able to bring itdown a notch and be supportive when I'm playing second. And it sounds great up close on a mic in my funk band. Thanks again for everything and for letting me try different combinations of things. I really appreciate it!
Lead Trumpet/Horn Arranger Recording Artist with "Doctor Funk" on Strokeland Records
Thank you for sending the mouthpieces, they are both so very good. I had to do some vacillating between the two, but decided I definitely do better with the 3DE (2004 model rim). It took some getting used to the new rim, but it is a definite boon to my endurance, which is what I was needing. Once I play it a bit longer and learn not to overpower it, I?m sure I'll do even better. Great tone and projection- and a little more compactness of sound than the old 3DE. Again, many thanks for your time and your help!
(Pictured below with Louis Armstrong, circa 1959, Chicago, IL. Chris is a mainstay of the New Orleans music scene.)
Just wanted to let you know that the 70TF rim has worked out well. I have used it on my Lechner (Austria) Rotary C trumpet on some super soft Mozart symphonies. I wouldn't necessarily play Bruckner on it, but it was perfect for the Mozart. Any other rotary users you are aware of? Rotary wasn't my reason for buying it, I had more in mind an alternate soft-licks mouthpiece for piston Bb and C trumpet, and the rotary application is a suprise bonus. I also tried it out on some soft staccato passages on C trumpet in a chamber orchestra. The articulation was great. I am sure I will find other applications, and plan on keeping this with me in my mouthpiece pouch.Thanks also for the super fast service. This was a custom mpc and I had it in less than a week. Thanks again.
I stumbled upon a Curry mouthpiece about a year ago which I could not ignore. After having played the previous 12 years on the same equipment and numerous attempts to upgrade, I had found what I was looking for. I now have switched my entire line to Curry mouthpieces from the Bb to the piccolo. Thanks Mark for your consistency and quality.
Douglas C Carlsen
Associate Principal Trumpet, Minnesota Orchestra
Hey, Mark I have a trumpet solo in the new Mathew McCoughnehy Movie " Surfer Dude !" I am sending you the MP3 but the Producer only used a clip from the trumpet solo section in the movie. It is my " American idol " moment because he says I beat 189 other solos ! I also have another Cornet ensemble piece in a Val Kilmer movie called " Conspiracy ". Thank you, Mr. Mark Curry. They say its the tone. Patrick Immel, somewhere in the high desert of New Mexico
Bull City Syndicate Bull City Syndicate Mark, attached is some info about Bull City Syndicate, which is the most popular horn band in our region of the country. As it happens, each of our brass players plays Curry mouthpieces, exclusively. (Both trumpets, and bone.) Our latest release, "You Make Me Feel," even has an endorsement in the liner notes to that effect: "Clarke, Steve Baker, and Rodney perform exclusively on Curry Precision Mouthpieces." Steve Baker- Bull City Syndicate http://www.myspace.com/bullcitysyndicate http://cdbaby.com/cd/bullcitysyndicate
This 3BBC. is the best mouthpiece I've ever played! I'm so excited by it that I've been playing non-stop out of pure enjoyment. This, dear friend, is absolutely what I've been yearning for. The 3BBC. takes the cake! I am adopting it as my main piece and as such must request another as a back-up. It really hits the sweet spot for me! I'm downright giddy, Mark! "Honey." That's what the new piece sounds like. Or, as Condon said about Bix's playing, "It's like a girl saying 'Yes'!"
~Rick Henrickson, NYC
First, let me say that the mouthpiece works very well and is definitely a keeper.
What I was hoping for in the 5BBC mouthpiece included:
- More of that "British" sound to make it easier to blend with the Wick B cups most of the guys are playing
- Playing efficiency
- Excellent intonation like my TC and VC cup mouthpieces
- A mouthpiece that allows me to make a melody line sing
- Plays well at both ends of the dynamic spectrum
Used with my Lawler TL cornet, the mouthpiece does those things very well on almost all accounts.
British Sound - you got the balance of overtones right on the money compared to a Wxxx B cup (Heritage model). The Wxxx is overall more diffuse, or one might say there's more center to the BBC cup. Not trumpet-like center, though, just more focus. I think that's actually a good thing.
Playing efficiency - the BBC is excellent in this regard. Far better than I could ever achieve on a Wxxx B cup. Two weeks ago we had a full brass band concert and I played the BBC throughout. Playing front row, I was tired at the end as expected, but things held together well because the mouthpiece gave me enough efficiency. Far more efficient for me than a Wxxx piece, and equal to another piece (I played in the past, before realizing the wider rim wasn't helping me) which previously was the most efficient designed-for-brass-band mouthpiece I have played.
Intonation - excellent, other than D above high C being a little flat. For the first 2-3 days I was a little worried because I was feeling like most things above the staff were flat. That is until I realized I was playing low on the pitch with the mouthpiece. I'm completely not sure why, it was probably in the player feedback being not quite what I expected, but once I figured it out, let the sound be itself and pulled the tuning slide about the thickness of a nickel, everything lined up all the way to high C. High D is still a bit flat though, which is interesting because high D has been right in tune on the TC and VC from day one.
Singing - one thing I have always liked about the TC cup is that it's easy for me to make it sing. It has a clear voice whether pushed (to be brighter) or not, and the core is lush. It's been harder to find that singing voice on the BBC, although it's gotten better with time. It will be fine from here forward, but finding the sweet spot hasn't been as automatic as with the other cornet mouthpieces.
Dynamic spectrum - you really nailed this. As you know, a good brass band should be able to both whisper and roar. The softs, which are typically the most challenging, are excellent on the BBC, but even more importantly, it's easy to decrescendo from very loud to very soft on the BBC mouthpiece.
Thanks for making a great brass band mouthpiece and I hope this is the kind of specific feedback you are looking for.
- Matt Dalton