Here is an incredibly “trumpet-nerdy” post for all you trumpet-nerds, like me. I recently bought two Tom Crown straight mutes, an all-brass Gemini, and aluminum with the brass bottom Gemini. I have owned over a dozen straight mutes over the years and I really have never “connected” with any metal straight mute until I tried a Gemini. (I have a favorite harmon, cup and wood straight that I love but until now, not a favorite metal straight.) The Gemini is a relatively recent edition to the Tom Crown catalog. It is longer than the classic Tom Crown straight and the bottom is a little more rounded. (Refer to pic above)
I would like to use this post to try to compare the classic all-aluminum Tom Crown straight with the all-brass Gemini and the aluminum with brass bottom Gemini. My initial reactions are the classic has that sound that has been the “industry standard” in the orchestral world for decades. However, the Gemini’s feel more even throughout the registers and have better intonation, while still maintaining qualities of that classic sound. (I recently re-corked my classic TC with factory TC corks and the intonation improved dramatically.) The difficulty lies in discerning between the all-brass and brass bottom Gemini’s. The all-brass feels a little more dense, colorful and more projecting, or resonant. The aluminum/brass Gemini feels a little more secure on heavily articulated passages and stable in timbre. With this in mind, my initial feeling is that I think I like the all-brass Gemini for my Bb and the aluminum/brass version for my C trumpet. You can be the judge. I recorded an excerpt from Plog’s 2nd Concerto on my C trumpet (Bach Artisan) using all three mutes. And I also recorded two excerpts from the Gregson Concerto on my Bb (Bach Artisan) using the same mutes. I obviously tried to play the excerpts with the same volume and articulations so we can compare apples to apples as much as possible. I think the differences with the Gemini’s are subtle so you may want to use headphones.
I would be very curious about your impressions of these mutes.
Plog Concerto no. 2
C trumpet Classic Tom Crown
C trumpet aluminum/brass Gemini
C trumpet all brass Gemini
Bb trumpet Classic Tom Crown
Bb trumpet aluminum/brass Gemini
Bb trumpet all brass Gemini