Kelly mouthpieces (plastic, acrylic, lexan, whatever...)

  • This has probably been asked a million times, but, has anyone ever used one of those plastic Kelly mouthpieces before?

    I'm curious about them and have never tried them. They look pretty neat with all their fancy colors and styles and things. But, how is the tone with them?

    I am just wondering about maybe picking on up for in the fall/winter when we are asked to do parades in the cold weather. A plastic mouthpiece just might be something to consider, instead of keeping my Curry 3M. in my pocket to keep it warm.

    What do you think?

  • Qualified Repair Techs

    @ButchA they are great for parades - it’s exactly what they’re meant for, and sizes run pretty true so they’re comfortable and easy to play. I used one for quite a while in the Navy in extreme cold weather playing and marching. I eventually switched over to an ACB acrylic top on brass backbore that matched my usual mpcs, and they do project better, but you will be just fine on a Kelly. I spoke to the folks that make them at NAMM this year - super nice people, making a product they use themselves. I’ve gifted them to friends and students - one friend’s little kids had all but destroyed her favorite mouthpiece and she was about to start playing in a community band again. I got her one in purple, and no matter how many times her kids got it, there wasn’t a scratch on it!

  • I have 2 black cornet pieces and they work just fine. I used one tonight to "play" a buddies Kanstul Piccolo. He had the A pipe in it. I was lost, but the mpc was okay. He said I did well to even make a sound having never played one. Fingerings were all screwed up and the 4th valve was "in the way"!! 😂 😂 😂 It was weird for sure.

  • I have a couple of Kelly 3C's for cold weather work. I suspect that they'd be fine under the hot Sun, too. It's no fun putting a blisteringly hot mouthpiece to one's lips! I do find that they insulate, rather than conduct, so using them during moderate temperatures gives me the sensation of heating my lips, and I prefer the heat from my lips to be absorbed, rather than reflected.

    They work like metal mouthpieces in every way, except for a slight lessening of complex overtones; the timbre is very slightly less full, but not enough to concern me, and not enough for most listeners to notice.

    Using a plastic mouthpiece will change the balance of the horn, as it weighs significantly less than brass, and mute work is affected as well.

    Kelly offers an inexpensive way to try some different mouthpiece sizes, and quality and durability are top notch, in my experience.

  • @ButchA
    By chance, I used a Kelly 5C this morning for the out-doors portion of our ANZAC Day Dawn Service. 6 A.M start. The morning was cold enough to warrant using the Kelly, but not as cold as it must get in parts of "The States".
    J.Jericho,s comments are a perfect summation of the M.P's attributes. Give one of them a go, I think you will be both pleased and surprised.

  • I have a couple of Kelly MPs - 1 Kelly Screamer - feels and sounds pretty ordinary, but that may say as much about my playing on a too shallow (for me) mouthpiece. 2 A 3C cornet piece - the cheapest option after not packing a mouthpiece on a business trip. It plays fine and doesn't feel much different to a metal MP of similar size.

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