Sparxmusic.com

     




This page contains direct feedback from musicians that are enjoying the benefits of performing on a Sparx Cornet Mouthpiece. In addition, you can click here to access a detailed product review of the entire line of Sparx Cornet Mouthpieces, as published by the industry insiders at 4BarsRest.com.
 
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Kevin Metcalf
Soprano Cornet, Canadian Salvation Army Staff Band


A few years ago I began a conversation with Ted about my need for a new mouthpiece. I had been playing Eb Soprano Cornet using a Denis Wick 5B for about 40 years. Needless to say, the mouthpiece was quite worn out. I tried a few new 5B mouthpieces but none of them worked for me - they just weren't the same as the old one somehow. Then Ted came up with the Sparx 7EX. I wasn't entirely hopeful about it, but I was committed to giving it a fair trial.

It took me a bit of an adjustment period to get used to the change, but the effort paid off in huge dividends. My sound became brighter and more focused. My range increased. My ability to soar over the band (when required) increased. In other words, after all these years this mouthpiece has unexpectedly made me a better Soprano player.

I'm also using the companion trumpet mouthpiece - Sparx 7EX-M - for some jazz playing that I do and it's working out great.
 
Kevin Metcalf

Mike Miller
The Cleveland Orchestra


The 1B works great Ted. It was just the adjustment in size I was looking for. I think this line is the ideal orchestral cornet option, personally.
 
Mike Miller

Andrew Garcia
Staff Sergeant, US Army
Principal Trumpet
Assistant Concert Band Librarian
U.S. Military Academy Band, West Point, NY


The Sparx mouthpiece has benefitted me greatly in the concert band especially. I have found that many other brass band style mouthpieces have simply been too different from a trumpet mouthpiece to be able to transition quickly from one piece to the next. This mouthpiece allows me to move from one instrument to the next with ease, while not compromising on a rich, cornet sound.
 
Andrew Garcia

Adrian Horn
Brass Forum Administrator

If you are looking for a new cornet mouthpiece do try to play-test some of Ted's mouthpieces... they are a wonderful mouthpiece. I would highly recommend them to all cornet players, but especially to trumpet players who switch around a lot.

 
Click for full review
 

4BarsRest.com
Reviews

These models give classic 'British' brass band production of tone - clear, clean, rich and full throughout the range.

 
Click for full review
 

Ola Balstad
Former principal trumpet KSO Kristiansand Norway, now freelance


I am using a Sparx 4E for my piccolo trumpet/Eb-cornet and a Sparx 3B for my Bb-cornet. They are both unrivalled mouthpieces.
 
Ola Balstad

Jens Lindemann
Canadian Brass, former lead trumpet

www.trumpetsolo.com
 

I recently played a Sparx cornet mouthpiece...tried it in the afternoon and played it the same evening for a major concert. It inspires confidence, has great intonation and delivers with tremendous reliability. This is an excellent mouthpiece produced by a master craftsman!
 
Jens Lindemann

Marc Reese
Empire Brass

The Sparx 2B -soloist- cornet mouthpiece sounds and feels great!

 
Marc Reese
 

Philip Séguin
Windsor Symphony, Stratford Festival Orchestra

 

Hello, Ted! It was great to be playing with you again. I just wanted to thank you for bringing in the mouthpiece for me to try. It took literally one note for me to know I had to have it! It really opened up my horn and the rim is perhaps the most comfortable one on which I've ever played. There was simply no question about using it on the show. Thanks again Ted.
 
Philip Séguin

Jürgen Ellensohn
Principal trumpet of the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Frankfurt

www.juergenellensohn.com
 

I´ve been searching a long time for a cornet mouthpiece with a warm sound, good intonation and good articulation. I always changed between mouthpieces with deeper cup and mouthpieces which gave me a good articulation. A friend of mine showed me the Sparx 2B soloist. This is the mouthpiece I´ve been looking for! Now I´ve got one mouthpiece for everything!
 
Jürgen Ellensohn

Markus Bebek
Ass. Principal Trumpet Frankfurt/Main Opera Orchestra, Germany

I was looking so long for the perfect cornet mouthpiece - now I found it! The SPARX Soloist 2 offers the perfect balance between a brilliant sound and a dark cornet character. Since I opened the parcel from Ted Sparks, I never played another mouthpiece. I played several solistic pieces on it as well as Italian and french operas - some weeks ago even Mahlers famous "posthorn solo" in his 3rd symphony on a C-cornet. I recommend this mouthpiece!

 
Markus Bebek
 

Dr. Ron Holz
Professor of Music Literature, Asbury College Music Department
Music Director, Lexington Brass Band

Several of my cornets in Lexington Brass Band are using your Sparx mouthpieces, and with great success!

 
Dr. Ron Holz
 

Michael Sachs
Principal Trumpet & Cornet
The Cleveland Orchestra

For years I've searched for a cornet mouthpiece to use in the orchestra that would give me the balanced combination of a full bodied sound that could project, without sacrificing the cornet warmth of a deeper cup. With the Sparx 2C I've found the answer I've been looking for!

 
Michael Sachs
 

Don Johnson
"Legendary Brass Teacher"
Don's career has encompassed many Avenues in the music world. From his teen age days in the Toronto Symphony, plus his many years as a studio player, he was also Musical Director playing name acts at a night club. During this time, he developed a multitude of first class players in his teaching studio. His teaching also included being Head of the Brass Department and Music Program at a College for many years. Don was recently described in the latest issue of the "International Musician", as a "Legendary Brass Teacher".

Having heard much about the Sparx mouthpiece, I eagerly awaited receiving my order. I had been playing a standard size mouthpiece but was not entirely satisfied with the sound.

My first impression and sensation with the Sparx, was of freedom and flow of air. The bowl was larger than the mouthpiece I had been using, which enhanced tonguing and also gave me more of the quality of sound I was looking for.

Over the days that followed, many other areas fell into place. One area that really surprised me, was the improvement in intonation. I even had to push my tuning slide back in.

This is a first class mouthpiece and is well deserved of its reputation.

 
Don Johnson
 

Donald P. McAfee
Vice-President/Soprano Cornet
The Brass Band of Central Florida

I'd heard about Sparx Mouthpieces for years, at all the competitions we went to, as well as some of the guys in the band. Never being much of an 'equipment guy', I have stuck with the same couple of mouthpieces for the last 25-30 plus years.

On a whim, I tried one of Ted's mouthpieces that one of our front row guys had after rehearsal one night. Although it wasn't a Sop. piece, I was amazed at how balanced and clear the sound was.

With a little apprehension and trepidation, I called Sparx Music. Not only did I get hold of somebody right away, I got Ted himself. He remembered me and the BBCF. He knew how varied and diverse the Sop. book was in our group, and suggested I try the 4E. I said "I'll start there and see what happens". He said, "I guarantee that's where you'll end too, every Sop. player using the 4E loves it".

Man was he right! I can't remember a more balanced, easy-blowing mouthpiece. It was comfortable at once, and there was very little 'getting used to' time. I think half a rehearsal. The glassy, brittle quality I would sometimes get when fatigued dissapeared completely. It's learning curve is astonishingly short and it absolutely sparkles. It's also forgiving on the many lead trumpet charts we do, because it's not a peashooter. You got a winner here Ted. I'm an official convert!

 
Donald P. McAfee
 

Barton Woomert
Associate Principal Trumpet,
Toronto Symphony Orchestra

I find the Sparx 2B Soloist to be the perfect cornet mouthpiece. It spans the gap between the British "V" cups and the North American "C" cups. It has relieved the "stuffy" feel of my cornet. It produces crisp attacks and a secure high register while still producing a dark , rich cornet sound. I love it! I wish I would have had a Sparx mouthpiece twenty years ago. Thanks Ted for a truly great mouthpiece!

 
Barton Woomert
 

Anthony Prisk
2nd Trumpet, Houston Symphony

I was about ready to give up on my new cornet when I tried the Sparx soloist mouthpiece and changed my mind. It made the horn come to life and helped me to find the center of every note. It is now a joy for me to switch from trumpet to cornet and back. It also gives me the versatility to play in the orchestra on 2nd cornet and perform solos with my brass quintet! Thanks Ted!

 
Anthony Prisk
 

David Krauss
Principal Trumpet, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

The Sparx 2B cornet mouthpiece bridges the gap between large V cups that sound good and C cups that feel good. I finally have a well balanced cornet mouthpiece that I can use in the orchestra. Thank you Ted!

 
David Krauss
 

Jim Ross
Trumpet, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

Ted, first of all thanks for allowing me to try your mouthpieces. They are by far the easiest to play and most comfortable ones I have played. The Sparx 2 gets a nice warm sound, the kind of sound I associate with a British style of cornet playing and will be perfect in the band. The 2B is more vibrant than the 2 and will work fantastically in the orchestra. Also, the rims are very comfortable, immediately, no 'adjustment period' needed. The finished buffing and plating are superior and I think add a lot to the comfort level.

 
Jim Ross
 

David Wicks
Cornet, Egham Band of UK

Ted, I have been playing your 3DV with my Smith Watkins cornet for a week now including a couple of rehearsals with my band. Thank you so much for your advice. The 3DV matches my Smith Watkins cornet perfectly.

From the moment I played it I was taken aback by the rich sound and security it gives me through out the range (pitch and dynamics). My Dennis Wick 4, which I have played for years, feels paper thin in comparison and the difference is clear to the band.

I am really looking forward to our first performance in 2 weeks time. I will have no hesitation to recommend your mouthpieces to my fellow players. Thank you again!

 
David Wicks
 

Jonas Feldman
Trumpet, Canadian Armed Forces

After playing the Sparx 2B Soloist cornet mouthpiece, it was hard to contain my excitement! Not only did the mouthpiece allow me to play with ease and comfort, but it also produced a warm, rich, 'chocolate' tone. For years I have been searching for the ideal cornet mouthpiece and finally the search is over. Playing cornet can now be done with a big smile!! Bravo Ted!

 
Jonas Feldman
 

Alexandra Kerwin
asst. Principal Cornet Black Dyke Band
British Open Solo Champion 2003

The search is over! After years of swapping from Eb to Bb cornet and finding it very uncomfortable, I have finally found a solution thanks to Ted Sparks and his amazing mouthpieces.

Click for full review


Jim Wilt
Associate Principal Trumpet, Los Angeles Philharmonic
 

I recently purchased a Sparx 2B from Ted. It is the best cornet mouthpiece I have ever tried. It's got great balance - lay back on it and it gives you that nice traditional British cornet sound. Get on it and it has enough spark (or should I say sparx) to get from the back of the orchestra to the back of the hall. It seems to have smoothed out some of the "problem areeas" that my old mouthpiece had, which I had wrongly attributed to the horn.

The workmanship on these pieces is perfect - very high quality. Ted was great to work with - two days after I spoke with him, there were two Sparx mouthpieces on my doorstep to try. He was very helpful in determining what would probably work best for me, with an obvious wealth of knowledge about mouthpiece design.

 
Jim Wilt

James Shepherd
Former Principal Cornet, Black Dyke Mills Band
Founder, James Shepherd Versatile Brass

 

The Sparx cornet mouthpiece is an excellent all-round mouthpiece which I find embodies all the qualities essential in producing a good cornet sound. It produces a fine dark tone, excellent flexibility, and easy response in all registers. I have no hesitation in recommending this mouthpiece to young and experienced players alike.
 
James Shepherd

William Scarlett
Assistant Principal Trumpet, Retired, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
 

I am getting a BIG, FAT tone on your mouthpiece!
 
William Scarlett

Peter Collins
Principal Cornet, Ransome Band (UK)
Musical Director, Foresters Brass 2000 (UK)

 

I am using the Sparx 4DV and cannot fault it at all - it has all the qualities of the Wick 4 but is much more playable and responds much more evenly over the entire range.
 
Peter Collins

Keith Hutchinson
former Principal Cornet, Enfield Citadel Band

 

Ted, your mouthpiece is undoubtedly the best I have ever used in terms of sound, comfort and stamina, particularly bearing in mind that I only started playing again three months ago after 12 years retirement! The response is quite amazing, and I have already recommended it to people asking which mouthpiece I am using. I am very glad that I discovered your product. Congratulations to all of you for producing such a fine mouthpiece.
 
Keith Hutchinson

Doug Albert
Soprano Cornet, The Lancaster British Brass Band
Trumpet professor at Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, PA

 

Since speaking and writing to you last, I bought an Eb Xeno cornet to go with my Sparx 4E. The combination has been purely magical. I performed the Eb soprano solo "Flowerdale" by Phillip Sparkes at our February concert and the tone was rich and beautiful.

I thank you so much for helping me with finding quality equipment that worked for me. By the way, I lent Jens Lindemann my 4E for about a month in December as he was substituting for Peter Roberts on the Eb part with Battle Creek.

Again Ted, the Sparx mouthpiece and my Yamaha Xeno Eb are an awesome combination!

 
Doug Albert

Charles Gates
University of Mississippi

 

The Sparx 2 Cornet mouthpiece provides outstanding evenness in tone, intonation, response, agility and articulation from top to bottom of the range. It allows me to achieve what I want in a cornet sound -- dark, but clear and focused (without being thick or diffuse). I am very appreciative of a musician/craftsman devoting time and expertise to developing a superior cornet mouthpiece, one that is designed for the specific requirements of the cornet.
 
Charles Gates

Mike Zonshine
Principal Trumpet, Honolulu Symphony Orchestra
www.honolulusymphonymusicians.org
 

Ted, I received your mouthpiece and it's great! Thanks for such a great product. I have found some great uses for it(Sparx 2DV). Believe it or not, I even use it for the opening of Schumann # 2 and the Post Horn Solo for Mahler # 3.
 
Mike Zonshine
 

Norman Engel
www.normanengel.net
Soprano Cornet, Hannaford Street Silver Band
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
 
The new SPARX 2B 'soloist' cornet mouthpiece is truly a marvel. I have experimented with many cornet mouthpieces and have found this one to have both the tone and ease of playing I have been searching for. It has that true cornet sound and plays in tune throughout its range.

I have been looking for a mouthpiece that compliments what I play on the trumpet. I can move back and fourth between both instruments without a problem now.

Thanks to Ted and his team at GR for creating a great mouthpiece!
 
Norman Engel

James Gardiner
Trumpet, Toronto Symphony Orchestra
 
As an orchestral trumpet player, I've always found the B flat cornet a bit of a challenge, especially when it comes to playing a marathon concert in a brass band setting. I find the Sparx Cornet mouthpieces iron out many of the cornet's "wrinkles", especially the prickly intonation in the upper register, without sacrificing a true cornet sound. Since I've started using Ted's mouthpieces, I find I'm eating better, sleeping better, and am generally a much better person! Thanks Ted!
 
James Gardiner

Ronald Waiksnoris
Bandmaster, New York Staff Band
 
I am enjoying my Sparx mouthpiece. It is responsive throughout the range and gives me the cornet sound I'm looking for better than any other mouthpiece I've worked with.
 
Ronald Waiksnoris

Ian Porthouse
Principal Cornet, Williams Fairey Band - National Champions of Great Britain 2002
 
I can thoroughly recommend the full range of the Sparx mouthpieces to any player. They are built with excellence in mind by someone who has an intimate knowledge of the needs of brass band cornet players requirements. Having the right mouthpiece to do the right job is essential for a player such as myself, and I have been thoroughly impressed with what the Sparx range has to offer.

Each model has been designed to ensure clean and clear production whilst maintaining a flexibility that the player will find invaluable. The tonal quality produced is superb and gives the player and strong, rich, traditional brass band sound throughout the whole range. It is beautifully balanced and engineered, and this allows the player to perform in comfort, prolonging endurance and stamina.

From the young player just starting out to the seasoned professional, Sparx mouthpieces provide the player with the ideal tool to improve and develop, whilst enhancing the traditional aspects brass band cornet playing which audiences so enjoy.

I am delighted to be able to endorse such a fine product.
 
Ian Porthouse

Sheldon Theatre Brass Band
Red Wing, Minnesota

We love our Sparx Cornet Moutphiece. Great mouthpiece!
www.stbb.org


Rick Peterson - Principal Cornet, Sue Mundy - Repiano Cornet, Shawn Page - Solo Cornet, Tom Wentzler - Solo Cornet, John Mundy - Solo Cornet

 

Neil Barlow
Music Director, Oakland Brass Band
www.oaklandbrassband.com
 

Since its inception, the cornet section of the Oakland Brass Band has been striving to deliver a warm sound with good blend. Being a US-based band with the typical ?trumpet-tone? mentality instilled in many of the players, this has occasionally proved a bit of a challenge. Recently, some of our cornetists have begun using the Sparx mouthpiece in their playing. Both tone and intonation have improved as a result. Thanks, Ted, for making such a fine product available to the brass band community!
 
Neil Barlow
 

Charles Lazarus
Formerly with Canadian Brass, Minnesota Orchestra
www.CanadianBrass.com
www.CharlesLazarus.com
 

The Sparx cornet mouthpieces are a great choice for those who enjoy an authentic deep cup cornet sound. With evenness of sound and intonation that only Gary Radtke can craft, these 1st rate mouthpieces are a must try.
 
Charles Lazarus
 

Jim Spragg
Trumpet, Toronto Symphony Orchestra
 
I had an opportunity to use my new 2C Sparx mouthpiece this past weekend. It actually turned out great! I was in a pit situation, very little rest, lots of tension, demanding. Up came a cornet solo, and the conductor needed a "special" sound. It played with a robust, yet warm sound that was just perfect here. I went back and compared it to my previous mouthpiece (V.B.) and confirmed my suspicions - the 2C gave me improved intonation and I found the sound bigger and easier to work with. Thanks Ted!
 
Jim Spragg

Andy Callard
London Freelance Trumpet Player including London's West End Shows and Royal National Theatre Company
 
Since swapping to the trumpet as a university undergraduate, and subsequently as a trumpet freelancer, it has been a struggle to play the cornet with anything approaching an authentic brass band sound because of the incompatibilities between standard trumpet mouthpieces and "correct" sounding cornet mouthpieces. I've been searching for a suitable mouthpiece for over 20 years! The Sparx 2 allows me to make the sound that I hear in my imagination without compromising my endurance. It feels so similar to a standard 1C trumpet rim that I can swap between instruments without any problems. Now I regularly run through half a dozen flashy cornet solos for a work-out. In fact, it's hard to put it away. Well done Ted!
 
Andy Callard

Richard Sandals
Principal Trumpet, National Ballet of Canada Orchestra
Solo Cornet, Hannaford Street Silver Band
 
Like most people, I always thought that cornet mouthpieces could either have a deep, rich, authentic cornet sound, OR be comfortable and in tune. The Sparx mouthpiece, however, is both better-sounding AND easier to play than any cornet mouthpiece I have tried. It has the warmth to blend in a brass band, coupled with the breadth and presence needed to play in an orchestra. The sound, response, and intonation are remarkably consistent from top to bottom, and the rim is comfortable without compromising flexibility or articulation. This is a truly excellent mouthpiece, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to produce a "real" cornet sound.
 
Richard Sandals

John Copenhaver
Principal Cornet - Lancaster British Brass Band
Associate Professor of Music/Trumpet - Lebanon Valley College
 
Hi Ted, I just wanted to tell you how much I love my new Sparx 3B Soloist mouthpiece! It is exactly what I have been looking for in sound, range, comfort and feel.

Your mouthpiece has made my life easier in playing the demanding 1st chair parts in the Brass band and the other players in the section have noticed a difference in my sound!

 
John Copenhaver

John Harris
B.Ed (Hons), ARCM, PGCE
 
Hi Ted, thanks for the mouthpiece it arrived shortly after speaking to you. I've used it for practise and band rehearsal and the results have far outreached my expectations.

Buying a mouthpiece just on reccomendation without trying it went against all that I have learned but this mouthpiece is the answer to the problems I have encountered going back to cornet playing after many years playing trumpet.

Intonation, range, tone, attack, response and flexibility have all improved. Triple tonguing is much cleaner and crisper. The temptation to overblow for the upper register has been removed and the comment of "who's the trumpet player" from the other cornet players no longer applies.

Before considering a Sparx I tried Vincent Bach, Dennis Wick, Schilke, Yamaha and unusual makes such as a Jim Shepherd "Special" none of which produced the results I was after.

I feel very lucky to have found this mouthpiece. Why is there no major outlet in the U.K. for what is a quality product? I am so glad I took the chance and my gamble paid off!

Thanks for your help. All the best to everyone at Sparx Music.

 

John Harris

Gary Compton, M.Mus.
Soprano Cornet, Sunshine Brass Band
Adjunct Professor of Trumpet, University of Tampa & St. Petersburg College, Florida
Freelance Trumpeter, Tampa Bay
 
The Sparx 3C gives an unusually warm and focused soprano cornet sound in the classic British Brass Band tradition. Intonation is excellent, and attacks are very sure. A beautifully crafted and pleasing design make this among the best of elite professional mouthpieces.
 
Gary Compton

Glenn Barlow
Bandmaster --- North York Temple Band
 
Bandmaster James Williams of Enfield Citadel once told me, "The most elusive quality of the amateur brass band is blend". Sparx mouthpieces help take us that one step closer. The North York Temple Band cornet section play exclusively on Sparx mouthpieces and it has helped tremendously in forging the section into a more intergral part of the bands overall sound. Our principal cornet player, Robert Venables, is also a champion of Sparx mouthpieces.
 
Glenn Barlow

David Glanneskog
Goteborg, Sweden
 
I must congratulate you for making such a fantastic mouthpiece - I have never played a better one! It has a very good resonance that I have never felt in any other cornet mouthpiece. I am a professional trumpet player working in a wind band in Sweden and I play quite a lot of cornet, both at work and in my church brass band.
 
David Glanneskog

Jeffrey Reynolds, Ph.D
University of Toronto, Faculty of Music
 
Very comfortable rim and a nice mellow sound, Bravo!
 
Jeffrey Reynolds

Graham Smyth
Solo cornet, The Laganvale Band - Belfast, Northern Ireland
 
I just want to tell you how pleased i am with the sparx 4 cornet mouthpiece I purchased from you a few months ago. Previously I was playing a Wick 4B and although I was not unhappy with it, I can assure you I will be sticking the the Sparx 4!! The control the sparx gives you is far superior to that of the wick add to this improved intonation and rich sound and I reckon you have a winner here!! (although you probably already know that !!).
I would not hesitate to recommend the sparx range of mouthpieces!!
Thanks Ted!!
 
Graham Smyth

Andras Molnar
Hannaford Street Silver Band
 
For the past several months I have been playing on the SPARX cornet mouthpiece. This mouthpiece gives me the breadth of sound and a complete range of tonal colors required for all my cornet work. The rim is very comfortable and allows me to switch from cornet to trumpet and natural trumpet daily as required by my diverse performance schedule. I can recommend this mouthpiece to all cornet players.
 
Andras Molnar

Ken Saul
owner 'Ultra Pure Valve oil'
www.ultrapureoils.com
 
Ted, I wanted to let you know that I am really happy with the new mouthpiece! Tonight I warmed up on the Mahler 3 posthorn solo, then cracked open the Arbans and played the Carnival of Venice followed by the Bellini/Arban Fantasie & Variations. Then I played Napoli and still had steam at the last note! It definitely increased my endurance and accuracy for these nasty cornet solos. It even has a pretty nice double-high C that locks in well -- not that I will ever need it in performance, but it is reassuring and says something about the overall excellent intonation.

It also has a nice, broad, warm sound that is a huge improvement over the Bach cornet mouthpieces which tend to sound more like a trumpet.

Thanks again for the great mouthpiece and also thanks for the fast shipping!

 
Ken Saul

Geoff Houghton
Freelance Trumpet Player & Weston Silver Band
 
As someone who is very reluctant to experiment with mouthpieces, I am very happy to have come across the Sparx 2B Soloist. Approaching the cornet from a trumpet player?s perspective, I have always used the same mouthpiece, but with a cornet shank. With the 2B Soloist, I have experienced increased endurance, better intonation, and a much more characteristic cornet sound. My car also gets much better gas mileage, the air seems fresher, the grass seems greener and I am generally a much better person!
 
Ted is a wealth of knowledge for all things cornet. It was a pleasure to do business with him. Thanks for a great mouthpiece!
 
Geoff Houghton

Paul Roache
Freelance trumpeter & Principal Solo Cornet, Oakland Brass Band
 
Two years ago, I picked up a Sparx 3B -soloist- and have just been completely taken by it. Until recently, the extent of my cornet playing was limited to solo work, brass quintet and the occasional orchestral cornet parts. The 3B has proven to be perfect for me for each of these genres. I'm able to play for hours with little or no fatigue and even though the sound produced is huge, there's enough vibrancy to cut through the texture of the orchestra. However, the 3B proved to be not quite right for me for our brass band. On the suggestion of The Oakland Brass Band conductor, I tried the Sparx 3 and the change in sound was perfect for brass band without losing any of the other qualities of the 3B I've grown to love. Your 3 and 3B are the reasons I no longer sound like a trumpet player who picks up a cornet once in a while. Thanks Ted!
 
Paul Roache

Deryck Diffey
25 years as principal cornet with the Canadian Staff Band
 
I have been using my Sparx No2 Mouthpiece for over four months and from this experience have proved it to be the most versatile, yet very well focused mouthpiece I have ever played on. Back bore and cup are so well matched that pitch and sound is consistent throughout the whole range from bottom G to A above top C.
 
I have been playing cornet for over 60 years and can only emphasize how important it is to a player find the right comfort zone in a mouthpiece. Sparx is my choice and I highly recommend it.
 
Deryck Diffey

Andy Carter
Amesbury, Wiltshire, UK
 
Having recently returned to serious banding after a layoff of some 20 plus years I had been experiencing a number of difficulties most notably endurance and range. Though these problems were anticipated they persisted despite disciplined practice. I just could not get along with the Yamaha 16E that was provided with the Maestro cornet, it cut terribly and I experienced the usual problems with intonation in the upper register on this instrument. The top A was also very thin and unsatisfactory, though using third valve did give some improvement. As a result of these difficulties I reverted to and old Parker - Jim Shepherd Special that I played with years ago and there was an immediate improvement.

However, as the mouthpiece was old it had started to develop a few pits in the rim and I really wanted a new mouthpiece. I felt sure that over the last 20 years there must have been major improvements in mouthpiece design and manufacture and I was keen to try something new. So I decided to do a bit of research. Though there is a lot of information out there it is largely anecdotal and highly subjective and not really much help. I was also disappointed to see that Wick and Bach were still producing essentially the same mouthpieces they were producing years ago.

Then I came across Sparx and GR. GR claimed that they had developed a mathematical model that reliably predicted the effects of mouthpiece geometry and design parameters on brass acoustics. As a practicing engineer I was intrigued by this and keen to give a Sparx mouthpiece a try. After some correspondence with Ted, because of the kind of playing I do, he recommended that I try the Sparx 3DV.

The first time I offered this mouthpiece up I was immediately struck by the comfort and grip. Once I had stopped smiling I launched into my standard warm up routine, which I accomplished without difficulty. This was the easiest transition of any mouthpiece I have tried. After playing on this mouthpiece for a few weeks now I am thrilled with the quality of tone, the accuracy in pitch and the immediacy in response of this mouthpiece. The upper register is also coming along nicely and the problem with the top A has disappeared. I can't see myself changing mouthpieces in the future unless it's to a 2DV!

Thanks for a great mouthpiece Ted!

 
Andy Carter

Stephen Magee
Stabane Concert Brass (Northren Ireland)
 
Hi there, this is just to thank you for a very speedy delivery of my 2c mouthpiece and also to say how wonderful it feels and plays. It's the best cornet mouthpiece I have ever tried! I shall certainly be recommending it to other cornet players I know!
 
Stephen Magee

Ian Martin
Solo Cornet, Glenorchy City Brass - Tasmania, Australia
 
The Sparx cornet mouthpiece is without a doubt the most comfortable mouthpiece I have ever used! Being a cornet player with 'fuller' lips I have often found that many of the more popular mouthpieces turn into 'biscuit cutters' after a few hours of blowing. I have no such worries with my Sparx 4. I have found that my intonation is greatly improved as well as dynamics. All this as well as not losing any tone and in fact, I think my tone is richer and fuller since playing the Sparx. I for one will be using the Sparx for some time to come and will probably be looking to get a -soloist- model in the future.
 
Ian Martin

Bruce Lee
NorthernBrass.com
 
If you are looking for the 'Turn of the Century' traditional Cornet sound, in a modern mouthpiece, they're here ... 'SPARX' Cornet Mouthpieces.
 
Ted Sparks, of Ted Sparks' Musical Services (Toronto, Canada) feels that the majority of cornet mouthpieces make the cornet sound more like a trumpet. His extensive experience with the 'Canadian Staff Band', and his knowledge brass instruments, led to his interest in developing a mouthpiece for brass band cornetists.
 
The 'SPARX' cornet mouthpieces are the result of a joint effort between Ted Sparks, and Gary Radtke, of GR Technologies. They were designed primarily for brass band cornet playing.
 
They feature better intonation, play evenly from high to low, have a rich, true cornet sound, and are great for the endurance required for long hours of strenuous brass band playing.
 
Bruce Lee

Paolo Povoleri
Italy
 
Ted, not only do you make the best cornet mouthpiece on the market, you are a real gentleman too. I'm going to place the on-line order now!
 
Paolo Povoleri

Michael Lucas
Toronto based jazz artist
 
There is a wonderful vintage style cornet mouthpiece that I have been playing on. As you may know most cornet mouthpieces just do not produce the right sound.
 
The mouthpiece is a joint project by Gary Radtke of GR Technologies and Ted Sparks of Ted Sparks' Musical Services. They both understand the sound that is needed for the cornet. As far as I am concerned, Ted is the man if you want a vintage sounding mouthpiece, brilliant craftsmanship and a great cornetist to boot.
 
Michael Lucas

David Marlatt
Eighth Note Publications
 
As a trumpet player playing cornet, I found the switch from a Stork 3C (trumpet mouthpiece) to a Denis Wick an uncomfortable one at best. Although the Denis Wick gave me a true cornet sound, it felt so foreign that endurance, consistency and range all suffered at the expense of achieving a good cornet sound. Ted Sparks introduced me to his then new line of cornet mouthpieces and I was truly excited. The Sparx 3 felt so much better and maintained the sound and even playing through all registers I was after but endurance for me was still an issue. Also, as Principal Cornet of the Whitby Brass Band, I am called upon to play some jazz solos and even play some "lead" playing in the section. I found that difficult on the Sparx 3. When Ted told me about the "soloist" line, I knew it was the balance I needed. It produces a great "leathery" cornet sound but I can also step it up a notch and get some of that brilliance that is often required of modern brass band works. Its sound is smooth and even enough to play Hailstorm but bright enough to play high D's and Eb's in jazz numbers. Thanks Ted, you make all trumpeters playing cornet sound as they should! 4 of the 6 front row Cornets in the WBB all play your mouthpieces.
 
David Marlatt

Ron Heintzman
Former Soprano Cornet, Canadian Staff Band
 
This mouthpiece allows me to have a more open and solid sound in all registers!
 
Ron Heintzman

Art Dean
Former Deputy Bandmaster & Solo Cornet Player with the Canadian Staff Band
 
Searching for the right mouthpiece can be a frustrating, tedious, time consuming task. This is usually the case until you try the new Sparx mouthpiece.
 
In my experience as a cornet player, I prefer not to switch mouthpieces. I have been using a very old mouthpiece that my favourite cornet player and teacher, Derek Smith gave me when I was a young boy. After 50 years, the Besson was showing wear, the shank was rotting and thought I had better buy a new one. The Wick line was OK but not what I was searching for. I tried the Sparx mouthpiece and immediately discovered a very comfortable mouthpiece. I am not a mouthpiece technician but there is something in the design that enhances endurance, tone and presence of sound. It would seem to me that Ted Sparks and Gary Radtke have discovered the secret in the making of an excellent brass band cornet mouthpiece. I would highly recommend this mouthpiece to anyone.
 
Art Dean

Calvin Friedrich B.Mus., B.Ed.
Music Director, Lydian Wind Ensemble
 
Dear Ted: This past concert season, the cornet section of the Lydian Wind Ensemble improved markedly in blend, intonation, and warmth of tone. The cornet players found that their control throughout the range of the instrument improved, as well as their endurance.
 
What made the difference? These veteran musicians tried the Sparx mouthpiece, and they are staying with it!
 
Calvin Friedrich

Tim White
Trumpet/Cornet soloist, Instructor, McMaster and Brock University
 
Having tried a number of cornet mouthpieces, I found the Sparx to be the best for intonation, response and tone. All my students agreed that in a side by side comparison the Sparx sounded better than all the other mouthpieces that I had been using. Thanks Ted!
 
Tim White

John Colvine
Principal Cornet, Ellington Colliery Band
 
Ted, I recently bought a Sparx no.3 cornet mouthpiece from you. After using it for a week I can honestly say that it is the best mouthpiece I have ever played on. I have been playing cornet now for 32 years, 30 of them as principal cornet in a successful contesting band and using your mouthpiece has re-kindled my enthusiasm for playing and practising. The comfort and control that the Sparx mouthpiece gives is significantly better than any other mouthpiece I have tried. I believe that other mouthpieces get the rim right but the cup wrong, another can get the cup right but the throat wrong etc., what makes the Sparx mouthpiece so good is that everything; the rim, cup, throat and backbore, matches. Thanks for a superb product.
 
John Colvine

Heinrich Schmidt
Trumpet soloist and Bandmaster of the "German Staff Band"
 
Ted Sparks, a former solo cornet and soprano player of the Canadian Staff Band of the Salvation Army, has recently designed a 1st. class cornet mouthpiece.
 
I chose his # 3 for my brass band cornet playing. The mouthpiece has a comfortable rim that is well balanced with the cup and backbore. The tone is somewhat more focused than other mouthpieces and blends well with other types of mouthpieces used in the ensemble.
 
Heinrich Schmidt

Doug Chaulk
Former Principal cornet, Canadian Staff Band
 
While I have experimented over the years with a number of cornet mouthpieces, I have always returned to the Denis Wick 4B as the one that worked the best for me. That was until I played the Sparx 4. It provides the full sound I enjoyed with the Wick 4B and has solved a few minor intonation challenges I was having with the Wick on the staff E, A as well as the A above the staff. The Sparx is great in band and solo situations.
 
Doug Chaulk

Graham Young
Soprano Cornet, Weston Silver Band
Principal Trumpet, Symphony Hamilton & McMaster University Chamber Orchestra
 
After 20 years of looking for the elusive 'soprano cornet' mouthpiece I have found the perfect solution in the Sparx4C. The sound quality is perfect for blending with Bb cornets while allowing the brilliance required from soprano. The intonation removes the struggles I have had with compromise equipment derived from the piccolo trumpet. Particularly noteworthy is the tone quality, which does not change with register and the stability at all dynamic levels. High register pianissimos are routine rather than unnerving. Ted's experience on soprano cornet is evident in this design that for me is the end of a long road.

For Bb I have found the Sparx 2 to perfectly complement my trumpet equipment, making the switches between trumpet and cornet in orchestra seamless. Recently on a performance of Lt Kije; the change from offstage Bb cornet to C trumpet was no problem. Even though I have a matching cornet mouthpiece by the same manufacturer to my trumpet equipment, I have found the Sparx on cornet an easier transition. I attribute this to the design that is perfected for cornet and not adapted from a trumpet Mouthpiece. I look forward to trying the Soloist version.

Also noteworthy and of great value is Ted's personalized service and advice.

 
Graham Young

Ryan Baker
Principal Cornet - Weston Silver Band
 
Hey Ted. The mouthpiece is awesome. I have nothing but good things to say about it.
 
I've tried every kind of mouthpiece and the Sparx mouthpiece is by far the best. The Sparx mouthpiece produces a rich, brilliant sound while maintaining flexibility and comfort. Great job Ted!
 
Ryan Baker

Diane Marlatt
Solo Cornet, Whitby Brass Band
High school music teacher
 
I have been a trumpet player since I was 10 years old. I began to play the cornet when I was 25 and no matter what equipment I used, I could not get a true cornet sound. If I tried something that came close, my endurance suffered. As soon as I tried the Sparx mouthpiece I knew I had found a match. I was able to sound like a proper cornet and it still felt comfortable on my face. There is no way I would use anything but a Sparx cornet mouthpiece again.
 
Diane Marlatt

Ralph Caccese
 
Hi Ted, this is Ralph Caccese from Delaware. I spoke with you on the phone last week and ordered a #4 cornet mouthpiece. I just got it today and have been playing with it for the past hour. I just wanted to say this is one terrific mouthpiece! The best I've tried. I'm not a great player but I found it far better than the Wick RW3B and 4B I have been using. The rim is much more comfortable; it feels less sharp. The sound is incredible. When I first looked at the mpc I thought I would have trouble hitting high notes because the cup appeared so deep. I found just the opposite to be true. It's easier for me to get up there, and when I do, it sounds much better than before; in fact in tune for a change. And the low register is thick, mellow and warm. I'm using a Getzen 3850 which I recently bought. It's a great horn, but the mpc has made all the difference . Thanks.
 
Ralph Caccese

Kent Larabee
Solo Cornet, Farragut Brass Band (USA)
 
My recently-ordered Sparx #3 is more than a "keeper." In fact, it has ended a life-long cornet mouthpiece safari for this 67 year old cornet player.You seem to have designed all the right things into the mouthpiece and it works equally well on both modern and vintage cornets. Additionally, no hint of tired chops yet, either in practice sessions at home or at gigs publicly. Many thanks for your enhancement of my playing life!
 
Kent Larabee

Dan Case
Little Rock, AR, USA
 
I took delivery of my Sparx 3 cornet mouthpiece this week, and I'm loving it! Much better than anything else I've tried, and no problems at all alternating between the Sparx 3 on cornet and my GR66M on trumpet.
 
Dan Case

Hollie Carr
Solo cornet - Utah Premiere Brass, USA
 
I recently ordered three Sparx mouth pieces from Ted himself - Cornet 4, 3 and 3B.

First I just tried all of them, without looking at the sizes. The first mouth piece I tried had a comfortable rim and played very solidly and smoothly. I was very happy with the more easily extended range, (and was sure this was the 3B) however; I was most surprised to hear the lowest F# just as pronounced as the mid range. There wasn't any fuzz or airy sound anywhere from low F# or to high "e" above the staff...(actually was playing the sparx cornet 4!).

The next mouthpiece I played felt a bit wider, and I was stunned at how much more projection was produced. I played louder on this mouthpiece with the same amount of air as the previous mouthpiece. I thought, "Wow, this is the one!" The higher range was almost as easy as the first, but the sounded even better...(sparx cornet 3)

The final mouthpiece was shocking. I put it up to my lips and immediately realized that this was the more shallow of the cups. So I slurred down to the low F# to see if the tone was thinned or fuzzy like it is with my Bach 3C. It wasn't! The note was full, round and resonated like the 2nd line "g"! I chromatically slurred up to high C and it was even easier than the other two, with a massive amount of overtones. The tone was a bit more brilliant and so I put my DW4-gp back in to compare tone color. The DW sound was the wide, warm sound I remembered, but it took much more muscle, and air for the higher range, and I noticed how much harder it is to articulate on the DW. Back to the Sparx 3B, my tonguing was crisp, but not overbearing. On the DW, double and triple tonguing used more articulating for something that sounded much softer.

Over all, the Sparx cornet 3B is my mouthpiece of choice, on the Besson Sovereign 928 and King Legend 2220 cornets. For solo cornet line music it showed to be much easier on my chops for the 2 1/2 hour Saturday morning rehearsal. The tone was full and dark from low to high and I didn't feel like I was swaying my intonation like I sometimes do this early in the morning.

Great job Ted Sparks! I'm the fourth on my line to own and play a Sparx. We owe our sound to you!

 
Hollie Carr

Mike Daniell
Georgia Brass Band, USA
 
Ted, I received the mouthpieces and have put both through playing tests. The 4C is going to be great for solo cornet work, and the 4 will serve my back row cornet playing in the Georgia Brass Band well. Thanks for a great product!
 
Mike Daniell

Walt Bodycomb
Principal cornet - Benfield and Rockville Brass Bands
Solo cornet - Salvation Army Baltimore Brass Band
Lead trumpet - Bay Winds Community Band
 
I got into cornet playing and brass banding rather late in life, starting on a rented student model Bach cornet (with a stuck 3rd slide) and a Bach 5C mouthpiece (the size I was using on my Bb and C trumpets). I heard that deeper (darker) was better, and so moved to a Bach 5B. That was not the answer, so I moved on (after some struggling) to a Wick RW4, then an RW4B. This worked for a number of years (I tend to make do and not experiment... especially when it costs money!) until I replaced my Bach Strad cornet with a Yamaha 6335HS. The Wick just didn't sound right. The 16E that came with the horn DID sound OK - but it was too big (and uncomfortable).

After much internet surfing, I decided to try a Sparx mouthpiece and settled on the Sparx 3. It was (to mix metaphors, I suppose) like wearing an old shoe - comfortable from the beginning and sounded great. I subsequently got a 3B (for a little extra sparkle or reach for solo work... and to add a little zest to some otherwise dull trios!) and that has also proven itself - well worth the price. And there is no problem moving between the two mouthpieces.

I just recently received my third Sparx mouthpiece - a 3C. Occasionally I have the "opportunity" to fill in on soprano cornet and (since I am sadly lacking in upward mobility) have developed a "crutch" set of three mouthpieces depending on whether I want to sound good, play high, or play even higher. Unfortunately none of the three mouthpieces (a Wick and two Schilkes) has very good intonation, especially in the upper register. I'm happy to say that the Sparx 3C sounds great and in tune on my Schilke soprano cornet right up to my (squeaky) limit! Unfortunately, that's not quite high enough, so now I am eyeing a Sparx 4C (but don't let my wife know)!

 
Walt Bodycomb

Marcus Shaw
Solo Cornet, Guernsey Concert Brass Band, Channel Islands
 
Ted, I have recently purchased a Model 2 Cornet mouthpiece from your website and was amazed with two things - first, how quickly it came across the Big Pond and secondly, how easy and versatile it is to play.

I have, like many other brass players, been on a quest for more years than I would care to remember for the ideal mouthpiece. I have tried the usual suspects amongst the Wicks and the Bach's and always had to compromise between tone and playability.

The first time I tried the Sparx # 2 I was surprised at the flexibility and stability of tone all the way across both extremes of the stave.

It is by far the best sounding and easiest to play mouthpiece I have come across in more than 20 years of brass playing.

 
Marcus Shaw

Eddie Hill MBCI
Soprano, Pemberton Old Wigan ( JJB ) Band, England
 
I've spent several years searching for that perfect combination of tone, range, endurance and comfort - all from a single mouthpiece. I've even doctored several well known models in order to produce something close to the ideal combination. Finally, at 47 years old and almost ready to retire from Sop, I've found one!!!!

I recently ordered a SPARX 4C and all of the above attributes have been satisfied. Unfortunately......It's still full of wrong notes, so I really am going to retire soon.

 
Eddie Hill

Dale Lynch
Soprano, Geelong West Brass Band, Australia
 
G'day Ted! Thanks for the quick delivery of the 4C mouthpiece I bought. I recieved it today and this thing is terrific! I have only had an hour on it but what it has done to the sound and all register tuning is quite amazing. Just wanted to say, basically, is that what everyone says about the Sparx mouthpiece is the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Ted, thanks again mate, I could not be happier.
 
Dale Lynch

Paul Eddy
Soprano, PARC AND DARE BAND
 
Ted, after playing on the Sparx 4E I won't be playing on anything else ever again! It truly is superb! The sound right through the range is fantastic. Even after a 3 hour rehearsal top Cs and Ds are no problem! I'm truly a convert to your mouthpieces and have recommended them to a few of my cornet playing friends! Thanks again for a fantastic product!
 
Paul Eddy
     
MP3 Samples of the Sparx Cornet Mouthpiece being played
     

The Sparx Cornet Mouthpiece

     

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