Yamaha 14A4a Lead Trumpet Mouthpiece Review

Yamaha 14A4a Trumpet Mouthpiece – My Experience

Is the Yamaha 14A4a trumpet mouthpiece good for high notes?

Well, in this Yamaha 14A4a mouthpiece review, we are going to take look at that. One thing is for sure though, at the time of writing this article, the 14A4a price on Amazon is shockingly low (Click here to check current pricing on Amazon)

Let’s get to it…

Yamaha 14A4a Review

Specs
  • Inner diameter: 16.68 mm
  • Shape of the rim: Medium round (semi-flat)
  • Width: Medium wide or semi-thick
  • Cup depth: Shallow
  • Throat size: 3.65 mm
  • Mouthpiece backbore: Narrow
Build quality

Well, I guess this category is a bit unnecessary, in this particular review,  because we are now talking about one of the highest respectable brands out there, when it comes to trumpets AND trumpet mouthpiece.

Yamaha trumpet mouthpieces are high quality and not only that, they are very consistent. Meaning, same size mouthpieces differs very little from each other, which is not the case with many other manufacturer out there, where big differences can be found, even within the same model / numbers.

In short, the 14A4a is very high quality. No problems here and a big thumbs up!




Sound

The sound is cutting and it works very well in the upper register. Bright and rips the air apart. You would not want to use this sound in a big symphony orchestra though, or for playing a beautiful solo piece, in the lower register.

In my opinion the sound you get out of this mouthpiece is excellent for lead trumpet playing, some commercial stuff (pop / rock) where you want that loud, cutting, bright trumpet sound.

Feel On The Chops

The rim is somewhat round and it feels pretty good on the lips. Despite the roundness  you can still get a pretty good grip on it, if you are one of those trumpeters that like to “grip” your mouthpiece with your lips. I actually like it.

Does it play in tune?

Just as well as any high quality mouthpiece. The low register is also good. Some high note trumpet mouthpiece tend to make the high register go a bit sharp, but I do not experience that problem at all, with the Yamaha 14A4a.

Responsiveness

The responsiveness is average when testing it, playing softly, in the low and middle register. This is a bit unnecessary to test though, because you should not use this mouthpiece for low notes that have to be played softly.

An “average” responsiveness is for sure good enough here, because there will never be any problems with response when pressing down the gas pedal and going up into the middle and higher register. It is soft playing that requires a mouthpiece with great response, to make sure the notes “speak easily”.

Slotting

The slotting is good on the 14A4a. Especially from third space “c” and up. However, it does not lock the notes dead, in a way that it becomes difficult to slide between notes, doing glissando’s or shakes, should you so desire…

…in other words, it is perfect for commercial high note playing!

In what playing situations can you use the mouthpiece?

Well, use or imagination, but here are a few examples of where this mouthpiece will shine…

  • The lead trumpet part in a big band
  • High note playing in a pop / rock band
  • When playing a very demanding piece in marching band where you just have to nail the higher notes in the later part of the song.
High register

This is where the 14A4a really shines. The high notes come out easily and you can really scream with this mouthpiece. It’s pretty easy to get some serious power high notes using this mouthpiece. This is, of course, if you have pretty decent chops, to begin with…

…that said, I think most trumpet players will find high notes a lot easier with the 14A4a, even those who do not have a lot of high note experience under their belt.

Agility (flexibility and ease of moving around)

A lot of high note mouthpieces are coming up short in this department, but I do not have that issue with the 14A4a. It’s pretty easy to move around and the flexibility is good. This makes it good for fast passages in the big band.

General Feel When Playing

Well, it’s difficult to describe what things feels like, but I would say it does has a bit of resistance to the blow. That kind of resistance that lifts the note when you push against it. Step on the gas and the your note ascend, cuts and sizzles, with power behind it. I like the way it feels to play.  because it makes me feel…

…well, strong, I guess. Hey, don’t judge, we all like that 😉

Compared to other popular mouthpieces
  •  Yamaha 14A4a vs Shilke 14A4a

It is a bit similar to the Shilke 14A4a, but the Yamaha rim feels better on my lips than the Shilke does. The rim also feels a tiny bit smaller on the Yamaha 14A4a. In my opinion it is also easier to “bottom out” on the Shilke, meaning your lips my touch the bottom of the cup and stop vibrating. This is due to the different rim/cup shapes on the inside.

  • Yamaha 14A4a vs Bach 3C

Oh, the Yamaha is shallower, even though the 3c is a bit shallower than other Bach “c” cups, the Yamaha is shallower than the Bach 3c. Also, the Bach 3c is more of an “all-around mouthpiece” and not a lead / high note mouthpiece. That said, many people use the 3c for high register playing as well.

Low Register

The low notes come out just fine, but as I already pointed out. It is not designed to shine in the bottom register. This means that the sound is not that big, resonant and “meaty” in the bottom register.

They do come out easily though, so if you have a “low note passage” in the middle of, an otherwise, high note piece, you will do just fine.

Final Rating:  8.6 / 10

After looking at every aspect, and when I weigh them against the price, I will give this high note mouthpiece a score of 8.6 out of 10. This is a very good score indeed. Just like it needs to be…

…a good score for a good mouthpiece.




Is it worth the money?

Absolutely!

It’s high quality, easy to play screaming high notes on, and on top of that it is literally one of the cheapest mouthpieces you can find.

I mean really. At the time of writing this blog post, I paid more for eating at McDonald’s, yesterday evening, than what this mouthpiece cost. Just click here to check prcing at Amazon, and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

Conclusion

There are a lot of high note trumpet mouthpieces out there and the 14A4a is another good one.

Is it the best one for you?

I don’t know,  we are all different and what works for one, might not work for anotherone. It is certainly worth a try though, since the price is, as I already said, SHOCKINGLY low. Click here to check pricing at Amazon. It has also got a lot of great testimonials over there.

Take a look at this video because Mr. Harrelson explains some very interesting things about mouthpieces in general, and he also talks about the 14A4a, and gives a demonstartion by playing it!

Thank you for reading this Yamaha 14A4a trumpet mouthpiece review. I hope you found it informative.

Keep practicing and remember to have fun while doing it.

-Robert-

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