Harmon Mute Showdown!


  • Trusted Seller

    I thought some of you might enjoy this demo I did at the shop today comparing eight different Harmon Mutes. Let me know your thoughts!



  • Hi ABC,
    The mute that is part aluminum and part copper sounded the best to me.


  • Trusted Seller

    @Dr-Mark who's ABC?


  • Trusted Seller

    Here's a followup video with better quality audio



  • OOPS!
    I mean ACB. Sorry.



  • Nothing, I mean nothing sounds better than the 1970 vintage Harmons. What made them so different?


  • Qualified Repair Techs

    I loved my bubble until I got my Trumcor zinger - thatbthing has been perfect in every setting for me ☺



  • @ACB said in Harmon Mute Showdown!:
    Let me know your thoughts!

    Thank you for taking the time to demonstrate these mutes!

    What I heard:

    Tom Crown aluminum - Nice bite to the sound
    Tom Crown copper - A bit more muted (no pun intended)
    Tom Crown brass - Velvety
    Soulo - A hollow, but intimate sound. Worst intonation of the group.
    Faxx copper - Very nasal
    Trumcor Zinger - Full, less "Harmon" sound, more open
    Best Brass aluminum - Dry, smooth sound
    Best Brass copper - Full, resonant*, almost like a cup mute*
    Best Brass brass - Airy, mellow*. Like a straight mute*
    Jo Ral Bubble aluminum - Wooden sound

    I realize that you do not stock original Harmon mutes nor Humes & Berg, but I would like to have had these in the mix for comparison.

    • Yes, I realize that the terms "resonant" and "mellow" normally apply to straight mutes and cup mutes respectively, but this was a comparison of Harmon mutes, and the terms I used help describe the cup and straight mute timbres I heard with these examples.


  • @J-Jericho said in Harmon Mute Showdown!:

    I realize that you do not stock original Harmon mutes nor Humes & Berg, but I would like to have had these in the mix for comparison.

    Agreed. It's hard to have a Harmon mute comparison without an actual Harmon mute. That aside, it's a very good comparison of the alternatives, and a great video. Thanks to Trent for sharing. If I ever wanted a Harmon mute with a warmer tone, I might consider the copper Tom Crown. (I might order one from Trent today.)

    But for me personally, I'll stick with my Harmon Type B mute. For me, it has the classic sound, and good intonation from low F# on up. My aluminium Jo Ral is pretty good, too. I still have my Harmon Type A from the 1970s, but the intonation is bit more squirrely, especially in the low register.

    Mike



  • But for me personally, I'll stick with my Harmon Type B mute. For me, it has the classic sound, and good intonation from low F# on up. My aluminium Jo Ral is pretty good, too. I still have my Harmon Type A from the 1970s, but the intonation is bit more squirrely, especially in the low register.

    Mike

    So that explains it why I love my 1970 vintage Harmon. I always thought I had a Type A personality!

    TrumpetMD with the accurate diagnosis once again! That's why we love you here Dr. Mike!



  • @Dr-GO said in Harmon Mute Showdown!:

    But for me personally, I'll stick with my Harmon Type B mute. For me, it has the classic sound, and good intonation from low F# on up. My aluminium Jo Ral is pretty good, too. I still have my Harmon Type A from the 1970s, but the intonation is bit more squirrely, especially in the low register.

    Mike

    So that explains it why I love my 1970 vintage Harmon. I always thought I had a Type A personality!

    Better to have a "Type A" personality than a "Cluster B" personality disorder. 😉

    Mike



  • @Dr-GO said in Harmon Mute Showdown!:

    So that explains it why I love my 1970 vintage Harmon. I always thought I had a Type A personality!

    Is your vintage Harmon in tune? Mine is pretty beat up, with worn down corks. Maybe that's why mine is out of tune?

    Mike


  • Credentialed Professional

    @Dr-GO The Harmons made after the late 80's were totally different due to design changes to make them "more in tune" but they company ruined how they sounded. I've found a few old ones on eBay, including one from the late 50's.


  • Credentialed Professional

    @tmd They older ones are in tune once you pull out the slide a bit. I'm happy to do that in order to keep the classic tone.



  • @Bay-Area-Brass said in Harmon Mute Showdown!:

    @tmd They older ones are in tune once you pull out the slide a bit. I'm happy to do that in order to keep the classic tone.

    Yes. The general rule was:

    Harmon in, slide out. I too perform this task with honor.



  • @Bay-Area-Brass said in Harmon Mute Showdown!:

    @tmd They older ones are in tune once you pull out the slide a bit. I'm happy to do that in order to keep the classic tone.

    Thanks Bill. Just to clarify, low notes on my original Harmon mute are very sharp (especially low G and low F#). Back in the day, it took a lot of effort to get those notes out. With my Harmon Type B, those notes are very much in tune.

    Mike


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