Wiessmeyer 3D mute
I recently lost my Alpine Shield mute (which replaced a Menuhin Shield that I LOVED), and decided to look around at other mutes for replacement rather than just buying another Alpine, which I didn't like anywhere near as much as my Menuhin, both because it didn't stay on the string as securely and because the sound was slightly different.
On a thread a few months back, Duane Lasley recommended the Wiessmeyer 3D printed mutes (LINK). I thought about getting the leather ones but I needed a fast on/off orchestra mute. So I bought one of his new 3D printed Viowiess square mutes.
I like it a lot. It sits very securely on the string and doesn't rattle. Pushed against the bridge it has a slight dampening effect, useful for a muted color for solos that still have to carry. Lifted to sit on the bridge, it produces a good orchestral mute in volume.
My only complaint is that it's not as fast as the Shield to get on and off, and I'm more worried about accidentally moving the bridge when I do so. Supposedly it has a break in time, so I hope it'll get better in that regard.
For what is worth, I bought one of the “WMutes” practice mutes, and although it is expensive, it produces a sound that makes practicing with a mute a more enjoyable experience. Only after showing it to my teacher I discovered he swears by those and uses them for orchestra playing.
By "square mute" you mean the "dual tone" models, for people who don't know the lineup. I have both the original leather and the new 3d ones, and I think the 3d ones are better. Importantly, I think they'll prove to be more durable. When the leather ones get worn and lose their grip, their life is over. The 3d ones are thermoplastic, and they can be retensioned by heating with a hair dryer and squeezing them back into shape. Good functionality too.
Mark, actually I'm not. They now make 5 types of 3D printed mutes:
Oh no! Now I have to buy some more mutes. Thanks a lot Lydia. ;(
I am trying to decide if buying a dual tone is worthwhile for solo work, where I want to still get good projection in a hall. I am interested in how the square compares so I will be keenly interested in your experience. :-)
I find this interesting. I purchased one each of these "square mutes" some time ago, for violin, viola and cello because they so resembled the violin and cello leather mutes I already owned. I find these plastic mutes seem to hold to the string afterlengths more reliably than the leather mutes, function similarly and cost less.
The one-hole Viol is my favorite for orchestra. It is hugely better than the rubber Tourte, and it doesn’t interfere with the strings when not in use. But I haven’t seen the new models. Everything they do has been good to date— and don’t forget the leather ones.
That caterpillar thingy looks pretty cool, too.
I have the original 3D dual-tone and the newer Prisma dual-tone. They are excellent mutes. I’ve been meaning to pick up some of the other shapes. They were recommended on this forum by David Burgess, and they are outstanding.
Any difference in the two generations of dual-tone? Cosmetic, or do you get different sounds?
I would recommend you try the polymutes. They have a nice sound they don’t move ever and make no sound difference and they’re slide on and are the easiest most reliable mite I’ve ever used.
How do you like the Polly mute compared to your 3D/Prizma mutes?
My Polly Mute doesn't hold well to the bridge, and it's a flaw in the design in my opinion. I find that I can sort of deflect it off to one side and it will work, but I wouldn't call it reliable.
Here all the mutes I can find, did I miss any?
That was a lot of work, Roger. Thanks!
The original 3D mute and the Prisma mute are a little different. Their internal construction is different under the microscope. They are different in string tolerance too. I find the Prisma easier to move on and off, and I prefer the tone of the Prisma as well. But both are excellent.
I have a 3DS disc and dual tone mute that I was given to try and compare since I own a Wiessmeyer leather mute and I recently purchased a prizma square.
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