Why did Denis Wick Create the 10CS for Trombone?

The 10CS is renowned as one of the best jazz trombone mouthpieces around today. How did it originate? Amazingly, it started life as a mouthpiece for the alto trombone. Denis Wick recalls “I originally designed it for my old German alto trombone, which was made by Lätzsch. The alto trombone was rarely used in London, and I remember having to make a journey to Dover to collect the new instrument sent from Bremen in order to pay the duty. It had been illegal to import foreign instruments, but the Board of Trade lifted this embargo in 1958 and I bought the Lätzsch shortly afterwards.  A few years later Yamaha in Japan borrowed it from me when I was on tour with the LSO and made a copy which was actually much better - they gave me the copy! I had to design a mouthpiece which would make the kind of sound that I wanted. The tone quality with the very small mouthpiece supplied with the instrument was terrible! Designing a mouthpiece for the alto is difficult – the tolerances are much finer than with tenor trombone mouthpieces. It is a happy coincidence that it is an exceptional match for the small-bore tenor!’

The 10CS makes a sweet and rich sound. It is perfect instruments such as the Conn 6H, Bach 12, Yamaha YSL-891Z, King 3B and King 2B. Today it is an incredibly popular mouthpiece and players love the beautifully easy way it plays. Two of the most outstanding players from the past who used the 10CS in their later years were the legendary Carl Fontana and the great British trombonist Don Lusher, who was our equivalent of Dick Nash, and was a master of slow, high trombone solos.

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