Nice light weight aluminum mute, thinner corks, Steve uses this one.
The Denis Wick DW5505 trombone straight mute is one of the most popular and best-designed trombone mutes available. It was developed by Denis Wick to meet his own exacting standards as Principal Trombone of the London Symphony Orchestra. It went through a long process of development, during which he noticed the importance of anodising (which hardens the mute). Several small adjustments were made to the size and shape to perfect the tuning and tone. One of the notable qualities of this mute is that it works perfectly in the low register, including all the F-valve notes, right down to low B natural and beyond.
One of the leading composers of the 20th Century, Benjamin Britten, became involved in the process. Here is Denis Wick’s description of Britten’s involvement:
“The composer and conductor, Benjamin Britten, overheard me demonstrating to colleagues a prototype of the DW5505 when we were recording Elgar’s ‘The Dream of Gerontius’ at Snape Maltings with Britten himself conducting. He asked what I was doing and insisted on listening himself, virtually taking over the testing process, asking for me to play at every dynamic, making exhaustive comparisons with other makes, and told us that mine was much more to his taste than any of the others.”
Britten understood orchestral colors better than any living composer, so to have his approval for the new mute was a huge encouragement, and his judgment has been proved correct. The mute that he liked best has been a best-seller ever since.
This mute has a huge dynamic range, making it suitable for both symphony and jazz use. The aluminium is very hard and resonant which means the tone is very even and has exceptional carrying power. The mute is also light, which means the response of the instrument remains very effortless; the trombone will speak as easily as it would without the mute.
This mute is a product of notable design and development in combination with the great hand-crafting skills Denis Wick has nurtured over many years.