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UMI 1216 "Mello 6"




UMI 1216

Mello 6 Mouthpiece



Technical Data

  • The rim, cup, throat and backbore are all of traditional sizes, making it easy to select the mouthpiece size perfect for any musical style. 





The UMI1216 mellophone mouthpiece (aka the Benge Mello 6) is the veritable war-horse of mellophone mouthpieces.  Anyone who has picked up a mellophone with any seriousness over the last twenty-five or so years has probably at least tried one of these mouthpieces.  While extremely popular, there is both good news and bad news for middle hornists regarding this mouthpiece.

First, the good news.  The cup shape is much deeper than that of most trumpet mouthpieces, which allows the mellophonist to produce a more characteristic mellophonic tone than is allowed by the utilization of most trumpet mouthpieces.  The rim is medium-wide, with a pronounced curvature to the inner side, providing both good grip and comfort, especially in marching situations.

The Mello 6 model introduced by Benge and available with

badging from Conn, UMI, and unbadged versions has set the

standard for over 20 years.


Now for the bad news.  One reason for the historic popularity of this mouthpiece is the equally historic dearth of mouthpiece choices for the mellophone.  At one time, the choice was seemingly between the Mello 6 or a trumpet mouthpiece (which, by and large, is a bad choice for any mellophone in the opinion of this reviewer).  Hence, the Mello 6 became the standard almost by default.  The Mello 6 is a small mouthpiece, both in inner rim diameter and bore, which many mellophonists (especially those converted from trumpet players) will find too constrictive.  The shank is neither trumpet-sized nor cornet-sized, but somewhere in between; this mouthpiece will work in mellophones that are designed for trumpet-shank mouthpiece, but the receiver will take almost the entire shank of the Mello 6.  One wonders whether increased turbulence in the leadpipe might result.  The tone is nice, but neither as full nor as dark as some other (larger, heavier) mouthpiece offerings might afford the experienced player.

The bottom line:  the UMI1216 would be better utilized by either 1) the beginning mellophonist, or 2) those who prefer a smaller mouthpiece with increased resistance (think converted horn players who are required to use a mellophone-type mouthpiece versus a horn mouthpiece with an adaptor).  For experienced players, those preferring less resistance, those preferring a larger sound, or converted trumpet players used to playing on larger-diameter mouthpieces, the UMI1216 is better left on the shelf.


-Jeff Freelin (email)


Where to Buy


Sadly, this mouthpiece is no longer in production.  It has been replaced with a revised model (UMI 1736).