Advice · Gear Review

Frate Precision : HM Cup Review

I speak to trumpet players regularly who are looking for are looking for a slightly shallower than standard cup in their mouthpiece. Perhaps they are playing a variety of different styles and need the extra brightness and flexibility. Some are symphonic players looking for that additional ‘utility’ mouthpiece that they can switch to when required. Others are commercial and jazz players who are looking for great slotting in the higher registers without a big compromise on sound quality. Or maybe they are looking for a mouthpiece that they can play comfortably on E-flat or Piccolo trumpet.

The best solution that I have found that can work for many of these players is the HM cup/rim range from Frate Precision. They are designed and made in Lombardy, Italy by Dario Frate – you may be interested to read this interview with Dario here.

The striking thing about these high cup mouthpieces is that you do not feel a compromise in sound quality and sonority. The ‘H’ refers to the High (or medium shallow) cup, and the M is the code for the rim shape. Combined with the slightly more open 106 backbore, it is easy to get a ‘sizzle’ to the sound while still keeping a lovely rich tonal core. The slotting and flexibility on them is also fantastic.

On piccolo trumpet, they are available with cornet shank. The standard shank/backbore seems to work best for most players on these.

Here is a list of my most popular and recommended models:

3HM, 106 : This has the number 3 rim (16.62mm), medium shallow HM cup, 3.66mm throat and a medium large backbore. Rim and cup combination and very approximately equivalent to a Bach 3D.

5HM, 106 : Similar to the 3HM, 106 but with a slightly narrower (16.35mm) inside rim.

7HM, 106 : As above but with a 16.22mm inner rim, roughly equivalent to Bach 7D.

All of these combinations are also available and in stock with cornet shank – please do send me a message if you are interested in one of these, or would like any advice on finding the right mouthpiece for you.

I have also reviewed a number of different styles of Frate Precision mouthpieces here.

The full Frate Precision range is available with worldwide shipping from our Online Store.

Sign up here for new blog articles emailed direct to your inbox:

2 thoughts on “Frate Precision : HM Cup Review

  1. I play on a Bach 1 1/2 C but have problems in the high register wich switch can I make with these mouthpieces?

    1. Hi Rudy, that is a difficult question to answer. I guess it depends what the problem is with high register. If it is slotting and centering, then a shallower cup and slightly narrower inner rim is going to help with that. A lot of the time, it is finding a mouthpiece that helps you to get the right aperture that matches your airspeed for upper register playing. This is a more individual thing. Feel free to drop me an email ( if you want to send some specifics over and I should be able to suggest something that will work for you. Best wishes, John

Leave a Reply