Product Review – Yamaha PM7 Silent Brass System Pickup Mute

Yamaha PM7 Silent Brass mutesCreated by Yamaha’s wind instrument design team, the PM7 Silent Brass pickup mute is made of lightweight plastic, with a unique rubber sealer to hold it securely in the bell. When used with the Silent Brass system, it has none of that stuffy restricted feeling of conventional practice mutes. In fact, it blows so close to a natural open horn that you simply won’t believe it until you actually experience it for yourself. Play high or low, loud or soft, and your pitch will remain true and centered. A special microphone inside the mute relays your sound to the Personal Studio.

Product Features

  • The input jack allows a quick and easy connection to a Yamaha pickup mute for practice or to a Yamaha MC-7 instrument mic for performance.
  • One of the things we carried over from the previous generation was the Aux In jack.
  • The player can then play along with their favorite song in practice and performance settings and put the fun back in their practice sessions.
  • This jack allows an external sound source to be combined with the signal coming from the mute or microphone.

Technical Details

  • Silent Brass system for trumpet. Includes ST9 Module. The new and improved Silent Brass systems have been redesigned to include everything a player needs and nothing they don’t. It is smaller and lighter while still maintaining the quietness and pitch accuracy that Silent Brass has become known for. Smaller, lighter and more portable. The redesigned Silent Brass module is smaller than acassette tape and weighs about as much. It fits easily into a shirt pocket and can be attached to the player.

Now here is my opinion of the product

The Silent Brass System has been around for some time and the first I heard of it was when I was playing for Bobby Vinton. One of the other trumpet players was warming up on one and he shared it with me. I ordered one for my trumpet as well as my flugel horn. I keep one in my trumpet case at all times. I have not found anything that comes close to benefits of this mute. No matter where you are, you can get a few notes in before a show or concert and no one can tell. I have even used mine during a orchestral concert. Although Yamaha refers to the mute as silent, it isn’t. It does bring down the decibels enough that a person in the next room will not hear you playing so for that reason alone the mute is worth the purchase price.

The complete system includes the following items- pickup mute, cable (used to attach mute to Personal Studio), ear buds, battery and instruction manual. I might mention that the booklet is 43 pages long only because it is printed in five different languages. The actual material written in English is only eight pages and gives the new owner very little information other than what not to do.

My first impression of the mute was positive for I found the mute to be well designed and very sturdy. As I said before, I purchased both a trumpet and a flugel horn mute and both are well made. The hard plastic has held up perfectly over the past six years and neither show any wear. The rubber collar which seals the mute to the inside of the bell is still in perfect shape and does the job perfectly also. I have had no issues with the cable or the Personal Studio (the electronic part of the system) and all connections have been tight and designed well.

Other players have reviewed this system and for that reason, I have included their sites where you can gain more technical information.

This site is a great source for trumpet related information and should be checked regularly for added postings. It is produced by Mr. Jim Donaldson and his comparison of the Yamaha Practice system to several other practice mutes is very helpful. Check it out.

Another site which includes testimonials from many trumpet players on which practice mute they like and dislike.

Much information about practice mutes can be gained from reading these  accounts from actual players.

Personal observations while using the Yamaha PM7 and PM6 mutes

  • Through the head phones, it sounds like a cup mute
  • The resistance is more than a cup mute.
  • The sound of the valves is as loud as the notes.
  • You tend to play softer because of the amplification into the head phones.
  • The increased back pressure gave me the same affect as playing on a shallower mouthpiece.
  • Real headphones work better than the ear buds.
  • Slurred notes don’t lock in as well as open horn notes.
  • Notes below the staff tend to be “mushy” and un-centered.
  • The added weight sticking far out the end of the bell slightly affects pivot of the horn.
  • The added weight on my flugel was more than I would put up with.
  • Some slurred interval slide in and others “pop” into pitch.
  • My upper register improved by one step when using the mute (due to increased back pressure).
  • The electronically enhanced reverb can be addictive.
  • The notes from low C down were not playable on my flugel with the PM6 in place. (I got a double and triple buzz on all of the lower notes).
  • Intonation changes on my Flugel (Conn Vintage 1) Lead pipe had to be pulled out about an inch to play an A=440 in tune.
  • Any notes played with 1st. and 2nd. valves were very sharp on the flugel.
  • Intonation changes on my trumpet (Yamaha Custom Z). Tuning slide had to be pulled out about an inch to play an A=440 in tune.
  • Most of the out of tune notes were flat on the trumpet with the mute inserted.

My opinion of the total system

  • Yamaha has made a great mute and I will continue to uses it as a warm-up mute.
  • The use of this system should only be used as a temporary solution to the volume problem.
  • The product is well made and very sturdy and should last a long time.
  • The Flugel horn mute (PM6) is way out of tune and some notes are impossible to play.
  • My shoulders and arms began to tire after only ten minutes of playing with the flugel horn mute in.
  • Both mutes will work fine if all you need to do is warm up.
  • The electronics are fun but in my opinion servers no real purpose.
  • With all the cables attached, I felt as if I was in an intensive care ward.
  • Even though the reverb is fun, I would rather play without it. It’s too flattering.
  • The excessive valve noise was distracting.
  • The added backpressure of the mute coupled with the slight amplification in the head set makes you play softer than you think you are playing. If you have a problem with over blowing, this would be very effective in bringing down your volume during practice.

My Conclusion

Yamaha has made a very fine practice mute and I strongly recommend it. The cost of the mute alone is around $95 and the complete system will cost you $125. Save the difference and buy more etude books and solos or take your wife/husband, girl friend/boy friend out for dinner instead.

Purchase the Yamaha PM7 Silent Brass Mute for Trumpet.

25 thoughts on “Product Review – Yamaha PM7 Silent Brass System Pickup Mute”

  1. Just to verify, you would recommend just the standard mute without the microphone system? Although i think the system including the microphone etc will be better for me as i am a student and will probably be doing quite a high proportion of my practice in my accommodation and being able to hear your tone will be more important.

    Great review anyway, most likely will be purchasing one as soon as i get my student loan.

  2. Thanks for visiting our site Ben and check back often.
    All of the mutes have built in microphones and if you are going to be practicing in a limited space, go for the whole package. It is very interesting concept but for my needs, the extra electronics are seldom used. I always carry the trumpet mute in my case but haven’t used the other equipment for years. My conditions may be different from yours for I have a large rehearsal/recording room in my house with great sound control. For you, I would recommend the whole package for it will come in handy and some day when you have your own recording studio, you can put your stuff on a shelf like I do.

    The very best of luck to you and please come back and visit again.
    Bruce Chidester
    Branson Trumpet Ensemble

  3. Bruce – I’m finally getting around to commenting on a few of your earlier posts. I agree with you all the way with your review of the S-B setup, except that my flugelhorn (Yamaha 731) / Flugel S-B mute combo intonation problems aren’t as severe as yours. I live in a condo with neighbors, so the mutes are a necessity. I don’t use the electronics much either …. every now and then I run it into my 4-track to play duets, etc. Also, when I was flying the line, I would take a spare trumpet and S-B mute in a gig bag on my trips. It’s helpful to stick the mute in an old (clean) sock to keep it from clanking against the bell. A couple of times when the other pilot was in an adjacent room, I’d have him listen, and he couldn’t hear me. I carry it with me to rehearsals and gigs and use it to warm up on.

  4. Hi Bruce,

    Thanks very much for this piece it has been a great help. I am just starting out and wondered if you could answer my nieve question about whether this Yamaha mute will work on all trumpets or only Yamaha. I have a Boosey and Hawkey 400.

    Thanks in advance,

    Best,

    Karl Liegis

    1. Karl,

      Have no fear! The system will work on any trumpet. Just for kicks, I tried it in my piccolo trumpet and it even fit in that small bell. The brand is not as important as the flare of the bell and due to the fact that most trumpet bells are shaped about the same, the mute will fit in all. They offer a Flugelhorn mute for the reason that the bell on a Flugelhorn is too wide for a trumpet mute.
      Your question was a good one for no one wants to spend money on something that will not work. Keep practicing and some day I might be asking you for advice. Stop back often and if there is anything you want explained, please give us a call.
      BC

      1. Re: Your Opinion to Yamaha PM-9 Silent Brass Piccolo Trumpet Mute

        Dear Bruce,

        Thank you for your review for the Yamaha PM-7 Silent Brass System Pickup Mute, it’s helpful information. I wonder if you have any experience with the PM-9 Silent Brass Piccolo Trumpet Mute (I know you have had PM-7 & PM-6)? You said that PM-7 even fit your piccolo trumpet, I want to how fit about that? Is perfectly fit or just roughly? And how about PM-9, if it can also fit most of brands of normal trumpet?

        I recent temporally moved into a small apartment and need to keep playing music. I original plan to order a PM-9 for my two piccolos, Selmer 360B and 59BLF, as I already have had a Denis Wick Practice Mute for normal trumpets, but if a PM-7 can fit piccolos as you said no matter perfectly or roughly, then I may change my mind to buy a PM-7. Or even better, if a PM-9 can also fit normal trumpets and I don’t need to buy both of them. However, from the photos of advertisement, they are two different shapes from appearance, PM-7 has a longer but narrower bottleneck; but PM-9 is shorter and with a bell curvature, looking likes a French Cognac bottle. I guess, maybe just because this different point, thus a PM-7 can fit your piccolos and maybe not vice versa, as piccolo has a smaller and shorter bell then a normal trumpet.

        Any suggestion from you before I purchasing a silent brass mute would be much appreciated. Thank you for your time.

        Sincerely,

        Stephen T. Chang
        12, 10, 2012

        1. The mute does fit into the smaller Pic. trumpets but the weight tends to loosen them quickly.

          I have played the Selmer and remember the bells to be more of a quick flare at the bell so you’ll have to try one for sure.

          Most players in Branson use the mute for warming up for we are able to play open horn for practice time.

          When I was living in an apartment in the Dallas area (going to North Texas) I made use of the club house next to the pool for practicing as well as visiting SMU music building. After a while the janitor figured I was a student and opened the doors in the evening to their rectal hall.

          It’s not what you no more than who you know sometimes.

  5. Hello bruce

    Would using the mute all the time for praticing effect my progress as I am only just starting out. And If i were to use it all the time how much of a differents would i notice when i dont use it.

    1. Greetings Richard,

      As a general rule, you only practice with a mute (any kind of mute) to play softer for the parents and neighbors sake or if you have a passage in the music which requires a mute. Professional players usually hate to use mutes and in some cases I have seen players tell the director that they left their mutes at home, when the truth was they had them in their case on stage. Playing with a mute for any length of time (more than ten minutes) could be bad for you for the amount of resistance with the mute is so much greater than when playing open.

      If you need to practice and the volume is too much (in a hotel room or while your parents are watching their favorite show) use them. If you have a solo which calls for a mute, use it.
      Let me know how you progress or if you have any other questions. Don’t you just love the trumpet/cornet? I still do and I’m OLD!

      1. Hello bruce

        Thanks for your advice. I have just bought a silent bass system am I’m really happy with it, it really does what you said. Keep up the good work.

  6. This is a great review. I am going to move into an apartment within the year so having such a mute would be worth it. Sounds like it’s much quieter than a tight cup mute or a stemless harmon. I’ve tried a few Trumpet practice mutes and they have a lot of added resistance and intonation problems.

    It seems like you don’t recommend the Flugelhorn mute. I am curious if you have a chance to use a Tenor Trombone silent brass in your Flugel, if it would yield better results. I have read about people using various Trombone mutes in their Flugels.

  7. I have this mute and like it. I don’t use it for everyday playing because of some of the reasons Bruce said but when I need quiet I take it with me. If you can practice open that’s the preferred way to go. It is way quieter than a cup or harmon even though it sounds like one in the headphones. It really is almost silent. Not quite but almost. I recently just used it to practice in my hotel room while on vacation. No calls to the main office were made.

    What Bruce said about the resistance is right on. I don’t generally use the electronics that came with it but they can be fun with a decent set of headphones. Fits in all standard bells so my standard trumpet, cornets, and even my pocket trumpet. I wouldn’t definitely buy one again.

  8. just can’t believe anyone is recommending this thing. it is just simply awful. the back pressure is like trying to blow up a truck tyre and it is the most out of tune mute ive ever had the misfortune to experience. they are always on ebay, and lets be honest we all know why.

  9. I got one of these as a birthday gift from my husband. He seems to enjoy telling everyone that he got a “Silent” mute for me. I think it is his little joke. But I just love it for those moments before a concert when I need to warm up and take the edge off in a noisy room with other nervous players. It is very quiet but I can always hear myself and my pitch clearly. It warms me up and calms me down. Here in Montana, you really need to warm up the horn and the chops. I don’t know if it is worth the price. I rarely use the electronics…but they work just fine. I use it sometimes in a hotel or guest room with input from my mp3 player to practice, just to keep my lip in shape on vacation. No one but me can hear, as long as the mute stays firmly in place. For me it is a luxury, I wouldn’t use it for regular practice. There is too much back pressure so think I might develop some bad habits if I used it all the time.

    1. You are correct on every point you made. It has some value and some faults.
      Most of the players in Branson have them in their cases just for what you said, it’s great to warm up on before a show.
      I seldom use the electronics either.

  10. Hello,
    I’m curious about the electronics portion of the mute. I’m looking at distorting the sound of my trumpet electronically, and I haven’t been able to find any way to do that yet without simply playing into a microphone with distortion turned up. You said there was an output jack on the mute to hook up headphones to, I believe. Would a microphone work as well in that jack? Or perhaps an amp or pedals for a guitar? Thanks.

    1. The mini plug-out can be used in most guitar effects boxes with a matching mini-in. I have not tried it but I’m sure you could also hook it up to a wah-wah pedal for some great fun. I have an old Vox Octave divider and tried it this evening to make sure it works and it did. What fun.

      We work so hard to improve our tone and then we patch in devices to make our sound distorted. What fun.

      The mike pickup is very good and adding other special affects should not be a problem.

      Now…..where did I put my old EcoPlex?

      1. I’m still concerned with tone, but I’m a high school student and at my school every year we have something called the Indoor Marching Concert. Typically all the sections in the band will perform a feature or a skit to showcase their talents, and I am looking at something new and fresh to intrigue the audience. Thanks!

        1. If you would like to “bring down the house” and have the players, this would be remembered for a long time. The organ part could be played on a piano or you can use the pre-recorded organ track. It requires trumpet 1 to play up to the trumpet B.

          http://www.trumpetensemblemusic.com/battle-hymn-of-the-republic-trumpet-soloduettrio-wpiano-organ-track/

          If you have 8 trumpet players, this one has great meaning and would be a wonderful tribute to the Newtown disaster and it is free.

          http://www.trumpetensemblemusic.com/remembering-newtown-connecticut/

      2. I play small combo venues in crowded rooms and using the mute is great for a quick warmup in the room. And I love to use the reverb with a good set of headphones when practicing. Reminds me of playing in the downstairs mens bathroom at UNI in the late 60′s

        1. OK you are the Ron Post of years gone by. The same Ron Post that refused to have his water key spring replaced and insisted on keeping it closed with a cigarette. My mind is note completely gone…… yet.

          And how is one of my good friends from UNI days doing?

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