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French Horn Mutes


Ion Balu

The modern-day horn mute is made of cardboard, aluminum, or a thin wooden veneer.  Balu mutes are made with a fiberglass shell, wrapped by a high-quality veneer.  The fundamental difference in a Balu Mute, as compared with your average straight mute, is its ability to produce a clear and responsive, highly-resonant sound.  The inside brass tip protects the mute from becoming deformed by wear and tear, which is an important aspect in protecting the longevity of the mute.  In addition, these are coated with seven layers of lacquer, providing a sleek finish.

Two sizes are available, as well as four different color options.  Choices include walnut,, red mahogany, black onyx, and amber.  All of the straight mutes sound the same regardless of the finish color.

All of the straight mutes are tunable, and have an attached string. All mutes have a 6" string, but custom string lengths are available upon request.

Available in standard, or medium (MS) for medium and small bells.  Hand made in Tennessee, USA.

L to R: walnut, tiger, red mahogany, black onyx, amber 


Ion Balu Tiger

The Tiger mute is made out of a Zebra wood veneer, as opposed to other Balu mutes, which are made out of a Red Oak veneer. The Zebra wood is a hard veneer and very tricky to work with, which is the reason for the slightly higher priceAvailable in standard, or medium (MS) for medium and small bells.


Ion Balu Stop

This new original stop mute design contains several revolutionary advancements:

1) It takes the sound from the bell and projects it TOWARDS the audience. This way, you will never have a distorted sound or a loss of safety due to overplaying in order to be heard. The S-shaped tube is an Ion Balu invention.

2) It works great in ALL registers, and especially in the difficult octave bellow middle C, (C3-C4) (The stopped low C# in Tchaikovsky 6th WILL be heard like never before.)

3) The ?mute bell? is the biggest one on the market; and in this case, bigger is better.

4) The last inch of the tube, going towards the bell, is tapered (like your horn bell). This also increases your projection capabilities. 

5) Available in one bell size only. In order to change the colors, you only need to change the direction in which the bell points. This saves hassle, and you can create color changes in a matter of seconds.

6) Available in polished brass (as seen in the picture), or satin (sandblasted brass).

Each mute is made entirely by hand here in the United States.



Tom Crown Stop Mute


Lacquered brass with leather strap  $65
Charlie Davis Stop Mute Lacquered brass $60

Best Brass Non-Transposing Stop Mute

Very cool stop mute. You don't have to transpose with this baby.  Good intonation too!

Coming soon:  Also available with polished brass end.

Best Brass Warm-Up Mute

Beautifully made very lightweight practice mute that stores inside the instrument, thus staying out of sight, and also protecting your instrument inside the case by supporting the bell from the throat, rather than by the fragile rim. Excellent pitch and response, and surprisingly good resonance for such a small mute.   $135
Best Brass Warm-Up Jr. Mute

Coming soon:  a lower priced version of the above made of ABS.  Stay tuned for details.  ETA: November TBA
Best Brass E-Mute

The newest addition to the Best Brass line is a complete portable soundproof practice studio.  Listen to your sound through earphones (included) so you won't over blow.  Add resonance with a choice of 3 settings.  A metronome is built in, and you can plug in a CD or Ipod for play-along practice.  It's pricey, but not much heavier than the standard Best Brass Warm-up mute.  This does protrude out of the horn a bit, so it won't store inside the bell in the case.  This a well-made lightweight alternative to the Yamaha Silent Brass mute. $249
Yamaha Silent Brass


The original electronic practice mute for brass.  Special version for French horn includes a handle for easier grip.  Also includes battery powered amplification box and earphones, so you can easily hear yourself and you won't tire from over blowing.  Input jacks for play along CDs.  Also available as a mute only, without the electronics, at $116, model PM-3. $175

Humes & Berg Stop Mute


Brass stop mute with leather strap $50

Humes & Berg Straight Mute


This classic fiber mute is light and cheap, and works well too. $33

Humes & Berg Tunable Straight Mute

Longer mute with adjustable tuning to improve response and pitch. $58

Humes & Berg Cup Mute

Using a cup mute is a rarity for French horns, but this fiber mute fits the bill. Spotty availability on these. $60
Denis Wick Straight Mute, Aluminum

Brushed aluminum lightweight straight mute $56

Denis Wick Straight Mute, Wood

Beautiful wood mute with leather strap $100
Denis Wick stop Mute

Very light aluminum stop mute $54
Bremner Ssshhh Practice Mute

New from New Zealand is this very compact plastic practice mute that looks like a cleaner and cheaper version of the Wallace mute. Black with red trim and cloth bag, it is very soft in volume, very light, only sticks out a small amount beyond the bell rim, so it may fit inside the horn inside some cases. Blows openly and gives good feedback of sound, nice low range, definitely a winner.

We found earlier versions of this mute did not fit well in many French horns, especially medium bell Geyer style models.  We now substitute the Mark I tenor trombone mute, which also is the best fit in bass trombones and nearly all French horns.  It's identical to the photo at left, but the foam is at the top of the mute.


Trumcor Mutes

Based on the old Ted Griffith and Aulos designs, these finely made fiber mutes are pricey, but are considered to be top of the line. From the catalog:

TrumCor mutes are carefully hand-crafted with wood and a specially formulated resonant fiber material. They create a muted tone that is vibrant, warm and responsive. These mutes are durable, and the wide selection of sizes ensures a proper fit and excellent intonation. TrumCor mutes produce a beautiful sound, and at the same time preserve the unique timbre of the horn in all registers and at all dynamics.



#4 & #5

Patterned after the famous "DePolis" mute, the #5 sounds especially good in the upper register. The #4, made for narrow bore horns, is a slightly smaller version $105

Stealth #4 & #5

Simply the best practice mute available, the Stealth is a must for hotel rooms and late night practicing. Pitch and articulation are excellent. The Stealth comes in two sizes, the #5 and the slightly smaller #4 $105

#45 & #45T

While having a shape and feel similar to a ?Rittich? style mute, the #45 retains the warm sound associated with a TrumCor mute. The #45T is a tunable mute and has an adjustable chimney $105 / $130


With a relatively open muted sound, the #44 is capable of tremendous dynamic contrasts. Exceptionally responsive in all registers, the #44 comes with two differently sized ?donuts? for aperture control $105


Designed and shaped for large bore horns, especially the Conn 8-D the #24 is in essence an elongated #5 $105


A remarkably versatile stopping mute that plays well in tune with a great sound, the Tri-Stop comes with three interchangeable bell flares, each uniquely sized to accommodate tone color, register and volume needs $130


Cronkhite French Horn Mute Pouch

Padded black cordura mute bag clips onto your case or gig bag $28