Bach Strad poor purchase

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Chief X, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. Chief X

    Chief X New Friend

    Mar 25, 2012
    About a year ago i bought a brand new Bach Stradivarius Custom 180S for around $3100. Needless to say, this is the worst purchase I have made in many years. The valves in this horn are horrible. Constant sticking regardless of amount of cleaning and re-oiling. I've tried a little oil, a medium amount of oil and a lot of oil, to no avail. I initially sent the horn back to the factory because of this issue and when it came back, it wasn't any better.
    Just wondering if anyone else has similar problems. I will not purchase another Bach, ever. My Yamaha flugelhorn valves are perfect, always. Very little maintenance and always performs well. Comments? Suggestions?
  2. bachfella

    bachfella Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 11, 2011
    Claymont, DE
    Chief X,

    Did you have chance to try the horn before you bought it? I've had the same Bach since the mid-1970's and haven't ever had a problem with the valves or anything else on the horn, but that's not to say that every single '70's Bach might not have had a problem. I've read a lot of posts here and in other forums that say Bach's quality control was bad for a while in the early to mid-2000's. I don't know how it is now--haven't looked at new Strads, because I already own a Strad--The only suggestion I would have is, if you're unhappy with the horn, sell it and get one you'll like better....
  3. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    What oil are you using?
  4. mgcoleman

    mgcoleman Mezzo Forte User

    Jun 22, 2010
    I own two Strads (37 and 43) and both have smoking fast valves, so there's room for hope! :)
    It may be a PITA (pain in the ....), but give them a chance to make it right. By that I mean fix it, replace with another horn, refund, etc. I wouldn't let them off the hook by involving a third party - that probably the crux of my suggestion.
  5. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    Bach Strads CAN be wonderful - my (stolen, not recovered) Strad rotary C was a case in point. But some Strads are really awkward sods. Find the right one (the older the better, IMHO), and you have a friend for life. Get the wrong one, and you have many stories to tell to other trumpet players who will sagely nod...
  6. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    How are you holding your fingers on the valves?
    A new horn has tight tolerances, and any improper finger posture can cause valves to jam.
  7. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    As Brekelefuw said:
    "Improper finger posture can cause the valves to jam"
    Something to try:
    1.Hold the horn to your face
    2. Notice the valves are straight up and down. Tilt the horn to the right so the finger buttons are at around 1:00 to 1:30 O'Clock.
    3. Hold the valve casing gently. No gorilla gripping!!!
    See if this helps. More often than not, the reason the valves stick for trumpet players is poor finger posture and gripping the valves too tight.
    I have a 1973 Bach Strad and the valves are as smooth as butter.
    Hope this helps
  8. robrtx

    robrtx Mezzo Forte User

    May 26, 2012
    As Brekelefuw states, I think that some horns are sensitive to any valve motion but straight up/down

    I sometimes am guilty of not pressing straight up/down and sometimes use a wide hand vibrato which has made valves hang up sometimes.

    I have found that finding the motion/angle that creates the problem and then sitting in front of the TV and easily working the valve through the motion, re-oiling from time to time will do wonders for eliminating a hanger without causing excessive wear.

    Also, try a different oil perhaps?

    Maybe showing a local tech face to face what motion causes the problem would help........

    I wouldn't rush to give up on what is probably a fine trumpet that just needs a little TLC...........

    Just my opinion
  9. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    If the horn is new, it should be covered by warranty. I would call them, discuss that it has been returned once before, and ask what they recommend to make it right under warranty. Bachs are good horns. It can be fixed.
  10. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

    Jun 22, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Comments? My 2000 Bach Stradivarius 180S37 works perfectly and evidences excellent (flawless really) build quality. It is too bad you have not had a more positive experience.

    Suggestions? Know that many fine new expensive trumpets from many manufacturers require a break-in period before valves perform optimally. Also, technique and oil make a big difference in some instruments. Examples? My 1952 Blessing Super Artist works perfectly with any oil I try and seems immune to effects associated with finger-strike, the same is true for my Strad. My 1972 Getzen Severinsen showed little evidence of much use when I got it. While it works good enough with several different oils, it really likes Hetman Light Piston Lubricant 1 - with the Hetman 1 the Severinsen's valves are silky smooth and remarkably fast. One horn I purchased new required careful break-in. I oiled lightly (with Hetman 1) and cleaned pistons and casings daily during the 30 to 45 day break-in period. I was rewarded with a fine playing instrument. Had I given up on the horn prematurely, I would have been the poorer for it. Like others have written I suggest you not give up too soon. Good luck.

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