Bach Strad poor purchase

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

  1. redintheface

    redintheface Pianissimo User

    Nov 8, 2010
    Bath, UK
    This is important! I used Holton (rubbish), and Blue Juice (rubbish too) on my Bach Strad (early 90s LB). Blue Juice initially was good, but after a week, it started sticking, and needed oiling every 20 minutes (which is almost impossible during a rehearsal or performance). I switched to Ultra Pure, and have not had a single problem since. I oil once a week or so, but it never actually needs it that often, I've been at least 3 weeks without re-oiling, and not noticed. Don't tell anyone ;-)
  2. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    Poor valve action can really spoil your confidence in and enjoyment of a horn. My own Strad which I also bought new has always had good valves but I did notice a subtle improvement when I changed to an even finer oil than the Bach oil the horn came with. I use La Tromba T2 or Hetman 1 (light) oil. That and keeping the horn very clean (I use some detergent, not just water) keeps the valve action fast and reliable.

    Don't give up talking to Bach -- to protect a $3100 purchase I would put up with a few 15 minute calls etc.

  3. Masterwannabe

    Masterwannabe Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 11, 2009
    I am curious about this comment. I have seen horns that if the valves were pushed slightly off-center their performance was less than stellar. I became friends with a player that when ever he looked at a horn the first thing he did was to depress the valves all the way around the button not on center. He said a good valve should work equally well all the way around and if it didn't there was a problem with the valve. I see some logic in what he says because it seems that it would be impossible to always hit the center but then again ?:dontknow:
  4. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    A good valve may very well work well when the edge of the button is pushed instead of the centre, but over time that's pushing against the tolerances of the material and workmanship and if something could ever go wrong this would hasten or exacerbate it. Even more challenging for the valve would be to push down on the valve against the button rim instead of centre, and pushing oblique to the direction of stroke (that is, pushing at an angle). As Dr.Mark suggested, if this is what is happening here, rotating the horn longitudinally so the valve tops are a few degrees to the right so that the direction of force lines up with the valve's direction of travel should help.

  5. Masterwannabe

    Masterwannabe Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 11, 2009
    I think I see your point, just because you can doesn't mean you should.
  6. bachfella

    bachfella Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 11, 2011
    Claymont, DE
    Like Bumblebee, I too now use La Tromba T2....I used Al Cass before that....between those oils, I'd give the T2 the edge, although I didn't have a problem with the Al Cass when I was using it. before I hit on the Al Cass, which I used from the mid-1970's to two years ago, there were a couple of oils that I thought were junk--Roche-Thomas and Bach (Yup, I didn't like the Bach oil that came with my horn!!) I thought the Roche-Thomas and Bach oils, in addition to not lubricating well, smelled bad....I hope changing the valve oil and following the other suggestions posted by my fellow TM members help the OP--I've always loved my Strad, and I hope the OP can have his problems solved and love his Strad, because obviously, playing trumpet is MUCH more fun when your trumpet functions properly!!
  7. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    I cannot imagine buying any horn that required a break in period with as much work as has been described. My 72 Strad has great valves. I think you got a lemon. Make them fix it or get a refund.
  8. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Sorry to hear about your problem. But why was this "needless to say". Are we all to assume that Bach valves are "horrible"? I realize you're frustrated. But you're not being realistic.

    Did you take it back to the seller? Has anyone checked out the horn? Or in the last 12 months, was the only action you've taken was to submit this post?

  9. Conntribution

    Conntribution Fortissimo User

    Dec 25, 2010
    Lloyd Harbor NY.
    I have occasionally played borrowed Strads in the past when blending with pit sections, laying tracks etc, dictated a uniform "commercial" blended section. Some of the Bachs were older, some new. One thing that always struck me about them was the dependability of the valves, larger, longer and not prone to "diagonal pressure hangup" as some of my Conns were.
    I knew I could always rely on a Strad, even if I just borrowed it for a 3 hour gig.
    Thanks to Brother Tyleman I now have my own '70's Strad in excellent shape and, although a different blow and sound compared to what I'm accustomed to, it always does what I ask of it and sounds just how I expect it to with different mouthpieces and how I picture the sound I want in my mind.
  10. Chief X

    Chief X New Friend

    Mar 25, 2012
    Mike, you may want to re-read my original post. I did state that I sent it back to the company for repair and it came back with no improvement. So that action, along with daily cleaning and oiling and frustration was my other action along with this post. I didn't state that "all" Bach valves are horrible, I was simply reporting my problem and looking for advice and i believe that I am in-fact being very realistic. When I drop a chunk of change totaling over 3k bucks, and am unable to perform before an audience due to sticking valves, well..needless to say, this was a bad purchase.

    For the rest of those responding with useful tips, Thank you! I'll try some of your suggestions. I do know that I often strike the valves in a somewhat awkward manner, due to some arthritis in the hands issues. This however, has never been a problem with two other horns, an older bach and a yamaha flugelhorn. The oil i typically use is Ultra Pure, that I learned about here on this forum. I've tried several others and the ultra seems to work best for me. I will look into some of the other oils mentioned here.

    I purchased this horn through Musician's Friend, online, and it took many calls to get them to respond appropriately and make arrangements to have the horn shipped back to Conn-Selmer. Try to contact them (Conn-Selmer) direct and get anywhere! Their response is simply, "go through the supplier for warranty repairs". I asked several times about a refund or replacement, to no avail.

    Regardless, I'll continue to try and make this work. The biggest problem I am dealing with now is that I am constantly concerned while performing, that a valve will stick. This may not be a problem if I was in a band/orchestra and not playing a solo part, but I perform alone - sound system accompaniment and my horn and I. If a valve sticks, song is pretty much ruined. I'd like to perform a song with the trumpet that leaves my mind carefree, like I am when I play the flugelhorn.

    Again, thanks everyone for the advice. Much appreciated!

    Chief X

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