Can a step up horn step up?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Tim Nelson, May 27, 2014.

  1. Tim Nelson

    Tim Nelson New Friend

    May 23, 2014
    Well I'm posing a question, and I would love to hear what the community has to say about it. here's my situation. Started playing again about three years ago. At my wife's request no less! So I ordered a trumpet but it's delivery was delayed for several months. So it was off to eBay to find something to play with in the intreme. To make a long story short within the week I had a king 604 cornet in silver plate sitting before me. .462 bore, nickel sleeves, seamless shepards crook bell, rose leadpipe, no dents, dings not even a ping. A heavy horn but well centered. I couldn't put it down.
    For the tumpet guys out there the King 604 is the sister to the UMI benge 65b with a British wrap and as many of you have stated in the past and I quote the benge 65b is a great horn but the valves have a tendency to crap out. Well la! other side of the rabbit hole. Three years later first valve has lost most of its compression and the second valve is starting to act up as well. Even so I still find my self going to this horn even though I have other I could use . Would a valve job correct these problems. Do monel take well to plating. Am I just throwing money down a hole, the horn still sounds sweet it's just tiring to compensate for lose air. So what do you think can this horn be saved.
  2. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    What's the question?
  3. Tim Nelson

    Tim Nelson New Friend

    May 23, 2014
    Sorry I've never
    posted before.
  4. Tim Nelson

    Tim Nelson New Friend

    May 23, 2014
    Bare with me this is my first time posting.
  5. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi Tim,
    It sounds like you're happy with what you have but the valves are giving you fits. Here's what I've noticed over decades of playing/teaching.
    If the valves are giving me a fit, chances are I'm gripping the valve case like King Kong, my pinky is in the pinky ring, I'm not holding the horn at a slight angle (about 1:00) and my fingers/wrist aren't aligned. That means the valves are being struck at an off angle.
    Something to try:
    Salute like a solider and notice what you see. The side of the wrist is visible but not the top or bottom of the wrist. The fingers are straight out from the hand and the wrist isn't cocked in a way to where the fingers are pointed away from the body.
    Now, take the salute and place the finger tips (slightly curled) are on the finger buttons.
    1.If the fingers are pointed towards the bell, that's an off angle
    2.If you're not using the finger tips, That's going to create an off angle.
    3.If you can see the top or bottom of the wrist, chances are it's creating an off angle.
    4.If the horn isn't tilted just a little (around 1:00), then the job of manipulating the valves is harder to do.
    5. Lighten up on the grip. Take the tension out of the hands. They need to be fast and supple and not white knuckled like Carrie Underwood clenching the steering wheel while singing Jesus Take the Wheel.
    6. Keep the pinky out of the pinky ring when you play. If necessary, place the pinky on top of the ring or saddle.
    I think if you train your hand and wrist, you might be able to fix your problem.
    How can I say this with a smidgin of certainty? This is a very common problem because most band directors are not familiar with this level of trumpet mechanics. Often the mystery of the sticky valves isn't the valves, it's the trumpet player.
    Hope this helps and if this is stuff you already know, please forgive me, my intent was not to insult.
  6. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

    Jun 22, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Technicians can test your cornet for compression. A different heavier valve oil like Hetman Classic could make a difference too. Perhaps Ivan (trumpetsplus) will weigh in. You will have to decide if your cornet warrants the investment a valve job requires. Welcome to TM!
  7. ConnDirectorFan

    ConnDirectorFan Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2010
    United States
    "Can a step up horn step up?" - thread title

    Can you improve a horn designed for improving players [is my interpretation] - the horn is good except for the valves, which need improvement
  8. musicalmason

    musicalmason Forte User

    Dec 14, 2003
    I would second the recommendation of having a tech check the horn. I have had plenty of people come to me telling me that their valves are leaking, often it boils down to something as simple as a leaky water key or poorly fit tuning slide. Both of which are much easier fixes than a valve job. Have somebody who knows what they are doing look at it before you send it out for plating, might be unnecessary.
  9. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
    Good advice. I would add checking valve alignment and mouthpiece gap. To answer your question, yes monel valves can be plated, usually in nickel. Ideally you want a tech who will shield the valve ports to maintain the bore and uses a precision honing machine to prep and fit the pistons.
    (valve fitter, Schilke shop late '70's)
  10. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    A friend of mine had his monel valves redone in nickel. He has no problems now. Is that your problem? Only a competent tech will know. :welcome: :wave:

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