Cryogenic Freezing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Repair and Modification' started by rdt1959, Nov 12, 2003.

Cryogenic Freezing?

  1. I think it does something.

  2. I think it is a scam.

  3. I had this done to my horn and it works!

  4. I had this done to my trumpet and it did nothing!

  5. What are you talking about?

  1. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    when this freezing thing got popular about ten years or so ago, I showed one of the metalurgist at work the ad and asked him what he thought. He said with a brass instrument you might as well stand under a shade tree and play. the earier posts were right about relieving stress by heat, that is what we do at work to relieve stress in metal parts that we "cut" so that when it is time to do the "finish cut the stress in the part doesn't warp the part. I would be afraid that if I put my horn in the furnace to relieve the stress, I would end up with a bunch of parts when it came un-soldered. Dave
  2. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    In the June 2004 ITG Journal Thomas Moore addressed cryogenics.
    His conclusion:

  3. NickD

    NickD Forte User


    I had a nice long talk about this with Dr. Thomas Moore, the science editor of the ITG Journal. He is an expert on trumpet acoustics. You should check his work out at Rollins College in Florida.

    In any case, he deosn't feel cryo does much for most trumpets. It is apparently well known in the metalurgy business that brass doesn't respond to any great extent to this treatment. SOLDER however, does.

    Dr. Moore was guessing that any changes perceived by a trumpeter could have been caused by changes in the solder joints caused by cryo treatment. He also guessed they'd be subtle, at best.

    He has NOT doen a study on this yet.

    I did participate in the TPIN Freeze Off a few years ago. We did a double blind test on four horns: A Bach, A Benge, A Najoom and a Blackburn. Several trumpeters played the horns and filled out questionairres before and after freezing. One horn was left unfrozen as a placebo. The players were, Mark Ponzo of NIU, John Hagstrom of the CSO, Stanton Kramer (a local amateur) and myself. Wayne Tanabe, along with the engineer, John Lynch (the TPIN Lynch, not the Asymmetric mouthpiece guy) ran the tests.

    The results of the test were moderately inconclusive. No surprise there, knowing what I know now.

    I couldn't detect anyting different about the Bach comparing before and after. It turned out it was the placebo. I hated the Benge before and after, so that seemed to taint my point of view. The Najoom didn't seem much different.

    The striking thing was the Balckburn. It was solid heavy horn and it I didn't care for it's playing characterisitics before freezing. However, AFTER, it was like a different horn. I loved it. It played much freer and just lit up when I blew it.

    Now, there was a significant time gap between the before and after testing. I could have simply changed my mind about the way the horn felt. It was just a different day. I did seem quite noticable, though. Using Dr. Moore's thinking, there could have been more solder on that horn and this brought about the change.

    In any case, the less than striking OVERALL results lead me to believe that cryo treament is not going to do much. This is a change of position on my part, but again, this is a case of "if I knew then what I know now." I think we often convince ourselves something works if we really want it to. I think I was succumbing to that. Oh well...

    I won't call cryo treatment a scam though. That's doesn't seem fair. I think it was an honest empirical attempt to improve brasswinds. It just turns out that it doesn't really do that much.

    So I am not voting as my option "not a scam but doesn't work" isn't up there. ;-)

    Check out Dr. Moore's ideas.


  4. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

    May 21, 2006
    Morelia, Mexico
    Re: Cryo Freezing is a scam "article in NY times"

    I remembner that article. Any changes that occur to the metal during freezing revert after the freezing is ended. It's all a placebo effect. All the superstitions and obsessions trumpet players are prone to come out in situations like this. If you think something will make you sound better you will sound better. Or think you sound better.

    Michael McLaughlin

    Mayonnaise: One of the sauces which serve the French in place of a state religion.
    Ambrose Bierce
  5. Deecy

    Deecy Pianissimo User

    Aug 8, 2005
    Not to change the subject, but does anybody have an opinion on the valve cluster adjustment or tune up that Bob Reeves offers as a service to make trumpets play better?
    And BTW, Charles Dickens, in common with many other notable people, insisted on sleeping in a bed oriented in a north-south direction. Relevant?
  6. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    I reluctantly had to vote "scam" because the original poster left no other choice. I would have been more comfortable voting that it has no effect rather than implying that the people who do the freezing are consciously trying to cheat you. I don't think that's the case.

    It reminds me of the polls that ask leading questions. It's like being asked "Have you stopped beating your children?"

  7. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

    May 21, 2006
    Morelia, Mexico
    You should never stop!

    Michael McLaughlin
  8. jfreeman

    jfreeman New Friend

    Dec 10, 2010
    The 8D that I am currently playing was restored recently in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. The horn was purchased from a pawn shop in March of this year and needed substantial repair work on the bell to clean up a previous repair attempt. After the restoration, the horn was less responsive than before the restoration. I played the restored horn for a month to identify as many acoustical characteristics as possible before turning it over to CRYOPLUS for the cryogenic treatment. After the treatment, it went to my local repairman to have him add the valve strings and new corks. Since then I have been playing the 'FROZEN PAWN SHOP HORN' as my primary horn around Columbus and Cleveland.

    There is no doubt in my mind that this horn is the finest 8D that I have ever played.

    Going down a check list of what we all desire from a musical instrument, this horn has it all; Response, Tone, Intonation, Flexibility, Range, Sensitivity, Volume ..... Everything. In my ensemble experience, the horn fit in immediately and I was able blend into the sound without hesitation. I look forward to using it soon in a woodwind (or brass) quintet. The sound is so clear that it actually requires less effort to play and is therefore, less fatiguing to play.

    I saw this horn come out of the cryogenic chamber at CRYOPLUS. It shared space in the chamber with industrial band saw blades, industrial knifes, motorcycle cylinders and gun barrels.

    Until now, the best horn that I have ever played was my 'N Series' 8D. Now I am going to have some minor work done to that horn in Cleveland and then I will hand it over to Kathi at CRYOPLUS in Wooster to have it treated too.

    My alto horn is an 1889 Boston Musical Instruments model. It has undergone minor dent repair, cleaning and had the valves replated. This week, I will pick up the horn in Cleveland and drop it off at CRYOPLUS to have it treated as well. In this case, I am primarily interested in having the stress relief of the cryogenic treatment applied to the remanufactured valves.

    If you are unfamiliar with the cryogenic process as it is used on musical instruments, I urge you to search on the internet. Read as much as you can about the process and call some of the cryogenic companies that you will find on the internet to be sure that they are familiar with
    treating musical instruments. Do this before you consider having this treatment done to your horn.

    If you have more questions about my experience with cryogenics and brass instruments, please write to me at:

    John R. Freeman
    [email protected]
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Never was able to notice a difference. Always let others spend the money. I agree with Manny.
  10. kcmt01

    kcmt01 Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 25, 2009
    Polson, MT
    My trust in university studies runs about 30% trust and 70% skepticism. One day a headline will read: "University Studies Show 70% Of University Studies Unreliable". It would seem impossible that an instantaneous drop of 400 degrees would have no affect on any metal, including brass.
    Now, about Minnesota: There might actually be something to it. I have two horns of about the same vintage; a peckhorn and a Llewellyn. The peckhorn came from Alaska where it was most likely used by the Salvation Army. Taken outdoors in the cold, back inside where it's warm, day after day for decades. The Llewellyn has obviously been pampered over its life. The peckhorn will have to be heated to remove any major dents, the Llewellyn is still as soft as when it was new. Note: This is not a scientific study.

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