Determine valve wear?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Repair and Modification' started by knotty, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. knotty

    knotty New Friend

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    Jun 8, 2009
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    Hello all, absolute neophyte, never played a trumpet before but I was given an old trumpet in poor shape two days ago and now am interested. Put valve oil on the valves and Vaselined all the slides. Everything works good.

    First question is how to determine valve wear, would there be perceptible side movement if badly worn?

    Thanks, knotty
     
  2. Blind Bruce

    Blind Bruce Pianissimo User

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    Knotty, welcome to the forum.:welcome: The visual appearance of the valve is the true test of wear. There should be ONLY vertical, barely visible, scratches on them. Any side play that you can feel is way too much IMHO. If you oil them with a good valve oil, NO substitutes, they should move freely especially when playing. Some lesser quality horns move very well untill warmed up, then they bind.:-(
     
  3. knotty

    knotty New Friend

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    Jun 8, 2009
    San Francisco, Ca.
    Thanks for the welcome and answer Bruce. The valves appear a light gray and there is no side movement whatsoever. They move very smoothly. The trumpet bell says Bach with a Selmer case and TR300 where the MP enters, the MP is a Getzen 7c.

    My only concern is the bad dents, especially where the first curve back from the bell. Do you think it will affect tone? and can the dents be removed? since I can't produce any clear tones, I can't tell if the dents are distorting the sound...LOL

    Thanks..knotty
     
  4. Blind Bruce

    Blind Bruce Pianissimo User

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    Personally, I have only one dent in my Yamaha. It is right above the first spit velve on the tuning slide, and would be very hard to remove. My teacher tells me that it is not a problem at my early stage in learning. She says the further from the mouthpiece receiver, the less effect it has on playing.
     
  5. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

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    What you acquired is the bottom of the line student grade Bach trumpet that was manufactured quite heavily to withstand the abusive use that young kids provide for their horns. The downside of this is that if the bell curve,( that major and only curve of the bellpipe ),is the area of damage, that indicates that the horn was in all probability dropped. This 'could' signify that impact tension has been induced in the alignment of the cross braces and also, possible compression of the tubing. The dent, or, partial collapse of the bell curve can be ironed out from the inside by use of polished precision sized balls being forced through the dented area. To do this job properly and to be assured that no unwanted tension is either present already, or, introduced in the ironing out of the dent, the bell assembly should be removed prior to the dent removal.


    OLDLOU>>
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Valve wear as such is not directly measurable as most manufacturers do not post tolerances. It is possible to check compression, but whether that really means anything is controversial.

    If the horn plays OK, then the valves are tight enough. There should be no horizontal movement present that is noticable by the naked eye.
     
  7. knotty

    knotty New Friend

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    Jun 8, 2009
    San Francisco, Ca.
    Hi Lou, thanks for the info, my predicament is I can't play the trumpet whatsoever having started a day ago. Before that, I've never touched a trumpet in all my 64 years. At this point, the only sounds I can make are mostly airy, hissing sounds (driving the kitties crazy). Sometimes, I guess when the lip is placed somewhat correctly, a discernible wee tone comes out, I think it's low C or middle G.. :lol:

    I've been reading about the "no pressure" MP technique, which I'm practicing.

    So, I can't tell to what extent if any, the dents may be hurting the sound until I get myself to where I can make decent tones which will be a while I guess.

    If the trumpet sounds satisfactory, I'll just learn with it and will just look for a better trumpet eventually. I suspect having the dents taken out may cost more than the worth of the trumpet as I see them on eBay for perhaps $100

    rowuk: Yes, then the valves I have are OK, there isn't even the slightest detectable side movement thankfully.

    Thanks! knotty
     
  8. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

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    Melbourne Australia
    Hi knotty,
    The first thing I would do, is try to get a couple of lessons with a good teacher.

    Try your local music store, local Brass Band/community Band, or Church Group. These first steps are crucial, and you do need good advice and guidance. Plan to join a Band in 6 months playing 4th chair. 64 years is not old, and you just need to practice with a goal; it will be better if you can get with a Band when you can play a little.

    Welcome....and the Bach 300 is perfect to start with. A teacher can check it over with you on your first lesson.
    Cheers
     
  9. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    G'day Knotty - you have a good instrument to start with, a good standard all round mouthpiece too. You'll need no more for quite a while. Follow all the above advice, especially the bit about a teacher, don't consider age as a factor, or that everyone else seems better than you - this is YOUR experience and, as my doctor says, at some point in our lives we need to do something just for ourselves. Welcome to the world of trumpet and the begining of a love affair that is experienced by many of we lesser mortals. Life is short, so clean - lubricate - play. :cool:
     
  10. knotty

    knotty New Friend

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    Jun 8, 2009
    San Francisco, Ca.
    Thanks for the lesson suggestions, I'll certainly look around. Right now I'm looking after my aged mother so my time is pretty much taken up.

    Been looking all over the Internet and there are tons of info on everything trumpet and it's very interesting. Some of the youtube clips are informative too. It's like a crash course on the trumpet.

    Long ago in high school, I went to hear their band concert and they had Rafael Mendez as guest soloist. That experience amazed me and I've had the trumpet in back of the mind ever since. :-)
     

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