Getzen water keys

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jsongsun, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. jsongsun

    jsongsun New Friend

    Apr 16, 2010
    I just bought a mive vax custom that i really like. However, i don't particularly care for the old fashinoned water keys they put on it rather than the "amado" type. Does anyone know they chose to do that....? It seems to me they don't empty as well as the amado type I've had on other horns.
    James schuhs
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Probably because Mike Vax like a lot of other trumpeters does not like Amado keys. I think there are about as many that claim that the standard water keys are better as do the Amado. Technically, the standard keys have a technical advantage with the "chimney". It is called capillary action and in my experience does a better job as moisture is drawn out by blowing across it. The Amado supposedly reduces turbulence but does not have this capillary action so the low point when emptying has to be the hole itself. My fingers get wet too.........
  3. tpsiebs

    tpsiebs Piano User

    Feb 6, 2010
    Randolph, New Jersey
    Rowuk nailed it. There's no reservoir, so you "get wet" faster. The lack of chimney reduces turbulence somewhat. And that's the trade-off. A freer blow and you need to empty more often OR risk the insignificant turbulence and play longer phrases before making a puddle.

    The springs in the Amado fail frequently (or at least mine did). I went over to the Saturn water key does the same thing but again you "fill up" so fast!!

    Stick with the stock key.
  4. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Most all my horns have traditional keys (most are vintage). The ones that have amado keys have not let me down. Your fingers can get wet and that is annoying. I try not to put my finger where they can get wet though. Have heard folks complain about the pain of maintenance, and vs. a traditional key, they have a valid point. Get out your tiny tools or pop in a cork. I'm just glad my Amados have never failed.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2011
  5. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    Traditional water keys exert a clamping force at the cork on the tubing, and a torque on the surface of the tubing at the hinge. Amado and other "self contained" keys just add mass. These differences affect the way the trumpet plays.

    As far as the "chimney" which Rowuk refers to; a few years ago I experimented with adding chimneys to amado style keys. This change also made a difference to the playing characteristics. I didn't like it because of the extra fragility of the setup - having the amado mounted further off the tubing made it easier for it to be broken off. I showed my experiment to several interested parties at the time.
  6. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    Time to bring back the Conn Vocabell water key!
  7. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

    Apr 30, 2010
    dubuque iowa
    James. As you can see by the posts above, its not a clear cut conclusion as to which is better. If you are splitting hairs and can tell that the amatos add to the playability of the horn then fine, but as for me I dont overanalise things. I cant tell that they improve the sound, but I can attest to the fact that they are a pain to keep up, and dont drain as well. I special ordered my Getzen with lever action water keys because they seem to do the job with no muss or fuss, and no wet fingers too. Personally I like the look of them and dont consider them "old fashioned" looking. Functional looking...thats a better term. Best wishes.
  8. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    I've had Amado water keys on all my horns for 25 years. I love them. They empty the water just fine and my fingers don't get wet.
  9. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    Interesting that no-one asks about the Joy water keys. They are dumping water all the time - that's how they work. I met a french horn player who said he had 17 of them mounted on his french horn. His other hobby was probably scuba diving - he could do both at once!
  10. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    I have considered the Joy key on my French horn, It would take away the fun of having the conductor look to see why the difficult part is not being played and find the horn section with several slides pulled performing gymnastics with their horns to clear the water.

    Regards, Stuart.

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