Help with Martin Imperial

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by DMC, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. DMC

    DMC New Friend

    Jun 5, 2009
    Hello all I joined this forum recently and didn't want to make a lame introduction without anything meaningful to say. But I played a little way back in elementry school. And recently felt a renewed interest in really learning to play. I recently bought a Holton/Lelanc A602 in pretty nice shape, and more recently I bought a Martin Imperial that I'm quite curious about.

    So on the Martin Imperial, Made in Elkhart, IN. Bearing S/N 707259. I'm not sure of the year of manufacture, possibly 1964. The Trumpet is in fair condition and needs restoration, including some dent removal.

    I'm a little curious about a few things.

    The middle valve stem is shorter than the 1 and 3 valve. Is this a miss-matched valve? Or does Martin make the Middle valve lower than the other two?

    Also the 3rd valve has to be inserted with the 3 facing the Bell instead of the mouthpiece. What's up with that?

    And finally I found a a piece of brass pipe inside of the leadpipe just ahead of the 3rd valve. This piece of pipe is 1 1/2 inches long and measures .448 ID. and .4815 OD. And for the record the ID of the pipe that the slide that connects to the lead pipe, is about .480. I have played the instrument with and without the pipe installed. And it may sound a little flatter without it verses with it. It does seem like the high notes are easier to hit with the piece of pipe in.

    I hope one of the experts can help me to better understand these conditions I have noticed.

    Thanks for the help
  2. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Pull the valve pistons out and lay them side-by-side. Do they look the same? If so, then something is interfering with #2s returning to the up position.
    If the stem is actually shorter, then it was installed by someone who didn't know what they were doing. You'll need to find one like the others.

    Is the # on the third valve on the spring barrel or the piston? Likely the barrel, and that means the thing was reassembled wrong. If it plays OK don't worry about it.

    The insert is a mystery to me. I don't understand how any restriction or reduction in the volume of the tubing will make it flat. It should make it sharp. I'd leave it out. Perhaps someone else will know.

  3. DMC

    DMC New Friend

    Jun 5, 2009
    Thanks for the ideas on the valves.

    In my decsription of the sound with or without the pipe in the tubing. I did say that the tone seems a little flatter with the pipe out, and sharper with the pipe in.

    I checked the valves over again. And I found that the 2nd valve had a felt and a cork on top of the spring barrel. I removed the cork since the other valves had no cork on top of the spring barrels. So now the valves are all even. I don't know if all of the valves should have cork and felt on top of the spring barrels or not.

    The valve are labeled on the spring barrel. Can the spring barrel be pulled and rotated maybe?

    Thanks for the help
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2009
  4. Brian H. Smout

    Brian H. Smout Piano User


    Martin Imperial cornet #198XXX has no corks only felts in the valves. I have a Benge cornet with the spring cage of one valve reversed or the number was stamped on the wrong side. It can happen. Does it need to have the barrel rotated? If it plays okay then leave it as part of the vintage "charm" of the instrument.


  5. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    Regardless of what's there, corks, felts, or what-not, it's possible that the second valve was right and the other two were off.

    Might want to just take it to a tech for a cleaning, dent removal, and new corks and felts.

  6. DMC

    DMC New Friend

    Jun 5, 2009

    I think you are correct about the corks. I removed the cork on the second valve. Closer examination of the 2nd valve slide revealed that the valve was slightly out of alignment without the cork, when the valve was depressed. I made cork washers for all three valves, the second, and third valves seems to be aligned better now. I can't tell on the third valve, the horn does sound better, and all of the valves are the same height now.:thumbsup:

    I am going to see about getting it restored, I believe it has the potential to be a real gem.

    Thanks for the help.....

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