Monel vs Stainless Steel

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by kctrumpeteer, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. kctrumpeteer

    kctrumpeteer Piano User

    Dec 23, 2009
    Not that this would be the first thing to find conflicting information on, but I have heard that stainless steel valves were supposed to be superior, but here recently found two sites while researching the subject where one says Monel valves are superior and of course the other site (selling Taylor trumpets) says that the Stainless steel valves are much better / higher quality.

    My trumpets / Flugel, etc are all monel valves and I can tell a difference in quality between them with all being monel valves so I am sure part of it is dependent on the quality of horn you are getting, but is there a bottome line answer as to which is better?
  2. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    My Eclipse has Stainless Steel, my Selmer has Monel and my Olds Recording has Nickle plated valves, providing I keep the valves and casings clean and oiled each time I play I cannot tell any difference.

    Regards, Stuart.
  3. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    Getzen claims unequivocally that its nickel plated valves are the best
    Getzen Gazette Blog Archive Nickel vs. Monel: The Battle Rages On

    I'm not sure it makes much of a difference in practice if you care for your valves -- two of my good trumpets have monel pistons (Strad and Destino) and my third (Olds Recording) has nickel plated valves. The first two are fairly new horns, the Recording is about 53 years old. All are in good shape. In about 50 years I'll know if the monel pistons hold up as well as the Recording's have -- I'll get back to you then perhaps.

    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  4. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Longevity- 1) stainless 2) Monel 3) nickel

    Action - 1) stainless 2) nickel 3) Monel

    Likeliness to hang(worst first) 1) Monel 2) nickel 3) stainless

    So I like stainless, then nickel and Monel is
    a distant last.
    Claude Gnocchi likes this.
  5. Kujo20

    Kujo20 Forte User

    Sep 29, 2010
    I think that I'm going to have to agree with gzent.

    When I moved from my Xeno (monel) to my Taylor (stainless steel), there was a noticeable difference. Therefore I'm a stainless steel guy. I'm not saying that they're superior, but I like them better.

  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Since I was 14 years old, all of my horns have had monel valves. All of those horns have been good and I've never had a problem with valves. I honestly don't think it makes that much difference.
    Dave Mickley likes this.
  7. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Have a Olds Super from the 60's with nickel plated and a Bach Strad from 1970 with Monel. Both horns have been played extensively. No problems. I'll give you an update in another 50 years.
    Kang-Ling likes this.
  8. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Monel machines beautifully.

    If the valve is harder than the casing, the casing will wear; if softer the valve will wear. If the casing wears the casing needs to be trued and the valve replated and honed. If the valve wears, it needs to be replated and honed.

    I suspect that the stainless steel valves tend to wear the casing. Monel valves wear the valves themselves.

    My nickel-plated valves have stood up and kept compression for a long, long time.

    Monel machines beautifully, however.
  9. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Vulgano Brother -yes, the idea is for one to be stronger than the other, or you wear out both quickly. From what you have indicated, it seems to make more sense to have just the valve wear. You end up replating and honing them. If your valve is harder than the casing then not only do you have the valve cost, but the casing cost as well. Seems like you would want to stay away from having to do anything to the casing, if possible. Thoughts?
  10. Kujo20

    Kujo20 Forte User

    Sep 29, 2010
    Well, if you take good care of your valves (no matter what they're made out of) you should be able to avoid all of that!


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