Monel vs Stainless Steel

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

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I use them all. No problems with any of them. The valve quality is decent on any good horn. The "important" differences are the blow and the sound as well as how well the horns playing matches the subliminal expectations of the player.
  2. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    The only thing I've ever read about silver-plated valves was how some repair techs used to silver plate the unplated rotors in old french horns when doing a rebuild. It turns out that silver plate makes a much better lapping compound (as it wears off, quickly) than bearing surface.
  3. kctrumpeteer

    kctrumpeteer Piano User

    Dec 23, 2009
    I didn't realize that Adams purchased Bauerfeind... I thought it was a German owned company and I don't recall for sure but I think S.E. Shire may have also used that valve block as well. A couple of years ago when I got back into playing I checked out some new horns including a custom job that someone used a Bach bell with a Bauerfeind valve cluster and it was a nice sounding horn, but it looked like something you would have found in a metal shop / garage and at the time I didn't want to buy an "unknown" one of a kind... The S.E. Shire, however played very nice.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The information that I have been able to find is that on Dec. 7 2009, the dutch company "Adams Instrumentenfabriek B. V." took over Kinner & Babilon Ventilsysteme GmbH (manufacturer of Bauerfeind valves). The previous boss reliquished control at the same time.

    The quality of those valves is a function of the TLC involved in the production. Germans are well known for their precision manufacturing. That is more based on attitude than secret technology. If Adams tries to "optimize" the process, the valves will change, probably not for the good.

    I have no information about the quality going down. They are not far away from me, maybe I just need to pay them a visit....................

    This thread is interesting and most of the responses show the same naive approach. It isn't the material, it is how the materials are used and the care that the player takes. This is not like ceramic brakes. Nothing on the horn is subject to incredible stress except the player. Pay attention, keep the horn clean and you will have excellent performance and reliability from ANY of the options.
  5. nordlandstrompet

    nordlandstrompet Forte User

    Apr 5, 2008
    rowuks is right about Adams taking over Bauerfeind in 2009.
    If this is good or bad, only time will tell, but family businesses taken over/sold to
    a larger company is very tricky stuff....

    Monel vs stainless steel:
    Stainless is much harder to machine than monel, takes more labor time
    to work, and is a more expensive metal than monel.
    If the valves are lapped perfect, taken good care of, cleaned & lubricated properly,
    both metals should work well.
    The stainless would win the long run, but we need the action right now?

    Here is a small part of an article about Bauerfeind, posted in "Norsk Trompetforum" in 2006:

    Gerald Babilon is the owner of the company, which is an old family business.
    They have three employees and is located in the villages Nauheim just south of Frankfurt.

    The bright and spacious rooms located in a nice private backyard and is packed full of CNC equipment.
    And, here we are talking about precision and control at a high level, where everything is carefully monitored and controlled way.

    It produces approx. 1000 valve sections in the year and all piston valves (Perinett valves).

  6. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    I too have variations on the valve materials in my small array of instruments - if the valves stay clean, and are properly lubricated, they are ALL faster than me. The different 'feel' in each valve set is part of that instruments personality.

    If your valves are giving you trouble, and your instrument is of reasonable quality, then you are not paying attention to either good maintenance practices or you are side-loading the valve stems.

    Look in my photo album here on TM, the cover on the "Ted Does Community (Show Band, Stage Band, Marching Band)" album and you will find that I play with my trumpet rotated about 40 deg clockwise so that my fingers push the valves straight down and my left wrist is straight - I don't need too much analysis on this (Heaven knows I've done that) - but the grip works for me and the valves never give me trouble. Remember, oil is cheap.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  7. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    +1 Ted, IMO the major difference in feel of valves are the springs, the size of wire, the number of turns, the temper and amount of preload.

    The best to me is my 1947 Selmer Grand Prix, next the Radials and Eclipse, the worst 1957 Conn Connstellation. I never have valve problems as I oil them each time I take an instrument out of its case.

    Regards, Stuart.
  8. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    I have a horn that was purchased from a dealer that had been a demo horn. 1st valve piston is stainless and 2nd & 3rd valve pistons are monel. I was informed that there was aproblem with the 1st valve so a replacement piston was ordered. The manufacturer had switched from monel to stainless so that was what was sent. I would dare to have anyone by feel to tell the difference between valves. My preconcieved conception was thrown out the window after playing this horn. I keep all valves lubricated and clean and they all feel the same. Maybe because I'm just an amateur and a geezer I am not qualified to give my opinion but that is my finding on this horn.
  9. sirspinbad

    sirspinbad Pianissimo User

    Dec 11, 2011

    geez i do that in a couple of solos :)
  10. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008

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