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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Sterling, Oct 29, 2009.
I am seeing O rings as spacers on bottom valve caps more often. Is there any sonic reason for them?
Here's one train of thought on the subject...
Adjusting Valve Cap Tension
Thanks Dale, I was driving by the local hardware store yesterday and had my trumpets in the trunk.................... So I bought a set for my Bach 43 Bflat and my Bach 184L, both with heavy valve caps. Something else to tweak and complain about instead of actually blaming the nut on the other end of the mouthpiece!
That's exactly the two horns I have! (at least, the two I play the most). I tried o-rings on my 184 per the Osmun instructions and couldn't really tell any difference. I found I like both the 43 and 184 with a heavy cap on 1 & 3 and a regular cap on 2. Probably all in my head, but that's part of the game...
From the link:
"Properly adjusted bottom valve caps can improve the response, intonation, and flexibility of the trumpet. The tension of the caps is controlled with neoprene o-rings, which are installed on the outside of the casing, over the threads. Screwing the bottom cap up against the o-ring compresses it, tensioning the threads. In order to perform satisfactorily the o-ring needs to be both thick and of a sufficiently high durometer to produce the necessary tension. Once the o-rings have been installed the thread tension of each bottom cap can be adjusted. ...Once you have found this subtle spot, the bad news is that you have to do fine tuning on a regular basis. Changes in temperature and humidity as well as the stretching of the rings can change the whole game. A recommended change of approximately once a month will keep you from having over stretched rings."
Sounds like a lot of (constant) work to fing the sweet spot...
On a "pimped" standard trumpet, the results are probably more cosmetic. I did some tests in the late 90s with my Bach 72* and 229H CL. I had just purchased a Monette Ajna2 where the difference was very noticable. On the Bachs no amount of weight or tension made them any better. On my C the intonation even got worse. Ever since I am a believer in comprehensive design. If heavy is what you want, you have to add weight at all of the critical areas, not just mouthpiece and valve caps.
I realize the charm of playing trumpet designer and believing that for a couple of bucks, being able to achieve what well informed engineers were not able to.
On my Monette (in the mean time a Prana3), I don't play with any sweet spots. I just tighten the 3rd valve alot and the other two are just snug enough not to be loose.
Thanks Rowuk. I have no problem 'pimped' on a standard horn, with no sonic difference. If anything, the O rings will keep the bottom caps from being frozen on my least used horns. Like I previously stated, I like the heavy valve caps on my two Bach's because of the way they feel in my hand.
My MF Prana came with no O rings. I put them on to try and didn't like it. It seemed to tighten up the trumpet. Notes clicked in a little better but over all it didn't seem to play better. I didn't like it at all for lead playing.
I might see about O-rings on mine. Sonically, it'll make squat difference, but at least I can get them off again! Dang valve oil flows down, turns to glue, and good luck getting them off.
But on my horn, heh, no sonic difference.
Classic True tones don't need no stinkin O-rings