Piccolo trumpet improvements

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Alex Yates, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. loudog

    loudog Piano User

    Jan 4, 2004
    Grand Island, NE
    Hi Alex...

    I think that the easiest thing that you can do is get some Blackburn leadpipes for your horn. My first piccolo was a Yamaha 6810S (short model), which had some intonation issues. My teacher at the time suggested I purchase the pipe, so I bought one in A. It's absolutely amazing how much it improved the horn.

    The intonation and response were greatly improved, and I think that it even affected the sound, although that could have been just due to the fact that I didn't have to lip the pitches all over the place anymore.

    Give Cliff a call...he makes several different models, and will be able to send you one for your Yammie.

    Also, valve alignments really may help...but you may not necessarily need one. I know a lot of people that went and had one done, and it didn't change their horn at all, probably because the valves were already aligned pretty well. Have your repairman take a look at it first. Another thing you can try is (especially if the horn is older) to just replace the valve felts, and the felts on the top of the valve-caps. Over the years they do get worn down.

    Good luck!!!

  2. miles71

    miles71 Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 8, 2004
    I have a Stomvi Elite Picc and the best thing I did for it was get a Blackburn leadpipe. Improved everthing about the horn. I dont play picc enough to warrent a P5-4, but now this horn plays pretty close.

    I know Stus in Westminster Md has the leadpipes in stock usually, or just give Cliff an email.
  3. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

    Aug 11, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Thanks very much everyone for your advice and guidance. I just emailed Cliff (believe it or not, I know him since my Louisville days when his shop was a little building behind his house......my, how time flies!). I will be attending the WCU Festival next weekend to hear Byron Stripling and Chris Martin and Cliff will be one of the exhibitors. I asked if he could please bring an "A" pipe for me. Hopefully he will get the email and bring it with him. (keeping fingers crossed). I am sure it will do the trick for what I want. If that doesn't fix my first valve intonation problems, I will get the trigger Rogerio mentioned. (I will be PMing you Rogerio....thanks for your input). I have had a ring on the third valve for years and it helps a great deal.

    It wouldn't hurt if Cliff's leadpipe helps the response a wee bit either. :-) That would be nice.

    Thanks again!
  4. Billy B

    Billy B Pianissimo User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Des Moines, IA
    The Bob Reeves valve alignment can solve a lot of problems, especially with an older horn. I have also seen new horns that benefitted from this. Bach has a new picc that is tweaked by Reeves. I hear it plays great.
  5. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

    Nov 2, 2003

    If you are happy with the blow of the horn and want to improve the tuning and response a new leadpipe would be a great place to start, but the Blackburn picc pipe I have does change the sound of the horn.
  6. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

    Aug 11, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Yes Jason, that I understand. I will just have to wait until I can try it next week and see what happens. You can be my ears and see what you think. The Yamahas have a bit of a mellower sound than the Schilkes. If the sound gets a little more "brilliant" that will be ok, but I don't want it to get darker. It is fine the way it sounds now. I have had several folks who WERE going to buy a Schilke change their mind after hearing me and then trying my horn. They ended up purchasing the Yammie over the Schilke. It depends on the player mainly and personal taste.
  7. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

    Nov 2, 2003
    I look foward to being the fly on the wall for this one....I am sure I will get to learn a lot from you. :D
  8. tromj

    tromj Piano User

    Jun 4, 2005
    Teaneck, NJ
    I have the same horn, from around the same time. In retrospect, I think ther three valve with the rotary valve might have been a better pick for me, but so goes it. I agree with those that have suggested that you be in touch with Wayne at Yamaha. Who knows, he may be able to do some more tweaking than just a valve alignment, and you could have yourself a prototype for a new Yammie, the AY model.
  9. sinfoniantrumpeter

    sinfoniantrumpeter Pianissimo User

    Apr 10, 2005

    before I sold my Yamaha Custom, I used Cliff's pipes on it. While intonation and response were very much improved, the sound was quite different (I would describe it as darker). In addition, with the pipe being more open, range and endurance can become an issue. Meaning it wouldn't be a great solution if you were doing the Telemann or something.

    But hey, it's worth a try.

    I would also agree with the valve alignment...you'll be surprised.
  10. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

    Aug 11, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Thank you very much everyone. I really appreciate the feedback and am considering the valve alignment solution as well. I am going to try the Blackburn leadpipe next weekend, just for kicks if he has one available, but I am not committed to buying one. I personally think a VA is going to be unavoidable and should be done regardless. This trumpet has given me 13 years of good service, so it is time to give it some TLC and refreshment. It is still very playable, but I know it could use "something" to improve it overall after playing the newer models. The improvement was not so glaring that I want to buy a new one, but since I know these things are available to improve trumpets in general, I am hoping there is help available for my little one.

    Mentioning Wayne, even though he works for Yamaha now, I don't know if he is allowed to tinker with horns anymore......that is, if he has the same kind of contract as Bob Malone. Is there anyone who can PM me contact information for him? I would really appreciate it. If I can send it off to him for some tinkering, that would be GREAT! Thanks for the idea Tromj!

    Thanks again, all of you!

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