Purpose behind heavy caps, buttons, and valve bottoms?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Repair and Modification' started by Mark_Kindy, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. entrancing1

    entrancing1 Mezzo Piano User

    Feb 16, 2010
    Buffalo, NY
    Want Heavy?



  2. feedback@stomvi-usa

    [email protected] Piano User

    Jan 24, 2012
    Newhall California
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I do hear and see the difference. With the flex heavy weight caps, you tense your facial muscles more, look at your eye brows, your cheeks folds. With the conventional caps, you play more relaxed. Again, not physics of the horn, but physics (and chemisty) of the grey/white matter, giving signals to play harder. This is mental. You believe what you want to believe then you just do it. Hay if it works for you, Just do It. But for $130? I like the cheeper version personally, you sounded more relaxed.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I have never seen real research on what weight does/can do to the standing wave IN the trumpet or spectral analysis of what leaves the bell afterwards. Here we are talking about horns not DESIGNED with this weight in mind. Harrelson, Monette and Taylor have heavy horns optimized for how they are built.

    My personal hunch is that it does not change what the audience gets at all, rather only modifies how the player "hears" and "feels" the horn. If the feedback from the horn is damped, the player feels that it is "stuffier", if the feedback is more, the horn supposedly "slots" better. A more brilliant feedback would cause the player to adjust darker and vice versa.

    If the trumpeter hears themselves differently, they will play differently - at least a little.

    The primary use in any case is cosmetic. I have never run into a trumpeter that modded his axe and didn't advertise the fact. If it were only performance considerations, they just would play the damn thing.
  5. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    Two of my horns came with light and heavy bottom caps, from behind, Selmer Concept TT, the heavy caps seem to dampen the higher harmonics somewhat and the sound is darker, Eclipse MS, heavy caps made no difference to my ear.

    I have recently purchased a Spectrum analyzer program for my computer, when I come to grips with its operation I look forward to some interesting results.

    Regards, Stuart.
  6. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    now that sounds like a fun toy!!!
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I believe this supports again the comments I made above this post. Please, everyone reading this, go to the post link in my comment, watch the video embedded in that link, and watch (and listen to) the player before and after he makes the cap change. The sound is louder after the change, but that is because he is playing harder (facial and eye muscles more tense in the after video). This demonstrates well a psychological change in the performance, and quit honestly, I liked the sound better when the demonstrator was more relaxed (before the cap change).
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I really cannot wait to see these results. Thanks for running that test.
  9. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Well, I suppose I'm advertising it now, but I had a set of "stealth" weighted caps on my Bach trumpet for years, made for me by a friend who was a big proponent of heavy horns (until he had back problems...). I don't use them any more, as I like the feel and response of the horn better without them.

  10. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Went fishing with my dad once and it was not a good day. All the guys out there (including us) with their bass boats, radar, multiple rods with just the right lure for every conceivable situation ready to reel them in and nobody had nothing in their boats. As we were all loading up, some little old man in a wooden boat and a couple cane poles with worms attached pulled up to the dock. The bottom of his boat was full of fish. Pretty only counts in beauty contests. ;-)

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