Purpose behind heavy caps, buttons, and valve bottoms?

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

  1. reedy

    reedy Piano User

    Jul 31, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK
    Ive got a heavy set of valve caps with my Selmer TT, and the slotting is easier with the caps on but I get a very dull sound, although it can be nice and dark in a jazz solo setting, but not great for lead, the slotting is better but the sound is not....
  2. Chuck Cox

    Chuck Cox Forte User

    Oct 3, 2008
    Cary NC
    Accessories for the trumpet exist because there is a market for them. Kind of like cell phone covers. I think most of us more experienced players know that it does nothing.......but it sure is neat looking !
    kingtrumpet likes this.
  3. Lambert

    Lambert New Friend

    Feb 28, 2012
    Fredericksburg, VA
    There is a very nice video on Youtube, by Harrelson Trumpets describing the theory of heavy trim kits. It simply says that the vibrations go out of the lightweight tops, and bottoms of the valve, and you lose a lot of sound that way. The heavyweight trim allows for the vibration to travel it's entire journey to bell flare. Sorry if that's not what you were looking for.
  4. Wondra

    Wondra Pianissimo User

    Mar 29, 2007
    C'mon now...that's really over the top. You and the other more experienced players "know" it does nothing? What is your basis for a statement like that?
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006

    Chuck is speaking from real experience. Maybe the expression "nothing" is a bit to strong. Perhaps he just realizes that adding a few grams to hardware does not improve the musical statement made to the audience. If the player believes that magic has happened, that can be enough.

    I personally have had the experience that fine horns do what they are supposed to by themselves and pimping does not make them "better", or ever "different" as far as the audience is concerned. We do hear ourselves differently and that is probably enough to help sell lots of these things to players that do not practice enough for anything to make a big difference. Unfortunately, the added income generated by these trim kits has not served to keep the price of the horns lower.

    It is a different case when a horn is designed heavy. Then they are completely different animals. Valve cap weights have different functions on a Monette or Bach. I've been there and done that. My Bach CL229H no longer has any additional weight. It made a difference in a very negative way.
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    The truth??
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Not really too strong. Watch the video used in this clip to demonstrate this point. The guy selling the idea demonstrates this concept very strongly:

    "When I have the original caps on, I play relaxed... When I put on the fancy, dancy $140 caps, I tighten up and blow my face off."

    Fairly strong evidence this is a psych job. So if you really want to pay $140 to play better understanding this concept, my wife (the psychiatrist) is taking new patients.

    [Hay, I would have otherwise recommend patkins (Dr. Atkins) but in 6 months, we will be putting 2 kids through college]
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
  8. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    There are enough pros here to convince me that the audience in a blindfold test wouldn't have a clue as any difference and the player if blindfolded as well.
  9. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    I couldn't find the video. Too many to scroll through and it wouldn't change my mind anyway.
  10. Wondra

    Wondra Pianissimo User

    Mar 29, 2007
    Well...I speak from real experience as well...40 years of it. I've also taken the time to do my own research, learn, and above all, use diligent practice as my best approach to solving my playing problems. That being said, I know that heavy caps do make a difference, especially when they are part of the design of a horn. I also have some vintage horns that I would never consider "heavy capping" because I appreciate the original design and want to keep it that way. While each of us has our own "truth", me included, what I react to are blanket statements that are stated as well-known fact - I think it's fair to ask for the basis of statements like that.

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