PVA for Schilke

Discussion in 'Horns' started by pangaea, Apr 28, 2004.

  1. pangaea

    pangaea Pianissimo User

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    Nov 10, 2003
    Well, after playing nowave's Tanabified Schilke, I was converted. I sent my B1Lb off a few weeks ago to the Brass Bow and had Wayne do a PVA.

    My horn is about two years old. The orignal felts and pads were never quite right, even after a year-and-a-half of solid playing. They just didn't compress enough. I recently got replacements from the factory. These were much better but still didn't match the feeling I experienced on nowave's horn. So I scheduled the PVA (and an ultrasonic cleaning as well).

    The result is a horn with dramatically improved valve action and a fantastically open lower register (if any of you listened to my Wild Thing horn comparison clips in the WT forum above, you hear the pre-PVA schilke). It's really quite amazing. A small part of this can be attributed to the cleaning, but not much--I've always kept my horns clean and leadpipes swabbed frequently.

    So the question is--given how fine Schilkes are (the best valves and slides I've ever experienced, the best "fit and finish" out there) why doesn't the factory do something about the valve alignment situation? it seems like it would be a relatively small problem to remedy, and something that a trumpet of this caliber deserves.

    Just a few thoughts from another Schilke Loyalist.
     
  2. nowave

    nowave New Friend

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    Nov 16, 2003
    brooklyn
    It is odd that Schilke would hold to such tight tolerances in every area of the horn except valve alignment.

    I had never even heard of this process until fairly recently, and I'm pretty skeptical about anything that costs money and sounds vaguely voodoo-like -- but I'm now a convert too, and would never suffer with Schilke's mile-high pads again!
     
  3. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

    684
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    Nov 27, 2003
    Denver
    What's "voo-doo-like" about aligning the valves? It's one area that can be seen when it's bad by depressing the 2d valve and observing how the valve does or doesn't line up with the ports. When you consider how different a .462" horn can feel compared to a .459" horn it's easy to understand how an 1/8th inch misalignment (.125") could impact response.

    Dave
     
  4. chetbaker

    chetbaker Pianissimo User

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    Nov 17, 2003
    GEORGIA
    For the past 5-6 years I've had EVERY horn I've owned PVA'd by Wayne. Needless to say he does GREAT work and the PVA has ALWAYS made a difference in how the horn played....some a BIG difference...some a smaller difference...it depends on how far out of alignment the horn was before Wayne got a hold of it! If you think Schilke has a problem with their alignments...Wayne told me that the Schilkes have one of the BETTER alignments compared to the other horns out there. So imagine what the others "look like" when Wayne gets them! :roll: BTW...I noticed a couple of you are playing a B1L. I've had one out on trial for the past couple of weeks. I haven't played a Schilke tuning bell trumpet for about 20 years but I have to say the more I get used to the different blow the more I REALLY like the horn. VERY centered...VERY bright...VERY even up and down the horn...VERY easy upper register...and GREAT intonation! I think this one might be a keeper! :D

    Butch
     
  5. WFUnix

    WFUnix New Friend

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    Dec 8, 2003
    I had my B2L's valves aligned by Wayne as well. He did the cryo treatment at the same time (speaking of voodoo). I liked the horn before, but afterwards I could tell a huge difference.
     
  6. theoldmaz

    theoldmaz New Friend

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    Jan 30, 2004
    Oak Park, Illinois
    PVA's and other matters

    When I was a student of Will Scarlett's in the 60's and I thought I wanted to be a orchestral player like he was, I'd come in to every other lesson with some new equiptment change or modification which seemed to be a "huge" improvement at the time. After a while I began to wonder why my playing wasn't maturing as fast as I'd hoped. He explained that each change required a period of adjustment, almost two steps back and one step forward. An improvement in playing level develops with physical conditioning and intellectual(musical) growth NOT equiptment "musical chairs"
    I know we all look better in new clothes, but does anyone think Horowitz would have sounded like Billy Joel on a Yamaha instead of a Steinway?
    For those of you who doubt my thesis that the player is vastly more important than the instrument, listen to Bernie Glow on the Mosaic reissue of the old Woody Herman recordings. Or better still, try to find an S42L(Faddis Model)and try to play along with some of his records. Wouldn't we all love to be able to do that? Would a PVA help? I don't think so. Would it hurt? No, but, I'd be out a hundred bucks and I'd still play the same.
     
  7. chetbaker

    chetbaker Pianissimo User

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    Nov 17, 2003
    GEORGIA
    ....."Would a PVA help? I don't think so"....

    Help with what? (1) Allow you to play like Faddis?...no. (2) Help get the horn to play at it's maximum as far as ease of playing, intonation, freer blowing, etc? Then yes...it WOULD be worth it to the owner of the horn since it may make it a little easier for THAT person to reach his/her potential. BTW...if I'm not mistaken...Faddis has his Schilkes PVA'd by Tanabe. Maybe he wants to play like someone else (just kidding)! :roll: :? :shock: My 2 cents!

    Butch
     
  8. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

    488
    4
    Dec 8, 2003
    Carson City, NV.
    Yep, there is a testimonial by John Faddis on the Brass Bow site. I have a Constellation that slots some notes very poorly and the felts obviously are too small. The horn has a PVA date of May 21 and I'm looking forward to having a horn that plays to the best of its' ability. That, ultimately, is what a PVA is about. Why struggle to play a horn that has a mechanical problem? You'd fix your car----why not your horn?

    Bill
     
  9. chetbaker

    chetbaker Pianissimo User

    138
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    Nov 17, 2003
    GEORGIA
    Bill,
    EXACTLY!!! 8)

    Butch
     
  10. theoldmaz

    theoldmaz New Friend

    17
    1
    Jan 30, 2004
    Oak Park, Illinois
    Valve Alignment

    Although proper valve alignment would appear to be a fairly straight forward scientific concept, the subjective reponse to aftermarket corrections is something less than total satisfaction.
    Bob Reeves has been correcting "faulty alignment" for professional players for decades and I have no doubt the majority of those instruments played better afterwards. But I wish I had a dollar for every Schilke sent back to the factory to be returned to original specs.
    All of which brings me to that PVA endorsement by Jon Faddis on the Brass Bow web site. Anyone who knows Jon knows that he likes to experiment but he knows exactly what he wants out of a trumpet. When he was in town last March playing a series of concerts with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, he asked Pat Hund(Schilke's valve expert) to undo the PVA done by the Tanabe shop saying it made the horn play "stuffy"
    How could this be? I have no idea? Life is too short for me to worry about optimizing my trumpet. I'd rather spend my time learning some new tunes. It is about the music, isn't it?
     

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