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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by dizforprez, Aug 8, 2004.
This time I checked and I know I hit the submit button
I probably should have added in my last post, that the Rotary Alignment, has nothing to do with either the up or down stroke alignment that is measured by using Digital Calipers, then after the alignment is set and finished, then re checked again by re-measuring, again, and then verifying the end results by visually looking using a bore scope. There could be other adjustments as well that could take place, but this is on a horn by horn basis. And in doing so this is my way of insuring my customers of the highest standard of product consistency, and keeping my horns of the highest in quality. This entire process can take up to a whole day if needed. The end result is a GREAT INSTRUMENT.
Best To All,
Flip Oakes â€œWild Thing Trumpetsâ€
COME AND HEAR THE DIFFERENCE
"To read what Wild Thing owners say about their horns, click on this"
2559 Mottino Dr.
Oceanside, Ca. 92056
To Hear the Flip Oakes Wild Thing Trumpet go to
OK, Mr. Oakes ... Mr. Turner has every right to be away. I just wanted to bring the subject back to the top.
Why doesn't the manufacturer do this? Digital calipers are easy enough to obtain. I would still be peeved at any new horn (obviously you are saying this is not a problem with the Wild Thing) that had an alignment that was way off.
Also, my point was two fold. Mr. Turner said that sometimes the rotational alignment was off. Why would manufacturers be better at rotational alignment than up and down alignment? Do you have to de-solder and re-solder some valves?
Second is the idea that statically, a new horn even if tolerances were out in manufacturing -- the errors should average out and not add up. This is to the manufacturer's benefit. So my supposition stands, that a new horn should need little, or no adjustment of this type.
And even if it did, the manufacturer should do it.
I know this puts you in a pickle. A strong selling point of the Wild Thing is the tweaking and aligning. But to say you do too much of it and you would be saying that Kanstul's manufacturing process is not that good and you are also a Kanstul dealer.
So I guess I do not expect an answer from you or Mr. Turner. But Mr. Turner quoted Bob Reeves and used large bold red letters to drive home his point. I simply challenged it on what I know and have learned about statistics and manufacturing processes.
Am I challenging Mr. Turner and Mr. Reeves? Yes, I guess I am. Who am I to challenge them? No one with a name that anyone would recognize in the brass world and you, Mr. Turner and Mr. Reeves have that kind of reputation.
Call me bold or stoooopid.
Oh, and another thought. After the casting of the valve block it cannot be changed in any real significant way. If the valve block is poorly made, no amount of adjusting would fix it. Why would a manufacturer be able to make valves and valve blocks that can be aligned (very exact tolerances) but not be able to align them? You see the problem. It is (to me) having your cake and eating it too.
The manufacturers are GREAT at making parts, but not so great at aligning them. I guess this goes against common sense and logic.
Thanks to Mr. Oakes I have some new information and some questions answered.
My first stipulation was that all the errors should, by all statistically sound principles, occasionally add to zero. In other words, a horn from the factory should be absolutely perfect on occassions. Mr. Oakes assured me that does happen.
But often tolerances while approaching zero, often do not get to zero. By the same token, statistically speaking, occasionally a horn will be very far off in tolerances as all the errors happen to add in the same direction or mostly in the same direction. This should be quite rare.
This makes sense that a curve of some type would occur. If the process was random, the curve would be a normal bell shape. But the process is not random, as any factory will push for better quality. Hence a skewed distribution is more likely. The mode is not going to be around zero, but likely to be around a number that is not perfect (without data it would be a guess). This is of course, measuring defects (problems) so that the numbers are all positive (essentially an absolute value).
Without data, there is no way to know, but I would roughly guess the curve would look something like:
The process is skewed and since the tolerances are so tight, zero is more rare than "a bit off." I am not sure that makes sense, but it is common in statistical analysis.
If you are used to quality control charts, such as an X bar chart it might look something like this:
The blue lines are acceptable (minimal) limits. The red line is PERFECT. The area outside the blue lines is WAY off or unacceptable. You can see that a few are perfect or on the line. Actually every time the curve crosses the line does not mean a perfectly aligned horn. The circled area is a horn were rarely, all the problems happen to be in one direction (very rare).
A majority of new horns are simply off just a bit. They can be better. I know that Mr. Oakes checks and adjusts his horns. Others may also (Eclipse, Taylor, etc.).
So a new horn may be off a bit. Some come perfect (a few) some are really awful (very, very few). From my conversation with Mr. Oakes, a PVA is worth it for a good and discriminating player. Most new horns are close, but can be improved. Mr. Oakes even took the time to tell me how he does the adjustments to the Wild Thing trumpet before it is shipped.
This make sense both logically and statistically to me. I want to thank Mr. Oakes for taking the time to talk with me so I could get my mind around it. He provided great information. The analysis is mine so if you disagree, you can argue with me
BTW, I would think it would be in the best interest of the manufacturers to make certain the valves are aligned. I guess it would add a cost and quality generally assures things are within tolerances. We are used to paying less and less for things. Value added happens outside the factory.
Most players couldn't tell the difference between a slight off horn and a PVA horn. But I would think "professional level" horns should be made differently. But except for some exceptions, that doesn't seem to be the case for most factory horns. Within tolerance seems to be the norm.
Part of the problem we run into is the type of material the valve upstroke and downstroke pads are made of. Most production horns come with some sort of felt pads. From what I have seen, these pads are usually oversized when the horn is new. The manufacturers may be thinking as the horn is "broken in", the pads will compress, thus helping the valves reach better alignment. However, this means things are slowly changing. Also, what happens if you get valve oil on the felt pads? Eventually, the pads compress to the point where the valves go past their perfect alignment. Bob Reeves and the Brass Bow both use a type of pad material that is a lot denser than felt, and will last a lot longer before the alignment changes.
My question to the manufacturers is, why do some of them continue to use felt pads, when there are better alternatives available?
I still say that a manufacturer can do a good job of lining up the valves during the assembly process. I also understand that this would add to the cost of the horn, which is why certain large manufacturers cannot or will not take the time to do it. Personally, I test a horn by the sound and feel I am getting while playing it. I can tell if the valves are off enough to make a difference.
This hits it! I don't know why they use felt pads. I am sure not every manufacturer does, but felt is inexpensive! As for precision alignment, it would add a cost. At least a $100 or more in labor.
A Bach Strad is the best example in the world of pricing problems. Warren Buffet once said the "Internet is a race to the bottom." Indeed. You go into your local music store and they will have a Strad or two or more. For example, the internet price for a 180S37 is $1500. Very likely this same horn will be $1700 to $1800 in many music stores. Why? Because at the Internet price they make less than $100 per horn. Sometimes a lot less. Why mess with stuff for such a low margin? People get peeved and go to an online store and save a couple of hundred.
We are not going to pay an extra $100 to support the local music store. Would everyone pay an extra $100 for any horn? With the Chinese junk horns doing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of business the pricing has become very pressured. Consumers don't know junk from quality student horns.
My guess is that the factory horns are made within tolerances. If you can tell the difference of a PVA, you pay to have one done. I am not much of a trumpet tech (but I can fix any trombone), but Mr. Oakes explained some of the tools used and the process that goes into it. Not only labor intensive, it takes a very skilled person and some time in checking and rechecking. Not a factory type of activity if they want to keep the prices down.
Remember, some horns come from the factory in very good shape. Some just a little off and it might be hard to tell. Some a bit more and a good player would notice a difference a PVA would make. I doubt the big manufacturers are going to do it anytime soon.
Thought: Does Monette do a PVA to the highly expensive Monette line where cost is not as much a factor?
Monette aligns the valves during the assembly process. I have personally heard of a few instances where Monette owners sent their horns to one of the places that does aftermarket valve alignments. In all cases, the horn came back playing worse than it did before the alignment. Monette re-did the valves, but it cost the customer dearly.
On certain makes, an aftermarket valve alignment WILL help. (I have experienced this).