Chuck, you are far too kind! I gigged on the horn last night - I had several folks in the band comment on my sound last night, and I didn't mention the valve alignment to them. I have to be honest with you and say that I had a little bit of trouble with the horn on the first set - until I figured out why I was having the trouble. The intonation "point" on this trumpet i.e. how far the tuning slide has to be pulled, has changed fairly significantly. I was simply pulled too far out. (I really didn't get a chance to tune up prior to kicking off with the downbeat of the set) To further explain what I mean by "intonation point", I'm usually fairly consistent and since this band plays with backing tracks, the band is tuned more or less to A-440 all of the time, so there is very little variance with the range of where my tuning slide needs to be in order to play in tune. In the case of this trumept with this mouthpiece, (for me, it changes with the mouthpiece - my Stork 3C has to come in about 3/16" from where the Schilke mouthpiece is in tune) I am usually right around where the silver plating changes to brass on the tuning slide - sometimes I little more and I can see a sliver of brass, sometimes a little less, just past the line. Not anymore. I made note of that fact in the practice room and thought I had compensated for it prior to kicking off, but I had to move in even further than I thought. Of course all of this is on a trumpet that now blows differently than it did before - it IS more open, but I do believe that the sound is also a bit fuller. Anyway, last night probably wasn't the best gig to review - for one, physically, I'm tired. I just haven't slept well for most of the week. For two, I didn't have this trumpet for 2 full weeks, so I didn't practice as much as I should have and the practice that I did was on LB Strad, which plays totally different. I'll post in another update after Saturday's gig.