Review of the Reeves Valve Alignment

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trickg, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    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.
  2. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    Not to jump in late, but I've had a similar positive experiance with the Reeves alignment.

    I took my Bach Bb to the Reeves booth at IAJE in Long Beach last January and (for free) they measured the current alignment of the horn. I'd always been reasonably happy with the instrument, and was pretty surprised when KO said it was one of the most poorly aligned valves they had ever seen (not quite the worst, though). I don't remember the exact measurements (I have the card somewhere), but they were a lot worse than TrickG's.

    Anyway, I was skeptical, but I talked to Jesse (who I went to school with as an undergrad) and she said her horns played better after the alignment, so I decided to give it a shot. They did my Bach Bb and C and the result was definately worth the money. There were three things that were definately improved on my horns.

    The intonation is much better. Fifth partial D, Eb and E are much closer on both instruments.

    The sound, response and feel of the horns are more consistent through the entire range.

    And the most important (to me, at lease) is that it takes less effort to play. If I put the same amount of energy into playing the instrument, I get more sound out of it. I don't mean that I can just play louder (although I probably can), I mean that it takes less effort the play at those loud dynamics. Plus, the soft dynamics are more stable and responsive with a richer sound. I feel like it helps me play more efficiently.

    Interestingly, I noticed these things in rehearsals when I wasn't thinking about if my horn played better. I just played normally and noticed different results.

    One other thing about the process that I don't think I saw in the thread is that the pads they put in the horn are supposedly more stable then normal felt (or whatever they use) and won't compress over time, thus changing the characteristics the horn over time. I think they told me that they were designed to remain in adjustment for nearly ten years. I have no idea if they really last that long, but a stable horn that doesn't feel different after a few months is a nice thing.

    Anyway, that's my story. Not to sound like an add for Reeves, but I'm glad I did it.
  3. 65Strad

    65Strad Pianissimo User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Toms River, New Jersey
    Reeves alignment on Trumpet Tanabe alignment coming up

    I haven't been online for a while and I noticed that there have been quite a few posts since last visiting this thread. I had sent my '72 SN# 70503 Strad out to Reeves and by coincidence had the same appt date as Patricks Schilke.

    I am not a pro or any self proclaimed expert however I have spent quite a bit of time on this horn and the difference was stunningly apparent. My alignment was off most notably with the valves in the open (upstoke position) I have the card upstairs with the specs. At first it took getting used to, as whatever subconcious adjustment I had been making over the years just didn't work afterwords, and I'm grateful for it. The horn is much more open, and yes and requires a lot less effort for a bigger more opulent sound. Reeves provided a leadpipe swab that really works great that gets the leadpipe cleaner than any snake that I have used and will prevent redrot if used.

    I have done a wedding and some church gigs since, and the organist commented positively on the sound. I went to Dillon music in Woodbridge NJ and met a jazz player named Waldron Ricks. He asked to try my 43 Bell Strad ( he was looking for a 43) and offered to buy it on the spot and commented (no kidding) that it was the best 43 he ever played.

    I live in NJ and someone told me that Wayne Tanabe, former owner of the Brass Bow sold his business and is now in Manhattan working with Yamaha as their brass repair and co inovator with Bob Malone. I called and Wayne took the call himself. I have an appt on Monday the 17th with Wayne and he is doing the PVA while I'm there on my brand new 65 Strad Cornet. This horns valve action is outstanding and the horn plays beautifully but Wayne assured me that it will be better. I'm a little reluctant but Wayne along with Reeves is supposed to be the best there is. I don't have to ship it, just take it.

    Here is a link with my new 65 Strad 37 Bell cornet SN #30836 if anyone has an interest in seeing it. Super sweet tone. Waldron had a Mt Vernon that had a Tanabe alignment and the pad feeling was different than the Reeves pad material. I preferred it over Reeves but the proof will be after the alignment is done. I'm glad to have spent the money, it was worth it for me.

  4. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    LOL... that's some BOAT! :D

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