Sonic/chemical cleaning

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Clarkvinmazz, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. Clarkvinmazz

    Clarkvinmazz Forte User

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    Hey all, so I may be showing my ignorance here, xD but what are the pros and cons of sonic vs chemical cleaning? Is either one any better? And also, does anyone know in the buffalo New York area where I could get either done? Any help on this would be appreciated.
     
  2. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    The closest person to you that I know is Ed Diefes in Marcellus. I decide on a case by case basis whether I use chemicals or ultrasonic. Often I use both for different parts of the horn.
     
  3. Clarkvinmazz

    Clarkvinmazz Forte User

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    .
     
  4. Clarkvinmazz

    Clarkvinmazz Forte User

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    Hmm....I'd like someone a little closer. I will keep looking! And what about the differences? Pros and cons?
     
  5. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

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    OP,

    You may have received your most useful response from Ivan, given that you appear to know little about either process. Ivan knows his stuff and has a long-time well-earned reputation for being helpful here on TM.

    This link, which was easy to find, may help you understand ultrasonic cleaning: Ultrasonic Cleaning 101. There are lots of web resources concerning chem-cleaning too. Many shops do not offer both options. I have had fine results with chem-cleaning on a couple of my instruments. Good luck.

    Jim
     
  6. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    And as a counter to comebacks reply, I've had a horn chem cleaned and it screwed up the valve action on my Getzen Severinsen. Was it the chemical cleaning or the tech? I don't know but I won't have it done to another horn. Sonic seems to be the "wave" of the future. It really depends on whether the tech is competent. BTW, the manager of the store that did the cleaning said it was common to have to lap the valves back in after a chemical cleaning. NOT ON MY HORNS! Buyer beware!
     
  7. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    Depending on all sorts of things, not the least of which is the way you hold your mouth whilst doing it (;-)yes, really, there is quite an element of Black Art in all this) both chemical cleaning and ultrasonic cleaning can leave a powder residue on the inner surfaces which then has to be removed by the tech before handing off the instrument. The term "vigorous excoriation" comes to mind.

    The purpose of Chemical or Ultrasonic cleaning is to remove the buildup of lime scale and other deposits. These deposits will decrease the clearance between slide inner and outer tubing and between pistons and casings, and will leach the Zinc out of the brass leading to red rot - eventually eating right through the tube. We do not want to remove all the oxidation by immersing it in acid, making the brass shiny (except for the valve casings which should be shielded from oxidation by a coating of valve oil), because this exposes raw shiny brass to more oxidation, eventually thinning out the metal.

    As I stated before, I like to decide on a case by case basis, using my instinct, on whether to use the CHemical or whether to use the Ultrasonic. I like cleaning pistons in the ultrasonic because this cleans a lot of crud (often from the factory) out of the inside.
     
  8. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

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    Good answers by Ivan and everyone else. And like the OP, I don't know much about the pros/cons either.

    I've never had a tech offer was Ivan does (use a combination of processes). I suspect that areas you can't reach with a brush might be better served by ultrasonic cleaning. But I'm just speculating.

    Also, like tabylou8, I've had some disappointing experiences getting my horns cleaned. In my case, I've had a horn or two come back dirty after it was "cleaned" by a tech. Since then, I mostly clean my horns myself. I swab the leadpipe and my mouthpiece regularly, flush the horn every month or two, and do a full cleaning with warm water and dishwashing liquid once or twice a year.

    Mike
     
  9. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    If you do this religiously, you will never need to take your horns to a tech for a chemical clean. Oh boy, I cannot afford too many customers like youROFLROFL
     
  10. Clarkvinmazz

    Clarkvinmazz Forte User

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    I do indeed do this- however, as I obtained a new instrument that has deffinetly NOT been cleaned regularly, although I gave it a bath, I'd like the extra cleanliness. And I've read a few other cases where the chemical cleaning has affected the valves, so I will most likely go with the sonic.
     

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