Ok my oldest boy is 10 and I have three little boy's for anyone that does not already know. Ok so he basicly get's first dips on most of my trumpet's because none of them are collectors items but all have value to me because I like the way they sound or look plus none of my trumpet's cost me more then $100. So he has wanted a silver trumpet from day one. So when my 1946 Holton in silver arived he had to have it. So since I got for $26 and had him in mind away's I let him have it. He sounds really good on it too. Well last night he decided to play the Jupiter for the first time. He would not use it or take to school before because it has a preety nasty crinkle in the bell in a 1 inch by 1 inch area. The rest of the trumpet is like brand new. I have been rotating betweeen that one and my Reynolds when I practice. So last night he played it and it sounded really really good for him.....So know inspite of the 1x1 wrinkle or more like multiple wrinkles he wants to take that one to school as his main axe. I told him no this time though. I want to either get the stuff to try and burnish out those wrinkles or get aother bell for it. I would like for it to look completly new before I send him to school with it. Plus I think he is switching trumpets too much for a beginner. If Ilet him switch yet again that would make four trumpet changes in one school year and this is his first year playing! So I am thinking he needs to have some consistency at this point. Now what suprized me is that in spite of his vanity and he is rather vane he has the sense to fully understand that the sound he produces on a trumpet is far more important then it's appearance!! He was willling to give up haveing the only silver trumpet in his class and willing to play a horn with a nasty wrinkled area onthe top of the bell for it's better sound! To me that is a really good sign comeing from a 10 year old! I am also trying to work on the vanity part but I am trying to do it in a positive way and in a way that he does not know I am working on him if you follow me. Oh and he told me a story about a girl with a Chinesse made trumpet. It is an Eastman 301 rental from Marshall Music just like the one he had for his first two months before I bought him a trumpet off Ebay. They had to use a 1/2 bottle of valve oil to get it to move at all. So it is back at Marshall's and they gave her another one. It was brand new at the start of the year though and you would think that 1/2 a school year would not be asking too much for a trumpet's valves to hold up to! Makes me seriously wounder about the more expensive Eastman models!!! I know I was not impressed with my son's Eastman valves. The fit and finish of all the other parts was great on his Eastman 301 but the valves never felt that great. They where monel valves but they where so light weight that i questioned their durability. I know his always felt slugish going down and comeing up. In fact after two months of use the valves where showing some signs of abnormal wear and the late 1970's early 1980's Holton T602 that replaced it had better feeling valves and looked to be in better shape and they where also monel but weighted a lot more. I have a theory as to why so many otherwise nice chineese trumpets are haveing valve issues. I think they are makeing the valve's base tubeing from tube stock that is too thin. Even if they are useing the world greatest monel supplier if the foundation for the monel is not rigid enough then it will flex under pressure. The flexing distors the shape of the valve inthe bore. the monel try'ss to keep up by reshapeing itself as needed until it has worn abnormaly in an effort to make up for all the flexing. Once the monel is abnormaly worn you get the valve starting to get out of round due to the tube wall flexing and then they stick or can no longer seal well enough to play. Monel does not add any structural rigidity or ifit does not much to the base tubeing it is applied to. I even think that this is more then likely the reason that Jupiter has had some issues with it's monel valves over the year's but not witht he Nickle Silver ones or the Stainless steel ones. The Nickle silver even the platedmaterial if applied to any type of steel tubeing or copper tubeing is going to add a significant structural reinforment to the base tube due tot he nature of nickle. The Stainless steel ones are more then likely either solid stainless stell or they are takeing a stainless steel sleeve and pressing it over the same sleeve used for the Monel valves so it would by default add structural reinforcement to the base tubeing. Pistons and bore's are preety easy to design. You have to have a rigid bore and you have to have a piston that is not going to flex under pressure. If you do those two things well then both the piston and bore will last for a long long time. So rigid bore, rigid piston, decent materials and fitting and good lubrication equals almost trouble free valves for the life time of the owner. This is one reason why I am not real happy with how light most valves have gotten on many moder trumpet's! I also am not a huge fan of the extruded tube's being used today for the valve engine on most trumpet's! I think the old method of casting the valve engine/block from cast bronze or copper is a much better way to make them if lasting durability is the concern. this also put's the mass where you want it. If they want to keep useing tubeing instead of casting's they should consider makeing the walls at least twice as thick. Same thing with the valve itself. they need to consider makeing the walls thicker. Look how heavy and solid Getzen valves fell same thing for Old's valves and Reynolds and many of the other old brands....My sons Holton has some insanely heavy valves and they have lasted from 1946 till today.