Trumpet Valve Alignment?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Eeviac, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. Eeviac

    Eeviac Piano User

    Can trumpet valves go out of alignment? If I pull one of the tuning slides and look in there, it looks like they're not lined up, with the holes I'm looking into.

    Or is that just normal?
  2. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    There are valve alignment issues sometimes, and valve alignments can help the overall intonation of the horn,
    often coming out of the shop, the makers will just put the valves in with the rough estimates, but with the mass-production, small differences happen.
    Usually, this isn't too much of a problem, except in rare cases. I don't think it usually gets worse though.
    If you are really worried about it, talk to a teacher or a shop technician about a valve alignment
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2008
  3. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    Seeing the edge of the port holes is a sign of mis-alignment. It can be fixed. Take it to a technician, or someone well know for alignments if you want a long lasting solution.
    Worn felts can cause your valves to be mis-aligned.
  4. Eeviac

    Eeviac Piano User

    Seeing the edge of the port holes?? How about seeing like TONS of the edge of the port holes??

    I'm not inclined to mess with a horn that works, but looks like I will learn about this.
  5. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    When you pull the valve slide, are you depressing the valve? Looking in the valve slides, you can only check downstroke alignment for that valve.
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    if you pull the second valve slide and look inside, nothing will or should line up. Only when you depress the valve is the tubing connected. This is true for all piston valves, the second is shortest and easiest to visualize.

    When the valves are "aligned" several things can happen:
    All of the ports are measured to determine how far out they are, or if the manufacturing is sloppy so that it would not be possible at all to get proper alignment. Once that is done, the easiest fix is in the up and down direction. Thicker or thinner pads will offer the best comprimise. If the valve is off in a left right direction, the valve guide will have to be custom made OR the valve unsoldered from the guide assembly and turned slightly then resoldered.
  7. crazyandy88

    crazyandy88 Pianissimo User

    Nov 3, 2007
    Fayetteville, AR
    I just had a Bob Reeves valve alignment done on my strad. It made a lot of difference in the blow and sound of the horn. You just have to call them and make a mail-in appointment and ship it. Then they do it in one day and send it back.
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Valve guides and felts can wear, throwing the instrument out of alignment. I have NEVER experienced an alignment that produced a SERIOUS difference. Frosting on the cake, yes - night and day, never. I have also purposely malaligned the valves to try and quantify the difference. I have to admit, either I have horns (Monette Ajna2/Prana3, Bach 229H, Selmer D/Eb) that don't show the difference well, or the difference is not as great as some claim.
    I replaced the original felts with ones that were at least a millimeter smaller - should have destroyed the playing qualities. I checked the intonation of the octaves and tried to judge the blow. The biggest difference was in the pitch center of the Monettes. That aspect was considerably worse. None of the other horns were that much different(or honestly "measurable").
    This proves to me that this is a nice to have but will not turn a good horn bad or vice versa.
  9. raceww

    raceww New Friend

    Jun 24, 2008
    I have a number of vintage King trumpets and cornets including 3 types of Liberty models, Super 20, Symphony, Silvertone trumpet and cornet and Master model cornet. My tech pointed out to me that these old Kings have a groove cut in the valve stem for aligning valves in the up position. He said the groove should be visible just above the top valve cap. Is this correct? It seems like a very easy way to tell if valves on these horns are aligned in the up position.
  10. glorybe

    glorybe Piano User

    Jul 29, 2009
    I wonder about horizontal alignment. I have one horn that plays well but It looks as if someone welded the tubing in such a way that about one third of the valve casing and therefore the valve itself almost look like the valve body was twisted sideways before the tubing was attached. I also wonder if horns that are stuffy might be that way through poor valve alignments.

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