Ultrasonic damage?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by hornblower2000, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. hornblower2000

    hornblower2000 New Friend

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    Apr 27, 2009
    the road
    Hey, I'm new here so I hope this is not redundant, but I have questions about ultrasonic cleaning. I had one of my horns done and now I have valve issues like I never had before…sticking, ect. I thought this type of cleanning was safe...now I’m not too sure. A guy on another forum said it can blow holes in your horn!!! Is that true? Has anyone had any issues after you had your instrument ultrasonic-ed? Is this safe??

    Thanks!:play:

    S
     
  2. VINTAGEBRASS

    VINTAGEBRASS Pianissimo User

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    Apr 3, 2004
    Branson
    It depends on the condition of the horn. When I had my Strad done, I did not realize that the leadpipe had such a high amount of red rot in it and the machine caused a bunch of pin holes in the leadpipe. I have had other horns done with absolutely no issues.

    Not sure what would cause the valves to stick, unless they were not oiled well after the cleaning.
     
  3. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

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    Mar 21, 2006
    Toronto
    The only way it can damage a horn is if there is already damage there. Red Rot, if bad enough can blow out.
    I have used a 90 gallon US machine countless times and I often put the horns in for longer than the two minutes that is suggested, and I have never had a problem.
    The valves sticking is probably due to the horn needing a good oiling.

    Ultrasonic is the way to most thoroughly clean a horn right now. It gets right into all the microscopic pores of the brass using a process called cavitation. It does work best if the large things have been cleaned out of the horn first though.
     
  4. Myshilohmy

    Myshilohmy Pianissimo User

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    Jan 6, 2009
    Indiana
    I've had my strad cleaned with an ultrasonic tub or whatever it is they use. I don't know how it works, but it cleaned it well. My valve was also sticky for a while when I got it back.
     
  5. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    The Wide Brown Land
    Well, for the ultrasonics to work your horn needs to be immersed in a fluid - I'm not sure what the fluid is for trumpets, but in the airline industry the fluid is either a stong detergent or a solvent - residual bits of that may need to be cleaned out after you get your horn home so that your valves run nicely (sounds strange to have to clean after a cleaning, but I always clean and lubricate after ANYTHING is done on the trumpet). Just a thought ..... ;-)
     
  6. Bachstul

    Bachstul Mezzo Forte User

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    Jan 25, 2009
    Sorry about the damage......:dontknow:

    One day, I was soaking some jewelry in a jar of commercial solution, and I thought I'd try putting my random orbital palm sander, with no sandpaper, onto the bottom of the jar, and turning it on, ay? For some vibration. To help clean the jewelry.

    So, would we benefit, perhaps slightly, I know, from a lower frequency, but....:oops:...I'm thinkin' ....about putting the plastic tub soaking trumpet parts on top of the clothes washing machine while it goes on spin cycle...eh? .... :-P No?

    I'm just saying! This spin cycle has benefitted mankind since.... well since the invention of the spin cycle......I'm tryin' it, I don't care what you say!ROFL
     
  7. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

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    Toronto
    The liquid techs use is a mild acid. It isn't strong, and you could put your hand in it if you wanted. Google Ultra Sonic corp. They make the popular models in the industry.
     
  8. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    The Wide Brown Land
    Thanks Brekelefuw - another day another thing learned - brilliant. :thumbsup:
     
  9. hornblower2000

    hornblower2000 New Friend

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    Apr 27, 2009
    the road
    Hey thanks everyone! Yes, I've oiled it. I don't think oil is the issue. I going to try cleaning it all out and re-lube. I still think there is a bit of hype connected to ultrasonic cleaning. I don't think it is any cleaner that the times I had the standard "flush" done, and now valve issues....?

    So this thing CAN blow holes into your horn!?!?? I would have freaked out if that had happened to me. Why would you want to risk it?
     
  10. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    The thing you need to understand is that the ultrasonic tank simply loosens the particles stuck in the horn. It doesn't rinse them away. Whoever is doing the cleaning needs to make sure that the horn is thoroughly rinsed AND swabbed.

    Swabbing is necessarily because "loose" does not mean gone. I had a horn cleaned this way recently. The first slide had a small mineral deposit. When it came out of the tank it was still there, even after rinsing. it wasn't until the slide was properly swabbed that
    the mineral deposit was gone. Normal cleaning with detergents and brushes and soaking will not remove mineral deposits. You need something like acid, steam or ultrasonic.

    But, rinsing and inspecting is really a smart thing to do.

    If you are going to trust someone to clean your horn for you then I strongly suggest you watch how they do it. Ask them how often the tank water is changed. Without a proper rinse and swab your horn could pick up particles left in the tank from prior cleanings. Do you really want that?

    My advice is to get yourself a small light and get familiar with the inside of your horn.
    Know what is in there before and after cleaning. Know what blemishes and rot are going on. If you don't then all you have to rely on is trust.

    my 2c,

    Greg
     

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