Ultrasonic damage?

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

  1. daniel starz

    daniel starz Piano User

    Jan 11, 2009
    wasilla alaska
    whats wrong with a drop or two of oil in the lead pipe before playing ? sure seems it would eliminate a few problems , what other problem would that create ?
    we just got a new Besson 800 , so i hope the small amount of oil will coat the inside to protect it from looking green, and not allow minerals to stick and build up.
    The Horn Doctor in Anchorage AK. give me this tip to use .
    John has a ultra sonic cleaning bath .
    He also so said to really make a horn sound good is just regular cleaning, a bath not ultrasonic , but for a dirty horn it works the best.
  2. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
    I was at a clinic Saturday where Wayne Tanabe gave a presentation on tweeking your horn. the subject of cleaning came up. he said that all acid methods work by etching the metal, removing the structure that the "green stuff" is holding onto. Ultrasonic cleaning works by causing a cavitation action in the solution which attacks the foreign matter. It can also open up pinholes where there is red rot.
    Red rot is caused by acids in ones saliva reacting with the brass, combining with zinc leaving spots of copper (the red stuff). So ultrasonic can be a danger for a horn with a lot of red rot.
  3. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    I'm not sure why he would say that. Scrape some of that gunk into a glass jar and pour in the acid and wait. Of course, the acid will dissolve the "gunk". It does not matter what it is "stuck to" or contained in.

    If the bond between the surface layer of brass molecules and the "gunk" is stronger than the bond between the surface layer of brass and the next layer down, then I'm sorry but the US method will take some brass molecules with it, or, if the brass is already breaking down it will take more zinc than copper.

    I would bet if you were to do a spectral analysis on the liquid in an ultrasonic tank that you would indeed detect zinc and copper.

    That's the danger of getting chemistry lessons from a salesman - inevitably they turn it into a sales pitch.

    Then again, he's the same guy that shills cryogenic treatment even thought there is no scientific principle or validated tests to prove that it has any effect whatsoever on how an instrument plays.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2009
  4. hornblower2000

    hornblower2000 New Friend

    Apr 27, 2009
    the road
    ...I would recommend the acid bath way. After checking around and reading tons of horror stories about damaged brass instruments, I think this ultrasonic thing is a bunch of hype. The only difference I noticed is that it cost way more and I had to re-clean my horn after to get my valves to work.

    There is way too much voodoo and B.S. in horn repair these days.
  5. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    You got that right!
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    let's keep this serious. There is not TONS of qualified stories about the dangers of ultrasound published (exaggeration does not lead to a rational opinion), and the danger of acid is no different if the horn is not in good shape. If the leadpipe or tuning slide is rotted, any proper cleaning will result in holes.

    We have at least two qualified instrument repair people in this thread that recommend ultrasound and a couple more with serious experience. What you have based your opinion on is trivial compared to their first hand experience.

    Ultrasound is not hype, it really works. You may choose to use something else as it is YOUR horn, but based on your post, most likely for the wrong reasons.
  7. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Just to keep things serious, as requested, consider the way acids are stored, agressive acids like Nitric are stored in glass, less active fluids are stored in plastic (sulphuric, muriatic / hydrochloric) - I have never seen acids stored in metal containers, particularly brass. It would be wise to consider that there is probably a reason for this - I would expect that the "little acid beasties" will chomp on your brass trumpet to a lesser or greater extent depending on how well protected the brass. (I wonder how much the 'gunk' in your trumpet tubing protects the brass from the acid?)

    FWIW - my cleaning regime remains the tried and tested manual method + elbow grease. That way I am always in control of the process. Your instrument - your choice. Clean often enough and no gunk can deposit.

    I do like the idea of drawing cleaning gear throught the leadpipe and adding a "little" oil, except that I occasionally catch myself breathing through the mouthpiece just a bit - inhaling oil could be a problem if you are inclined to suck in through the trumpet.
  8. Rushtucky

    Rushtucky Pianissimo User

    Sep 15, 2008
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Bachstul likes this.
  9. Rushtucky

    Rushtucky Pianissimo User

    Sep 15, 2008
    Indianapolis, Indiana

    Ditto! Whether you use Ultra-sound or acid cleaning it all comes down to the fact that you must keep your equipment clean or it will deteriorate and not play to your satisfaction. If you acid clean yourself...use caution and follow my instructions. Test the "water" before you jump in.

    However, I do recommend cleaning the lead pipe daily. Preventive maintence. Read the explaination on Bob Reeves site.

    Keep that trumpet clean!!
  10. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006

    The bell seam would have had something wrong with it. Either a bad braze, thin brass, or a thin work-hardened area.

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