valve alignment

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by crowmadic, Dec 2, 2007.

  1. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    When I buy a used horn I always check the 2nd valve alignment. I can always get the virticle alignment corrected if needed but I've never had to deal with lateral alignment until now. I have a Olds Ambassador Cornet that sounds great and seems to play in tune up and down....but....the lateral alignment on the 2nd valve is slightly off center. What improvements might I expect if it was dead center, and should I trouble myself about it with a horn that already plays and sounds good? .....................crow
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    nowhere has it been proven that a perfectly aligned valve makes the trumpet better. As a matter of fact, one discovers that mathematically perfect horns would be difficult to play due to intonation and evenness of blow problems (probably sound too). The small "imperfections" (gap for instance) make an instrument more suitable for human consumption.
    I don't think that we can assume that your horn was built off center on purpose, but "fixing" it may steal the charm that it presently has!
  3. Ray Alexander

    Ray Alexander New Friend

    Jun 12, 2007
    Charlotte NC
    I've had one tpt. alighned by Bob Reeves. While I played a Reeves mpc. for a long time, the horn I had "fixed' didn't play as well to me. I had it reversed and got my old horn back! Reeves is a master, but it just didn't work for me.
  4. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    Thanks to all. My fixation on valve alignment is a thing of Christmas Past...........crow
  5. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    What turned you off so fast?
  6. Mark Bradley

    Mark Bradley Pianissimo User

    Jan 16, 2007
    Kansas City
    I routinely have my the valves aligned on my horns by brass guru Charlie Melk of Charlie's Brasswworks in Wisconsin. I also have have him do a routine check of bracing, mouthpiece gap, etc. as well as removing any weld globules that disrupt the airstream inside the horn-- again, an issue I've had with brands that go for the big bucks. Without fail, the horns play better. In a few cases the results have been stunning. Such as the case with a Jupiter 846RL flugel and an late eighties Bach long model cornet (Charlie found the leadpipe was actually leaking air and installed wrong at the factory!). It is particularly beneficial to have older instruments aligned (the pads and alignments are bound to shift over time) as well as cheaper so-called intermediate type instruments (they tend to really need it!).

    Highly recommended!

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