Valve Alignment

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpet Dreamer, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2010
    Jazz Town, USA
    Just installed a new custom trim kit on a trumpet. The kit is extremely nice, but now my valves are slightly out of alignment. The trumpet still plays just fine.

    Since I can't tell the difference, is it a big deal?

    Are alignments expensive?
  2. mtbevins

    mtbevins Pianissimo User

    Jan 18, 2011
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Which trim kit did you install and on what horn?
  3. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    If your trumpet didn't have an elaborate "precision" valve alignment to begin with, any competent tech can visually align your valves with traditional materials (cork and felt) and get you back close to your starting point. That is, assuming your valves had been visually aligned in the first place.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The alignment is a big deal to some and nothing critical to others. As the vertical alignment can be controlled by the thickness of the felt or rubber washers, this can be solved with a fine razor blade. Deal with it and then it doesn't matter if you are "sensitive" or "indifferent". I am one of those players tht doesn't think that minor misalignment is a critical factor and that most playing is not good enough to "feel" or "hear" the difference. The arguments are similar to those found in the hi fi world. If you can't hear it your ears must not be good enough.
  5. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    After 20 years of playing I fitted a new set of felts to my Selmer B700, I could notice a slight difference in blow and tone, however a quick test, play an open resonant 3rd space C and slowly depress each valve in turn and observe how much travel it takes before there is a detectable change in sound and blow. You may be surprised.

    Regards, Stuart.
  6. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2010
    Jazz Town, USA
    It is a custom gold plated kit from Harrelson. The caps and buttons are out of this world gorgeous! The trumpet is my trusty (totally pimped) Yamaha 2335, which had perfect alignment with the factory caps / buttons.

    Now a visual inspection reveals the valves (at least #2) do not reach full travel on the depression. But as stated, the horn plays / blows just fine.

    The quality of the Harrelson kit is top notch.
  7. mineo50

    mineo50 Pianissimo User

    Jan 15, 2011
    Barstow, CA
  8. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2010
    Jazz Town, USA
    As an audiophile who will admit to being old enough to have built "Dyna-Kits" back in the hey-day of Dynaco, and also being blessed with very good ears (well, at least far above average), I find the above interesting.

    I would propose that in most (if not all) cases with musicians and audiophiles, if you can't hear it, it is because it does not exist.

    The average Joe on the street? That's a different matter...
  9. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    I have several pristine top line horns that people (trumpeters) think sound AWESOME! Imagine my surprise when I saw that several had "misaligned" valves from the factory! :-o:-o Am I going to send them off to be "fixed"? No! If you can't hear it, it doesn't matter. I have never had anyone come up and tell me, " Man you sounded good, but I think you may need a PVA to sound perfect". ROFL
  10. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010

    I'm not sure the average musician or audiophile hears any better then the "average Joe on the street." Just listen to a SMOOTH JAZZ station.:-P (if you can)


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