Valve bodies on trumpets/cornets

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by hawksao, May 27, 2009.

  1. hawksao

    hawksao New Friend

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    Apr 28, 2009
    Sarasota, FL
    I was wondering if there are differences in valve bodies between same model trumpets and cornets, or if they are generally the same. Do the leadpipes generally enter the valve body in the same place?

    If I found a high quality cornet, could I replace the leadpipe, tuning pipe and bell with trumpet units and create a trumpet? Or are there inherent differences that would make this impossible?

    Thanks,
    Scott
    :grouphug:
     
  2. Darthsunshine

    Darthsunshine Mezzo Forte User

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    Depends on the horn(s). I used to have a 1952 Olds Ambassador trumpet, and the valve casings were shorter than on my 1951 Olds Ambassador cornet, so they were not interchangable. Some measurements would seem in order. Good luck.
     
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Technically there is no difference in the function and geometry. Most manufacturers have more than one valve cluster to their disposal covering different bore sizes and qualities. I theory, one could replace the leadpipe, tuning slide, braces and bell, but why? We would have more money sunk into a a horn than if we just bought what we wanted in the first place. Being off by even a 16th of an inch on a brace can change the blow from great to mediocre.
     
  4. hawksao

    hawksao New Friend

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    {We would have more money sunk into a a horn than if we just bought what we wanted in the first place.}

    That's not necessarily true, is it?. I'm thinking specifically of Martin Committee trumpets, which routinely sell for $1000 to $2000. The Martin Committee cornets can be had for as little as $250. Couldn't I purchase a replacement/reproduction leadpipe from Melk, a bell from Lawler and have a very interesting and unique alternative for less money? Maybe? Or at least a highly personalized homage for the same money? Especially if I wanted the Martin's bell shape in a finish it didn't come in, like copper?

    I realize my eyes may be bigger than my belly here, but I come up with ideas like this all the time. If I was a man of means, I'd buy some neat stuff! Since I'm not, I try to figure out ways to create it.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2009
  5. vntgbrslvr

    vntgbrslvr Piano User

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    Any good trumpet or cornet is the sum of it's parts. There are even variations from instrument to instrument with some lines. While you might start with a wonderful valve section...you'd still be gambling the rest of the way unless you work with someone with experience like Charlie Melk....By the time you're done you'll have a sizable investment into an experiment that may or may not be worthwhile.

    I would guess that even Charlie would advise you to approach this differently. I'd suggest dropping him an e-mail to ask him about your idea if you're serious.
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    when you make a horn from pieces that were not designed for each other, you will have problems.
     
  7. walldaja

    walldaja Pianissimo User

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    That sounds like a disaster waiting to happen--there are too many variables. Just moving / resoldering braces can have a detrimental affect if the person doing the work doesn't know what he is doing. Some of the best custom trumpet makers have spent most of their lifetimes getting it right. The chance of a person, no matter how expert his craftsmanship but without that lifetime of experience, doing a conversion worth playing is pretty slight. Even the large manufacturers bringing new models to the market experiment and find they have real dogs and they thought they knew what they were doing.
     
  8. hawksao

    hawksao New Friend

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    Oh ye nattering nabobs of negativism! This is not a disaster waiting to happen, it's an unexplored opportunity.

    I will admit the whole issue of bracing is confusing to me. I see Monette trumpets with "sheet" braces on the tuning slide and crook of the bell. I see trumpets with any variety of post braces between the valve body and leadpipe, or the valve body and bell. Have you seen the almost continuous brace between the leadpipe, valve body, and bell of the Monette Elysian trumpet? I don't understand how that thing can resonate at all.

    It seems people tend to be critical of a horn if it doesn't have the tonal qualities they like. Eric Miyashiro would sound better on a plastic bugle than I would on his horn, but that's no reflection on his horn.

    What I make might not sound like an authentic Committee, but I bet I could come up with something I like...or at least build a pretty piece of junk and lie about it!
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2009
  9. vntgbrslvr

    vntgbrslvr Piano User

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    No one is saying you can't do it....just that it's not as simple as soldering pieces of metal to each other like a puzzle.

    Chances are much higher that you'll end up with a "pretty piece of junk to lie about" than something that sounds anything like a Committee when your only using a committee valve cluster. I would suspect that a mouthpipe has a dramatic effect on the sound of a horn as does a bell....The valve cluster while important probably has less impact on the actual sound of the horn based on the percentage of area of the horn that it takes up, and the fact that it's typically all the same bore througout the valve section.

    Just my perception based on some of the stuff I've played with...I'll warn you however.... I'm much closer to a hack than a technician ;)
     
  10. Darthsunshine

    Darthsunshine Mezzo Forte User

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    Certainly, you can do what you want without permission from anyone here... but you DID ask. I suppose if you found a junk horn with a good valve cluster it might be a fun adventure. However, if you bought a sound Committee cornet and tore it to pieces, that would simply be a shame.
     

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