Valve guides: brass vs plastic

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by hhsTrumpet, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    There's always interesting banter (sometimes personally contentious) about this on the other site and it usually involves Strads. Apparently it's an option (brass or nylon guides) or used to be. Anyway, it seems to revolve around the mass/resonance theory that has given us heavy valve caps, sheet metal bracing and "heavy" horns. Some say there isn't enough mass to change the sound perceptively, others swear by it. Someone asked if there were any "scientific" analysis done and Mark Curry said and I quote, "Documented? I don't know if anyone has studied this and published results".
    That was June of this year. So, it still seems to revolve around an individuals perception. Try the washer in the 3rd valve cap (bottom of course) and see what it does for you before you spend real money switching guides around.
  2. whyit

    whyit New Friend

    Aug 12, 2012
    Corona CA
    The brass guides in my ambassador are a bit noisy for my taste. I am going to change them to nylon as soon as I can. Thats my $.02
  3. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    Having both brass and plastic guides in my Selmers in the new year I will set up some tests with a Spectrum analyzer to see if I can detect a difference, I will get my friend to change them so I will not know which I am playing.

    Brass being a better acoustic conductor than plastic may have an effect on the vibratory modes of the valve casings.

    In 27 years of playing I have had 2 plastic guides fail at gigs, I carry a spare in my case.

    Regards, Stuart.

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