Valve height on Bb trumpets

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Asher S, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. Asher S

    Asher S Pianissimo User

    185
    4
    Sep 20, 2009
    Suburban Boston
    My first question here on TM…

    I searched but could not find what I’m looking for: I have a Bach TR300 (got it off eBay for $60 a couple of years ago :D). It’s well suited to my playing, but I noticed that some Bb trumpets appear to have valves that are shorter than the ones on my horn, i.e. the player doesn’t seem to need to press the valves down very far to completely open the valve (I’m not referring the valve half-way down muted technique).

    Is this something that is another characteristic of different horns or are my eyes just deceiving me? If it’s true, it seems like depressing the valves a shorter distance would make faster runs a bit easier.

    Thanks,

    Asher
     
  2. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    2,858
    68
    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    I am not familiar with the TR300 specifically, but there are several factors that can affect the "stroke" of the piston - some are perception only and others are actual design factors. First, the shape of the finger buttons along with the configuration of the top felt can affect the visual aspect because if the trumpet has deeply recessed felts and tall (thick) buttons with a "skirt" that comes down to partly cover the view of the valve stem, it appears that the stroke is short because only a small amount of the stem is visible, but the actual distance that the piston travels is similar to other models.

    The second design feature is the bore size. Obviously, the piston ports need to be large enough to align with the valve pipes when the piston is fully up and also when fully depressed. So, the larger the bore, the greater the distance the piston needs to travel from one position to the other to align with the pipes. In addition, the radius of the bend of the tuning slides has an effect because that determines how far apart the pipes are that intersect the valve casing.

    So, a large bore trumpet with a large radius on the slides will need to have a longer stroke to move from one position to another than one with a smaller bore and smaller tuning slide radius. You would need to accurately measure those features on the TR300 and then compare them to another model in order to figure out if there really is a difference because it is not likely that you can determine it by eyeball or finger measurements only.
     
  3. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    3,862
    920
    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    I agree with the above. However, Dennis Wedgewood pretends that his instruments have shorter valves. I cannot confirm or deny it - never played them. But worth checking Wedgwood Brass - Is it all Ovoids ?
     
  4. Asher S

    Asher S Pianissimo User

    185
    4
    Sep 20, 2009
    Suburban Boston
    Thanks for the detailed response. I am not at all considering changing or adding horns, I was just curious and you answered my question.

    Thanks,
    Asher
     
  5. gglassmeyer

    gglassmeyer Piano User

    401
    15
    Apr 28, 2006
    Cincinnati, OH
    I have a Conn Vintage One that has a slightly shorter valve stroke than a lot of horns, and it really doesn't have that big of an effect. I frequently switch between the Conn V1, a Yamaha ytr-734, and an early '30s King Liberty. Fast passages don't seem any easier on one vs the other assuming they're all well oiled. I'm sure it does help , but to such a slight degree that it's imperceptible. Anything I can play on the Conn I can play on the other 2 horns with with ease.
     
  6. Asher S

    Asher S Pianissimo User

    185
    4
    Sep 20, 2009
    Suburban Boston
    Thanks- I suspected as much. When I play bass, the string height has much less of an impact on my playing, relative to the amount of practice time I put in... ;-). I have no plans to change/add horns or mouthpieces- just need to practice with what I've got.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2009

Share This Page