Valve spring noise

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by bumblebee, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

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    Two of my trumpets' valves have springs inside a cylinder rather than outside around a stem. On both of them there is one valve which makes a quiet scratching noise as I push it down (I only notice it when there's no noise about) and I think it's the sound of the spring scraping the inside of the cylinder as it compresses or expands. Swapping the spring to another valve moves the sound to that valve. Without the spring the valve is silent.

    I swapped the spring with that of a silent valve on my other trumpet and that gave me 3 silent valves (yay!) but that valve was then distinctly firmer to press than the other two (sigh), and the first trumpet then had two scratchy valves and unmatched valve springiness.

    What would people advise? Replacing all 3 springs from a single kit (to match tension)? I would like the lighter touch feel, not springs too strong, and an I am also unsure I wouldn't get a spring set with one maverick spring in it like I appear to have (twice).

    Thanks,
    --bumblebee

    (note - my wife finds it hard to hear these noises from 2-3 metres away, so it is very quiet - and I don't hear it myself when actually playing anything --- so this is a really small problem and I am doubtless just neurotic.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2011
  2. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    You are probably correct - the noise can be the spring collapsing to the side and rubbing on the inside of the spring box. This is caused by either:

    The spring is bent (possibly from someone stretching it in the mistaken belief that it would give more force to push up a sticky valve).

    The ends of the spring are not square.

    The ends of the spring are not properly seated in the valve guide or the bottom of the stem.

    THe springs are the wrong dimension for your valves.

    Solution
    If the springs are good (square and straight), sometimes you can remove the scraping noise by unscrewing the stem 1/4 of a turn and pushing the valve down. Tighten the stem at the end of the stroke. THis often helps to reseat the spring.

    If this does not work, replace the springs with ones designed for your trumpet model. I have found that Yamaha valve springs work in a lot of models, and they are one of the few who grind the ends of the spring square.:-)

    If these fixes do not solve the problem, it could be a noisy valve guide. Are they brass? I wrote a blog about this:
    ivan?s blog :play:

    You may have to resort to taking the trumpet to a good tech. It will need to be a good tech (brass specialist), because a lot of the Saxophone repairers do not see this valve noise as a problem!:-(
     
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  3. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

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    This is usually caused by a deformed spring, check by rolling the spring on a flat surface, all coils should touch the surface as it rolls. Also if there is wear you could see a flat spot on the rubbing coil.

    A new set of springs is the easiest solution but if this is not available then carefully bending the spring can bring it back into shape.

    Also check that the end coil is at a right angle to the axis, this can distort the spring when under compression if not.

    Regards, Stuart.

    Ivan beat me!
     
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  4. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    Ha!:thumbsup:
     
  5. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

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    Both trumpets were new - I am the original owner - and I've checked the springs -- visually they appear fine, and do not seem to bow out when I compress them between my fingers.
    Visually they appear to be... but they are not ground as you describe later.
    I checked that -- again no apparent problem there.
    Well they came with the horns...
    I am considering looking into getting new springs -- but I wonder if this will be the solution. Our local trumpet shop sells Bach and Yamaha -- there is a very small chance they might do Yamaha springs which I can take a look at.
    One trumpet has brass, the other plastic or nylon. I've considered this too -- there is the slightest sound when out of the valve block but barely perceptible when inserted.
    Thank you for responding - truly the problem is not that great, but it is different to the silence of my Olds Recordings' valves. There is just one brass specialist I know of in Australia, and none in my town. I think I will look into getting new springs, or seeing if my own ones can be safely modified first.

    --bumblebee
     
  6. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    I have often replaced brand new springs with ones which have been ground flat on the ends (Yamaha) to eliminate the slight rubbing spring noise.
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    If the horn is new, all of the springs should be similar in compression, so I don't understand how one could be appreciably stiffer - unless someone stretched it as Ivan suggested.

    The factors that I am aware of are also how straight the valve is pushed down in addition to the valve guides and spring types. All of these possibilities are solvable for the worried. Any good tech should be able to solve this.
     
  8. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

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    Hi Rowuk,
    the Strad springs are all matched, and the Destino springs are matched. One Strad spring seems to compress in the valve differently to the other two, and moving that spring to another valve has the effect of moving the slight noise from that valve to the other valve. The same for the Destino. Moving a "quiet" Strad spring to the Destino was what caused the difference observed in compression - i.e. the Destino then had 2 Destino springs and 1 Strad spring. After this trial I returned the springs to their original horns.

    Yes - I looked at all those too - they do not worry me. I think this is fundamentally a design flaw - a design which demands finer tolerance from the springs. The Olds Recording's springs are nice wide ones which are well seated and don't exhibit any lateral movement during compression, and no metal surface near enough to rub against on the way up or down.

    Thanks,
    --bumblebee
     
  9. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    At the risk of repeating myself:
    Replace the springs with Yamaha ones.

    Using three per instrument on my Jaeger-Diamond trumpets, and on various repairs, I have, based on a sample of over 1,000 springs, never had a failure by these.
     
  10. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

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    Thanks - got that - long weekend here so I won't be able to look into this before next week.:-)

    Kind regards,
    --bumblebee
     

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