On the Trumpetherald website I had been following a thread about "shorter stroke valves". This mechanical aspect of a trumpet valve block has intrigued me ever since I read the Denis Wedgwood website in which he discusses his "Ovoid" valves. http://www.deniswedgwood.com/index.html . His innovation changes the positioning of the ports through the valve pistons so as to provide clearance that minimizes the size of the "bumps" within those ports. Anyway... after reading the different posts about who has the "shortest" valves I got frustrated at all the techno-babble and suggested (apparently with some heresy!) that maybe they should actually MEASURE the valve stroke. I even posted the measurements that I took from my own trumpets to "get them started". Oh me. Only one person actually took and recorded a measurement (and he used a machinists dial indicator). One person (to his credit) took a machinist's rule to a store and compared a bunch of different horns but failed to record the actual results (he did say that they were all the same though!). Very quickly the discussion has once again regressed to one of those "my valves are faster (shorter, lighter...) than your valves" and nobody is actually posting NUMBERS. (check it out here if you have the inclination) http://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=35444 So here is my proposal: be it resolved that since we (trumpet players) are generally obsessed with "numbers", (bore size, bell diameter, taper shape, blah blah), let us create an actual LISTING of valve strokes for the different brands of valve blocks! The method for measuring is dead simple and requires nothing other than a steel rule (or other accurate "ruler" with markings for every millimeter). You don't even have to pull the valves and attempt to measure "between ports" or any of that mumbo-jumbo. A valve stroke is simply the distance "valve up/valve down". Put the rule on it's end on top of one of the valves and note the measurement at a precise vertical location on the valve button (I'll suggest top or bottom edge where there is a sharply defined point). WRITE THE READING DOWN. Press the valve button DOWN and take another reading. WRITE IT DOWN. Subtract one reading from the other and *eureka*.... you have your valve stroke! My contention is that we "perceive" that the valves on this trumpet or that trumpet have a shorter stroke but that our PERCEPTIONS are colored by things like the "feel" of the valve, the response of the horn, the strength of the valve spring, the amount of wear, even the position of the valve block relative to our hand position and our finger "curl". The numbers may actually tell a far different story. Here's TM's chance to once again debunk a typical "trumpeter's myth". OK, as an engineer I'm a self-admitted equipment geek. Tough. Deal with it. My wife has to live with it. Edit: There is a prize for the person who can post what the apparent contradiction is within Wedgwood website and discussion on "Ovoid" valves. The first person to point it out receives a sincere "Attaboy" (or "Attagirl" as may be appropriate). Clue: we may have to start listing measurements to demonstrate this apparent contradiction.