valves lining up

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by [email protected], Jun 24, 2010.


    [email protected] New Friend

    Nov 18, 2007
    I was wondering how I can be sure that my valves are perfectly aligned when I slide them back in. I have a Yamaha Xeno, which doesnt seem to have any real guide besides the valves number on the front, so am doing it by eye according to that, which is never going to be 100% perfect. And does this matter? Surely even the slightest misalignment can cause tonal/tuning issues

    Thanks in advance

  2. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    How long have you had the trumpet? Have the guides been missing the entire time or did you take it apart and forget to replace them? No trumpet has ever been made without guides or an alignment pin that keep the pistons from rotating once they are inside the casing. Even if you could figure out how to put them in properly aligned, the first push on the valve button will cause the piston to rotate out of position. So, it is impossible to play a trumpet that way. I know because the guide on one of mine broke and I tried to play it while waiting for a replacement and it would only play about 3 notes before losing alignment. You will need to take it to a shop and have the guides replaced in order to play it. Very curious!
  3. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    The guides on your Xeno are part of an assembly which sits above the piston portion (where the ports are) of the valve. The guide has two protruding tabs which fit into notches inside the cylinder, one smaller than the other, so it can only go in one way correctly. Above the guide is the valve spring, and the guide and spring both fit inside a "cage" which is between the piston top and bottom of the valve stem.

    If you push and twist while inserting the valve the tabs will snap into the notches. It is possible for them to sort of fit 180 degrees out from where they should be, and that will result in your not being able to blow through that valve when you push it down and maybe even in the up position.

    As the comeback kid says, if the guides are missing, someone took things apart and left them out. But it is not likely.
  4. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    On Yamaha instruments, the numbers on the ports FACE you when they are inserted correctly.
  5. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

    Apr 30, 2010
    dubuque iowa
    My Xeno only goes back togrther one way and like any other trumpet will only play when the valves are in and seated correctly. If you are unsure of how this is done just ask a friend in your band or the instructor to check it out. I cant imagine that the valves dont click when you oil and reinsert them with a little turn to find the right alignment. If the advice given above doesnt work for you, you may actualy have a problem but I suspect they just need to be reinserted correctly. Good luck.
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    There is too much of a deal made on valve alignment. Perhaps to the pro with many hours per day of 100% concentration, a small difference is perceivable. To the more casual player, no chance.

    I am not saying that there is no difference. I am saying that a trumpet works by NOT following horn theory perfectly. Small differences in bore size happen at every bend, tuning slide and solder joint. Many time these "steps" are exactly what the artisan left the way that they are - on purpose.

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