Valves Squeaky

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by erd402, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. erd402

    erd402 Pianissimo User

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    I made a post about this a couple months ago but I'm still having the problem, so I thought I'd bring it up again. My valves chirp sometimes, like a cricket. I've heard many opinions on what it could be, but my local shop repair man checked through all the ideas, and couldn't find anything. I was just given another idea recently about air filling in the space between the valves and the valve casing and said I should use heavier oil. I don't really have a clue as to how it all works, so I thought I'd post the question here. If that could be it, what oil should I try? Right now I use Blue Juice.
     
  2. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

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    I couldn't find your original post so I don't know if you have more details about what happens there. If so, put a link to it here so we can see it again. If not, maybe you can answer these questions:
    (1) Does it happen to just one, or two, or all three valves?
    (2) Does it happen consistently or only randomly?
    (3) Does it only happen when playing or can you reproduce it by simply fingering the valves?
    (4) Does it happen immediately when starting to move the valves after a period of inactivity or only after playing/fingering for a period of time? (How long?)
    (5) Does it happen only on the downstroke, or upstroke, or both?
    (6) Does it sound like air escaping (sort of a whistle sound) or like metal scraping?
    (7) When it happens do you feel any change in the resistance of the valve action?
    (8) If it happens when playing, do you hear any change in the sound of the notes?
    (9) When you took it to the technician, was he able to reproduce the sound?
    (10) Did he actually do any troubleshooting or simply hand it back and say he didn't know what it was?
    (11) Have you tried cleaning and thoroughly drying the pistons and casing, reinserting the pistons dry and seeing if the sound persists?
    (12) Does anyone else actually hear the sound?
    (13) Do tables move, doors slam, curtains rustle, and cold air move thorough the room when this happens?

    Any one of these answers could provide a significant clue so let us know and we can do our usual masterful job of remote troubleshooting for you.
     
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    All of my horns with metal valve guides do this. The audience does not hear it so I ignore it. I could switch to plastic valve guides, but then wear can be an issue.

    If you can hear the chirp, you probably are not playing loudly enough! ;-)
     
  4. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    Check your valve springs , they could be too strong or not perfectly centered in the valve, or bending slightly when the valves are depressed.
     
  5. Blind Bruce

    Blind Bruce Pianissimo User

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    Hey Comeback, very interesting choice of possiblities for #13. Coincidence? I think not.
     
  6. erd402

    erd402 Pianissimo User

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    (1) It happens to two valves
    (2) It happens randomly
    (3) You can hear it just from fingering the valves
    (4) It starts as soon as I pull the trumpet out of the case
    (5) It happens on the upstroke
    (6) It sounds like air escaping
    (7) The times it whistles it kind of lags its way up
    (8) Sometimes when it whistles it will lag its way up so if I'm playing F then F# the first valve isn't up in time for the next note
    (9) It didn't make the sound when he looked at it (maybe my trumpet just doesn't like me)
    (10) He took it back into his little work area and checked it out. I told him some of the ideas that I was told on the old thread, like new springs and he replaced them and tried some of the others, but I don't know what else he actually did back there.
    (11) I completely clean the whole trumpet just about every week, and I clean the pistons and casing and dry them.
    (12) Not while playing, but when we are not playing, people have commented on it.
    (13) Just once, but it hasn't done it since :-)
     
  7. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

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    Thanks. Based on these answers, here is where to go next:
    (1) Try swapping the pistons in the casings (one at a time, a 'squeaky' with the 'non-squeaky') to see if the condition moves with the piston or stays with the casing.
    (2) You'll need to keep at it long enough for it to continue.
    (3) Try fingering very gently to see if it is dependent on the speed of fingering or if it only occurs at a particular position of the piston. Also, put your ear close to the horn and see if you can isolate the point from which the sound is originating.
    (4) OK, it doesn't appear that temperature or humidity are factors here if this is true winter and summer as well.
    (5) This is interesting. It does seem that it could be due to air being trapped in the valve tuning pipes. Try removing all of the slides and fingering the valves to see if it persists.
    (6) See #5.
    (7) See #5.
    (8) It sounds like it is creating a vacuum in the tuning pipe that is causing resistance to the movement of the piston. This may be similar to another member who would leave the 1st and 3rd slides out while playing and a vacuum would pull the slides in. Maybe #5 will relate to this as well.
    (9) Hire the tech to accompany you when you play. As long as the trumpet can see him, it won't do it. (I have done this with computers for years!)
    (10) If items 5-8 somehow are related to the issue, it does not sound mechanical (springs, guides, etc) so that may be why this did not help. However, just to be on the safe side, try pulling up the valve guides and putting a small amount of slide grease on the valve stem to help lubricate the movement of the guides.
    (11) Did you try reinserting and fingering the valves when they are completely dry (not too much - don't want to cause wear)? Also, with all of the tuning slides in except the first valve, press down the first valve, put your thumb over the upper first valve pipe, and blow into the mouthpiece receiver and monitor how much leakage of air pressure there is. Do this with the pistons both lubricated and completely dry. See if there is any difference in the leakage. You may have pistons that fit so precisely that there is no leakage even without any oil to seal the gap. That may be part of the problem.
    (12) But, based on #8, I take it that the problem is not only the sound that is made but also the fact that there is resistance to the piston movement so that while you can't hear it while playing, you do experience slow movement of the valve. Is that right?
    (13) Yeah - I know what you mean. The poltergeists have realized that the sounds in the valves is enough to drive you crazy without all of the other shenanigans so they don't bother with that any more.

    Well. This is certainly an interesting mystery. Try these other things and report back. We're all on the edge of our chairs right now.

    Bu the way, remind me what kind of trumpet it is. Maybe I'll have you send it to me for further testing for a year or so.;-)
     
  8. erd402

    erd402 Pianissimo User

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    A 1979 Conn 16B. Are you sure you still want to spend a whole year with it "testing" :-P
     
  9. Blind Bruce

    Blind Bruce Pianissimo User

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    How about a VERY obscure answer to this problem. Are the holes in the bottom valve caps restricted in any way?
     
  10. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

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    Let's see, I just gave one of my Holtons to another grandson and so I have an empty spot on the shelf in my studio (and in my heart). I could put one of my Ambassadors in that spot, and...hmmm, I don't have a 16B...it just might work (fortunately my wife can't tell trumpets apart). Oh, but I guess you need it to play, right?
     

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