What does heavier valve caps do ?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Laursen, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. BradH

    BradH New Friend

    Feb 6, 2008
    This is great stuff. As a mechanical engineer I find topics about instrument design and alterations fascinating. Interestingly most top pros play pretty basic stuff...unless they're endorsing something. The best way to improve your sound however is to practice more. I think I'm going to quit reading and do just that!
  2. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Okay guys, we are talking the little screw things on the bottom on the valve case correct? The things that have a hole in the middle for valve oil to run out if over oiled? And the idea is that by making the very end of the valve case-the cap heavier, it produces a different sound?

    I get the physics arguement, but the valve cap is such a small area -and I never really thought of the valve case vibrating that much-or at least the end of it. I would think that adding mass in about any other area would have more of an effect. How about no holes in the end? I'm not saying it doesn't work, I'm just having trouble understaqnding what this particular area would case more of a noticable difference. Following this logic, the braces for the 3rd valve stop and such should also be very influential. Also, theoretically valve guards etc, or even how you hold the horn should then make a difference, correct -Trying to learn...
  3. guyclark

    guyclark Piano User

    Feb 28, 2008
    Los Gatos, CA
    Hey Gzent!

    We're talking about heavy valve caps here, not the merits real or imagined of Monette or Harrelson (or fill in the blank) trumpets. As I said at the beginning, I've tested a few horns, with and without heavy caps, and seen (heard) no differences. Easy to test, been there, done that, got the t-shirt (too small, as usual!:roll:).

    I've also played Monettes, and that's a whole other discussion which I will avoid, like the merits of different religions!

    I've also modified many trumpets and made others from scratch, and I am quite well versed in trumpet physics etc.

    I'll keep my standard caps and you can use what you want!:-P

    I don't think I've ever seen heavy caps for rotary trumpets....

    Later! I'm off now to play the last dress rehearsal for La Boheme with a San Jose opera group.

  4. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    I guess I'm the only trumpet player who isn't an engineer of some sort! Or a math oriented person at all for that matter...

    I've tried heavy caps on my Bach Bb and C...it seems to make the horn feel a little more stable. I've never noticed any change at all in sound or intonation. Cheap to try out...get three dimes and put them in you bottom caps. Just don't tighten the cap too hard with the dime in there!
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2010
  5. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN

    You are certainly right, there are better places to add mass if you want a horn to be more efficient. A general rule is that the closer you are to the player the bigger the difference adding or removing metal has on the horn.

    So, a lightweight horn with a very heavy leadpipe will be more efficient than a "normal" weight horn with heavy caps screwed on, because the leadpipe behavior is so critical to how a horn plays.
  6. a marching trumpet

    a marching trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Murfreesboro, TN
  7. RichJ

    RichJ Piano User

    Jan 16, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    Playing a heavy Monette with the caps removed radically changes the response and sound of the horn (thinner and brighter). I know that's an extreme example, but just thought I'd throw it out there. I've tested this myself. On the other hand, I've never had any success adding heavier caps to a non-Monette horn. It just makes the horn feel stiff and dead to me. O-rings on the stock caps does work for me on some non-Monette horns though. Helps to keep me from straying above the pitch center (more distinct slots), though it does sap some of the zing from the horn.
  8. trumpet 101

    trumpet 101 Pianissimo User

    Jan 8, 2009
    im not trying to get off topic, but i thought the brass (or material the trumpet is made of) vibrated from vibrations from your lips to the mouthpiece creating resonance which created the sound, not a vibrating air column? and heres how i look at the subject: look at it like a trumpet, not all are the best for everyone, play what works for you.
  9. TrumpetMonk

    TrumpetMonk Pianissimo User

    Jul 22, 2009
    West virginia
    Personally, I like a heavier horn. I think I am able to produce better results on one. I know, not the horn, it's me. But I think the caps are probably just a thing some like and others don't.
  10. Jcoffey

    Jcoffey New Friend

    Aug 20, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Don't worry, dude. I am a math person and my brain are owie reel bad when I reed this thing. :huh:

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