What does heavier valve caps do ?

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

  1. guyclark

    guyclark Piano User

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    Feb 28, 2008
    Los Gatos, CA
    I hope no one thinks I'm against experimentation!!! Quite the contrary!!! I like the suggestion of adding dimes (or something like that to your own valve caps to see if it makes a real difference.

    What I don't like is the idea that snake-oil salesmen are promising things that may or may not come true that cost money from the pockets of struggling musicians. After all, many musicians are not particularly scientifically trained, and thus have not developed the skills to seperate the wheat from the chaff, and are thereby ripe for the picking.

    I see a tendency for this discussion to stray onto non-valvecap issues. I never denied that a heavy construction of a horn as a whole has different properties from a light-weight construction. I have ONLY stated my disbelief in heavy valve caps. Schilke did research years ago into material effects, and found some very interesting things. These led to his beryllium-bronze (now copper) bell fabrication, as well as the tuning-bell concept. He personally explained his preference for a non-resonant (physically) bell (a bell that "Thunks" when you tap it is better (he said) than one that "dings". I believe that is correct, as well, but I'll admit to being "indoctrinated" by Schilke from an early age (that's one of my disclaimers!).

    By the way, there's a saying some of my audiophile friends have (now there's another ripe field for the snake oil salesmen!!! :-P): "No highs, no lows... it must be Bose!" :evil:

    Anyway, back to work...

    Guy
    you know the rest...
     
  2. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    guyclark sez:
    I still stand by my observations and understanding of the physics, and deny that heavy valve caps have any significant effect on the SOUND. I admit, or agree that they MIGHT have some effect on the tactile feel of the horn vibrating in one's hand.
    -------
    So let me get this right. You're a scientist and without any valid testing and without a sincere literature search, you're going to make such a statement and use the statistical term "significant". Ouch!
    Here's what I know. It works for me(for quite a while).
    Here's what I also know. If 10,000 Frenchmen are saying "it makes a difference" then it might be worth listening to.

    Also, you say "it might effect the tactile feel of the horn vibrating in one's hand".
    So it feels different in the hand but that tactile sense of difference will not effect the sound.Your claim is no effect, right?
    I think I'll stick with "heavy caps work for me for quite a while now".
     
  3. nordlandstrompet

    nordlandstrompet Forte User

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    Apr 5, 2008
    Norway
    Please rais both your hands, all of you that
    actually have done your own experiments/tests
    and are not just making second handy guessimates.
     
  4. guyclark

    guyclark Piano User

    344
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    Feb 28, 2008
    Los Gatos, CA
    Markie, you're approaching the personal,:-o so please tread carefully!

    I never said I hadn't any testing. I've tried three or four different trumpet heavy cap combinations (remember, heavy valve caps is ALL I'm discussing here!) I've read plenty of anecdotal evidence about them, and I understand the physics and mechanics better than most players, as a degreed, experienced scientist/engineer.

    My "claim" is that the sound to the outside world is insignificantly different to make these accessories worthwhile. I admit the possibility that the different "feel" of the horn to the player may have some difference to them, which, through those feedback differences MAY make an audible difference. This sort of difference could come from any number of other effects, as well, so beware to what you attribute those changes.

    If you can do a double-blind study that shows a significant statistical improvement in sound or playing due to heavy valve caps, I'll change my tune. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof!!!

    If you like 'em , use 'em, no skin off my nose!

    'nuff said?:-P

    Guy
     
  5. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    guyclark sez:
    Markie, you're approaching the personal, so please tread carefully!
    ---------------------------
    If questioning your logic and by donig this, it makes you a little prickly then sorry, you'll probably see more of this from me and others.
    --
    guysez:
    I never said I hadn't any testing. I've tried three or four different trumpet heavy cap combinations.
    -------
    Really? for how long did you try these? Did you loan them to anyone else to try and get feedback from? Was your assessment based on what you heard while using the different caps or what other people noticed? You know this isn't science and as such gives no creedance for making many of your statements.
    --------------------------
    guysez:
    My "claim" is that the sound to the outside world is insignificantly different to make these accessories worthwhile.
    -------------------------
    Really?
    --------------
    guysez:
    I admit the possibility that the different "feel" of the horn to the player may have some difference to them, which, through those feedback differences MAY make an audible difference.
    ------------------------
    Now wait a minute. I thought you just said....
    ------------------------
    guysez:
    This sort of difference could come from any number of other effects,
    -----------------------
    Really?
    -----------------------
    guysez:
    If you can do a double-blind study that shows a significant statistical improvement in sound or playing due to heavy valve caps, I'll change my tune. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof!!!
    --------
    I Don't need to. I'm not making any claims or making statements and then telling the reading public while in the same topic "by the way, I'm an engineer and I know physics".
    ---------------------
    sez:
    proof!!!
    ---------------------
    Holy cow! I taught people for years how to do research methodology at both undergrad and grad level and I've never had a text to use the term "proof".
    ---------------------
    Let part on a good note. I think we'll agree to disagree.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2010
  6. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    2,156
    15
    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Please rais both your hands, all of you that
    actually have done your own experiments/tests
    and are not just making second handy guessimates.
    ---------
    I can say I've done tons of experiments using the scientific method and some of those experiments can be found in journals or in the bowels of various university libraries throughout the world.
     
  7. nordlandstrompet

    nordlandstrompet Forte User

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    Apr 5, 2008
    Norway
    Oooops...I meant to say:

    "have done your own experiments/tests with heavy bottom caps and mouthpieces".

    Sorry, my bad (English language)
     
  8. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    I don't think you need a rigorous scientific method to prove that heavy caps work for yourself.

    If you find that your attacks are cleaner, you "frap" fewer notes and your higher register has fewer of those unwanted harmonic overtones that aren't "supposed" to be there, then the caps work for you, because you don't need an audience or recordings to know whether or not those inconsistencies are improved or not, they're obvious.

    Every horn I've switched to heavy caps has improved in those areas for me.

    Some day I'll have the time and money to buy the signal generators, mics and o'scopes to prove empirically that the heavy components I use, including caps, actually do what theory says they should do.

    Greg
     
  9. gglassmeyer

    gglassmeyer Piano User

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    Apr 28, 2006
    Cincinnati, OH
    I have a Conn Vintage one that came with the modular valve weight system and it wasn't even a consideration for buying the horn. I've played with them and they do seem to effect the feedback I receive as a player, but tone wise they make no difference that I can tell. Some people say they'll improve slotting and this horn slots so well that I can't tell a difference there at all.

    The thing I've always thought was odd about adding mass to lessen the sypathetic vibration is that a human hand dampens vibrations pretty darned well. Strike a cymbal, tuning fork, bell, triangle etc. and then grab it with your hand. So how much difference is a bit of metal going to make?

    I also hear people say to put dimes in the valve caps, but they really don't add much mass at all and they close off the hole at the bottom of the valve cap. Is it the added mass of a dime or the closed hole that makes a different?

    I really wouldn't spend the money on a set of caps. If your horn happens to come with a set, play around with them to see if you like them. If you can't tell a difference, shed the weight.

    My other horn is a lightweight Yamaha ytr-734 and that thing vibrates like crazy when I play it. I wouldn't dream of dampening that horn.
     
  10. mattc

    mattc Pianissimo User

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    Dec 12, 2009
    California
    The thing I've always thought was odd about adding mass to lessen the sypathetic vibration is that a human hand dampens vibrations pretty darned well. Strike a cymbal, tuning fork, bell, triangle etc. and then grab it with your hand. So how much difference is a bit of metal going to make?

    This fits with my physical intuition. Adding a heavy valve cap can change the resonant frequency of a vibration, but it doesn't provide a mechanism for energy loss.

    If the idea was to add a way to damp the vibration, different hand placements should have an effect. Grasping the valves completely vs. holding thumb and forefinger might have an effect.
     

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