1992 Bach Strad Large Bore 25 Silver
1976 LA Benge 5x Silver
1920s?? Langen?? Rotary Bb Raw brass
1977 Olds Super Star Flugelhorn Raw brass
1985 Mario Corso Piccolo Trumpet A/Bb, 4 bells
2008 Kuhnl & Hoyer Tenor Trombone
Christian Lindberg 10C
Poor valve action can really spoil your confidence in and enjoyment of a horn. My own Strad which I also bought new has always had good valves but I did notice a subtle improvement when I changed to an even finer oil than the Bach oil the horn came with. I use La Tromba T2 or Hetman 1 (light) oil. That and keeping the horn very clean (I use some detergent, not just water) keeps the valve action fast and reliable.
Don't give up talking to Bach -- to protect a $3100 purchase I would put up with a few 15 minute calls etc.
If you don't know where you are going it doesn't matter how you get there.
Like Bumblebee, I too now use La Tromba T2....I used Al Cass before that....between those oils, I'd give the T2 the edge, although I didn't have a problem with the Al Cass when I was using it. before I hit on the Al Cass, which I used from the mid-1970's to two years ago, there were a couple of oils that I thought were junk--Roche-Thomas and Bach (Yup, I didn't like the Bach oil that came with my horn!!) I thought the Roche-Thomas and Bach oils, in addition to not lubricating well, smelled bad....I hope changing the valve oil and following the other suggestions posted by my fellow TM members help the OP--I've always loved my Strad, and I hope the OP can have his problems solved and love his Strad, because obviously, playing trumpet is MUCH more fun when your trumpet functions properly!!
Instruments: 1974 Bach Strad 180S-37, standard leadpipe
Late 1960's Bach Strad 239 CML C trumpet
2012 Schilke B5
ACB pocket trumpet (Thanks, Trent!!)
1959 Holton Collegiate trumpet
1942 Conn 80A Victor cornet
Sonora double French horn
I cannot imagine buying any horn that required a break in period with as much work as has been described. My 72 Strad has great valves. I think you got a lemon. Make them fix it or get a refund.
Knowledge is freedom, and ignorance is slavery - Miles Davis
The difference between a beginner and pro mouthpiece is practice - tobylou8
Nobody has learned how to play the trumpet. It's endless. - Maynard Ferguson
Don't be afraid to try something different. The Ark was built by an amateur and the Titanic was built by a group of experienced engineers.
By the inch it's a cinch, by the yard, it's hard!
Did you take it back to the seller? Has anyone checked out the horn? Or in the last 12 months, was the only action you've taken was to submit this post?
Bach Stradivarius 43* (1974), Bach 3C Mouthpiece.
Getzen 896 Eterna Flugelhorn (1974), Curry 3FL Mouthpiece.
Plus a few other Bach, Getzen, Olds, Carol, and Besson horns.
I have occasionally played borrowed Strads in the past when blending with pit sections, laying tracks etc, dictated a uniform "commercial" blended section. Some of the Bachs were older, some new. One thing that always struck me about them was the dependability of the valves, larger, longer and not prone to "diagonal pressure hangup" as some of my Conns were.
I knew I could always rely on a Strad, even if I just borrowed it for a 3 hour gig.
Thanks to Brother Tyleman I now have my own '70's Strad in excellent shape and, although a different blow and sound compared to what I'm accustomed to, it always does what I ask of it and sounds just how I expect it to with different mouthpieces and how I picture the sound I want in my mind.
For the rest of those responding with useful tips, Thank you! I'll try some of your suggestions. I do know that I often strike the valves in a somewhat awkward manner, due to some arthritis in the hands issues. This however, has never been a problem with two other horns, an older bach and a yamaha flugelhorn. The oil i typically use is Ultra Pure, that I learned about here on this forum. I've tried several others and the ultra seems to work best for me. I will look into some of the other oils mentioned here.
I purchased this horn through Musician's Friend, online, and it took many calls to get them to respond appropriately and make arrangements to have the horn shipped back to Conn-Selmer. Try to contact them (Conn-Selmer) direct and get anywhere! Their response is simply, "go through the supplier for warranty repairs". I asked several times about a refund or replacement, to no avail.
Regardless, I'll continue to try and make this work. The biggest problem I am dealing with now is that I am constantly concerned while performing, that a valve will stick. This may not be a problem if I was in a band/orchestra and not playing a solo part, but I perform alone - sound system accompaniment and my horn and I. If a valve sticks, song is pretty much ruined. I'd like to perform a song with the trumpet that leaves my mind carefree, like I am when I play the flugelhorn.
Again, thanks everyone for the advice. Much appreciated!
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