What should I look for in choosing valve oil?
What should I look for in choosing valve oil?
Getzen 907S Eterna Proteus
"It's amazing what we can accomplish if we don't consciously get in the way" Adolph "Bud" Herseth
"Some days there won't be a song in your heart. Sing anyway." Emory Austin
I've always believed:
Newer valves generally need thinner oil
Valves with more wear will need thicker oil
Synthetic oils last longer (or at least no dinosaurs were harmed in the making of the synthetic oil) :)
Again, those are just my thoughts born of my experience.
Bb cornet: 2012 Getzen 3850 Custom (copper bell)
Bb trumpets: 1980 Bach Strad 37
Euphonium: Jupiter Capital Edition 460
Eastern Iowa Brass Band
"Practice, not procurement, is the secret." -- me
I've never really thought about it. I either use Blue Juice (made locally, not sure on its nationwide availability) or Al Cass Fast, depending on what the store has on hand at the moment. IME, Blue Juice gives me a slightly faster action but doesn't last as long, so it's probably thinner.
Last edited by BinaryHulledIon; 12-31-2012 at 01:20 PM. Reason: Memory failure
Your body chemistry may also factor into what works best. Same horn, same oil, different players and it works for one and not the other. I've used Al Cass for years and then Hetman's 1,2,and 3 depending on which horns valves are tight or loose. You just have to experiment with what works best for you.
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!
I believe that synthetic oils lubricate longer than non-synthetic which seem to dry/evaporate more quickly, although I have no evidence to support this belief other than my own perception in using them.
I personally prefer Hetman's because they make valve oils in a variety of interchangeable viscosities (piston oil 1,2, or 3) as well as slide grease/oil/gel that I can taylor to the needs of a particular instrument based on valve/slide particulars/condition (wear) which seems to work well for me. Price is very reasonable through WWBW and others.
I also use Ultra Pure synthetic which seems to be a good product, but is currently only available in one viscosity that I find a bit light for some older horns.
Neither of these choices are particularly smelly which I like
I think that there are many options available that will work well at making the pistons go up/down smoothly and last between applications which is the bottom line. Beyond that is really just personal preference (price, availability, smell, pretty color, cool name, etc. ).
Schilke B1 & S42 (Bb), Conn 38A Connstellation (Cornet), Bach Strad 183 (Flugel), French Besson Classic (C)
Plus a modest collection of vintage trumpets.
"True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country." Kurt Vonnegut
"It aint the mouthpiece." W.W.
I vote for HETMAN's also.... Its reasonably priced and lasts and the different viscosities are nice..I also like Alisyn..I think the yamaha synthetic is WAY overpriced......
Whatever oil you choose, be consistant and use it exclusively and often. What Im saying is, dont ever mix oils in your beautiful new Getzen. Ever have someone borrow your oil because they didnt have any? They are crazy for A) not having oil with them in the first place. 2) Using any old oil that gets handed to them, quality unquestioned. AND C) mixing oils till they dont know what they have. No wonder their valves are hanging up! I carry a bottle of oil I picked up at a gig that was left behind for just those people. I dont lend my good stuff to goofs.
As stated above, Blue Juice is a good oil, but one of my older horns didnt like it so I got a recomendation from a pro that I know and bought some Yamaha Synthetic Regular (Light also available). Problems all solved. It is clear and wont stain your clothes if you are dumb enough to oil your slacks, but we all know your not like that. It has no smell and like stated above, since its synthetic, lasts longer and is dyno-friendly. It is just a bit more expensive than many other choices, but if you dont waste it and it lasts longer, not so bad.
Really your choice of oil is mostly subjective as the main brands are all good quality. But everyone is looking for the most edge for their horn to make that little difference that makes them a better player. Find one you like, for any reason at all, and stick with it. Best wishes.
Last edited by larry tscharner; 01-02-2013 at 09:31 PM.
M J Klashen The Yankee 1923
Concertone, Czech made, pre war
Olds Ambassador Cornet 1955
Olds Super Trumpet 1966
Yamaha 8335 Xeno 2008
Getzen 900s Eterna Classic 2009
Well now, here's my 3 pennyworth. For my new horns, or those I've had the valves rebuilt I use the thinnest oil. For my older, more worn ones, I use thicker oil, generally oil I've blended myself from synthetic clock and watch lubes. It helps being a certified master watchmaker and precision machinist, so I like to think!
I generally blend my own synthetic lubes, based upon what's available to clock and watch techs. But I don't want this to be a platform of controversy, but my Buescher New England model, with fairly worn valves, does well with a blend of Blue Juice and Etsyntha clock oil. That's my classical horn. My others have valves in great shape for the most part, but cleaning and lubing is a mania with me anyway.
+1 for Hetman. Regardless of your choice, be sure to clean your horn thoroughly before changing oils - especially if you are switching between petroleum and synthetic oils.
'82 Bach Stradivarius (43)
'47 Buescher True Tone 205
'71 Bach Mercedes Cornet
'70 Conn F/Eb Alto Horn
'20s Courtois Flugelhorn
1991 King Silver Flair
1953 Olds Super (LA)
1979 King KG1055T (pre UMI) Silver Flair
1940? Olds Ambassador (LA) tenor trombone
I'm not responsible for offending people -- people are responsible for themselves taking offense at me
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