To what degree do mouthpiece gap, tuning slide gap, intonation aid gap (1st & 3rd valve slides), water key nipples (traditional water keys, as opposed to Amado design), dents (major and minor), bends/crooks (both shape and quantity), valve/piston alignment (vertically and radially), and water condensation affect sound, response, and playability?
It is my understanding that mouthpiece gap, which has been discussed elsewhere, is to a degree designed by instrument manufcturers, and yet at times can be adjusted with the result being an improvement. I also know that at least one manufacturer addresses the tuning slide situation by providing inserts to reduce the area of change in tubing diameter when the tuning slide is pulled out. What about when the third and/or first valve slide is extended to flatten low C# or D? Do the holes for water keys in the transition areas of crooks disturb the vibrations passing through the area? I have been told that dents in nodal areas can have a negative effect. Do these nodes occur at different areas for different notes? How large does a dent have to be to make a difference? I definitely notice a change in timbre when different valve combinations are used: the more crooks involved, the greater the change; open tones sound clear, while low Db sounds hoarse, dull, and stuffy. Valves which are optimized to their respective tubing openings are considered desirable, but what if there's a radial misalignment that cannot be corrected by adjusting the valve guides? For instance, if the openings in the valves are slightly out of position because the horn was not constructed perfectly, how much misalignment, if any, is tolerable? What about overlaps in the curves in the valves themselves which prevent a perfect shape? And do water droplets formed in nodal areas have the same effect as dents?
I look forward to reading your experiences, comments, and informed opinions.
Bach Stradivarius Model 72* trumpet
Yamaha YFH-731 flugelhorn
King Opus 7 cornet
King Cleveland 602 cornet
Parrot Bb field trumpet
natural trumpet in key of C (frankenhorn under construction)
Selmer Bundy tenor trombone
Gemeinhardt C flute
"There are two sides to a trumpeter's personality: there is the one that lives only to lay waste to the woodwinds and strings, leaving them lying blue and lifeless along the path of destruction that is a trumpeter's fury; then there's the dark side...." -- Michael Stewart, DMA