Your brace assembly comment makes a lot of sense. Question: Can horns that don't play so well be improved by having the braces unsoldered and then put back on? Also, (not completely understanding the jig involved with the assembly), will those resoldering be able to do a good job without the jig used for original assembly? I've got a 1970 Bach that has never played near as well as my other 2 Strads. One of the leading repair men looked at it and didn't "see" anything worng or make a suggestion for improvement. However, anyone that plays it for even a short while finds it very stuffy and difficult.
Last edited by SteveRicks; 07-25-2010 at 09:37 AM.
Olds Supers, LA (1953), Ful. (1962)
Olds Recording, LA (1952)
Olds Studio, LA (1953)
Olds Special, Ful. (1964)
Olds Ambassador, LA (1954)
Olds Ambassador, Ful. (1973)
Bach Strads 37-(1967, 1970, 1974, 1982)
Bach Strad 72 MLV (1973), 72* (1982)
Kanstul 1500 (2002), 1502 (2008), 1503 (2002)
Kanstul 1537 (2007)
Kanstul Chicago (2000)
Kanstul 1510 C
King Liberty (1929,1929)
King Liberty 2 (1938, 1944)
King Liberty 2b (1950)
J.H. Darby 45 USA
Holton (Revelation) 1924
Kanstul 1525 Flugelhorn
Jigs are used to insure accurate alignment during assembly. If alignment is the only goal, fine. In the case of trumpets we have resonant instruments that change their characteristics if the parts do not align perfectly. With a jig, the part(s) in question just get forced into the jig so that they are aligned, and then soldered. The "right way" if RESONANCE is the goal, is to adjust the parts so that they do not have to be forced into alignment. That can mean bending parts like braces, rethinking the heating and annealing processes in the horn or throwing parts out of tolerance in the bin. It also can place bigger requirements on the people soft- and hard soldering. Maybe a bow needs to be adjusted, tuning slides calibrated, brace repositioned, valve slides tightened up with an expander (the standard Bach tolerance on the valve slides was not very good in the past. I have not measured newer instruments).
There is a shop in Switzerland that I have often mentioned: Spada. They have tons of old Bach horns that they disassemble for the parts. When a client comes, they use these STANDARD parts to recreate the horns - with swiss jewelers precision. I have NEVER played one (and I have played many) that was less than outstanding. For me, they take Bach instruments to their logical extreme. Obviously the tolerances on the original parts allows for excellent instruments, but the assembly robs those parts of their full potential!
Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
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