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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Valve Caps in the General forums; Has anyone else tried the rubber o-rings on thier horn like the ones on monettes? I have tried this and ...
  1. #31
    Mezzo Forte User jcstites's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    Tallahassee, FL

    Re: Valve Caps

    Has anyone else tried the rubber o-rings on thier horn like the ones on monettes? I have tried this and it makes a HUGE difference on my bachs. I also have a heavy cap on my 3rd valve. The o-rings make it so you can adust how tight they are. Not everyone likes it and I have gone back and forth for over a year. I suggest trying it though, I got them at home depot for about $.50

  2. #32
    Mezzo Forte User
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    Jan 2005

    Re: Valve Caps

    I've fooled around with the o-rings on non-Monette horns with mixed results. It was hideous on my Bach C and Schilke piccolo, but Very good on my Schilke Eb (the Eb also has heavier bottom caps).

    For whatever reason, the tightness "formula" that Monette recommended to me (and that works on my Monette horns) wasn't good with the Eb. (On the Monette the third is only tight enough to not loosen itself, the first is about a 1/4 turn, the second about 1/2 turn) Anyway, the Eb was very good with each on only tight enough to stay on.

    So...they definately changed the way the horns played (for me anyway), but not always for the better. It doesn't hurt to mess around, but it's no magic bullet. It did end up really evening out the intonation and feel of my Eb, so I thought it was worth a little experimenting.

  3. #33
    Utimate User Dale Proctor's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Heart of Dixie

    Re: Valve Caps

    I tried the o-ring thing (following the "proper" instructions) and really couldn't tell any difference. I left them on a while anyway, but decided I looked like a trumpet geek. So I took 'em off. Cheap to experiment with, though, and if they work for you, great. For me, the only o-rings I use are on my 1st and 3rd slides to eliminate the occasional accidental CLANK.
    Olde Towne Brass

    Brass Band of Huntsville

    Trumpet: 1976 Bach Stradivarius ML 43, Curry 3C.
    Cornet: 1993 Bach Stradivarius L 184G, Curry 3BBC.

  4. #34
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: Valve Caps

    I now have experimented with heavy valve caps (manufacturer:CC Caps, weight: about 48 grams each) on 3 different Bach Bb(37ML, 43L, 72*ML) and a standard C(229/25H L) as well as a Spada modified Bb (L with 229 bell)with heavy leadpipe and tuning bell. All are instruments that I am familiar with. I used 2 different mouthpieces, a Monette Prana B2D and a Bach 1C. I tried the following:
    just on 3rd valve, 2nd/3rd, 1st/2nd/3rd. no o-rings and with o rings.
    The results for all of the horns played was similar:
    the weight on the 1st valve was not significant.
    3rd valve alone gave me an impression of better slotting. The recordings showed that the top line G became sharper and the 4th space E and Eb and 4th line D were slightly lower in pitch(even on the Bb). Adding the weight to the 2nd valve gave me the impression that the slotting got even better - the recordings showed an even greater intonation shift. I was able to muscle the pitch back to where it belonged, it was funny that I didn't perceive the pitch change while playing. Muscling was easier with the Bach mouthpiece than the Monette.
    What about the sound? With one weight and a microphone 1 meter away the recorded sound(middle register) was brighter. At 20 meters, no difference in sound hearable. With 2 weights at 1 meter the sound was again slightly brighter. At 20 meters it sounded brighter and somewhat "closer" than without or with only 1 weight.

    The Spada was a completely different story. Adding the weights to this "redesigned" Bach did not affect the intonation and the sound didn't get brighter, but "thicker"-more dense, it also sounded closer in distance. Please note, the Spada had a non Bach leadpipe that is out of thicker metal and has a second pipe over the top of the first one. The tuning slide is also much thicker and of a different shape than the Bach. This instrument is tuned at the bell.

    Just to complete the picture, I took my Monette Ajna 2 and removed the heavy caps. The response got fuzzy and the octaves were no longer in tune. I stopped the experiment here.

    I know that this test was not representative or "scientific". It did confirm my belief that the trumpet is a complex acoustical entity and that changing single factors does not predictably improve the instrument. When using large mouthpieces (with open throats and large backbores), we have a great deal of flexibility with "intonation". The intonation discrepancies noted could be compensated for.
    I personally see no need for heavy caps on a standard Bach. The better "slotting" was achieved with worse intonation and additional brightness. The Spada modified instrument however became more complete-better focussed. I would have to experiment longer to nail down the complete picture, but December is heavy duty concert time and playing around like this is dangerous in regard to consistency. Maybe more next year!
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  5. #35
    Forte User B15M's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
    Monroe Ct.

    Re: Valve Caps

    I think the caps will definitely make a change. On my trumpet I would guess the trumpet would play worse. I say that because I think Dave M. is a better maker than I am a player.

    I tried the O ring thing on my Bach and it didn't do anything.

    I think what I read above about where the nodes hit is exactly what we are dealing with. Some horns put the valve block forward and others back. This would change what valve hits the node.

    On my Monette trumpets the caps are all the same weight. (Not from trumpet to trumpet but, from valve to valve) If it made a difference wouldn't Dave use it? Maybe the valve casings are different weights?

    I have done a lot of experimenting with the O rings and mouthpieces. The O rings tight makes slotting better and loose gets very slippery. You can also adjust tuning with the caps. I have been told many times how to do this but, I'm not a good enough player to make it matter.

    I think in all of my experimenting the mouthpiece is the key to the biggest change. The weight of the mouthpiece and the length makes a huge difference. (Monette or not)

  6. #36
    New Friend jbowman1993's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Bangkok, Thailand

    Re: Valve Caps

    My valve caps stick quite a bit. My wife says its because I don't take out the trash often enough...

    Only in
    Joe Bowman
    College of Music, Mahidol University
    Bangkok, Thailand

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    Yamaha Performing Artist

  7. #37
    lmf is offline
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    May 2007
    Indiana USA

    Re: Valve Caps


    I tried the "dime method" and it works. Tone changes for sure!

    But, the dimes sure get oily!

    Best wishes,


  8. #38
    New Friend
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    paris, tennessee

    Re: Valve Caps

    To Pedal C:

    You wrote:

    "For whatever reason, the tightness "formula" that Monette recommended to me (and that works on my Monette horns).... On the Monette the third is only tight enough to not loosen itself, the first is about a 1/4 turn, the second about 1/2 turn."

    Obviously, I am about 6 months late for this thread, but would you be willing to give a bit more explanation of this ? Particularly, how each cap affects particular pitches. I have an old Monette C (#125) I am trying to figure out how best to tune it. Thanks much.

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