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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Valve guides: brass vs plastic in the General forums; There's always interesting banter (sometimes personally contentious) about this on the other site and it usually involves Strads. Apparently it's ...
  1. #11
    Utimate User tobylou8's Avatar
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    Dec 2008

    Re: Valve guides: brass vs plastic

    There's always interesting banter (sometimes personally contentious) about this on the other site and it usually involves Strads. Apparently it's an option (brass or nylon guides) or used to be. Anyway, it seems to revolve around the mass/resonance theory that has given us heavy valve caps, sheet metal bracing and "heavy" horns. Some say there isn't enough mass to change the sound perceptively, others swear by it. Someone asked if there were any "scientific" analysis done and Mark Curry said and I quote, "Documented? I don't know if anyone has studied this and published results".
    That was June of this year. So, it still seems to revolve around an individuals perception. Try the washer in the 3rd valve cap (bottom of course) and see what it does for you before you spend real money switching guides around.
    Dave Mickley likes this.
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  2. #12
    New Friend
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Corona CA

    Re: Valve guides: brass vs plastic

    The brass guides in my ambassador are a bit noisy for my taste. I am going to change them to nylon as soon as I can. Thats my $.02
    coolerdave likes this.

  3. #13
    Forte User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia

    Re: Valve guides: brass vs plastic

    Having both brass and plastic guides in my Selmers in the new year I will set up some tests with a Spectrum analyzer to see if I can detect a difference, I will get my friend to change them so I will not know which I am playing.

    Brass being a better acoustic conductor than plastic may have an effect on the vibratory modes of the valve casings.

    In 27 years of playing I have had 2 plastic guides fail at gigs, I carry a spare in my case.

    Regards, Stuart.

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