I thought I'd pose a question out there regarding valves due to some observations I've had over the years.
In short, I've never had a trumpet that has had any real valve problems, but I have known other people who seem like they are always having issues with valves on one horn or another. It could be because in most of my time as a trumpet player, I've mainly only used 3 trumpets - 4 if you include the Yamaha I got in 8th grade but only really played for 2 years. I don't know if that trumpet had the dreaded Yamalloy valve curse or not - they looked terrible, but functioned fine. In any case, otherwise I've played 2 Bach trumpets and my current Schilke over a span of about 28 years.
I'm not really one to take my horns into the shop either. Unless I have something major happen to a horn that requires actual repair, I do basic maintenance with cleaning and that's that.
So why is it that I don't tend to have valve issues, but other people, who usually spend a lot more time and money in a shop for maintenance, do? Is it a body chemistry thing? Is it how my valves wear due to how they are being pressed? Do people with harsher body chemistry have more issues with their valves?
Part of what has inspired this thread is that oddly, the first valve on my Schilke has been getting just a tad draggy every now and again, which is surprising to me since I have never really had any issues before now. But I suspect that it's probably due to it being dirty - my horn is due for another cleaning, and I haven't swabbed out the casings for quite a while. I'm going to try that and see if it fixes the issue. This horn was also made in 1999 and to my knowledge, has never seen the inside of a repair shop. I bought it used in 2005 (it was in like-new condition) and I don't think it had been played much prior to my getting it. Anyway, that's 9 years on the same horn with trouble-free valves.
I'm curious to hear what others have to say - especially the folks on the forum who do instrument repair.