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Horns Discuss Leadpipe Crud in the Equipment forums; Greetings to all, I’ve been playing on my Yamaha Xeno Bb for about four years now. The last two times ...
  1. #1
    Pianissimo User
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    Leadpipe Crud

    Greetings to all,

    I’ve been playing on my Yamaha Xeno Bb for about four years now. The last two times I’ve cleaned out the horn (within the last two months) I’ve noticed that there is crud in the leadpipe that won’t wash out, even if I let the horn soak for a long time. It’s about time for me to take the horn in for a chemical cleaning, and I was wondering if anyone had advice on what to have the shop do about the leadpipe. A member of a brass quintet I’m in – and a repair technician – told me that a repair person would probably use a brush with something abrasive on it (like steel wool) to grind the stuff off. He said that corrosion like this is the beginning of red rot. Could abrading the inside of the leadpipe mess with the sound quality of the instrument? Would it be better for me just to request that they put on a new leadpipe? I apologize if this is an overly basic question, but I’ve never had a problem with corrosion like this before.

    Many thanks in advance for your responses,

    Andy
    Bb: Bach 37
    C:Yamaha 6445H

  2. #2
    Fortissimo User gzent's Avatar
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    Re: Leadpipe Crud

    I would first try scrubbing it for 15-20 minutes with a new brush and some strong liquid hand soap/degreaser, the kind that feels gritty in your hands. You can get this stuff in an orange bottle in most auto supply stores.

    If that doesn't work then have a NAPBIRT certified tech clean it out.

    Greg
    Stop acting like someone shot your dog.

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    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Re: Leadpipe Crud

    A chemical cleaning can probably remove what you see without too much "mechanical" work. Your repair tech will tell you if the leadpipe is on its last leg. If that is the case, the tuning slide should also be checked out with a mirror or video camera.
    It may be time to review the time between cleaning periods. Have you had this problem with other horns? If so it may even be a diet or stomach acid issue.
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

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    Mezzo Piano User trumpet blower88's Avatar
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    Re: Leadpipe Crud

    After only 4 years I really doubt it's time for a new leadpipe. And red rot usualy occors in the curved areas like the tuneing slide, and other bends, if it's in the middle of the of the lead pipe I'm sure it's just some gunk that can be scrubed out. Be careful scrubbing with anything too abrasive, you don't want to scratch up the rest of the leadpipe that still works fine. Try the vinigar idea a scrub it with your normal leadpipe snake and it'll probably come out fine.
    -David Jacques

  5. #5
    Mezzo Forte User tom turner's Avatar
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    Re: Leadpipe Crud

    Actually, Red Rot can occur anywhere on the inner surface of the brass. It is QUTE common in the CENTER of leadpipes, in the area between where the mouthpiece shank goes in furthest . . . and the tuning slide goes in furthest.

    I suspect this is also the area of concern for the originator of this thread. Let me explain why . . .

    Gunk likes to accumulate in that area because nothing rubs against this area and it is also an area that can trap static spit and organic debris when the horn is put back in the case with the tuning slide pushed all the way back in.

    This is the spot famous for showing red rot on those otherwise wonderful early Benge trumpets.

    It is the spot most likely for a little bubble under the silverplating to indicate a spot of red rot has already eaten through the leadpipe on horns that are sometimes QUITE new.

    As a red rot spot begins in this area . . . a small but growing "pit" begins to grow outward through the brass at that spot . . . and this little, nasty depression of rotting brass is a perfect spot to accumulate even more organic debris . . . sort of like a tooth cavity being a great spot to catch even more decay-causing bacteria in your mouth.

    If the spot won't clean up with a brush to be clean and mirror-like, I truly suspect that "decay" has begun. There are ways to lessen the speed of further destruction . . . see a competent, experienced technician for solutions.

    T.

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    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Re: Leadpipe Crud

    As standing waves build up in the trumpet (the vibrations that give us the individual notes that we play), there are high and low pressure "nodes" that are formed depending on the notes that we play. I assume that gunk will accumulate in the middle of the leadpipe because there is a point of low pressure there.
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

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    Re: Leadpipe Crud

    Thanks for all the replies. Rowuk – as to your question above, no, I’ve never had a problem like this before. I’m usually on the horn six or seven days a week, so I try to clean it out at regular intervals. I think I’ve averaged every three weeks since I’ve owned the horn. I’m also fairly religious about brushing/flossing before I play. The only exception to the rule is beer during the summer, but all my horns understand that beer is going to be a condition of their existence in my hands :)

    I’ll try plugging the pipe and pouring some vinegar in and see if that works. It’ll be a great cold-weekend project, at least for a half hour or so.

    Later,
    Bb: Bach 37
    C:Yamaha 6445H

  8. #8
    Fortissimo User gzent's Avatar
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    Re: Leadpipe Crud

    Tom is right, as usual. Red rot in the leadpipe is due to organic 'crud' settling in the leadpipe when the horn is stored in the case.
    Stop acting like someone shot your dog.

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    Re: Leadpipe Crud

    First -- To address a "pet-peeve" of mine ... it's "leaderpipe" or "mouthpipe" or just plain "pipe"; not "leadpipe". Long explanation, but "leadpipe" is incorrect. It's in the vernacular, sadly, so I doubt many will self-correct (?).

    One area that seems to develop red-rot early, is exactly in the area where the pipe-to-valve cluster brace is soldered, (or more correctly, the brace-flange).

    I have seen this. It occurs because the heat from the soldering process causes the zinc in the brass-alloy to "leach", and come to the surface (inner-most) of the mouthpipe. Saliva and moisture (condensation) "compound-the-felony", and the process accelerates to manifest itself. Result: the dreaded "red-rot".

    Robt
    " ... Ya cain't polish a turd ...!" (old Southern expression)

    ~~ Love animals ... don't eat them. ~~

  10. #10
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    Re: Leadpipe Crud

    One other thing ....

    (mostly for Tom Turner)

    I don't want to come off as a "jerk" (or worse), in commenting about the term "leadpipe" being incorrect usage for horn nomenclature.

    Recently, on another horn forum, I chided Tom Turner, regarding his ominous countenance behind a "gun".

    I believe I was incorrect. Should be "revolver", correct, Tom?

    How does the term "pistol" apply?

    Robt
    _____________________________________________
    "An error does not become a mistake, until you refuse to correct it."

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