Prestige Cornet Valves

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by TuTuKu, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. TuTuKu

    TuTuKu Active Member

    Hi guys,

    Just wanted your opinion on something: I've recently noticed that my Prestige cornet's valves are a bit sluggish and not as quick to respond as I'd like them to be (after playing quite a slick trumpet). I've had it for around 18 months - bought it second hand so I don't know how old it is, but 4 or 5 years by now I should think. Anyway. I went into the local brass & wind specialist with the intention of buying some more springs, but after a quick squeeze of the new springs it didn't seem that they were any different to ones I have... so the music shop suggested I brought the cornet in for them to give it a 'valve service' where they'd wire wool the valves, the casing and also brasso them. It'd cost in the region of £30.

    I've read on here before that Prestige valves aren't the greatest, and also to steer well clear of brasso and wire wool on valves so I'm a little dubious!

    Do you think that a valve service would make much difference? (or £30 worth of difference?!) I have cleaned it recently and properly scrubbed the valves, but didn't seem to make it any better.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks, Catherine x
  2. What do the valves look like at the bottom? On my old Soverign Euphonium i used to get a build up of some substance, bit like limescale at the bottom of the valves. My teacher used to have to use some mechanical (VERY mini sander on the end of a drill), don't know what it was called, to 'shave' this off. It worked every time.
  3. andyh

    andyh Supporting Member

    I look after the instruments for our band and the decent instruments go to our local specialist for refurbishment and come back with really slick valves for much about the same cost you mention. So I'd say, yes, for a Prestige cornet with monel valves - get a valve service from a reputable brass repair place. I reckon you'll notice a big difference.

    For older instruments (ie the battered ones used by the juniors), I've had good results simply by cleaning and polishing with silver wadding (carefully!). It's amazing what a difference you can make by stripping the valve down completely, cleaning and polishing every bit - even the stem where the valve guide slides - and replacing all the felts. Of course, the valve body needs cleaning but I never use anything other than a brush and mild detergent there.

    I never use wire wool or brasso though. Not because I know what I'm doing or anything, it just sounds a little too abrasive for what is in the end a precision assembly!

  4. Veri

    Veri Member

    I would definitely advice sending it in for a service. I recently bought a second hand bari (Besson incidentally), and the valves were pretty rubbish. I took it to Rosehill, and they polished them, and gave me new springs, and now it is amazing! Definitely worth the money (although mine was done as part of the full overhaul).
  5. blinddogjohn

    blinddogjohn New Member

    The old prestige was a total waste of time. Poor build and the worst valves ever. I've just bought a brand new "Built in France" model and it is brilliant!!!!! The valves are the best I have ever played build quality is superb. This is how the cornet should have been in the first place.

    My advice is sell your old one and get a new one.
  6. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    Hiya, my valves are the same and my bell has drooped and its reeeeeeeally out of tune all the time no matter what you do as is someone elses i know.

    I agree with blinddogjohn!!
  7. I agree with him too. I have the new Besson prestige Euphonium from Buffet Crampon and Besson, in a different league from the older ones. If you want one, i reccomend talking to Normans as they seem to get in the new instruments a lot quicker than other retailers.

    Leisa, what do you mean by your bell has drooped?! Could be taken in all sorts of different ways from that in which is was meant i'm sure...!
  8. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    The proper way is to get a repairer to "regulate" the valves, they'll put special paste on them that gently grinds off any dirt and makes the valve and bore smooth (you get the same stuff on brand new instruments and have to clean it off).
    If it's just dirt, I have used silver polish in the past (NOT the wadding stuff, something liquid like Silvo that is very very gentle), just use instead of valve oil, move the valves up and down for a bit, then clean off and wash out.
    Anything abrasive enough to scratch valves - even slightly - should never be used, it'll make them far worse as dirt gets in the scratches=>more scratches, etc.
    Sovereign baritone valves are by far the worst - there was a really good post on here a fair while back about why (something to do with using cheaper stainless steel instead of Monel for the bores, which the harder Monel valves wear away quickly) but I can't find it yet.
  9. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    lol I dont know how to explain it, its just drooped its not like its been knocked and its bent its almost as if it been heated and the metal or whatever it is has drooped. only slightly am looking into getting it fixed which will cost about £50 but am keeping my fingers crossed for a new cornet for my b-day. seen as though this is already my 2nd prestige (my 1st one the silver peeled off) i am not gonna chance a 3rd!!
  10. True, it could be argued that the new Prestige's are a totally different instrument. Improved, made by different people and in a different factory and with tighter quailty control. I'm not employed by Besson by the way - wish i was - i've just done so much research into it recently.
    The new Yamaha Xenos are meant to be good, new as in over the last month or two. The principal cornet player in my band tried one out and loved it.
    Sure it didn't droop too...! lol
  11. TuTuKu

    TuTuKu Active Member

    Thanks for all your posts... unfortunately, being a student I can't really afford a new prestige so will have to manage with the one I've got!

    Just about to take it in, so here's hoping it'll come back super slick!

    Catherine x
  12. I'm sure it will. Good luck!
  13. TuTuKu

    TuTuKu Active Member

    Just got it back... it's quite a bit better although not perfect. The guy in the shop said that was the nature of the prestige's valves. He showed me a brand new buffet-made sovereign, and those valves were really good :cool:
  14. Ha, what a surprise. He's going to try to sell you the new most expensive one! Not tempted!?
  15. TuTuKu

    TuTuKu Active Member

    Lol, if I won the lottery maybe... I don't think my student loan covers buying a Prestige cornet, unfortunately!

    For what I use my cornet for, it does its job pretty well... the valves are only a minor gripe, certainly not a reason for buying a whole new instrument!
  16. MaxPressure

    MaxPressure Member

    I tried one and didn't like it one bit. I still say that the original sovereign cornets take alot of beating if you can get one...... the one with the full ring little finger rest and the extra slide just round from the main tuning slide. I had one in my old band, looked really tatty, but played like a dream.
  17. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    yeh thats what im gettin...well hopefully...only one more day to wait...:biggrin:
  18. I have posted my experience with the Prestige cornet here before, but here goes again...

    I bought one brand new and for a couple of months had problems with sticking valves - I returned it to Besson (via the retailer) and then waited three months for the problems to be sorted out, and to get my cornet back. (A month for each valve :) )

    Well, I am pretty sure that the instrument that I got back wasn't the original one (although same number stamped on it).

    This one is a beauty - no valve probs, intonation brill, no problems with plating flaking.

    This all happened around 2003
  19. Good luck with the new cornet Leisa. Aren't you always really scared with new instruments?! I get so scared of scratching them!

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