Sterling virtuoso eup.

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Rob Dawson, Jul 10, 2017.

  1. Rob Dawson

    Rob Dawson New Member

    Hi all, so after many years away from the brass world I've returned to a local band. That isn't to say I haven't been playing .... just not a member of a band. Until a few months ago I played a mid 90's sov. Then a virtuoso turned up on eBay..... 6 months old, ex demo, nicely spec'd, some of you may have seen it..... I got in touch and we did the deal, my sov and some pennies.... happy boy....mmmmmmm

    I need maybe guidance, or encouragement to stick at it or whatever.....

    The instrument has a heavy bell and trigger setup and the tone and projection are superb ...a big step up from the sov (particularly projection) but the moving parts....
    So far in the 2 months I've owned it I've stripped the valves to bits 3 times. I'm not talking a wipe with a flannel here. I've taken the valve guides off cleaned the valves with everything short of an angle grinder, running them up and down the valve casings alla grinding in a valve in a cylinder head! Still they're inconsistent and the 3rd is periodically prone to sticking. There doesn't seem to be a tight spot when I fit them without the guide.
    In the same time scale I've treated the trigger in a similar manner. That appears to "twist" when I try and operate it. When I got the instrument the trigger was very noisy, it rattled from both upper and lower joints. I fitted small nylon washers to the joints solving the rattle but I cannot get the trigger to work. I've actually removed the trigger for now as if I accidentally applied pressure it wasn't returning with the resultant poor tuning prompting the 'conductor stare' .
    The slide itself is pretty free and easy so I'm not sure where the problem lies. Granted it may still be a case off " it needs to be cleaner " but it's the twisting action within the trigger mech that has me puzzled. Is this normal?
    Re the valves... the only other thought is that I've been using the Denise wick silicone lubricant. Is it possible that this 'oil' isn't suitable for these valves?

    Thanks for reading my short essay on the life of a valve
  2. Hsop

    Hsop Member

    Hi Rob

    I use Denis Wick valve oil with all of my instruments as it keeps the valves working well. Have you contacted the company/Ebay seller and explained the issues to them yet?

    I've never played a Virtuosi instrument but have seen some of the cornets advertised on Ebay. Does anyone know which country these instruments are manufactured in? Hope you manage to get it sorted soon or perhaps a replacement if the issues are unable to be rectified.

  3. Rob Dawson

    Rob Dawson New Member

    Hi Hsop

    Thanks for the reply and info re Denis wick valve oil. I've only recently started using it. It was fine on my previous instrument but that was a 25 year old sov. hence not sure of its suitability on a new instrument ( I did wonder if it was perhaps very good on older instruments with worn valves as against brand new instruments - a bit like 5 w30 in a new engine as agains 15w40 an a 100,000 mile engine if that makes sense? )

    Regarding sterling they are a British made instrument and highly regarded so I understand. I am considering getting in touch with the company I bought it from but I feel a little awkward about it. As I say there's no noticeable stick running the valves through the casing. I was wondering whether filing a couple of though off the valve guides might help ( there plastic and removable so no danger to the valves) but was hoping someone may have already had similar problems and done something like that, or perhaps some other solution? I suspect I'm going to be told to clean them again and if I send it back it will probably come back with heavy springs, solving the problem to the detriment of high speed valve work.

    Although a lot of money it's exdemo so I'm not the first 'owner' from the factory so I doubt I'd get any joy from the manufacturer. I might drop Glyn Williams an email. Does anyone know if he's a member on here?

    All the best
  4. Graeme Euphonium

    Graeme Euphonium Member

    It has been my experience that valve guides often need some very careful filing I use a very small file I purchased for that purpose along with a watchmakers eye glass.
    You can contact Glyn via his web site glynwilliamsmusic
  5. Rob Dawson

    Rob Dawson New Member

    Cheers Graeme . I did wonder if it might help but it's good to hear someone else has gone down that path.

    Had a chat with someone from "brass fix". He's going to sort some valve guides from Paul at Sterling ( don't want to mess with mine till I have a plan b). Also mentioned the wick oil .... his advice was to ditch it! He suggested it tends to dry out rather quickly leaving particles of ptfe on the valve clogging them up ..... he then proceeded to recommend and sell me some other oil that's got ptfe in it!
    He also recommended a particularly light grease for the trigger. When the bits arrive I'll update on exactly what I've bought and possible improvements.
  6. Karleuph

    Karleuph New Member

    I've an '86 sov and I wouldn't swap it with anything. However, it's taken time to get it perfect. Personally, I'd get it back to the manufacturer and make them sort it out. Seems like you've bought one with problems that need urgently sorting. I have 2 friends who have the same instrument as yours and haven't got those issues. Otherwise, you can use a toothbrush and Brasso to clean the valve guides and casing. Polish the valves - they are stainless steel, mine are Monel which is a softer and more expensive alloy - with a Goddard's Silvercloth. Use a lint free cloth to clean off any residue inside and out. I've used Denis Wick and its quite viscous and slows the valves down compared to Vincent Bach - which I use - or Al Cass. I'd get it back to the manufacturer. They won't like having an instrument out there if it has issues. Hope this helps. Karl
  7. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    As far as valve oils and slide greases go...

    I've tended to find that the modern synthetics are significantly better than the "old favourites". Not a fan of Wick oil - Ultrapure, Hetman and Yamaha oils have all been consistently superb for me.
    As slide greases go... I like Hetman #5 (slide oil) which is heavier than valve oil but not a solid grease - it does a wonderful job on valveslides (whether using shunts/rings or triggers)

    (Incase it matters, I'm a sop player, not a Euph player).
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