Sticky valves

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by euphfanhan, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. euphfanhan

    euphfanhan Member

    Over the last few months I noticed that all the valves on my euphonium, particularly 2nd and 4th are starting to stick more and more. It's slightly worrying considering I bought it new in December. I regularly clean the instrument and use valve oil, but one of the teachers at school, who used to play euphonium said maybe I was applying pressure from the side which was making them stick. Does anyone have any idea how I can solve the problem? It doesn't happen all the time, but I've started to play much more quietly at band as its starting to make me a bit nervous especially in fast passages in case they stick! Am I maybe holding the instrument at the wrong angle?? Any help much appreciated.
  2. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Check the valves and casings closely for any signs of wear (.. it could be linked to the valve guides). If under warranty, take it back.
  3. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    I find giving the valves and bores a regular wipe over with a clean soft cloth (a 100% cotton hanky is ideal) then re-oiling helps a lot. To wipe over the bores, take the valve out and the cap off the bottom (oh, watch the springs dropping out on euphs, too, I always forget them, being a cornet player!), then push the cloth through gently with a sutiable thin blunt instrument (a plastic chopstick is ideal) and pull through slowly.
    Hope this helps!
  4. Chris Sanders

    Chris Sanders Active Member

    Have you checked the batteries??
  5. euphfanhan

    euphfanhan Member

  6. jingleram

    jingleram Active Member

    Hmm what make is it?
  7. Valves on new-ish instruments often go through a sticking phase and need to be cleaned out to get them working again. I personally recommend Goddards Silver Polish (the pink liquid stuff in a blue bottle) which you can get from supermarkets.

    It's usually oxide build up on the inside of the valve casing which is the problem. Just put some of the polish on the valves and work them in the casings for a few minutes then strip the instrument down and clean it all out thoroughly. May take a few rinses after you've played it for a bit to get rid of all the gunk but it should stop them sticking, I've cured quite a few sticky valves using this (although mine have all been tuba ones.)

    Pip, pip,

  8. euphfanhan

    euphfanhan Member

    Besson prestige
  9. jingleram

    jingleram Active Member

    My dad's prestige had a similar problem, found out that on his, the little black plastic casing that covers the top of the valve tube was loose, and was turning whenever he pressed the valve. There is a little groove that holds it in place, you just have to make sure it clicks in place. If this isn't the problem, then you may want to check the valve guide, they are generally pretty good on prestiges, but they may go a bit strange! As always if it's in warranty, you could take it back to besson and it should come back good as new! Good luck!
  10. JDH

    JDH Member

    If you only bought the euphonium last December, I would suggest you take it back to the dealer to be returned to the manufacturer. I had a tuba like that. I cleaned the valves and they were better for a while, then the problem returned. I went on like that for 3 years, but in the end traded in the instrument simply because I felt I could not rely on the valves.

    Better you take yours back now, while is is under guarentee.
  11. sevenhelz

    sevenhelz Active Member

    could be your hand position actually - i used to have a similar problem, but it was on instruments that had been played by other banders and thus "bedded in" differently. however if your hand is kind of crooked relative to the valves, you can be pressing them slightly sideways, so they wear unevenly and stuffs. it's not good, but if it is that, all it requires is a little attention when playing to hold your hand straighter.
    i'd guess that's kind of what the teacher meant. i find my fourth valve sticks a little on the odd occasion that i have to hold it with my right hand (stupid page-turn), but it shouldn't be bad enough to scare you :S

    if you live reasonably near the music cellar i would just take it back, explain what's wrong and see if that nice Mr North has anything useful to say. it probably should've bedded in by now, mine has and i got it just after you. hope this is helpful

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