Tenor horns with extra valves?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Johnny Alto 2.0, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. Johnny Alto 2.0

    Johnny Alto 2.0 New Member

    Greetings all,
    I'm brand spanking new to themouthpiece.com, but I'm old as dirt compared to most of you here,...LOL!

    After a eight year break from playing tenor horn, I'm back in the saddle and setting my gear in the shop. I'm curious if anybody out there has run into tenor horn or cornet players who have added an extra rotor or piston valve onto their horns for assisting them in technical stuff.

    I'm a big fan of this and can't imagine not having the auxilary valve, but I'm curious if anyone else is into this "cheap trickery" out there in the brass band world.

    All the best to you,

    Dave Kratz, a.ka. Johnny Alto 2.0
  2. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Nope, never heard of it. What does it do?
  3. westoe_horn

    westoe_horn Member

    Well just like a 4th valve on a euph, tuba, Bb/F trombone etc.

    I might be mistaken but I'm sure Billy Rushworth has/had a horn modified with a rotary valve......?
  4. Johnny Alto 2.0

    Johnny Alto 2.0 New Member

    The rotor that I added on to my tenor horn lowers the valve 1/2 step to D alto. Remarkably, the horn is in better tune with itself,...LOL! I should have mentioned that I put one of these on Billy Rushworth's tenor horn when he was over in the states. Billy and I used those 1/2 step rotors to good use when we played Year o the Dragon with the Brass Band of Battle Creek.

    The valve has a boat load of uses, such as getting out of finger twisters in bad keys, nasty trills, alternate fingerings, controlled slurs over same fingering notes, etc., etc. When I put one of these valves on Billy's horn, he went bonkers over it as it really helps you save energy physically and mentally.

    MY inquiry here was whether this has been catching on in England at all in the last few years. Most people shake their heads and wonder what this valve is all about, but once you've found a few resolutions to difficult technical situations, your sold on it!

    I tried loading up an image for it here for you folks to have a peek at, alas, this server won't allow anything but url links. Well, if you folks are interested, send me an email to dkratz@nc.rr.com and I'll zap off some images for your amusement.
  5. Independent Silver Band

    Independent Silver Band Active Member

    I actually tried to have a fifth valve to my Besson euphonium. I t was to have been a slightly flat half step. It didn't get done because of time, and finances at the time. I have always wished I had.

    By the way welcome on here. I am located in Southern Illinois, eighty miles from St. Louis Mo.
  6. Johnny Alto 2.0

    Johnny Alto 2.0 New Member

    I have had some requests for digital images of this 1/2 step auxiliary rotor and so I'll be posting them into my photo section of the following site.


    Then do a search for David Kratz

    I'll also send images on request, but give me a day or so to take a few and crop them up for you all! Also, there are some wacky bits on this facebook site, so don't be thrown by my sense of humor. I blame it on playing the tenor horn professionally for over two decades and hanging out with Billy Rushworth,...LOL! (hey, I'm the victim here...)
  7. worzel

    worzel Member

    I can imagine how useful that'd be when playing with other instruments given that horns are in two flats. E and A are good keys for the guitar, playing along in C or F sure beats C# or F# :)

    Is it sprung, or can you just set your horn to D and leave it there and play as normal?
  8. Johnny Alto 2.0

    Johnny Alto 2.0 New Member

    Indeed, that is only one of the many "cheap tricks" you can pull out of the bag with the D rotor auxiliary. The valve is set up with a paddle mounted on the backside of the piston block, operated by the middle finger of the left hand. I play a Besson BE-950 and it is a comfortable grip and feel; very stable!

    Contact me at dkratz@nc.rr.com and I can send you some images. I've had a couple of emails already about this, so I'd better get cracking on it, eh? You can also see these images that will be loaded up to www.facebook.com. Once there, do a search for David Kratz.

    It will take a day or two to get them up on line as I'm a bit busy in my repair / modification shop with a train wreck of an accident!

    All the best,

    Dave Kratz
  9. Johnny Alto 2.0

    Johnny Alto 2.0 New Member

    I'm back,...

    I have posted a few images of the 1/2 step "D" valve modifications that I made on my BE950 sovereign. Simply go to:


    do a search for David Kratz

    you will see a some public images folders and select the one that says BE950

    Any questions or comments, you can reply to dkratz@nc.rr.com or sign up to be a "friend" on facebook!

    Take care and enjoy the images.
  10. worzel

    worzel Member

    There's 43 results for "David Kratz", and I believe the order of the results are sensitive to the person doing the searching. If only there were a simple Uniform way to link to a Resoure Locatioin, hey.
  11. Johnny Alto 2.0

    Johnny Alto 2.0 New Member

    Perhaps finding my images on Face Book will be made easier with this link to get you where you'd like to go. Currently my image has a crazy buy in striped tiger camo pants eating a bag of potato chips:


    I hope this works. A buddy of mine locally said that he had a hard time finding me too doing a search for David Kratz. How weird is that at? At any rate, if all else fails just send me an email to:

    dkratz@nc.rr.com and I'll fire off images to you,...ok?

    All the best
  12. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    Rather than entering "David Kratz" into the search box just enter his email address dkratz@nc.rr.com
  13. Johnny Alto 2.0

    Johnny Alto 2.0 New Member

    Wow,...does that work so simply? I'm surprised and delighted. Of course, if you're doing a search for someone and don't know their email in the first place, that leaves you out in the cold doesn't it?

    I'll pass it along though as there are many situations where this would be very helpful:clap:
  14. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    And some people don't belong to Facebook, so can't look.
  15. philmac

    philmac New Member

    Old School

    I think old school....If you need an extra valve on a tenor horn or cornet to get certain notes in tune then your technique is wrong ...save loads of money by practicing hymn tunes and getting your intonation right....quick fixes are not the answer to proper playing and technique
  16. worzel

    worzel Member


    You'll never play a low C# on a tenor horn that is both in tune and has the same tonal quality as the naturally resonating slightly flat D of the same fingering and harmonic. You just have to bend it so far away from the the natural resonance that the tone is really compromised.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
  17. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    I've heard the same said about non-compensating basses.

    It's just as inaccurate in that context too....

    Philmac, Did you miss the bit where the thread starter said he'd played alongside Billy Rushworth at Battle Creek? A band I'm sure know more than a bit about "proper playing and technique."