Valve Speed

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Australian Euphonium, May 8, 2005.

  1. Over christmass I purchased a prestige euphonium and have been playing it regularly ever since. I'm very familiar with the besson euph and wouldn't trade it for another, however I'm interested to know if anyone's got any secrets for getting the valves to go it a bit faster and slicker. They've always been solid and consistant however they're still feeling quite heavy and aren't motoring the way I could get my old besson sovreign to. I've also noticed a bit of a scratchy sound starting to come through on the second and third and fourth - I know a few people seem to despise the quality of the prestige valves, but does anyone know a good material/technique to get them working a little better? I heard someone mention valve paste? on another thread?? - ideas??
  2. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    Maybe not brilliant suggestions, but good starting places.

    What oil are you using? I've recently switched as a test run to the AlSyn oil ($20 for a tiny eyedrop size bottle through BMS) and it's gooooood. Also put a few drops through the bands old King bass trom rid of a scratch that had been there for years (and I should know, I practically had that rotor in pieces myself trying to improve it!!).

    Have the valves been worn in properly? When Bessie (my old sov bass) was new, she went through ghe oil something chronic during the wearin phase, as did Bill Barker's new Sov euph (bought at the same time). The new one doesn't get played as much, so I haven't had a chace to pay too much attention to the amount of oil being used.

    Have you tried polishing the valves? Someone mentioned it in the "tips" thread, and I know one of our baritone players has been helping me do up some of old instruments, and that's one thing he's done. Soak them in lemon juice, and then polish them all up.

    Consider the possibility you bought a dud. I know, its not what you wanna hear, but a lot of people do comment on the amount of time it takes them to test a bunch of instruments, and they're all the same model.

    As I said, maybe not the best of suggestions, but somewhere to start looking.

    See you at Maryborough!!
  3. Hi,

    I wouldn't use commercial valve paste. I've actually tried this in the past and it's much too coarse (even the fine stuff). Also it's mixed with grease which is then very hard to remove.

    I've used two things to get my valves going which seem to work pretty well on Sovereign tuba valves (which are probably about the same 'quality' as the Euph ones)

    The stuff I've used most recently is something I bought in the supermarket called 'Bar keepers friend'! It's basically a mild hydrochloric acid cleaning powder made for cleaning stainless steel worksurfaces etc and containing a very fine abrasive. You basically put a bit on the valve, wet it and work it for a few minutes then strip down and clean it all out again. Usually takes a few days of washing the valve out after a period of playing to clear all the stuff out but works very well.

    Before I found this (and in case you can't get it) I used 'Goddards silver polish' in the same way. Before everyone writes in I know that there's no silver in the valves but this also contains a very fine abrasive (jeweller's rouge I think) which free's up valves. This wasn't quite as good as the other stuff so I suggest you try to find the cleaning powder or something similar.

    I don't know what sort of stuff is available to you in Aus, but I imagine the same or similar things are available. I certainly wouldn't use grinding paste, I've tried it and it's much too coarse (takes weeks to get all the carborundum grit back out of the valve casings).

    Richard Cookson

    Eb Bass, Besses o'th' Barn Band
  4. Sarah C

    Sarah C New Member

    I'd try goddards silver polish - the liquid one - it works wonders. It got the valves working on an old trumpet my friend had.:D

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