Valves on John Packer Eb Horns

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Jack E, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Last night I cleaned, oiled and greased the Packer tenor horn (Model 172S, Mk.IV) which my band has loaned me, put it all back together and went to bed.

    This afternoon, I started my warm up - and found my breath ran into a brick wall!! First I wondered whether I'd left a bit of kitchen towel lodged in one of the tuning slides; checked them, AOK. Pulled out the valves, one at a time, checked them, couldn't see anything wrong, put them back, tried again - nothing.

    "Ahah!! :rolleyes: Clot!! You've put two of the valves in the wrong way round!!"

    Took them all out, checked the numbers against the numbers engraved on the outside - hmm, they all matched . . . lots of head-scratching, and brain winding up to peak revs . . . hang on a minute, though . . .

    The Besson baritone I started with had one notch inside the valve housing, and one peg to locate in it, so it was only possible to put the valve into the housing in one position - but the Packer has two grooves and two pegs, 180 degrees apart . . .

    Sure enough, one of the valves was 180 degrees out! Replaced it the right way round - "Tooooooot!"

    I've cleaned the horn a number of times already, but never had this occur before - must have been sheer luck. Fortunately, there is a way of checking. On the Packer, each valve has its number (1, 2 or 3) engraved on the top spring housing; for correct alignment, those numbers should all face the mouthpiece. Simple enough problem to avoid, once you know how - but, if your band loans Packer instruments out to learners, I think it would be worth explaining this procedure to them, or you could have a very baffled beginner coming into their next lesson, wondering why on earth they can't blow through it any more - especially as they'd only just cleaned it! :oops:

    PS - I should point out that I'm very happy with my Packer, and the lovely sound I get from it when I get myself properly warmed up and go for it, so I hope this post doesn't come across as a criticism of John or his instruments - not my intention at all!

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