soverign valves......


Active Member
don't you agree they are just rubbish!? I think my cornet makes a great sound (although not neccesarily when played by me) but the valves are terrible. They have been 'sticky' for a while and at one rehearsal one of them just ceized up totally. After lots of turning it upside down and blank faces my housemate noticed the valve is actually bent. Therefore it does't go straight down the valve case and hence gets stuck. I definately haven't dropped it although that was the first question! I have no idea how this could have happened...has anyone found this before?


Staff member
Not necessarily (god, I can't spell) due to bent valves or casings, but yip, have had trouble with sovereign valves. Actually, I've had trouble with valves on things not-Besson as well. The action on my Maestro has always been excellent, but the best are those 20 year old B&H Sovereigns.

Btw.. when desperate with valves, I've found using a small amount of brasso on them and washing them down with toothpaste after does the trick.

As to your bent valve - I applaud your lung-power ;)

Roger Thorne

Active Member
Trouble with values

A cornet player friend of mine has never used valve oil.

Before every rehearsal he always dips his valves into a weak solution of water and washing up liquid.

He's been doing it for years so I presume it works fine.

PS: Don't bother with the "I'm forever blowing bubbles" jokes!


Staff member
Re: Trouble with values

Roger Thorne said:
A cornet player friend of mine has never used valve oil.

I knew someone like this as well... everyday common or garden spit was his solution - no fancy washing up liquid for him. Before every practice he'd heik up a good one and get the valve nice and greasy....

Sufficient to say, the "he's been doing it for years" excuse doesn't cut it for me..

Anyone else out there put wierd and wonderful stuff on their valves?

dave jake

Washing up liquid is not a good idea as some brands are highly corrosive to brass and copper, ohe reason it is banned as a leak detector in the gas industry. Be warned,wash instrument in warm water only. :!:


New Member
i use to have a sovereign Euph but i struggled with the valves. they felt really heavy. I then moved bands and was given a silver plated yamaha maestro euph. The difference was amazing, the maestro was lighter, the valves were light and springy and I can really play it well. I'm now playing on a gold maestro beacause i was allergic to the metal but this one is just as good and i've really become attached to it.


New Member
can't say i'm that bad i just couldn't bear the thought of having to swop to something else!!!!! :eek: :eek: :eek: :roll:


New Member
When trying to resove sticking problems try this simple test. If valve 1 is sticking try valves 2 & 3 in position 1. If they operate freely then suspect that valve 1 has something wrong with it. Confirm this by trying valve 1 in casings 2 & 3. By swapping the vaves around like this you can quickly determine if the problem lies with the casing or the valve. This technique applies for dirt problems or dints.
If thourough cleaning and oiling does not do the job then a minor straightening job at the repairers may be necessary. I imagine they push through a rod of the exact size with a ball or tapered end.
You should never try and use abrasives to make the valve fit as this will destroy the airtight seal and may affect the sound.

Well i have heard that the old sovereign valves were platinum plated and now the new besson sovereign called are aerospace titainium. But i never had trouble with my sovereign horn valves, they just wasn't that new instrument which is now 4 years old the valves took ages to bed in and they are nice and smooth but have to wash them every 3months roughly to stop them from slowing up. but how does the top players manage wots there seceret?????


Sovereign valves have always been a problem as long as I can remember.

My partners Sov. Baritone went back twice and in the end, a private workshop corrected the fault, the valve guide groove was not cut out straight !

The best euph valves I have ever had are on my current Willson 2900.

By the way, back in the 70's I played a Besson in Watney's Band that had the second valve positioned forward of the other two, to fall in line with the fingers !


New Member
My band has two 20 years old Sovereign EEb basses(I play one of them). The valves are working as great as ever, I never have any problems with them.

A good advice is to take really good care of the valves the first month or so you are using a brand new instrument. Oil them every time you pick it up the first few weeks, and perhaps you will save yourself some trouble later on.

The problem with many instruments(not only sovereigns) is that they haven't been taken care of from day 1. This may cause the valves to get slower and even jam completely. The first 4 weeks is the most important...


I'm on the second Sov Bass I've owned.

The first (EEb), twenty years ago, was brilliant. Everything was great including the valves.

My current bass (BBb) is OK but the valves are garbage. They get oiled very, very frequently but still stick at ridiculous, and embarassing times.

Could it be down to quality control coupled to the lottery issue I read about on another thread, I only bought it a year ago?


At the age of eleven, my mum and dad bought me a Sovereign cornet.

The valves were absolutely brilliant and I only oiled them about once every six months, when I gave the instrument a thorough clean, and even then they didn't really need doing. They were very smooth and fast :D

Since then I've changed instrument and have played on a Sovereign tenor horn. The valves were constantly sticking no matter how often they were oiled. It was as if they were mis-aligned. The rest of the horn section experienced the same problem. :cry:

We now play on Yamaha's, which aren't brilliant (they tend to dry out very quickly) but at least they work if they're oiled frequently. :?

It certainly seems that the old Sovereigns were a lot better than those being produced today. What has happened to progress?
I can honestly say the Sovreign cornet I got for my 18th birthday-which is 20ahem years old now-has never had a problem with it's valves. :D

The Maestro I was using from the band however was really bad, more rehersals were affected because of sticky valve trouble than everything else put together :roll:


New Member
:eek: Re sticking valves my grandson has a yamaha YCR series cornet ever since new we have had a problem with all valves sticking at different times has anybody out there had probs with yamaha cornets, any help will be appreciated.

:( billbrass


Supporting Member
I have a Yamaha maestro cornet and find it an axcellent cornet to play.
the only trouble ive ever had with it was it being knocked :cry: out of my hand and onto the floor on the way into the areas contest. not a good start to it I can tell you. it was only 6v weeks old :cry:


New Member
I was reposnisble for buying my band a complete set of instruments a couple of years ago.
This was an experience which turned out to be an eye opener. :shock:

The first three cornets received had silver looking plated valves
(I'm not going to get technical with the plating type!)
The valves worked great but bad scores were visible on the valve body.
Today, these cornets still have good performing valves.

The other six cornets (ignore the sop as this was a different make), these were reject twice.
The valves looked unplated (again, don't want to get into techy here!)

The players gave the instruments a fair chance for the valves to settle in but as time went on they seemed to get worse!

The three Sovereign Horns we received had terrible valves - again these were rejected.
One of the horns which was sent straight from the manufactuer had a soldering fault!

We had no problems with baris/euphs/basses though.

I don't know what the cornet/horn valves are like now.

I think the moral of the story is take up the trombone - its great to wind up the cornet player with that sticky valve excuse! :twisted:

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