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New Model of a Great Cleaning Device: QHR Sudser

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About a year ago I reviewed an exciting new instrument cleaning device, the Quick Horn Rinse. It is the invention of Bill Ricker. In my testing it proved a quick and convenient way to clean out your horn.

Now Mr. Ricker has improved on the original with the Quick Horn Rinse Sudser. As the name implies, this QHR model has a built-in soap dispenser to help you control the flow of soap through the bore.

Before I write about this new model, let me say that its improvement is in the area of convenience. You can get the job done with the original version, but this makes some things easier. For travel, you might consider the original model because it would bit easily in most cases and has less of a "hard body" to possibly cause dents.

In my testing, I had a horn that had been in need of a cleaning for some time. It seemed like letting soapy water sit in the horn for a while was a good strategy. So out came the new QHR Sudser and we went to work with the horn sitting on my lawn. I filled the soap dispenser and then attached the Sudser to my garden hose. The Sudser has a lever that controls water flow and one that controls soap flow, both operating over a continuous range to give you control. I started with both levers open to fill the bore with soap. The rubber nozzle fit securely in the horn's mouthpiece receiver, so I was able to let it push soapy water through while I operated all 4 valves to make sure the liquid got into all the passages of the main slides and the compensating loops. When that was accomplished I moved the water control level to stop the water and let it soak for about 20 minutes. Once I was satisfied, I closed the soap lever and opened the water flow lever to rinse the horn thoroughly.

The result was a nice, clean interior with modest effort on my part. The Sudser's control levers made the process even easier, which was especially welcome. Not that I'm lazy, but...

Mr. Ricker is not a large corporation and he does not have a lot of leverage when it comes to obtaining raw materials. Keep in mind that he is producing a device to help cleat out brass instruments; he is not likely to be negotiating with ALCOA to build hundreds of thousands of custom-cast fittings, for example. However, he has done a very capable and clever job of producing a useful, well-made product with what I assume are mostly off-the-shelf pieces. The rubber leadpipe hose is supple rubber and feels like it will last very well. As mentioned above, the rubber is supple enough to hold tight in the leadpipe against water pressure. The washers and fittings are also good quality and operate smoothly. And the newest addition, the Sudser component, works and feels great. Lever valves operate smoothly; the threading of the soap reservoir feels just right and thread on and off easily; and it even has a rubber guard on the bottom to help avoid scratching should the Sudser and horn come in direct contact.

I recommend this product very highly. We should all keep our horns clean on the inside, and anything to make that job easier also makes it more likely that we will do it! Nice job, Mr. Ricker.

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