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Thread: Replacement Schill euphonium valves

  1. Replacement Schill euphonium valves

    Hello. My son, beginning band, has a Schill 4 valve eupnium that seems to have a bent valve stem in one valve. The local music shop is having trouble locating a replacement valve. Anyone know where to find replacement Schill valves? Also, should the instrument be playable with valve #4 completely removed?

  2. #2

    Replacement Schill euphonium valves

    I think you will be hard pressed to find replacement parts for any of the Chinese-made euphs sold primarily through ebay. If it's just the valve stem rather than the piston that's bent AND the stem is removable, a metalworking shop may be able to make a replacement stem or, possibly, straighten the stem for you. (A highly skilled repair person
    may be able to straighten a slightly bent piston, but that may cost more than the horn is worth.)

    The horn will not be playable (in any meaningful sense) with the #4 valve completely removed. The valve has two sets of holes to direct the airstream to the appropriate tube, depending on whether or not the valve is depressed. Wthout the valve in place the airstream will dissipate when it reaches the empty valve cylinder. Yes, you can produce sound, but it will be very weak and thin - more of a bleat than a note - and it will be next to impossible to center pitches or play notes.

    You could probably fit a block into the valve casing to hold the valve in place (prevent the valve from being depressed) if you cannot find a replacement stem or have one made, which would allow the horn to be played using just the first three valves.

  3. #3

    Replacement Schill euphonium valves

    Rather than remove the 4th piston, just leave it in place and don't use it. If the bent stem prevents the piston from coming all the way up, you should be able to remove the stem by unscrewing it. You might want to do this in any case.

    Question for the forum members:
    Is it possible to to live without using the 4th valve in a non-compensating instrument? Is life not be so good if it is a compensating horn because the 1&3 and 123 combinations are too sharp? This is true with my horn. I can imagine that tube lengths chosen for a compensating instrument are optimized so that the 4th valve is required on certain notes such as C and C#.

    Once the stem is unscrewed, try to find a shop that can repair or duplicate it. From a machining point of view, the stem is relatively a simple object. But it still might take up to half a day to custom make it. It would require turning the stock to the correct diameter, cutting to lenth, tapping to receive the button, and cutting threads to attach to the piston. Plus all the measurement and setup required for those operations. Think $30 to $60 per hour. Definitely try to buy a replacement or get it straightened.

    Good luck! - Carroll

  4. #4

    Replacement Schill euphonium valves

    It's possible to live without the 4th valve, as sales of three-valve horns testify. Granted, intonation will suffer; I suspect, however, that most beginning students (and probably a lot of intermediates as well) aren't sufficiently educated, musically, to be aware of or to notice the problem.

  5. #5

    Replacement Schill euphonium valves

    Originally posted by: carbogast
    Is it possible to to live without using the 4th valve in a non-compensating instrument? Is life not be so good if it is a compensating horn because the 1&3 and 123 combinations are too sharp? This is true with my horn. I can imagine that tube lengths chosen for a compensating instrument are optimized so that the 4th valve is required on certain notes such as C and C#.
    A standard 3-valve instrument will USUALLY be made with some compromises to help overall intonation. The original idea with the 3-valve system is that the 3rd valve can be used for a concert D or G instead of 12. If that is so, then your 13 and 123 combinations will be quite sharp. That's fine if you have a 4th valve or use a 3-valve compensating horn.

    Without a 4th valve or a compensating system, manufacturers will usually build the 3rd valve slightly longer to help the pitch on 23, 13, and 123. But that will make the 3rd valve alone less satisfactory for a D or G. For those notes you can use 12, which is a little sharp in theory, but is close enough to be fine for most uses.

    With some 4-valve horns, the 3rd valve is built to the original length so you can use it alone for D or G. On such a horn, eliminating the 4th valve from use will leave you a little worse off. However, you can just pull the 3rd valve slide a little to help with the 13 and 123 combinations.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

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