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Thread: Heavy Valve Caps for Euphonium

  1. Heavy Valve Caps for Euphonium

    After using the "Sterling" heavy valve cap on my 4th valve. I Started wondering what the effect wil be if i would add them to my other 3 valves, as trumpetplayers do for years allready. So now i'm having 4 heavy valve caps made for my "Besson Prestige". As soon as they're in i'll inform you about it.

    Does anyone have an idea on what the effect wil be?
    My guess is:
    - The extra mass will give the euphonium more projection.
    - The Heavy caps will probably make the sound a bit darker and add more core to the sound.

    Your comments please..............
    Euphonium: Adams E3 Custom Series (SS Bell)
    Trombone: Benge 175F


  2. #2

    Heavy Valve Caps for Euphonium

    My best guess is that the 4th cap makes so much difference because the 4th valve mechanism is "hanging out there" more than the first 3 valves. The main 3-valve group is attached in many places, both with braces and with all the tubing coming in/out of the group. The 4th valve is not as securely attached in that sense, so would probably be more subject to vibration. The heavy cap adds solidity there.

    I think heavy caps on the first 3 valves will have a much more subtle effect. However, because you would be adding 3 centers of mass, it might still be a noticeable effect. And if a change is noticeable, it will almost certainly be in the same direction as the heavy 4th cap.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  3. Heavy Valve Caps for Euphonium

    As I spoke to many trumpetplayers they told me that for a trumpet player the effect is most noticable on the 3rd valve because that is where the mouthpiece receiver is coming into the valveblock. So for euphoniumplayers that should be the 1st valve. Trumpetplayers say that it stabelises the aircollumn and that gives more core and better slotting of the notes.

    This is what Curry (a valvecap-manufacturer for trumpets) says:
    "By adding mass to the entry and exit points on the valve section of your horn, the trumpet's optimal resistance can be obtained. The weight of the CCAPS in the proper position on the valve section can provide a denser, more centered sound, along with a more stable harmonic series. Overall response and attacks are more even throughout the range of the horn as well."

    Here is a link with an artikel on heavy valve caps and adding mass to a horn:
    http://www.geocities.com/Vienna/3941/heavyhorns.html
    Euphonium: Adams E3 Custom Series (SS Bell)
    Trombone: Benge 175F


  4. #4

    Heavy Valve Caps for Euphonium

    DutchEupho:

    Nice post and link! Thanks for the information.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  5. Heavy Valve Caps for Euphonium

    Very interesting post! Did your sterling valve cap fit directly on your Besson without modification?

    The only weakness I've detected in the new Bessons is that the upper register slots are little wide for my taste and centering was a little more difficult than I was used to. A few folks have written that the newer Bessons are lighter than the older ones. That could in theory contribute to what I and others have observed. I wonder if something like this might solve that minor problem. Dave, do you use the heavy Sterling cap? Since I remember you said you played on a heavier bell, you might not need it as much, at least in theory. :-)

  6. #6

    Heavy Valve Caps for Euphonium

    Originally posted by: euphdude

    Dave, do you use the heavy Sterling cap? Since I remember you said you played on a heavier bell, you might not need it as much, at least in theory. :-)
    Interesting point. I hadn't thought about the greater/lesser benefit of a heavy cap with a heavier or lighter bell. I wouldn't think there would be much difference because the metal in the surrounding area of the 4th valve is the same. Anyway, I DO use the heavy cap, but I find the difference subtle (but musicians are all about subtle, aren't we?).
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  7. #7

    Heavy Valve Caps for Euphonium

    Reviving an lapsed thread ...

    While swabbing out the valve casings on my Sterling after practice this afternoon, it occurred to me that it would be a good time to try the heavy cap on the first valve to see if it made a noticable difference, and how it differed, so I spent half an hour or so switching the heavy cap between the first and fourth valves, to see difference to the sound profile, slotting, response, attacks, etc.

    Moving the heavy cap on the first valve DID seem to make a subtle but perceptible difference. In fact, my initial reaction when the first note popped out was, "Holy Cow!" My impression is that the sound was slightly cooler (the core is more distinct), more solid, and more focused. I also felt that the horn was a touch more responsive, and that it produced cleaner attacks. It also seemed like the Wick fuzz was less noticable with the heavy cap on the first valve.

    The difference was subtle enough that I suspect that a casual listener or a non-euphoniumist would have a hard time detecting it, or if he did detect a difference, would be hard-pressed to explain what was different about the sound. It is also entirely possible that the perceived difference was due to performance variation and/or listener bias, i.e., I heard a difference because I wanted or expected to hear a difference. I may try to round up a few friends to conduct a series of double-blind tests to eliminate the possibility of listener bias.

    If anyone else decides to try a similar experiment, I'd be interested in hearing their report.

  8. Heavy Valve Caps for Euphonium

    do you have to get the heavy sterling caps custom made, or is there a place you can easily order them from?


  9. Heavy Valve Caps for Euphonium

    Originally posted by: Kurfie549

    do you have to get the heavy sterling caps custom made, or is there a place you can easily order them from?
    Let me answer this question by saying that the Prestige series has always come with two sets of top and bottom valve caps. The older Sovereign style (lighter) and the newer Prestige style (somewhat heavier). I played around with these on my new Prestige and found I liked the heavier caps, I wondered what the Sterling "ultra heavy" 4th valve cap would do after I saw that ydave had one on his old Sovereign (see his thread on testing various horns). Both ydave and I had these caps custom made by Paul Riggett of Sterling after visits to the Sterling factory in Bedfordshire, England. These caps are not currently generally available for any horn other than the Sterling Virtuoso.

    The Besson horns (old or new) use a 4th valve that is quite a bit larger in diameter than the 1-2-3 valves, so the 4th valve caps are not interchangeable with 1-2-3. The new York horns use similar caps, but the tuning slide linkage of the York Eminence 4052 would interfere with the large cap, whilst the Besson Prestige and Sterling Virtuoso linkages do not. Of course, the Sovereign has no tuning slide kicker so this is not an issue.

    So...final answer....on a Besson, this is a custom mod...

    Doug
    Sterling Virtuoso 1052HS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  10. Heavy Valve Caps for Euphonium

    ok thanks a ton.


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