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Thread: Heavy Valve Caps for Euphonium

  1. #21

    Heavy Valve Caps for Euphonium

  2. #22

    Heavy Valve Caps for Euphonium

    A machinist friend of mine just made me a 4th valve heavy cap for my 1928 Boosey & Sons Imperial. It is brass, 1.75" long, and 7.3 oz.

    I tested it by putting it on, playing it for several practice sessions and taking notes. Then, I took it off, noting the change, then putting it back on again to verify.

    My results were similar to Ricks and also to fsung's (although his result applies to the 1st valve and mine to the 4th).

    1) The tone became somewhat "cooler". This is not necessarily a good thing with the Imperial, because, with a 10.5" bell it has a relatively cool and bright tone to begin with. However, I suspect that only the player would be able to tell.

    2) The response at all volume levels improved noticibly. This was a very good result!

    3) The pedal range is slightly extended and the lower range was generally speaking better.

    4) My high range seemed unaffected, but I'm not very strong there anyway.

    The improvement in response was a real winner, so I'm going to play with the heavy cap for a longer period. I normally use a DW 4AM, but I'm going to pull out my 51D to see if it warms the tone up a bit. The drawback with the 51D is that the response and ability to control the intonation isn't equal to the 4AM.

    - Carroll

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    West Palm Beach, FL

    Heavy Valve Caps for Euphonium

    Thanks for sharing your experience Carroll.

    I noticed that I never followed up with more information promised in an earlier post. I did test this heavy valve cap on my first valve. I couldn't tell any difference.

    I also weighed the modified cap when I was at the supermarket. It weighs just under 5oz. I'm still playing with this heavy cap on my 4th valve as I do feel a difference in response.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank

    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    Russian Christmas Music (Alfred Reed)
    El Cumbanchero (Rafael Hernández) cell phone video

  4. #24
    Figured this thread would be suitable despite being from 2009.

    Recently saw this going around.

    Heavy bottom cap for a huge number of Euphoniums! 1 month refund policy too!

    Wondering if any posters in this thread are still using heavy caps?

    Also on a very random note, I've heard from someone that it is also not rare to have players use a heavy cap on the 2nd valve? Wondering if having it on the valve cluster would really have much difference
    "Never over complicate things. Accept "bad" days. Always enjoy yourself when playing, love the sound we can make on our instruments (because that's why we all started playing the Euph)"

    Euph: Yamaha 642II Neo - 千歌音
    Mouthpiece: K&G 4D, Denis Wick 5AL

  5. Hi there,

    I have a heavy cap on the 4th valve of both my Sterling and my Adams. The Adams cap is, in fact, a 2nd Sterling cap I picked up since they both have the same thread. I also had a Besson heavy bottom cap fabricated for me by Paul Riggett at Sterling that I used on my 2007 Prestige and 2002 Sovereign.

    I find that the heavy cap on the 4th valve stabilizes response across the range. I also have a set of heavy 1-2-3 caps for the Sterling, but found it made the horn too heavy and sound "dead" (at least to me). Some folks also plaster Lafreque plates at various locations on their horns. The idea of dampening unwanted sympathetic vibration at critical locations around the horn has a scientific basis, even if we apply solutions unscientifically.

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

  6. #26
    Thank you Doug! That is definitely fascinating to know that both heavy caps and LeFreque are based on the same principle, yet LeFeque is definitely a little odd for me to wrap my head around!

    Would definitely be interesting to see some reviews and thoughts on the caps on said website, if anyone here bought or plan to buy them!

    I've definitely seen and heard from people who has heavy caps on the Euph that usually comes with heavy caps (Sterling, Adams, and Besson to some extent?), but would be interesting to see reviews from brands that don't usually have one.

    On a totally unrelated note, a friend who uses a non-comp Willson told me that he added a thick brass washer to his lyre holder screw on the 1st valve and found that his horn responded and slotted better. That sounds a bit like what a heavy bottom cap for the 4th valve do. Was tempted to see what it does on mine, but unfortunately my lyre holder screw is rather short.

    Edit 16 July 2020

    A random observation, a friend who uses a Sterling Virtuoso wanted us to experiment and see if his heavy cap fits my Neo and whether my normal cap fits his.

    They do! Seems like the threading is the same on both horns.
    Last edited by ChristianeSparkle; 07-15-2020 at 09:08 PM.
    "Never over complicate things. Accept "bad" days. Always enjoy yourself when playing, love the sound we can make on our instruments (because that's why we all started playing the Euph)"

    Euph: Yamaha 642II Neo - 千歌音
    Mouthpiece: K&G 4D, Denis Wick 5AL

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