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Thread: Breaking in a new euph: best practices

  1. #1

    Breaking in a new euph: best practices

    Just got off the phone with Custom Music. They're currently having a sale on the Sterling Virtuoso, so ... I've got one on the way. (Yay!)

    Anyhoo, it's been 30+ years since I've had to break in a new euph. Aside from wiping down and oiling the valves, cleaning and greasing the slides, blowing oil down the leadpipe, and wiping down the horn before putting it away, are there any other recommended "best practices" for breaking in a new horn? (I think I'll pass on the "pour milk down the horn" routine, though.)

    Also, does anyone have experience with silvercloth?

    Thanks!

  2. Breaking in a new euph: best practices

    The only hints I can add are to make sure that whatever you use to wipe down the slides and valves in lint free. I picked up some microfiber cloths at the auto shop that work great; I have to keep my indoor ones seperate from my outdoor ones, becuase they do pick up "passengers" i.e. splinters, burrs and the like.

    My buddy who got her Yammie 642S swears by the silver cloth; she also plays with gloves on to avoid too much skin contact with her new horn.

    (I play a tuba older than me, with about 25% laquer left, so this is all vicarous living for me.)

    And Happy New Horn!!

    Ally

  3. Breaking in a new euph: best practices

    I've always been extremely fussy about cleaning new valves very frequently: for the first four weeks, after every half hour of playing, I take each valve out, wipe it down (with a cloth as described by bearphonium, so important to be clear of fluff), then wipe the inside valve casing with the cloth wrapped round a wooden dowel/wooden spoon handle/finger, paying especial attention to the slot that the guide runs in, then re-oil and continue playing. After half an hour, repeat procedure.
    Any instrument I have bought from new has had this procedure, laborious and time-consuming though it is. It's worth it. I foolishly sold a lovely Sovereign Eb to a student many years ago; that former student now plays in my quartet, and the valves on that tuba are magnificent. It was worth the bother of running them in.
    You will be amazed at the black stuff that shows up in the valve oil as the pistons bed in!
    Congrats on the new horn, always an exciting experience. ( I was so proud of the above mentioned Eb Sovereign when I got it that I sent out " arrival of a new baby"cards!)
    Sue

  4. #4

    Breaking in a new euph: best practices

    Congratulations on your purchase! You named most of my favorite break-in techniques. As long as you are starting out fresh, you might also try this: always dump all the water out of the horn before you put it away

    Also, there may be some residue in a new horn, or some may develop as you break it in, so I would clean out the inside after a couple weeks and then after another month.

    I have used nothing but a silver cloth to shine my horn since I got it over a year ago. It looks very nice still. If I have been neglecting it so there are some tough water spots, I may need to wipe off spots with a damp cloth first, dry it, and use the silver cloth.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  5. #5

    Breaking in a new euph: best practices

    Couple of additional questions:

    I've been using Blue Juice with my New Standard and plan on sticking with it with my Virtuoso, but is there any benefit to breaking them in with Blue Juice as opposed to the cheap no-name valve oil that my local music store sells for $3.95 for 12 oz?

    I know some silver polishes are more abrasive than others, but what about silver polishing cloths? Are some brands better (gentler or more effective) than others, or are they all pretty much created equal?

    Thanks.

  6. Breaking in a new euph: best practices

    A while ago I ordered a Bach polishing cloth from WWBW for my Tuba. It has two types of cloth on it. The outer polishing cloth is ment to clean all the dirt off of the horn while the inner cloth polishes it to a very nice and bright finish. The cloth is a heavier weight as well and is a lot softer than others I've used.

    Unfortunately when I went to order one for my new euph I wasn't able to find it and settled on the WWBW branded cloth. For the first month it worked wonderfully but now the mileage is catching up to it. This cloth is very light and feels kind of flimsy too.

    I'll see if I can find that bach one elsewhere though.

    ****And I found it again Bach Deluxe Silver Polishing Cloth

    I need to figure out how to get the link to credit Dr. Werden with the affiliate program. (And save all the affiliate links somewhere since I'm buying from those sites anyway!)

    ---Thank you for the link Dr. Werden!




    As for using the cheaper oil I don't see there being any problem really. Since you're using Blue Juice you could switch back over at any time from my experience..it never minded what was on the valves before.

    If you were going to go with a mineral oil I'd start with that because it doesn't like any traces of other oils on the valves. I use Binak and it works marvelously on both of my Conn horns...it is very fast and lasts forever. My Yamaha and Dillon are fast but it doesn't last quite as long.

    **Edited to adjust link for affiliate program

  7. #7

    Breaking in a new euph: best practices

    Originally posted by: cnevs

    I need to figure out how to get the link to credit Dr. Werden with the affiliate program. (And save all the affiliate links somewhere since I'm buying from those sites anyway!)
    Thanks for mentioning the affiliate program. Most times you should just be able to click on a WWBW banner if there is one (as in the left banner under the menu) and then do a search - I think my program will still get credit. In this case, here is a direct link to the Bach polishing cloth:

    Bach Deluxe Silver Polishing Cloth
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  8. #8

    Breaking in a new euph: best practices

    Originally posted by: fsung
    I've been using Blue Juice with my New Standard and plan on sticking with it with my Virtuoso, but is there any benefit to breaking them in with Blue Juice as opposed to the cheap no-name valve oil that my local music store sells for $3.95 for 12 oz?
    Well, looks like I have the answer to my question.

    I spent this past week using the cheap, no-name valve oil on my valves, and they occasionally got a bit sluggish. Yesterday, I switched to Blue Juice before rehearsal, and the valves practically flew, so it's Blue Juice from here on out.

    And the cheap oil? Charcoal lighter fluid!

  9. #9

    Breaking in a new euph: best practices

    This thread hasn't had a comment in awhile, but it's apropos for me today.

    A couple months ago I bought a new Virtuoso. After about 3 weeks of playing every day, it became evident that the horn needed a bath. The valves were pretty much jammed up tight from the valves breaking in.

    After a soak in the bathtub and a thorough swabbing out using a couple different types of snakes, I continued to use Hetman's on it and it was fine.

    But the valves continued to break in and just this past weekend I gave the horn another bath, to include thorough swabbing with the same two snakes. By this time, a bit of mold had started to grow in the bottom valve caps, even with playing every day and with storage in a way that was supposed to keep the critters out.

    One of my pet peeves is oiling valves. I just don't like doing it. So I thought I'd give Binak Pro another go-round. About 10 years ago I attempted using that oil on my 967 and I never could get it to work properly, even after following the directions to the finest detail.

    Jury's still out on the Binak Pro, but I will say that there may be some promise. If I can avoid oiling the valves every other time I play it, I'll be happy.

    Oh, btw, at home I store the horn upright in an easy chair after practicing. That's so the little bit of water that remains after the horn cools down can condense and run down into the bow of slides, rather than pool and grow little critters on the underside of the valves if the horn is stored on the bell (I don't do that with the new horn at all.) I'd rather run a snake through a slide than have to tear apart four valves and clean them because of a science project that's growing in the horn.

    U.S. Army, Retired (built mid-Fifties)
    Adams E2 Euph (built 2017)
    Boosey & Co. Imperial Euph (built 1941)
    Edwards B454 Bass Trombone (built 2012)
    Boosey & Hawkes Imperial Eb tuba (built 1958)
    Kanstul 33-T lBBb tuba (built 2010)
    Shen 3/4 upright bass (who cares?)

  10. Breaking in a new euph: best practices

    You say you use two snakes when you clean your horn. What kind of snakes do you use, and where do you get them? At the music store or the hardware store?


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