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Thread: Valve oil

  1. Valve oil

    What valve oil do you use/prefer? Personally, I use blue juice.

  2. #2

    Valve oil

    Blue Juice has been my choice for the last few years. So far I've found nothing to complain about (regarding Blue Juice, that is).

    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
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  3. #3

    Valve oil

    One of fsung's valuable contributions has been his recommendation to use Yamaha Synthetic. It's a little spendy, but a little goes a long way.

    To me, and for my usage, Blue Juice literally stinks. I don't like any kind of solvent-type smell and whereas that doesn't bother some folks, it does me.

    Yamaha Synthetic doesn't smell. And it works very well. Though, as with most synthetic oils (Hetman being an exception), you can't mix it with a traditional, mineral-based oil like Blue Juice.

    U.S. Army, Retired (built mid-1950s)
    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)

  4. #4

    Valve oil

    I've used Blue Juice since I got my new horn a year ago, and I've used with my new Cornet.

    Pretty good stuff, and dirt cheap. I stock piled eight bottles for about $12 online. Should last me a while...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    West Palm Beach, FL

    Valve oil

    I also like the Yamaha Synthetic (light).
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (recently sold)
    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
    El Cumbanchero (Raphael Hernandez, arr. Naohiro Iwai)
    Greensleeves (arr. Alfred Reed)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    San Diego, California

    Valve oil

    I've been using Al Cass.

    Miraphone 5050 Ambassador
    Mp: Wick SM4 Ultra X
    The San Diego Concert Band
    Big Brass Quartet- tuba ensemble (EETT)

  7. #7

    Valve oil

    I have this obsession with always wanting to make sure I'm using the very best oil so I have tried almost EVERYTHING. I haven't used the Yamaha that someone mentioned but I have seven instruments with piston valves, so I do a lot of experimenting.

    My current preference is for La Tromba T2. It's quick, it's not messy and the bottle is really easy to apply oil with, and it seems to do a good job of lasting a long time and adhering to the pistons to protect from corrosion. It seems to work equally well on stainless and monel pistons.

    Previous to that I was using ultra pure, which perhaps even lasted longer and provided more protection and was just as fast and smooth, however I had a few issues with it. The most serious was that it seemed to swell the valve guides on my besson prestige baritone, causing terrible sticking. Going back to T2 solved the problem really quickly. It was bizarre! My other beef with ultra pure is that it feels really greasy when it gets on your fingers, it stains clothes, and it is almost impossible to use their bottle without getting it all over your fingers and clothes.

    Before that I had tried Zaja Pro and Zaja blue which is the same oil but with a teflon (or something) additive. I liked the way these worked, but they evaporated quickly and for the instruments that I don't use too often I would always come back to them and find the valves all frozen up.

    Hetman worked pretty well for me, and I really like that their products are available in a range of weights, but I don't like the gummy residue their piston oils would leave in the bottom valve caps and on the felts. I still use their "classic" piston oil on some antique instruments. I also still use their range of rotary and spindle oils as well as their range of tuning slide and trigger slide greases and oils. I also like to use their multi-purpose lubricant on valve cap threads, trombone parts that screw together, etc..

    Spacefiller never really impressed me, however I believe that spacefiller TS, their tuning slide grease is really good. The hetman gets more use though, because they have several different weights available which you can mix and match to get just the right feel for each slide.

    alisyn was also disappointing.

    webster's eco lube got a brief trial as it came with my baritone. Didn't like it, didn't last long at all.

    I didn't like the strong scent of blue juice, and it didn't seem to last very long for me.

    Al Cass seems to last a long time and protect pretty well, however it wasn't particularly fast or smooth on my valves. It's nice that it's available EVERYWHERE, but I also don't really care for the strong scent of it, even though they advertise as "odorless"


  8. #8

    Valve oil

    Originally posted by: bbocaner
    Hetman worked pretty well for me, and I really like that their products are available in a range of weights, but I don't like the gummy residue their piston oils would leave in the bottom valve caps and on the felts. I still use their "classic" piston oil on some antique instruments.
    Yamaha synthetic comes in three weights (light, regular, and vintage) that correspond in weight to Hetman's #s 1, 2 and 3. I prefer Yamaha because, although it does eventually leave a residue, the accumulation rate is significantly slower (3-4 weeks before it's discernable vs. 2-3 days with Hetman) and the amount is significantly less (YMMV). I've found the Yamaha oils last longer and perform at least as well as their Hetman equivalents (again, YMMV).

    Although Kurt Witt (director of marketing for Yamaha NA's band and orchestral instrument division), in response to am e-mail query, said that Yamaha "does not recommend" mixing their synthetic oil with conventional oils, I've been mixing the Regular and Blue Juice on my Sterling (Yammy for regular oiling; squirt of Blue Juice down the leadpipe for on-the-fly oiling and preventive cleaning) and Vintage and Blue Juice on my double bell with no discernible negative impact on performance. [FWIW, I did not begin to notice the residue mentioned above until I resumed mixing Blue Juice with the Yamaha Synthetic (initially, I used the Yamaha Synthetic by itself for 7 months before I resumed squirting Blue Juice down the leadpipe), so it's possible that the residue is a by-product of the interaction between them.]

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Indianapolis area

    Valve oil

    So that green slime that appears in the ports of my valves is residue from the Hetman's?

    Or is it a result of mixing my Hetman's with an occasional dose of Al Cass?

    Every week or so I swab the 5050's ports out with a Q-Tip.

    I usually don't eat before playing, so it isn't guacamole.
    I don't like guacamole anyway.

    Happy holidays to all...

    Jim W.

    Jim Williams N9EJR (love 10 meter CW)
    Shires Q41, Yamaha 321
    Yamaha 621 Baritone
    Wick 4AL or Alliance E3A
    Conn 50H trombone, Blue P-bone

  10. #10

    Valve oil

    I've been advocating Yamaha synthetic for a while now, as per the thread below. Still use it, although I switch to Yamaha standard from time to time for a different feel and because it seems to help with deposit formation. I would use Blue Juice when I wanted a standard oil, but it to me smells, yet not to everyone it seems.

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