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Thread: YBH621 First Valve Issue

  1. #1

    YBH621 First Valve Issue

    The first valve on my instrument is notorious for sluggishness and sticking. I've cleaned the horn thoroughly, especially the valve and casing, and no matter what type of lubricant, synthetic or otherwise, I use the first valve always becomes sluggish or sticks after a short period of time. No problem with 2-3.

    Anyone else experience this problem? Would appreciate any suggestions how to rectify it.


  2. #2
    I've had those symptoms on a few different horns. My conclusion is that it is some kind of grime, and the first valve takes the brunt of what you blow through the horn.

    It is remarkable hard to clean out a horn, but the places you need to double-check are ALL tubes associated with the valve, including slides; the leadpipe; and the bottom valve cap and bottom of the valve (lots of stuff can accumulate there and work its way out at bad times).

    One trick that may get you through for a day or two at a time is to lather the valve with Ivory soap and put it back in the casing. That lubricates and also cleans grease & such. If that works for a while, then you can be more certain that cleaning is the answer. Worst case is you have to get it chem cleaned, but I'll bet you can get there with some elbow grease (as long as you are thorough!).
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
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    Owner of,

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Central North Carolina
    Another alternative is that you are applying pressure (even some small pressure) to it at an angle when you push it down. I was doing this a bit on my EEb tuba second valve until I settled on just the right hand and holding position. And if you have plastic valve guides, this can then have a lasting effect even after you stop applying any sidewards pressure. This is because your sideways pressure can result in raising a small "burr" on the plastic guide, which you then need to trim carefully. Or it's possible that the valve guide channel is a bit rough -- which in turn may roughen the guide, which will be worse if you are also applying any sidewards pressure.

    I'm not suggesting that you start taking a knife or sandpaper to your guide or the channel, but it's something to look at and perhaps have checked out by a repair tech if you suspect that might be the trouble.

    One thing you can do is pay very careful attention to how you are pushing that piston. And also, you can carefully and intentionally apply such pressure and see if you can repeatedly get the result of the sticking. If you can, then look more carefully to see if that's what you're doing as you play.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  4. #4
    Thanks for the suggestion. I did find an extremely small burr on the side of the plastic guide, which I removed and seems to be much better. The guide channel also appears to have 'something' at the bottom which I will have a repair tech investigate.
    Appreciate all the help!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Capon Bridge WV
    You may also want to try loosening the valve guide pushrod and try to push the valve guide towards the center of the valve (inward). This should reduce any extra friction on the valve guide. Our Yamaha's have a tight valve clearance, so it won't take much to slow down the works. You may also try an oil such as Blue Juice that cleans and lubricates and put several drops in the leadpipe before playing. It will flow into the 1st valve and hopefully correct your issue. Good luck.
    Last edited by Rebel; 02-02-2016 at 01:37 PM.
    Yamaha YBB-631 Compensating 4/4 Brass


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