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Thread: GENERAL: Where to have valves reworked?

  1. GENERAL: Where to have valves reworked?

    After almost 4 decades of playing my trusty Yamy 321S, it's time to have the valves replated, honed, lapped, etc... Where is a good place to have this done? I live in East Tennessee but I'm willing to FedEx the horn to a reputable repair tech.
    Thanks in advance for your recommendations.
    John U.
    1979 Yamaha 321S Euphonium
    1965 Conn 7G/6H Valve Trombone
    2014 Wessex BR140 Baritone

  2. #2
    Anderson Plating in Elkhart is THE place to have this done, but they won't work directly with you. You'll need to find a good tech who can disassemble your euphonium and send them the valve cluster.
    --
    Barry

  3. Thanks Barry for the info!
    1979 Yamaha 321S Euphonium
    1965 Conn 7G/6H Valve Trombone
    2014 Wessex BR140 Baritone

  4. #4
    Call Joe at Mid South Music just outside Memphis. (901-465-4739) He's really good. He may not take on your horn, but he will give you good advice and help find someone who will properly repair your horn.

  5. Thank you Opus37.
    1979 Yamaha 321S Euphonium
    1965 Conn 7G/6H Valve Trombone
    2014 Wessex BR140 Baritone

  6. #6
    I've also wondered about having valves replated and lapped in. Does anyone know the general price range for having this done?

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    The most recent price quote I've seen for replating and lapping of valves is $150 per valve. There may be additional cost to remove the valves, prepare them to be sent to Anderson and remount them on the horn. That price was for a small 3/4 size tuba. The valves on that horn would be 20% larger than a 321. My suggestion is to find a good tech and get a more exact quote.

    I had this done to a 1912 Martin Eb tuba. The tech had my horn for 10 months. (This horn has sentimental value to me, so I had it done.) The result was a a spectacular improvement of the horn. It plays beautifully with a resonate tone. I will never get my investment back because 3 valve Eb tubas are just not going for much these days. My point is, if you are doing this to make an old friend play as if it was new, then it likely will be worth it. If you expect to get your money back when you sell the horn, you probably won't.
    Last edited by opus37; 04-24-2017 at 09:18 AM.
    Wessex BR140
    Bunch of Eb tubas

  8. #8
    The valves are the heart of your instrument, so a good valve job can make a good horn as good as new again (and in some cases better). That said, I am very leery of the results of attempting to do the job cheaply by just plating the pistons and trying to lap them in to fit. The valve casings are also worn internally, and the tops of the valve casings wear more quickly than the lower portion. Therefore, to make both the piston and the casing a true cylinder again, the valve casing must be honed true, and then the piston repaired as necessary, and plated and trued until it is a good, tight fit. Electroplating builds up more quickly at the top- and bottom of the piston than the center, so pistons are trued on an amazing machine called a centerless grinder. I first saw this done on a tour of the Besson Plant at Edgeware (just north of London) back in 1993. This is how manufactureres make them, and this is how Anderson Silver Plating in Elkhart, Indiana remanufactures piston valves. To rebuild the valves properly necessitates removing the valveset from the instrument, and removing all valve tubing down to the bare valve cluster. I have seen a valve cluster having the cylinders honed at Anderson, and there is literally no room for any tubing to extend from the valve cluster when it is on the machine. There are some cheaper ways to sort-of get by with re-doing valves, but for work that I can trust every time, I work with Anderson Plating. They have helped me re-build piston-valve instruments ranging from an 1859 Stolzel-valve bass saxhorn in Eb to modern instruments, from cornets to euphoniums to 6/4 tubas.
    Lee A. Stofer, Jr.
    Lee Stofer Music, Inc.
    3583 260th Street
    Camanche IA 52730-9658
    (563) 321-0642
    tubamacher@gmail.com
    www.tubameister.com

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by opus37 View Post
    The most recent price quote I've seen for replating and lapping of valves is $150 per valve. There may be additional cost to remove the valves, prepare them to be sent to Anderson and remount them on the horn. That price was for a small 3/4 size tuba. The valves on that horn would be 20% larger than a 321. My suggestion is to find a good tech and get a more exact quote.

    I had this done to a 1912 Martin Eb tuba. The tech had my horn for 10 months. (This horn has sentimental value to me, so I had it done.) The result was a a spectacular improvement of the horn. It plays beautifully with a resonate tone. I will never get my investment back because 3 valve Eb tubas are just not going for much these days. My point is, if you are doing this to make an old friend play as if it was new, then it likely will be worth it. If you expect to get your money back when you sell the horn, you probably won't.
    As a correction to this post, I had Lee do the valves on my 1912 Martin. He did the complete valve rebuild as he described in his comments on this subject. The results were spectacular. Yes, he had the horn for a long time, but he tends to send horns to Anderson in bunches, he is very busy, and I was not in any hurry. Yes, there are folks who will do the plating and honing for the $150 or so a valve. If you have a special horn for one reason or another, the full rebuild is the way to go. It is a bit more expensive, but the results are worth it.
    Wessex BR140
    Bunch of Eb tubas

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