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Thread: Leadpipe Repair

  1. Leadpipe Repair

    So a little backstory; like the cause of most dents and dings, I was trying to multitask while oiling my valves. A friend of mine came up behind me and grabbed my shoulders to get my attention. I'm a bit of a jumpy person, so I ended up losing my grip on my euphonium and dropping it in the case. Surprisingly, only two small dents were put in the instrument, but the catch is that they're in the leadpipe. There's no bending of the leadpipe and no damage was transferred to the bell. The leadpipe braces were also unaffected, so the damage is localized to the leadpipe.

    After sending it to the shop, I got a message indirectly from the brass tech saying that it would be an interesting fix, if it was possible. The horn was returned to me because our band is taking a trip this upcoming week. It plays fine and the response and openness is unaffected, but the dents are still prominent enough to bug me considering the rest of the instrument is pristine. I'll post some pictures below so you all can see what I'm talking about.

    My questions are:
    1. Is there a well known tech that is experienced with these issues that I should contact?
    2. Is it possible to get a replacement leadpipe? The horn is a 2007 Sterling Virtuoso "Deluxe" (it was their top of the line)
    3. What would the costs be of both above options?

    Thank you for any assistance anyone can provide, it is very much appreciated.

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    Thomann EP 902SL Superior Euphonium

    Eastman Shires ETB432G Trombone

  2. #2
    I'm not a repair expert, but I think the normal dent ball would not work with out a great deal of care, and even then could not work completely because of the constant taper of the leadpipe. Perhaps a magnet/ball could coax the dent out, but I gather that would require a repair person skilled in using it. I'm sure such experts exist.

    In the meantime I don't think I would worry about it much. If you can't detect a difference in how the horn plays, that's reassuring. In theory it could matter, but how and how much are impossible to guess. If it were me, I might consider fixing it, but I would wait until it is reasonably convenient to get to a shop that I was sure could do it expertly. That's a very fine horn, and an aggressively-confident repair tech could do more harm than good.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  3. #3
    I feel your pain. Having a horn in perfect condition and then having a dent happen is just depressing. The good news is that it is repairable to very close to unnoticeable condition. Dave is probably right, it is something that can wait until you have a good open time for repair. There are several competent repair people around. Check the repair section of this board for suggestions based on where you live. You want to find someone close by because shipping a horn has a bad habit of causing increased damage. A good tech will suggest how to eliminate the dents and give you an estimate of time and cost. I suspect the tech will have to remove the lead pipe an approach the dent from the valve end because it is bigger. If all else fails, you can replace the lead pipe. That likely will be more expensive that dent repair.

  4. Ok, there are at least several techs known on a national basis who could repair this. That I know of: Lee Stofer, Matt Walter (Dillon), and Jim Becker (Osmun). I am sure others here could pipe in. We could also contact Paul Riggett at Sterling to see if you could get a new leadpipe. But the advise about leaving it alone for the time being is good.

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    Add to the list Dan Oberloh in Seattle.

    He has the machinery to make leadpipes inhouse.

    1966 Besson 181 highly modified New Standard
    1918 Hawkes & Son euph 3&1 original
    1917 Conn C/D/Eb mellophone original
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original

  6. #6
    I second highpitch's recommendation of Dan Oberloh ( He made a wonderful nickel silver leadpipe for my Hirsbrunner euphonium. I think he may even have pictures of the process on company's facebook page.

    Robert Pendergast, DM


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