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Thread: Herco Spitballs - Magic!

  1. #1

    Herco Spitballs - Magic!

    I use Herco "Spitballs" and have not had any problems with "crud" in my horn. I use them regularly, but make a point of it before using the QHR rinser.

    -Carroll

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by carbogast View Post
    I use Herco "Spitballs" and have not had any problems with "crud" in my horn. I use them regularly, but make a point of it before using the QHR rinser.

    -Carroll
    Interesting. I've played around with Spitballs, but I'm not sure how to use them without getting something stuck. The large ones get stuck in the leadpipe. I have to use a swab to push them into the 1st valve casing, which is all I've done so far.

    Could you tell us what size you use and what your technique is? (i.e. do you blow them through the open horn, or with valves down, etc.). Thanks.
    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 TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    Interesting. I've played around with Spitballs, but I'm not sure how to use them without getting something stuck. The large ones get stuck in the leadpipe. I have to use a swab to push them into the 1st valve casing, which is all I've done so far.

    Could you tell us what size you use and what your technique is? (i.e. do you blow them through the open horn, or with valves down, etc.). Thanks.
    I use the large size Spitballs. Procedure:

    - remove main tuning slide
    - Push a spitball into the leadpipe with a pencil
    - inset mouthpiece
    - blow hard through open valve set and catch in hand as it comes out
    - repeat with all valves down.

    Never had one stuck since I figured out the pencil trick.

    Don Winston

  4. Quote Originally Posted by djwpe View Post
    I use the large size Spitballs. Procedure:

    - remove main tuning slide
    - Push a spitball into the leadpipe with a pencil
    - inset mouthpiece
    - blow hard through open valve set and catch in hand as it comes out
    - repeat with all valves down.

    Never had one stuck since I figured out the pencil trick.

    Don Winston
    I use the same procedure as Don. Works great. Once you create an air plenum between the spitball and the mouthpiece by pushing it down the leadpipe a ways, you just blow as hard as you can. I have even gotten the large spitballs through all the nooks and crannies of a 4 valve English baritone (approx. .501 bore with a switchback in the 4th valve loop!). Use a rag to catch the spitball at the tuning slide as lots of ugly green stuff can come out!
    Sterling Virtuoso 1052HS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HS baritone & Conn 24I/25I euphonium
    New England Brass Band/Metropolitan Wind Symphony
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  5. #5

    Herco Spitballs - Magic!

    I use a similar procedure as Don & Doug except I push it in with the mouthpiece, then I take the mouthpiece out and reinsert it (otherwise the spitball seems to not get going). I blow it hard with all the valves down and fetch it out of the bell. It's good idea to remove the main slide if you anticipate lots of stuff coming out.- Carroll

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,124
    I've been leery of trying these because of the risk of getting them stuck somewhere. Will the Herco Large sized spitball make it through the 2nd valve comp loop? That's a tough place to clean for sure.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by RickF; 08-04-2017 at 10:29 AM.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    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
    When the Saints Go Marching In (arr. Mashima) at ACB Conference Ft. Lauderdale
    Cell phone video of : El Cumbanchero:

  7. Never Had a problem with Herco Spitballs

    Quote Originally Posted by RickF View Post
    I've been leery of trying these because of the risk of getting them stuck somewhere. Will the Herco Large sized spitball make it through the 2nd valve comp loop? That's a tough place to clean for sure.

    Thanks.
    Rick,

    I have never had a problem getting the large Herco Spitballs through my horns, including all of the compensating paths. Even the tortuous ones in my small bore York 3056 4-valve English baritone.

    As Don said:


    1. Remove the tuning slide.
    2. When you insert the foam spitball in the lead pipe, push it in past the receiver using a pen, pencil, small screwdriver tip, etc.
    3. Insert the mouthpiece.
    4. Push all 4 valves down.
    5. Blow like crazy.


    With a big "whoosh:, the spitball and a bunch of crud come flying out of your tuning slide. I usually have a towel on the floor to catch it all. Make sure your tuning slide is not pointed at your pants!

    Repeat the above with no valves down to clean the last of the passages. Do each path at least twice, then use the QHR to rinse out the horn.
    Sterling Virtuoso 1052HS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HS baritone & Conn 24I/25I euphonium
    New England Brass Band/Metropolitan Wind Symphony
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,124
    Thanks for the follow-up Doug. Just wondering about the 'tight turn' of the 2nd valve comp loop. I'll have to give this a go.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    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
    When the Saints Go Marching In (arr. Mashima) at ACB Conference Ft. Lauderdale
    Cell phone video of : El Cumbanchero:

  9. I find that the Herco spitballs are the ONLY way I can get to the 2nd valve comp loop successfully. I have had no problems blowing the spitball through it.
    Sterling Virtuoso 1052HS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HS baritone & Conn 24I/25I euphonium
    New England Brass Band/Metropolitan Wind Symphony
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by daruby View Post
    I find that the Herco spitballs are the ONLY way I can get to the 2nd valve comp loop successfully. I have had no problems blowing the spitball through it.
    Ditto. Just give it a good hard blow. There are two spitball sizes, get the "large" size. I learned about them at a maintenance clinic give by Jim Becker of Osmun music at Mike Milnaricks's tuba/euph camp a while ago. I've been using them ever since. - Carroll

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