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Thread: Help with my new Wessex? (Ep100 Dolce)

  1. Help with my new Wessex? (Ep100 Dolce)

    Hey Forum!

    I purchased my first personal euphonium this summer, in the form of a Wessex Dolce Compensating Euph, and itís been overall wonderful, a few little things, it came a bit grimy in spots, and it seemed like some slides were greased before shipping while others werenít, but like I said, those are by no means dealbreakers, though the same canít be said for the issue Iím currently having with the valves. From what I can tell, a rediculous amount of builds up at the bottoms of the valve casing, to the point where Iím having to clean valves once a week at minimum. Itís only a problem because itís gotten so bad at times that it seems to be impeding the valveís paths back up. Obviously, even the smallest amount of drag is an annoying problem, so Iím posting my first thread on here in hopes of a solution or at least an explanation to my problem, my current oil is Denis Wick advanced formula with PTFE. Also it would be helpful to know if anyone with this particular model of Wessex has experienced the same issue.

    Thanks,
    Noah

  2. #2
    I use Blue Juice on my Dolce purchased last year and have had no problems with build up or anything - last time I bathed my horn was like 6 months ago.
    Yamaha Neo w/Trigger, Lacquer
    K&G 3.5D

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,990
    I don't like the Wick oil for use on instrument valves, but it's a great (if expensive) oil for use on tools.

    Let me guess that when you first got your instrument, one thing you did NOT do was to clean it thoroughly -- i.e., flush it thoroughly with a water/detergent solution (all pistons, valves, and tubing). Did you perhaps ASSUME that since it was NEW it was also CLEAN? Not completely unreasonable, but often false.

    One of the last things that's done in making a valved instrument is to lap the valves. This involves using "lapping compound" (basically a dust-like abrasive substance) to make the pistons function as smoothly as possible in the casings. If the instrument is then not cleaned, but simply shipped. Or if the cleaning is less than completely thorough, that lapping compound is still there and will mix with the oil you apply to make the valves function well. You'll end up with some degree of lapping compound sludge, and you can keep wiping it off the pistons and out of the cylinders, but until you THOROUGHLY clean the instrument, it will continue to haunt you for a very long time (while also lapping the valves more than you really want them to be lapped).

    So that's ONE possibility.

    The other possibility is that the Wick oil really does suck. I found it MUCH too heavy/draggy to use in EITHER my Mack Brass euphonium or my Wessex Tuba (which it came with). It got relegated to the garage/shop (for use on tools), and I use Yamaha Light Synthetic oil. The valve clearances on those horns are VERY close.

    Those are the only suggestions I have at the moment. But in any event, you probably should CLEAN it thoroughly, and then ditch the Wick oil.
    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
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Anderson, Indiana
    Posts
    216
    Have you used Wick PTFE valve oil before? What you may be experiencing is an incompatibility between your spit and your synthetic valve oil. This shows up as gunk on your valves, valve ports, bottom caps, etc. Dave Werden has written about this problem in the past. The cure is to thoroughly clean your instrument and switch to a non-synthetic, petroleum based valve oil such as Blue Juice.

  5. Thanks for all the input, Iíve been putting off a bath for my euphonium because Iím paranoid about ruining my first personal horn, but Iíll give it a try, Iím not well stocked in maintenance accessory stuff, will just warm soapy water and a cleaning snake do the trick? Iíll probably do this tomorrow afternoon

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,140
    Dawn dishing washing liquid is what I use and many others use (do not use automatic dishwashing soap). Use warm - not real hot water in a bathtub. Be sure to rinse well when you're done to get all soap residue removed. Let the horn dry then lube all slides with slide grease oil valves.

    Welcome me to the forum.
    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. #7
    Just be careful how convoluted the snake gets as you thread it into the tubes. I've broken a few off inside the horn. Use Dawn dish soap (the blue stuff) and let the soaking do the work you can't do with a snake. When you have done all you can, reassemble the horn and do a reverse flush:

    • Pour a lot of dish soap into the bell. Hold the horn upright and let drip straight down so it is out of the way of the next step.
    • Wrap a rag around the end of a garden hose, thickly enough so it can be tightly wedged into the bell (pretty far down).
    • Turn the water on hard, then quickly (you may need another set of hands for this)...
      • Wait until you see some water come out of the leadpipe.
      • As soon as that happens press the 4th valve down for couple seconds, then add 1, 2, and 3 all at once (now all 4 are down).
      • As soon as water flows smoothly out the leadpipe again, shut off the water. Now you should have soapy water in all the passages.
      • Let it soak for 20 minutes or so.
      • Turn on the water again and work the valve combinations again as above. The helps to "scrub" stuff out.
      • Then just work through all valve combinations over and over until the water is coming out clear.

    • Take it apart again and examine everything you can see. You MAY find some lingering junk you can now get to.
    • Dry off everything, and re-oil valves and re-lube slides.


    Simple as that!
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  8. Iíll give everything mentioned a try, thanks again for all the feedback, especially in such a short amount of time, this really is an amazing help

  9. Also would it be a bad idea to unscrew the tops of the valves, get off the felt and then let the valves soak too?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,990
    It seems to be not as simple as petroleum vs. synthetic. Synthetic oils differ in their chemistry and components from one another, and so do petroleum-based oils. We've seen a lot of cases here where some people have trouble with one oil and not others whether they're petroleum or synthetic (or both). And there's variation across instruments. So it may require a bit of trial and discovery. And it may be a chemistry problem, or a viscosity problem, or a cleanliness problem at this point. Just proceed with some care and you should quickly find a solution that works for you.
    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)

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