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Thread: Replacement valve felts for Wessex Dolce?

  1. #1

    Replacement valve felts for Wessex Dolce?

    I've come to realize the valves on my Wessex are very loud, especially the 4th valve. I've replaced the springs with mead springs a month or two ago and that helped quite a bit. But afterwards I've realized the felts are the culprit. Now I'm pretty new to taking care of my own instrument (Just got my Euph last summer, currently HS Junior) So I'd really appreciate if anyone could help steer me along onto more reliable felts and if not the size of the felt I need? Again, pretty new to this but this site has always been reliable when it came to anything Euph related.
    Last edited by Beef; 05-02-2019 at 10:03 PM.

  2. #2
    Welcome to the forum!

    Wessex is one of the forum's sponsors and they have a section of their own here. If you click the Sponsors link in the top menu and then click into Wessex, you will see a new set of contacts. One of those is specifically for parts. I'd start there and get a new set of felts. Replacing felts is not expensive and needs to be done now and then.

    I don't know what Wessex uses, but when you use the word "felts" I assume you mean the thick cloth kind, and not rubber, right? If they are felt, replacement is needed periodically. Once the new felts are in place, you can try this maintenance tip. Soak all the old felts in warm water. If they look very dirty you might also need to clean them in soapy water first, then rinse them a few times in clean water. In any case, the semi-final step in the process is the soaking in warm water until the felts get back their normal thickness. Then remove them from the water and put them on a few layers of paper towel. Do NOT squeeze out the water. Let them air dry thoroughly. I have done this in the past, and found that the process can restore felts. If it works for you, then you have a spare set now!

    ALL THIS ASSUMES that the noise you hear is a thumping or slapping noise, which would usually be cause by the felt or rubber pads. If most of the noise is on the downstroke, the cause is the pad under the finger button. If most noise is on the valve's return to the top, then the cause is the pad on top of the piston.

    If the noise you hear is scraping, then the springs are not seated correctly, or there is some other kind of problem.
    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

  3. My Dolce 4th valve kinda clacks a lot. Is this related to the felt? Clearly, there is metal hitting metal somewhere, but it's only a few months old.
    Wessex Dolce

    "Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things -- trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones." - Puddleglum in "The Silver Chair"

  4. #4
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    Probably because your fingers are so fast on your valves you have literally worn right through the felt in only months!! Well done!! Actually, could it possibly be that the spring is not seated correctly? To do that for the 4th valve, it is best to orient the horn such that the 4th valve is straight up and down, then put the spring in, then put the valve in directly on top. Otherwise, it is possible to have the spring not directly in the center and rubbing on the sides. Of course, if you are hearing clacking (that is loud clacking) at the end of the downstroke or at the end of the upstroke on the valve, then indeed you probably have a worn felt, missing felt, or missing rubber type washer. Pull your 4th valve and check it against any of the three others. Well, wait a minute. I just did that on my Wessex Dolce. I have a fat felt and skinny felt washer on each of the 1-3 valve stems, and only a fat felt washer on the 4th valve stem. Are all the felts substantial looking, not all raggedy? Of course there should be felt in each of the 4 valve top caps. And a loose valve cap, top or bottom, can cause clacking. And tapping the toe of your tap dance shoes while playing can cause clacking...
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  5. Quote Originally Posted by John Morgan View Post
    And tapping the toe of your tap dance shoes while playing can cause clacking...
    Ah, next time I'll keep the tap shoes in the closet!

    I just took it apart to see if it was related to the felt. Then I spent 2-3 literal minutes screwing the cap back on. Now I can report back to you that the clack happens when the top turns left and right, rather than when the valve moves up or down. I believe it's normal for there to be just a little left-right give, but it shouldn't clack when it hits the left-right stop, should it? (Does that make sense?
    Wessex Dolce

    "Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things -- trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones." - Puddleglum in "The Silver Chair"

  6. #6
    That doesn't sound right. On the one hand, the valve moving around like that will cause noise with metal valve guides, and it sound metallic. But with nylon guides it should be no more than a thumping sound. Could you attach a photo of the top of the 4th piston?
    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

  7. Click image for larger version. 

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    Now that I look at it again, I think it's just the white notch clacking as it turns within the groove. (Which part are you calling the valve guide?) I definitely wouldn't describe it as a thump, but it isn't as loud as a metallic clack either. It's loud enough to hear when I play.

    Beef, so sorry for hijacking your thread!
    Wessex Dolce

    "Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things -- trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones." - Puddleglum in "The Silver Chair"

  8. #8
    The photo looks about right. By any chance is there a set-screw hiding under the felt to secure the white piece in place? Oh, and what I call the guide is the rectangle of white that rides in the slot.

    You should also check all the finger buttons, and top / bottom caps to make sure they are snug. Check for anything else loose, like a lyre screw.
    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

  9. Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    By any chance is there a set-screw hiding under the felt to secure the white piece in place?
    Since I'm still not sure I understand your question even after looking yet again, I'll attach additional pictures to supplant a few thousand words. Sorry they're so glare-y.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Valves 1-3 thump a little, as you described above. Valve 4 is definitely different. Maybe the clack is metallic, but lightly, if that makes sense. It isn't like when my kids get into the drawer with the stainless cookware.
    Wessex Dolce

    "Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things -- trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones." - Puddleglum in "The Silver Chair"

  10. #10
    You can forget my set-screw question - there doesn't appear to be one. But I would tighten everything else that moves and see if it makes a difference.
    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

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