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Thread: Euphonium Valve Spacing / Span

  1. #1

    Euphonium Valve Spacing / Span

    This conversation started in a different thread, and I'll copy a couple posts here. But to set it up, we are coming to realize that the span of the 3 main valves (the distance your fingers need to spread apart) varies with brand and perhaps model. I would like users of various brands to report the measurement for their horns. I'll stick this thread to the top of the category for a while, to help us collect figures.

    We would like the measurement in cm, from the center of valve 1 to the center of valve 3. Or you can also measure from the right or left edge of 1 to the same edge of 3, using the finger buttons (assuming they are 3 the same size). Measure as convenient, but what we want, in human terms, is how far it is from the center of the 1st finger button to the center of the 3rd. If you take off the buttons it will be much easier to gauge the center of the stem if you like that method.

    Food for thought

    Wouldn't we want our valves to be as close together as possible? That would make it easier on the fingers, right? Sure, but it's not that simple. First, a small bore instrument can have the valves closer together, and a large bore instrument will need more space. A larger bore requires a larger diameter piston, to allow room for all the caucades (the connecting "tunnels" you see in the piston) to be of the proper size. Also a larger piston requires turns that are less tight in each caucade.

    There is probably a considering for the tubes connecting the 3 valves, too, but I'm not sure how that geometry works out.

    From a practical point of view, wider spacing between the valve casings might make maintenance easier. Polishing gets hard if the casings are very close, for example. Also, the top cap on the casing, and the bottom cap less frequently, must be removed from time to time. That can be hard if they are too close. And it can limit your options for tools/helpers if a cap is stuck.

    In short, there are several compromises involved!

    PLEASE CHECK THIS ENTIRE THREAD BEFORE POSTING YOUR HORN'S MEASUREMENTS. We don't want a lot of duplication of the same brand, unless you get a different result. Thanks!
    Last edited by John Morgan; 02-24-2020 at 08:27 PM. Reason: changed mm to cm - hope that is ok, Dave
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  2. #2
    Here are the measurements reported so far.

    Nbnarcisi

    Good idea Dave !!

    Funny Jake, I had a [Yamaha] Neo with trigger that I sold after getting the [Shires Q] 40, I found the valve action on the 40 similar to the Hirsbrunner, very fast and smooth.

    By the way Dave, the Hirsbrunner 479 measures 6.35 cm.

    davewerden

    That puts my Adams right in the middle, then - it's about 6.6 or 6.7. As I get a chance to get to a horn-laden conference I'll gather some more measurements. Those specs might play a part in some folks' decisions.

    JakeGuilbo

    Yeah - just measured my Neo and it's 6.3cm center to center. I feel like the springs in the Shires are also HEAVY - the valves in the Neo are so much better and smoother.

    Nbnarcisi

    Barry & Jake,
    The [Shires] Q-40 is the same as well, I do find the valve block to be further away from the right hand bar guide as compared to any other euphonium I have had, that could also be a factor.

    JakeGuilbo

    The center to center distance [for the Shires Q41euphonium] is exactly 7cm.

    RickF

    [Miraphone 5050] measures 6.224cm

    Euph Loosh


    My Boosey & Hawkes Imperial (mid-1950's) measurement is 6.5 cm. John Morgan, I hope that you concur.

    JakeGuilbo


    Had a friend measure his:
    Willson 2900 - 6.67cm
    German Besson Sovereign Anniversary Edition - 6.35cm


    TheJH

    I know there's already a Sovereign on the list, but just checked mine to see if there's a difference between iterations/British-German made:
    B&H Round Stamp Sovereign: 6.37 cm

    John Morgan

    I just measured my 1956 Boosey & Hawkes Imperial.
    6.6675 cm. So I suppose between your 6.5 and our 6.66, it is in that range somewhere.

    So, we just measured my Adams E3, and I got exactly 2.625 inches, which is 6.6675 cm. Exactly the same as the B&H Imperial. I got the same measurement that Dave got for his Adams E3 (between 6.6 and 6.7 cm). We also measured with a metal tape measure to check our results against the cloth tape measure. Same results.

    So, my Adams E3 and my B&H Imperial are exactly the same distance from center of valve one to center of valve three.

    Then I got curious about my Wessex Dolce, so I measured it. It is 6.50875 cm, so a wee bit smaller than the Imperial and Adams.

    MikeS

    6.67cm on my 1997 Besson 968.

    miketeachesclass

    Adams E3: 6.8CM
    Adams E3 with custom short valve set: 6.7CM
    Geneva GvL Cardinal: 6.4CM
    Besson New Standard (medium shank): 6.45CM
    Willson 2060TA: 6.7CM
    Last edited by davewerden; 03-02-2020 at 07:18 PM. Reason: added more user reports
    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
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,262
    Just measured the spacing of my M5050 (Miraphone). The best I can tell it’s 6.3 cm (center of 1st valve to center of 3rd valve). I wanted to use my micrometers but the battery is dead so used a ruler.
    Last edited by RickF; 02-25-2020 at 07:33 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
    Russian Christmas Music (Alfred Reed)
    El Cumbanchero (Rafael Hernández) cell phone video

  4. #4
    Man, that's some real close together valves, Rick! You mean "cm" right?
    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. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,262
    Oops, corrected to cm.
    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
    Russian Christmas Music (Alfred Reed)
    El Cumbanchero (Rafael Hernández) cell phone video

  6. #6
    Thanks for fixing my original post, Rick! And thanks for adding the 5050 - that's a nice, narrow reach!

    Actually, I think John edited your post... he probably should have edited mine as well.
    Last edited by RickF; 02-25-2020 at 09:22 AM.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  7. #7
    Good morning,
    My Boosey & Hawkes Imperial (mid-1950's) measurement is 6.5 cm. John Morgan, I hope that you concur.

    Regards, Brenda
    Euph Loosh
    Imperial by Boosey & Hawkes 4-valve Euphonium (mid-1950's)
    MPs: Kosikup 1 1/2, Bowman BB2 Euro shank, Denis Wick 4AM; Marcus Bonna case

  8. #8
    Had a friend measure his:
    Willson 2900 - 6.67cm
    German Besson Sovereign Anniversary Edition - 6.35cm
    Adams E3 0.6 with SS Bell
    K&G 3.5D

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    156
    I know there's already a Sovereign on the list, but just checked mine to see if there's a difference between iterations/British-German made:

    B&H Round Stamp Sovereign: 6.37 cm
    Willson 2960TA Celebration
    1979 Boosey & Hawkes Sovereign (Globe Stamp)
    Mouthpiece: Denis Wick SM4

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Euph Loosh View Post
    Good morning,
    My Boosey & Hawkes Imperial (mid-1950's) measurement is 6.5 cm. John Morgan, I hope that you concur.

    Regards, Brenda
    Brenda,

    I just measured my 1956 Boosey & Hawkes Imperial. I used me, my wife, and our cloth sewing tape measure. Measured from middle of valve cap to middle of valve cap, then from left side of first valve to left side of third valve. We got 2.625 inches, which translates into 6.6675 cm. So I suppose between your 6.5 and our 6.66, it is in that range somewhere.

    Interesting that Rick's M5050 Miraphone measures in at 6.3 cm. I would have thought it would have been a bigger space than our Imperials.

    So, we just measured my Adams E3, and I got exactly 2.625 inches, which is 6.6675 cm. Exactly the same as the B&H Imperial. I got the same measurement that Dave got for his Adams E3 (between 6.6 and 6.7 cm). We also measured with a metal tape measure to check our results against the cloth tape measure. Same results.

    So, my Adams E3 and my B&H Imperial are exactly the same distance from center of valve one to center of valve three.

    Then I got curious about my Wessex Dolce, so I measured it. It is 6.50875 cm, so a wee bit smaller than the Imperial and Adams.

    Finally, I measured my waist to see if my haphazard diet is working and decided that the result couldn't possibly be correct, so all of the above is very suspect.

    John
    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)

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