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Thread: Valve Height or Throw Distance

  1. Valve Height or Throw Distance

    I play a Yahama YEP642, and noticing other brands, it appears that some have a shorter distance to depress. I assume this would make them faster.

    Which brands are better?

  2. #2
    Mine.

    And welcome to the forum, Charlie!! Or make that welcome to the world of posting on the forum, Charlie, as I see you have been a member for some time.
    Last edited by John Morgan; 05-10-2020 at 05:32 PM.
    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)

  3. Charlie,

    Most modern compensating euphoniums have pretty similar valve stroke. The first three valves often have a bore of .580" (approx), however the 4th valve loop is usually larger (up to .600"?). Further, since the 4th valve loop passes back through valves 1-2-3 whenever the 4th valve is pressed down, this means there are two ports on the 1-2-3 valves that are larger than the other three. Given this, they all have to have a stroke that allows all ports to completely open and completely close with airtight seal at the top and bottom of the stroke.

    I have not actually measured the stroke on the YEP642 or any of my horns (3 x Bessons, 1 x Sterling, 1 x Adams), but except for the Adams, they differ more in weight, spring tension, and feel rather than length of stroke. My Adams, however has special top-sprung valves with Oval instead of Round ports. The tubing going into and out of the port is "squished" into an oval shape instead of being round. This means that the horn has a shorter stroke. AFAIK, this is the only modern horn that has this feature. The valves on this horn are VERY fast, light, and are a real help for a player like me who suffers from tendonitis in fingters and arm frequently.

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

  4. Quote Originally Posted by John Morgan View Post
    Mine.
    Yeah...but not quite. My E3 is faster and shorter than yours!

    Doug
    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
    Okay, I have to follow that up. Short action valves for euphonium usually mean that the holes in the valves are squished along with the tubing coming out of the valve casing. The shape is "oblongish" as opposed to circular with regular action valves. This makes them a trifle shorter and theoretically faster. But a soft spring on a short action valve and a strong spring on a regular valve might equal out in speed. Of course a stronger spring requires stronger fingers.

    The valve differences in a compensating vs. a non-compensating horn are that the non-compensating horn has a shorter overall valve because it doesn't need the extra ports on the bottom of the valve for the compensating loops. But the actual distance the valve travels when depressed from up to fully down is not much different. The valve size is also dependent on bore size of the instrument. Why primarily a euphonium has longer valves and longer throw than a trumpet.

    I would think there would be little difference in distance and speed in euphoniums that are compensating vs. those that are not, but perhaps weight would favor the non-compensating. But then who wants to listen to a non-compensating horn speed through a piece only to land on a low B natural as the final note? I suspect there "is" a bit of difference in the speed on a short action valve euphonium and one that does not have that, all other things being equal.
    Last edited by John Morgan; 05-10-2020 at 05:30 PM.
    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)

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by daruby View Post
    Yeah...but not quite. My E3 is faster and shorter than yours!

    Doug
    Okay, I will admit that you are quite 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)

  7. #7
    I remember measuring a bunch of my horns to see how they compared. I don't have the numbers anymore, but that's alright.

    Long story short, the only thing that can compete with the old Conn short-action valves is a well tuned rotor. My 20I has a throw of .540". Your run-of-the-mill Trumpet-like thing is around .600". I assume that an average compensating Euph is in the ballpark of .800", but I don't have one to measure. Didn't know short-action compensating valves were a thing, but that's pretty slick and probably the way to go.

    I reckon that piston valve BBb Tuba players have superpowers.
    Hobbyist. Collector. Oval rotary guy. Unpaid shill for Josef Klier mouthpieces.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by daruby View Post
    [snip]My Adams, however has special top-sprung valves with Oval instead of Round ports. The tubing going into and out of the port is "squished" into an oval shape instead of being round. This means that the horn has a shorter stroke. AFAIK, this is the only modern horn that has this feature. The valves on this horn are VERY fast, light, and are a real help for a player like me who suffers from tendonitis in fingters and arm frequently.
    Doug:

    Does the oval shape affect sound or responsiveness? While I will acquire a short-throw E3 only in my daydreams, I'm still curious.
    Dean L. Surkin
    Mack Brass MACK-EU1150S, BB1, Kadja, and DE 101XTG9 mouthpieces
    Bach 36B trombone; pBone; Vincent Bach (from 1971) 6.5AL mouthpiece
    Steinway 1902 Model A, restored by AC Pianocraft in 1988; Kawai MP8, Yamaha KX-76
    See my avatar: Jazz (the black cockapoo) and Delilah (the cavapoo puppy) keep me company while practicing

  9. Quote Originally Posted by dsurkin View Post
    Doug: Does the oval shape affect sound or responsiveness? While I will acquire a short-throw E3 only in my daydreams, I'm still curious.
    Dean, the short action valves do not seem to affect sound or responsiveness at all. When auditioning this horn (with Miel Adams), I tried 3 other E3's. Mine has a .70 Yellow brass bell. The others were .60 and sounded lighter. I wanted something that could match or improve on the sound of my modified 2001 Besson Sovereign, but with better response and intonation and lighter weight. I did not realize that the horn I chose was a prototype until Miel explained it to me after I had done A/B comparisons with my Besson and the other E3's.

    The only issue (due to the valve cluster) was that since mine was "the first", some of the tuning had not been quite worked out. The main tuning slide was shortened by around 1/2" on each leg. This helped overall pitch (which was flat). As I have gotten used to playing the horn, I have found pitch quite acceptable, though perhaps not quite as good as a typical Adams. Concert F (6th partial) is a bit sharp, but the rest of the 6th partial is fine. Middle G is a bit sharp, but 3rd valve solves that. No need (nor desire) for a trigger. I am pretty sure that Adams has tweaked the design a bit since I purchased mine 3 years ago (on May 17, 2017!). AFAIK, this valveset is available on special order.

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

  10. An update on Valve throw:

    1. On my Sterling Virtuoso w/Bauerfeind valves, the valve throw is about 13/16" (.8125"). Adams with standard valves should be similar.
    2. On my Adams E3, valves 1-2-3 are around 5/8" (.625").

    Felt thickness will affect this. On both of my horns, the 4th valve throw was around .84" - .86" (1/32" to 1/16" more) due to compressed felts.
    Last edited by daruby; 05-11-2020 at 10:36 AM.
    Sterling Virtuoso 1052HS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

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