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Thread: Valve Height or Throw Distance

  1. #11
    Join Date
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    There was a thread on this some time ago but I can’t find it. The M5050 valve throw is 5/8”. A bit surprising due to the fact the bore is .610 for 1,2,3.

    I think the shorter action is due to bigger bumps (forget the right word) in the ports of the valves so the throw can be shorter.

    Last edited by RickF; 05-11-2020 at 04:08 PM.
    Rick Floyd
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  2. #12
    Doug has a good eye. After taking 10 distinct measurements, in a coronavirus free environment, averaging the results, and then taking out the garbage, I can absolutely say that my Adams E3 with Bauerfeind valves has a throw of precisely .8125 inches just about.

    I had an M5050 previously. The shorter throw is a real mystery to me, also.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
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  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Anderson, Indiana
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    234
    I remember someone trying to tell me that the Conn baritone/euphoniums with short action valves added a kind of "schooping" noise that their regular valves didn't have. This was many years ago and I never had any opportunity to play one of these instruments myself. Anyone have a comment?

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by enhite View Post
    I remember someone trying to tell me that the Conn baritone/euphoniums with short action valves added a kind of "schooping" noise that their regular valves didn't have. This was many years ago and I never had any opportunity to play one of these instruments myself. Anyone have a comment?
    I don't notice anything out of the ordinary besides the valves just being really fast. The valves on my example are a bit worn as should be expected from a immediately post-war horn, but I don't notice any sort of unusual behavior or strange noises. They're just extremely fast and comfortable to play. If there's anything bad to say about them, it's the valve guides. The design is really annoying and they tend to get stuck in the valve cap threads. Some horns have a two piece valve cap which solves that problem.
    Hobbyist. Collector. Oval rotary guy. Unpaid shill for Josef Klier mouthpieces.

  5. Quote Originally Posted by enhite View Post
    I remember someone trying to tell me that the Conn baritone/euphoniums with short action valves added a kind of "schooping" noise that their regular valves didn't have. This was many years ago and I never had any opportunity to play one of these instruments myself. Anyone have a comment?
    My experience with playing a 20i (short action) directly against my 24i (standard action) was that the short action valves tended to have a bit of a "pop" in between notes on slurred (non-tongued) running passages. Examples would be runs in "Shores of the Mighty Pacific" or some of the really fast running passages near the end of "Pantomime".

    The action on the 20i and the tubas using the same system is VERY short. The piston ports on the 20i are quite flat on the top and bottom and only oval at the ends. I think the sudden engagement of air flow when the piston is moved is so abrupt that the popping sound from the start and stop of the airflow would appear. On my 24i I could play the same running passage and the more gradual opening and closing of the round ports seemed to produce a smoother sound. If I look at the oval ports on my Adams, they seem just slightly ovoid at the top and bottom instead of flat, perhaps allowing a more gradual release and acceleration of air flow. I do not get the same affect on my Adams that I remember experiencing on the 20i. See the picture of the Adam short action 1st valve with ovoid ports compared with the same valve on my Sterling with round ports.

    Doug
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Valves.jpg  
    Last edited by daruby; 05-11-2020 at 03:41 PM.
    Sterling Virtuoso 1052HS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HS baritone
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  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Doug: thanks for the detailed answers and the photo. If I understand what I'm looking at, the piston ports are oval for the compensating loop but round for the non-compensating loop?

    I've never played a top-sprung valve set. Does it use the same springs? How do you replace the springs when they start losing resilience?
    Dean L. Surkin
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  7. #17
    Apologies in advance for my not being a legit musician, but I made a video trying to see if I can detect any sort of odd behavior with the short-action valve. I didn't notice anything, but it's entirely possible that I'm just not good enough to tell.

    facebook video link

    My takeaways:

    - 99% of my horns are in terrible condition and have worn out, noisy valves.
    - The 20I dominates the Trombonium in terms of valve speed, despite a .060" bore disadvantage.
    - The 20I is a great playing instrument, but I think I'm happier on rotors at this point.
    Hobbyist. Collector. Oval rotary guy. Unpaid shill for Josef Klier mouthpieces.

  8. Quote Originally Posted by dsurkin View Post
    I've never played a top-sprung valve set. Does it use the same springs? How do you replace the springs when they start losing resilience?
    Doesn't use the same springs. In fact the springs on this horn were obviously cut down from something else to shorten them as the spring has a flat coil at one end and is just cut off at the other. Doesn't seem to affect anything. Since the springs sit inside a sleeve at the top of the valve, they do not have as much room (in diameter) as bottom sprung valves. I will have to see what kin of springs would work best when it comes time to replace them. Probably a stiff baritone spring.

    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

  9. Thank you, John - and everyone who responded. Very informative. Sort of as I suspected - I could play faster passages, if I could play faster passages. It's the fingers, not the horn!

  10. #20
    At the risk of muddying the waters, let me add some observations and thoughts.

    For the latter, I believe that in an all-else-being-equal scenario, any of the following would increase the speed at which a piston could operate (i.e. move enough to properly change the airflow):

    - shorter action
    - lighter piston assembly (including the stem and finger button)
    - increasing ports for airflow through the piston (if they are now marginal)
    - reducing friction via lubrication
    --- further reducing friction via the viscosity of the lubrication
    - absolutely clean surfaces of piston and inner cylinder
    - stronger springs

    Observations

    First, I seldom encounter anyone whose own technique is being slowed by the valves, except when they are sticking or sluggish because of a problem. However, their comfort level might increase with changes to the valves.

    Springs: I like a little heavier-than-normal spring. This gives me quicker upstroke and less bounce at the top. They require more strength, obviously, but once I'm used to that I benefit from faster speed AND slightly cleaner-sound technique (because of the lessened bounce). Adams uses a softer spring. When I had that yellow brushed loaner a year or so ago, it actually did slow me down because of the springs. Once secondary problem of this is my coordination was messed up. Because the valves didn't return as quickly, they were out of contact with my fingertips, and that affected my micro-reactions. All this was only noticed, or rather became a problem, only when I was playing really fast. If you have any inherent weakness in your right hand, you might not want heavy springs; injury could result.

    Lightness/friction seemed to both have been improved by a B&H Imperial that Glenn Call had modified. He had the valves shortened by eliminating the excess length at the bottom - it was more than needed to keep the spring in place. And he had a serious chamfer made at the top and bottom. The piston was lighter and had less contact area. That was the fastest-feeling set of B&H/Besson valves I had ever encountered at the time (maybe late 1970's or early 1980's).

    After my recent cleaning, the valves are still not what they usually are. Even after soap & water cleaning, I strongly suspect there is some residue on the pistons. I may try an ultrasonic cleaning of pistons next. If that doesn't work I'll take a stronger cleaner or polish to the stainless steel.

    Lubrication. Interesting topic! Logically, one would think the thinnest possible oil would be best. However, it is not a perfect world. Today's valves are really good, but there are probably microscopic irregularities in the surface, probably impossible to avoid with all the passageways in the piston and the attached tubing for the casings. Perhaps the thinnest oil would not provide the extra "body" to help smooth all this out. Then there are probably chemical concerns. I think one's own chemistry can change the behavior of the oil one way or another.

    As I said, for some people's playing, valves are not the limiting factor. For others, optimizing the valve behavior might give them an edge.
    Last edited by davewerden; 05-16-2020 at 06:53 PM.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
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