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Thread: Felt replacement

  1. Felt replacement

    When replacing valve felts, are there felts for specific instrument brands, or are there just generic felts of various sizes/thicknesses that one can get to fit their instrument? Put another way, can I take my horn to any reputable tech and get felts replaced that aren't specific to a brand?

  2. #2
    A really good tech will order the parts needed for a job. A pretty good tech might make do with what is in stock, partly to get the horn back to you quicker. You can get proper alignment with the standard felts and corks that a shop might have, but then you would not have the quietness, and not all techs are good at aligning the ports manually this way. So it is always best to get the original parts.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  3. Thank you.

  4. #4
    there are a few things here to be aware of:

    1. the original felts sometimes don't fit perfectly, and valve alignment can sometimes be improved by aftermarket felts
    2. a lot of times aftermarket felts fit and align right but don't have the same feel or longevity as the originals
    3. techs can always improvise something, or make them from stock, but (except in cases where #1 applies) I usually find that OEM felts perform better.
    --
    Barry

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by bbocaner View Post
    1. the original felts sometimes don't fit perfectly, and valve alignment can sometimes be improved by aftermarket felts...
    That reminds me! At ITEC 2016 I wanted to test the Yamaha 842 for general purposes and to add it to my fingering charts. However, the 842 on display has valves that did not align (based on looking at the 1st valve compensating port). The valve did not go down far enough to align, and I could see it was due to finger button felts that were too thick. I told the rep about it, and he said those are deliberately made too thick so that once the horn is broken in they will tamp down and then align properly. I assume he was correct. So getting original parts for Yamaha might result in a horn that is not aligned perfectly for a little while. Seems odd to me, but that's what the man said!
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  6. #6
    That's one of the reasons I liked the composite "felts' that besson/adams/etc. uses, they are quieter than real felt and they don't really compress as they age.

    Yamaha uses a really puffy wool(?) felt that does compress initially, but then works pretty well and is fairly stable from there out, but I don't think it's as durable and the feel is a little different.

    My Neo YBH-831s baritone -- I had never really checked the alignment on it because it's hard to do on a baritone where the compensating loops don't pull out. But when I ordered replacement felts through dawkes for it, they told me the original felt part numbers had been discontinued and the new ones were "different." When I got the new ones they were significantly thicker. I was skeptical because it had always played great, but I got a USB borescope with a mirror attachment and looked, and the new ones were better! (Although they did need a little bit of bedding in before they were perfect) Hard to believe that a company like Yamaha would make this mistake, but yeah...
    --
    Barry

  7. I just received my new set of Adams felts for my Adams E1 and now need to know if I should do it myself or take it to a tech. It seems simple enough but I've not done it before and don't want to tear or damage a new felt. Is it as simple as it seems?

  8. #8
    Your Adams pads be packed in 2 packages. One would have 7 and the other pack 1. That lone pad in the pack is for the top of the 4th piston. The other 7 go on the top of pistons 123 and under the finger button of all 4.

    They are simple enough to replace and you can do this yourself. Just "turn" the ones for piston tops around the valve stems, because they are a tight fit. Turning helps them slide without tearing (but they are pretty tough).

    If you also got the large black washers for inside the grove of the top valve caps, the only tricky part is getting the old one out without scratching the cap. You could try sticking a pin into the black washer so you can pull it off.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  9. Yes, exactly as you describe, including the larger black washers. Thanks, David. I'm trying hard to not be obsessive-compulsive on this, but want to do it right. And Adams does provide a nice diagram.

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