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Author Topic: Holton Monster valve  (Read 1434 times)
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greenbean
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« on: Jul 20, 2017, 11:35AM »

Speaking of valves...

Tomorrow I will take delivery of a Holton tenor with the (in)famous "Monster valve."  Should be interesting.  I will post a report and photos.  If it is as bad as some players have said, I will replace it with a good rotary valve...
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« Reply #1 on: Jul 20, 2017, 12:08PM »

I've never heard of the "Monster Valve." I searched and found very little info about it. I guess your discoveries will enlighten me!
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« Reply #2 on: Jul 20, 2017, 12:33PM »

For those that haven't seen one, imagine a can of tuna on your shoulder.

Playing, it isn't horrible, but it is the only valve I have ever played that sounds better on the F side than the Bb side. 

See here with some other common valves (still regret selling the Hagmann)


On a Bach Flare (I re-mounted this later, so this doesn't exist as shown anymore).  Yes, the wrap does go on that side of your head.


The rotor core.  Neat, but way too large.  No optimization in the design.


This reminds me that I need to take time to update photos for my bad valve museum...

Cheers,
Andy
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Andrew Elms
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« Reply #3 on: Jul 20, 2017, 01:24PM »


On a Bach Flare (I re-mounted this later, so this doesn't exist as shown anymore).  Yes, the wrap does go on that side of your head.



 Eeek!

Just trying to visualise how an inline bass would work with those!
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Matt K

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« Reply #4 on: Jul 20, 2017, 01:50PM »

Fortunately, they never lasted long enough to conceive of an inline version of that monster! It kind of resembles a lovechild of a Thayer and a Hagmann but... seemingly with the worst qualities of both. Although I've never played one, so it could be magical  ;-)
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EWadie99
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« Reply #5 on: Jul 20, 2017, 01:59PM »

Man!  That monster valve is ridiculous!  Eeek!
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« Reply #6 on: Jul 20, 2017, 03:06PM »

Lindberg is jealous.
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« Reply #7 on: Jul 20, 2017, 03:16PM »

I love oddities like this. Was this any better than Holton's already existing rotor? Why did they do it?

Anyway, if you pull the valve off and are looking for someone to leave it with...  Evil
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« Reply #8 on: Jul 20, 2017, 07:00PM »

WHOA. I had never heard of one of those until now. Playing the "straight" side of the horn puts your air column through that S bend, while the Valve side is two straight shots through. I can see why the F side sounds better.

But dang, that thing is HUGE. They really should have left it on the drawing board.
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« Reply #9 on: Jul 20, 2017, 07:08PM »

The patent includes some illustrations of an independent setup - https://patents.google.com/patent/US5361668A
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« Reply #10 on: Jul 20, 2017, 09:08PM »

It looks like a pretty clever idea.

That people who tried it don't like it would seem to upend a lot of conventional wisdom about what a valve should do.
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« Reply #11 on: Jul 20, 2017, 09:29PM »

That S-bend should be less injurious to the airflow than the tight and squished C-bend in a traditional valve.
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« Reply #12 on: Jul 20, 2017, 10:23PM »

I remember when that valve came out and was exhibited at the International Trombone Workshop.
That was during a time of lots of experimentation beyond the traditional rotor - I think the Thayer valve and Miller valve had just come out about the same time.  They were all kind of clunky but Thayer won the popularity contest.
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« Reply #13 on: Jul 21, 2017, 02:14PM »

Lindberg is jealous.

You just need the cookie cutter rim to complete the ensemble.
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« Reply #14 on: Jul 21, 2017, 03:03PM »

You just need the cookie cutter rim to complete the ensemble.

Guy probably would have made the monster valve sound glorious circa 1993.
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« Reply #15 on: Jul 22, 2017, 12:56AM »

The patent includes some illustrations of an independent setup - https://patents.google.com/patent/US5361668A


It's incredible they thought that would work. Both valve wraps to the right of the bell...... Even with the valves at the jaunty angles shown in the crude drawings it's very hard to see how that would sit on your shoulder comfortably.
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« Reply #16 on: Jul 22, 2017, 02:40AM »

I think it is an interesting construction, how did it play? If the F side works better that the Bb side it should be very useful on some gigs.  :)
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« Reply #17 on: Jul 22, 2017, 05:33PM »

Well, here it is:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/tlUVadzlgQpdcJYG2

An odd duck, for sure.  A crazy looking horn.  But it is in great shape.  The slide is like new and the valve and tuning slides work well.  I have everything lubed up and working beautifully.  The throw on the valve is very small and, with the saddle so close to the trigger, the throw at the trigger end is ridiculously short.  Less than 1/4".  The valve is certainly big - about the size of a hockey puck.  The bell is beautiful and unengraved.  Nothing.  The valve alignment wasn't quite right, so I trimmed the stop bumpers a bit.  Check out the funky stop bumper posts!

How does it play?  Well, not bad.  Of course, my expectations were extremely low.  It sounds great - like a Holton.  But the slotting and intonations are a bit weird.  I have actually felt this way about every Holton tenor I have played.  At least 3 TR150's and a couple other models I forget.  So, this one is no different.  It is like a note can center in a slightly different spot on the slide each time I play it.  Every Holton has been this way for me.  I put my Bach 42 slide on it - problem solved!  Wow - great playing horn.

The F side does indeed blow well.  The trigger range and trigger pedals are easier and better sounding than on any other tenor I have played.  I see potential here.  I am going to have the leadpipe pulled and try some others I have.

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« Reply #18 on: Aug 28, 2017, 07:56PM »

Hello everyone
Mike O from instrument innovations. I remember working on And making the prototypes . Some very interesting ideas . They had some wonderful intelligent people working on this. Greg Hilliard I was told he actually had a degree equall to a rocket scientest. Larry Ramerez (who I was recently told by his wife is not doing very well due to a stroke so keep him in our prayers) Guys like John Bagnall who is now one of if not the best design engineers at Conn Selmer. The only real problem was the size. Maybe I should look again at it with today's technology and developments in machining it could be resurrected.
Like I have any time for that right now. Maybe later . Anyway it was a wonderful informative time in my life and I look back on it very fondly.
Thanks to all of those people that I was able to work for and with at the Frank Holton Co.
Mike
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