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Author Topic: Ideas for a better valve  (Read 573 times)
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tubonist
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« on: Jan 04, 2018, 11:59AM »

Hello everyone!

I am thinking about what makes a good F attachment valve. I have a getzen custom series, and I enjoy every part of it except the thayer valve which absolutely screws me over when I use it for playing in the range it's meant for. I want to keep every other part of the horn and have a great tech I know replace the valve with another valve section from a different brand, possibly edwards or shires, or even schilke. I am looking for a valve as reliable as my thayer, and as free blowing as possible. Any suggestions?

Thanks! :)

EDIT:

Sorry for being so vague, Hopefully this will clarify!

1. I can best liken the sound and feeling of my valve in the range below  to that of one with a rock stuck inside the pipe. I notice that I have to put a lot more effort going down from  # to the F Natural a half step below with the valve (as in, way more effort than I know is necessary.) I have tried many other tenors, and this problem does not persist in a lot of them. At this point, I am pretty sure it is not an embouchure problem. Is this a Leaking valve?

2. I play a Getzen custom series 3047 AFR built in the 90's. Are the new axial flow valves any better than their predecessors, the Thayers? I feel like 28 years is a lot of time to improve a valve.



« Last Edit: Jan 05, 2018, 08:46AM by tubonist » Logged
Matt K

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« Reply #1 on: Jan 04, 2018, 12:19PM »

There are no solutions, only tradeoffs --- and a horn is the sum of its parts.  In other words, there is no perfect horn but only a horn that has the right tradeoffs for you, what you are using it for, and those interactions with the mouthpiece you're using with it.

So with that said, you aren't the first person to try to attribute a large part about what they do or do not like about a horn to the valve! And the approach isn't totally invalid, there is a lot that can go wrong with the valve you have. Thayers can be finnicky too and require a little more maintenance than others, so there may be something wrong with it.  Your cheapest, and probably best, solution would be to take it to a tech first, to make sure that the whole horn is in good working condition.  If you replace the thayer with a custom rotor solution, it may well make the horn better... but that doesn't mean that the rotor is superior. It means that the rotor may work better for you & the rest of the horn OR that there was something wrong with the valve in the first place.  And it's a LOT cheaper to fix a valve than buy a new one, especially on a horn that isn't meant to be interchangeable like the Getzen 3047AF.

So with that said, the Getzen 3047 (I'm assuming this is the horn you're talking about since that's the current production model) actually IS an Edwards valve. The Custom series is just a collection of the most popular components with the difference being that the receivers are not the same on the bell section, so you can't pop a new Edwards bell, valve section, or slide on it. However, it isn't unreasonably difficult to make these alterations, but you're looking at a procedure that probably won't be cheap.

When you say it "screws you over" when you play "in the range its meant for", I'm assuming you mean that you don't like the low range on it (sub    ).  If this is a problem with the linkage, that too is much cheaper than replacing the whole thing! Instrument Innovations apparently has a lever for thayer valves that works very well, though I have no experience with it.  The way you phrase it though, I'm going to guess you don't like the responsiveness in the register.  If that is the case, obviously make sure that you aren't blaming something that isn't the fault of the horn -- for example, if you play another similar 547 horn and it has a fine low register, then again it might be something with the thayer or possibly that the thayer isn't the best fit for the horn.  I hestitate to suggest the latter since, as I mentioned, the Getzen 3047 is a population combination of components so it might be the case, but there are other things to check first.

One of them is the leadpipe.  If, for example, you try a Bach 42B that you really like the low register on, you should know that the leadpipe on those are much closer to the "1" your Getzen should have.  If you've been playing on the 3, you might want to give the "1" a shot. Again, its a lot cheaper than replacing your valve. Leadpipes don't fix all your problems, but they certainly can go a long way towards making it right.

If you really want to swap the valve out, you do have some good options.  You could get an Instrument Innovations thayer. They're the ones that are currently going on the infinity series Bachs. Several of the techs here really like them. I have a friend who just had a Bass valve section built with these and he really likes them.  The benefit to this is you'd only be out the cost of the valve + labor.  There's no guarantee it would make it play better, but again, these are getting a lot of good press recently.

If you wanted to have a drop in valve built, it is possible to get a gooseneck for the 3047. They're actually not too expensive either.  Then you could have your tech cut & retaper the neckpipe portion of it to fit the valve that you're installing.  Lots of aftermarket options. Rotax, Instrument Innovations Rotors, any of the Shires valves, Hagmann, etc.  In each case though, you're probably looking at spending at least $1500, though probably not more than $2500.   If you get used parts, it is possible to go lower, but you have to be patient. 

In defense of getting a rotor put on it, I had a colleague when I was in my undergraduate who had an Edwards that happened to be the same components as the 3047AF but it was converted to a Greenhoe rotor. It played like an absolute dream, although he eventually switched to a Shires.  Though it wouldn't be my first choice unless I've checked out some of the other recommendations I mentioned earlier like making sure the valve works, that other valves work better for you on other horns, and making sure a leadpipe swap won't go a long way towards what you're looking for.
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« Reply #2 on: Jan 04, 2018, 12:22PM »

I have a getzen custom series, and I enjoy every part of it except the thayer valve which absolutely screws me over when I use it for playing in the range it's meant for.
Can you explain that?

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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #3 on: Jan 04, 2018, 02:46PM »

I think we need to know what you don't like about your current Thayer. It probably just needs some TLC if you're not happy with that particular one. If it's playing fine, then any other axial flow valve is going to be much of the same.
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« Reply #4 on: Jan 04, 2018, 02:50PM »

I'm going to buck conventional wisdom and say that maybe you need MORE resistance in the F-loop.  Sometimes that little bit of resistance a good rotor provides balances your embouchure to make the notes easier.  Don't get hung up on "open".  Try everything.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #5 on: Jan 04, 2018, 02:56PM »

I'm going to buck conventional wisdom and say that maybe you need MORE resistance in the F-loop.  Sometimes that little bit of resistance a good rotor provides balances your embouchure to make the notes easier.  Don't get hung up on "open".  Try everything.

+1 on what Bruce said!!!!!


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« Reply #6 on: Jan 04, 2018, 02:57PM »

I'm going to buck conventional wisdom and say that maybe you need MORE resistance in the F-loop.  Sometimes that little bit of resistance a good rotor provides balances your embouchure to make the notes easier.  Don't get hung up on "open".  Try everything.

Agree. "Open" is overrated.
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daveyboy37

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« Reply #7 on: Jan 04, 2018, 07:07PM »

I'm going to buck conventional wisdom and say that maybe you need MORE resistance in the F-loop.  Sometimes that little bit of resistance a good rotor provides balances your embouchure to make the notes easier.  Don't get hung up on "open".  Try everything.
I honestly can pop out pedal tones easier with smaller rim mouthpieces on a King 3b due to the change in resistance.

I would really like to know what exact problems the threadstarter is having with the thayer valve in the lower register. Most of the regular aftermarket replacements are also quite open blowing as well.
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David Sullivan
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« Reply #8 on: Jan 04, 2018, 08:30PM »

As an aside: on my bass I have dual axials (the Olsen valve) because I like how much I can put through them when I really need to.  But, I needed to balance that out and got a bass slide with a large bore tenor crook.  It puts the "resistance" in the right spot for me. I put resistance in quotes because you can't feel it, it just makes things work better.

Just swapping out a valve, either to make it more or less open, may or may not help.  You kind of have to look at everything. Or, changing the valve might do wonders.  You just have to be ok with the idea that after the change, it could end up not how you want it.
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« Reply #9 on: Jan 05, 2018, 11:30AM »

+3 on what Bruce said. The old school logic was that having some resistance in the valve section made it easier to produce the low notes. Then we started developing valves and wraps that offer very little resistance to the airstream. This works better for a lot of people, myself included, but others prefer to have that resistance. The problem comes when players confuse poor centering with either "stuffy" or "leaky". It might be that it's difficult to center the notes because there is no resistance.
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« Reply #10 on: Jan 05, 2018, 11:35AM »

As an aside: on my bass I have dual axials (the Olsen valve) because I like how much I can put through them when I really need to.  But, I needed to balance that out and got a bass slide with a large bore tenor crook.  It puts the "resistance" in the right spot for me. I put resistance in quotes because you can't feel it, it just makes things work better.
Interesting. I have dual Thayers, but it works well for me to put the resistance in the leadpipe, so I use a pipe that is on the tighter side. I think it's very individual, but having resistance somewhere is helpful for a lot of players.
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« Reply #11 on: Jan 05, 2018, 03:13PM »

Let's take a few steps back.

Have you tried playing other F attachment horns? Do you have the issue on those instruments as well, or is it "only" occurring on the Getzen?

If it is only on the Getzen, then yes, there may be an issue with the horn. Have you had the instrument checked by a "good" tech? Have them look at the alignment of the rotor. Check for seal. Check for end play, and lateral play. If they don't know what any of those are, you do not want them working on your horn.

M
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