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Author Topic: Conn 79h valve repair or replace  (Read 1399 times)
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BostonChops
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« on: Apr 13, 2017, 09:26AM »

I've come in to possession of a lovely 1967 79h. It's in great condition, and plays very well on the open side of the horn. However, the compression on the rotary valve is pretty poor and the thumb lever is out of whack.

The question for me then is should I have the valve rebuilt to original specs (Osmun are very close), or replaced with a Rotax or similar 'modern' valve?
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BGuttman
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« Reply #1 on: Apr 13, 2017, 09:35AM »

It will probably be a lot less to have the valve rebuilt.  Mostly you need to have the rotor plated up to increase compression.  It's something Bob Osmun is very familiar with given his experience with French Horns.

I used to have a 79H and liked it very much with the stock valve.  Mine had a bad solder joint where the attachment tubing entered the valve elbow.  I was too cheap to fix it since it wasn't my daily player and when I "scored" a Bach 36C on Ebay for a good price, I put the 79H on consignment.

If you really want a better valve the Rotax or Meinschmitt is a good choice.  I'm sure the guys at Osmun will give you a fair estimate of what it would take for a new valve.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #2 on: Apr 13, 2017, 11:40AM »

Someone on here had a Rotax put on their 79H. Apparently a great addition.
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hyperbolica
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« Reply #3 on: Apr 13, 2017, 01:35PM »

The user who had the valve job done was Trav1s. His journey and the associated repair, done by another forum member, was documented pretty thoroughly with lots of photographs.

I'm a daily 79h player, and I've owned a few. Some of them had the trigger soldered too close to the valve, and they needed to be moved about 1/2" to accommodate most hands. I would personally suggest that you just have the valve adjusted to make sure the ports are lining up. The valves on these horns are not inherently bad, and if the rest of the horn isn't beat to hell, the valve probably isn't worn out either, just maladjusted. A valve swap to a Rotax is going to cost you what you have into the horn. It's a better valve, yes, but not that much better. My horn is just a couple years newer, and the valve works fine. The trigger range sounds good for a horn of this size. It might be that you are just used to something different.
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BostonChops
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« Reply #4 on: Apr 14, 2017, 10:25AM »

Thanks for the thoughts, it's interesting for me to hear from other 79h players. I've played an 88h almost exclusively for close to 20 years, so it's a new experience for me both in terms of the bore and the "Elkhart-ness".

The trombone is a little strange - the sound and resonance is fantastic, the combination of a heavy slide and thin bell gives a nice warm sound that is easy to color. On the other hand, in addition to the worn valve, the lever is way out of alignment, there is some buzzing on certain notes in the bell section somewhere, and the whole wrap for the F valve seems to be out of position. I can't pull both tuning slides out more than an inch or so, or they will meet!

I'll take it in to Osmun to see what they think, but am thinking that I may have to have the bell section rebuilt in addition to the possibility of a valve rebuild.
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hyperbolica
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« Reply #5 on: Apr 14, 2017, 11:30AM »

I recently took a Selmer Bolero to a local shop to have the slide receiver straightened because the slide went off at an odd angle. I got the horn back and it just didn't play right. It was awful. I checked for cracks, checked the water key, checked for stuff stuck in it. Then I filled the bell with water and a stream came pouring out of the valve. I talked to the tech who did it, and she admitted she stuck the receiver on a mandrel and pushed hard to simply bend the receiver back into place. This obviously out-of-rounded the valve housing, creating a big leak. They had to repair the valve for nothing, which I'm sure cost far more than the original repair. You should be safe with Osmun, but count yourself lucky, there are a lot of us who don't have a world-class brass shop handy.
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daveyboy37

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« Reply #6 on: Apr 16, 2017, 04:21PM »

That cannot have been a pleasant conversation. Valves are DELICATE. Hopefully that tech learned an important lesson that day.

Anyway, for the TO, I would say have a good tech take a look at it, as others have suggested. Before you talk about replacement, make sure it's not just a leak or something stuck in the valve wrap. Lotta things can get out of place over time.
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David Sullivan
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BostonChops
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« Reply #7 on: Apr 17, 2017, 08:04AM »

This is always the nightmare scenario when taking an instrument for repair - a bad tech can do as much or even more damage than a good one can repair.

I really lucked out with Osmun - they're almost within walking distance, and I only discovered them 6 months after moving to the area. Not sure that my wife or wallet will be thanking me in the future though...
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daveyboy37

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« Reply #8 on: Apr 17, 2017, 10:52AM »

Osmun's rates are reasonable, and their level of work is top notch. Whether you go for a new valve, or have the valve rebuilt, you will get great results.

And of course, they service more than just valves.  Right now is a petty good time to go, IMHO. When it gets to be close to school time, like most repair places, they are inundated with school horns that need fixing.
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David Sullivan
Bass Trombone - Livingston Symphony Orchestra
Horns: Bach 39, King 3B, Yamaha YSL-640, Bach 42T, Kanstul 1570CR, Kanstul 1588CR, Yamaha YBL-612RII
MPCS: Faxx 7C, Hammond 11ML, Laskey 59MD, Laskey 85MD.
BostonChops
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« Reply #9 on: Apr 25, 2017, 07:25AM »

A little update - Osmun are rebuilding the rotor core, and boring out the ports to open it up a little. I'll add more details when I get the instrument back for those who are interested.
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