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O-rings in bottom caps?

Postby proam » Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:57 am

Since many have enjoyed discussing clocking mouthpieces, what about this --

Does any tubist or tuba manufacturer put rubber o-rings in the bottom caps of their piston valves? Tightening or loosening the caps against the o-ring is supposed to alter the playing of the instrument. Monette trumpets may have been the first to feature this tweak.

I first saw o-rings on Monette trumpets at a Trumpet Guild conference at North Texas State in 1988. Manny Laureano was behind the table and I had the audacity (an ignorant young man of 30) to say to him that I didn't believe that tightening or loosening the bottom caps could make any difference (I believed that just gripping the valve block to hold the trumpet would nullify any possible effects). He picked up a horn, handed it to me and said play an open valve slur which I did. Then he took the horn back, twisted the caps (don't know if he loosened or tightened them), handed it back to said, play it again. There was an incredible difference. The notes just seemed to much more easily jump from one partial to another. I was very surprised and he was amused.

I have found that this o-ring trick makes more difference on some trumpets than others. I have only seen it used on piston valves.

Do any tubists use this tweak?
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Re: O-rings in bottom caps?

Postby bloke » Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:02 pm

Which type of rubber, and what color...
... and are you referring to in conjunction with a 5/4 lacquer finish, or a 6/4 silver finish?
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Re: O-rings in bottom caps?

Postby bort » Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:15 pm

When I got to "Monette", I rolled my eyes...

(And I own, and like, a Monette mouthpiece!)
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Re: O-rings in bottom caps?

Postby proam » Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:31 pm

Heh, good posts!

The Sonaré trumpet built by B&S came with o-rings in the bottom caps, though B&S didn't market that horn themselves.

Monette is a bit crazy but in 1988 his horns were not that far out of the mainstream. I almost bought one then and wish that I had. It would have held its value and maybe even appreciated some. But I also discovered Blackburn and have ended up with a few of his trumpets. He only dealt with trumpets and trumpet mouthpieces, though, nothing for other brass.
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