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Valve Guard or No Valve Guard?


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Kam09f
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have used a valve guard for about 2 years now and really like it. I have very acidic hands and the valve guard has done wonders at preventing the silver from wearing. I would recommend using a valve guard for both the comfort factor as well as the tarnish prevention it provides.
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dj_bluefalcon
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



yes, i know it was blood, not sweat...

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Capt.Kirk
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is not going to interfere with the vibrations anymore then holding it does! So I would worry about that part. Their are some really nice ones today that are made up of multiple layers of different materials. I think if I had to hold a horn 8 hour a day I would invest in one of the really nice lightly padded suede ones. I am not a big fan of holding metal or plastic all day. Leather is much more comfortable to hold onto and suede is even more comfortable. I am not sure they make much sense from a protection stand point. They are kind of like those nose bra's for car's they can create a different set of problems over the long run plus I am not so sure it is a fight worth having trying to prevent finish wear.
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DivineWind
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotta disagree, CAP......

I had been using a full-coverage L-S guard on my Recording since I acquired it, as I like to preserve the past treasures. After reading this thread a coupla days ago, I decided to remove it after the first few minutes of playing, and.....wowza, it sure did brighten and bring on some additional brassiness with a bit of push, in comparison. Distinct difference....

NOW, it did lose a bit of Botti-smoke to the sound, so which mode is preferred is another issue but, again, the guard does indeed suppress or alter some wave movements! I suspect that the effect comes mostly from the portion that rests against the bell/above left index finger. Certainly possible, though, that the rest of the contact areas have some influence, too.

The bell has only partial lacquer [got a kind of 'metamorphic-look' thing goin' on.... ], and I'm thinking that lacquer vs. no lacquer could also have at least some influence on just how much of a difference it would make, on any horn.....?
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Capt.Kirk
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Divinewind I think I miss understood you??? Did you say part of your valve guard touch's the bell???? Why one earth would you have a valve guard touching the bell???? I have not seen a valve guard that touch's the bell and I have to wounder why would anyone make a valve guard that touched the bell? It is not normal to touch the bell while playing I know some people do but that is not at all a conventional grip. I could see it if you where left handed reaching over the bell of a right handed trumpet but other wise it just seems odd???

As with anything that is based of vibrating metal anything is possible but not always probably and their is always the exception. Look at the under slung third valve slide intonation aid/ring. Look at guys grabing their bell to dampen it almost like hand stoping a French Horn.

Also keep in mind that what you are most likely picking up on is a feed back change not a change in what is coming out of the bell and going out towards to audience. A valve guard can make a huge and I do mean huge difference in what you the artist hears and feels in the way of feed back but I have not ever heard it make a difference with regard to what comes out of the front of the bell and makes it's way to the audience. Have to be careful about making a judgment call from behind the bell because a lot of things affect feedback to the artist that do not translate into anything at all heard in front of the bell. Trust me I use my oldest boy as a test mule all the time. I will make a change based on what I hear behind the bell then have him play it so I can sit in front of the bell and listen and it is shocking how much it takes to really change what comes out of the bell versus what you hear and feel behind the bell!
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Matthew Anklan
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Capt.: Leather Specialties Company. Look them up. For someone who uses a valve guard, it's THE one to get. And for the record, yes, a valve guard WILL dampen the sound significantly. Some that are made with lower quality leather (not as thick) don't dampen the sound quite as much, however you can still hear the difference.
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65strad
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

trombahonker wrote:
If you choose to use a valve guard, make it a point to remove the guard at least once a week to wipe off the casing. "Stuff" will get between the guard and plating, and if left between for a long period, will "rub" and damage the plating. A good valve guard (Leather Specialties, etc), that is washed regularly, and who's instrument's valves are wiped regularly, will not damage the plating.

My few $.02
Aaron


I can second this. I have six Leather Specialties guards and my 1972 43 Strad has plating wear on several contact points from the guard not having been removed often enough where some "rubbing" caused plating wear. Still great products, my fault for not taking it off more frequently.

Regarding "sound" with and without the guard. I laways thought there was no audible effect, at least from my side of the bell. At Dillon music jazz musician Claudio Roditi was hanging out and he played a couple of my horn's and had me play them with and without, the guard and said that there was amajor difference in the "sonic's" (his word) of the sound. I have to defer to his opinion, the man has an ear and is a great player Now I play my horn's without them and wipe em down well and clean them 2x monthly and all is good.

That being said, Larry Black (Leather Specialties) makes the finest quality guards IMHO.
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Ed Lee
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've recently acquired a Giardinelli leather guard for trumpet It is a lace type, not Velcro closure, the latter as prior I found to slip too much. What I noted about this one is that there is indeed a plastic film between the leather and the velvet liner. Whether or not I'll ever use it, remains questionable, but I'll always accept most freebies, but I can see it prevents acid soaked leather effects on the valve casings.
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Jrdnhunting
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:55 am    Post subject: Gloves Reply with quote

Couldn't the whole problem be avoided by using white cotton (or whatever color you wanted) gloves? Tubists with silver horns do it all the time, and I hardly see any fingerprint on those tubas. Surely slapping on a Pair of 3 dollar gloves is more vibration-friendly and less expensive that any kind Of valve guard, all but the homemade variety, such as mine. I'm gonna take off my thick leather guard and start using gloves, and see how that works for me for a while n
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Ed Lee
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the past, I've often used white cotton gloves including multi-hand type throw-aways obtained from a funeral home source. Otherwise, I've 9 pair of tailored white cotton gloves as includes 2 pair of gauntlets. They all really sharpen the appearance in uniform. I can't remember if I ever played TAPS without wearing one or the other type of white gloves, though at other times I usually just use a cotton handkerchief as "Pops" did, not that I haven't practiced some bare handed, and saved my handkerchief for wipe downs afterward.
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Qnaza
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For what it's worth, I used a valve guard in all of my playing for over 15 years, but I have changed after having my 8310Z sent to Bobby Shew for his tweak (yes, in the case of my horn, made it so much nicer, particularly in the top register, which even Bobby said, was 'stuffy').

So anyway, I asked a pro who was going for a lesson with Bobby here in the UK last year, to take my horn up (Thanks, Andy, if you're reading this) and on returning, his first bit of feedback from Bobby was to ask why I had 'that thing' on my horn (referring to my leather guard. Bobby was very clear with Andy to tell me that the valve-guard interfered with the sound of the trumpet.

Now, I do have a 1927 Conn 22B New York Symphony, and I do have a valve guard on that since it still has its own pristine plating, but on my 8310Z I am now au naturel, so to speak.

I'm not sure I can hear a difference, but considering the comments others report, like Claudio Roditi saying it messed with the sound, I'm happy to go with the guidance of those with better ears than mine.
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Crazy Finn
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lacquer wears off eventually - however, if you're horn is silver and you don't have the body chemistry that actually eats through plating - then there's no reason to use a guard. None.

I've got a Yamaha 6335 in silver. I've played it for twenty years. I've played it A LOT in those twenty years. I used it exclusively in concert band and wind band all through high school and college and fairly often in orchestra as well. I practiced for several hours a day back then. I've never used a hand guard and never even wiped it down after playing it for almost all of those twenty years.

It's got a single little spot worn where the right-hand thumb nestles in between the first and second valve. That's it. The rest of the plating on the valve casing is perfect. In fact, other than a spot on the end of the bell bow (probably from contact with an old double case) there isn't any plating loss or wear at all.
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Qnaza
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that.
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rushingtrpt
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have used the Leather Specialties guard for a long time on both my Bb and C. I just recently bought a new C. When I was testing it, I had no guard on it and absolutely loved the sound. After I purchased it, I put the guard on, and noticed a HUGE difference in sound. It went from being very brilliant and lively sound to a fairly dull sound. I didn't notice as much difference on the Bb, but on the C it was night and day.
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JPHB
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2021 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey, Dave Douglas uses one - and he sounds @$%#!& great! Doesn't look silly or anything like that either.
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ECLtmpt2
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2021 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After wearing through the plating on an early horn of mine I've been using a soft chamois cloth, roughly the size of a handkerchief. After 25+ years the silver-plate is fine. I do use Haggerty's (sp?) spray about twice a year.
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2021 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JPHB wrote:
hey, Dave Douglas uses one - and he sounds @$%#!& great! Doesn't look silly or anything like that either.


Just being the “devil’s advocate” here: maybe that person would sound even @$%#!& greater without it, (or not), and “look silly” is subjective, what looks silly to one person might not to someone else.

Regarding the original topic, just my opinion: I feel as if valve guards MIGHT affect the resonance, depends on the horn and the valve guard. I had a Getzen Severinsen that was noticeably affected (negatively, in my opinion) with a Leather Specialties guard. I do know that they will promote a lot of tarnish on silver plate also if they are left on a horn.

I understand that some people’s body chemistry is hard on silver or lacquer, I guess I’m lucky that mine is not. If if was though, my choice would be holding the horn with a cloth, a’la Louis Armstrong, and wiping it down after playing....which I do anyway.

Brad
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PMonteiro
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2021 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back in college I made a valve guard out of an old leather belt. Because it was thick leather, it was HEAVY. Didn't negatively affect the horn's resonance - if anything it made it sound better. Stopped using it more because it got uncomfortable than anything else, but it was also a pain to take it off to clean the finish underneath once in a while.
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2021 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PMonteiro wrote:
Back in college I made a valve guard out of an old leather belt. Because it was thick leather, it was HEAVY. Didn't negatively affect the horn's resonance - if anything it made it sound better. Stopped using it more because it got uncomfortable than anything else, but it was also a pain to take it off to clean the finish underneath once in a while.


Interesting. In what way(s) did it improve the sound?

Brad
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PMonteiro
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2021 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brad361 wrote:
PMonteiro wrote:
Back in college I made a valve guard out of an old leather belt. Because it was thick leather, it was HEAVY. Didn't negatively affect the horn's resonance - if anything it made it sound better. Stopped using it more because it got uncomfortable than anything else, but it was also a pain to take it off to clean the finish underneath once in a while.


Interesting. In what way(s) did it improve the sound?

Brad


This was on a bright, lighter weight horn so it dampened the brightness/harshness a little, I guess similarly to how people use heavy valve caps. At least to my ears, it sounded a bit more controlled and helped projection. This was most noticeable in orchestra and concert band. Not as much in marching band.
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