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Spit Valve V:S Amado Water Key Poll


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Which Do You Like Better?
Standard Spit Valve
64%
 64%  [ 50 ]
Amato Water Key
35%
 35%  [ 27 ]
Total Votes : 77

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StorkandBenge
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:41 pm    Post subject: Spit Valve V:S Amado Water Key Poll Reply with quote

This is a "Just for Fun Poll" Looking for at least 100 votes. Note: The poll should read "Amado Water Key"
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acritzer
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neither. I like my Saturn Waterkeys. But between the two you listed...I'd go with standard
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dershem
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

acritzer wrote:
Neither. I like my Saturn Waterkeys. But between the two you listed...I'd go with standard


+1
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jhahntpt
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amado water keys are a nice novelty until they get stuck. You'll curse their very existence after that. I hear Saturn keys are good, I'm personally all for the standard ones.
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dewey
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jhahntpt wrote:
Amado water keys are a nice novelty until they get stuck. You'll curse their very existence after that. I hear Saturn keys are good, I'm personally all for the standard ones.


until your cork falls out on a gig
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RandyTX
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dewey wrote:
jhahntpt wrote:
Amado water keys are a nice novelty until they get stuck. You'll curse their very existence after that. I hear Saturn keys are good, I'm personally all for the standard ones.


until your cork falls out on a gig


Still waiting for that to happen. I've read stories of it, but never experienced it firsthand. I've also never seen it happen to anyone else, in a section, or on a video. Must be possible, but not for any realistically maintained horn.
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etc-etc
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had an experience of a regular waterkey spring breaking off, but not in performance. When the spring still worked, it felt a little weak. On the other hand, I have seen an Amado getting solidly stuck open on a new store display horn.
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Crazy Finn
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jhahntpt wrote:
Amado water keys are a nice novelty until they get stuck. You'll curse their very existence after that. I hear Saturn keys are good, I'm personally all for the standard ones.

dewey wrote:
until your cork falls out on a gig

This has happened to me during a concert. Rip off the eraser from a pencil. It'll work fine in a pinch.

A rubber band will work for a spring. Again, this has happened to me in the middle of a concert on tour in college.

Sticking a pen (or pencil, but pen is better) into an Amado will sometimes get it unstuck. But, unlike a standard spit valve, an Amado is beyond my ability to fix if it's in any way serious.

I'd never not buy a horn because of Amados, but given a choice, I'd much rather deal with standard ones.
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my experience Amados don't drain as well or as rapidly as regular water keys. Amados tend to get clogged and stuck and, therefore, aren't as reliable as standard water keys for their intended purpose. In 55 years of playing I've never had a cork fall out or a spring break on a standard water key. I'll tolerate Amados but I prefer standard water keys.
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Bill Dishman
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:34 am    Post subject: Amado vs. standard Reply with quote

If my standard water keys go wrong in a performance situation I can make things work with rubber band, pencil eraser etc. The Amados are not anything but potentially frustrating to me.

I have purchased horns with the Amados but have had them all changed out to standard water keys.


Bill Dishman
Gainesville, Florida
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gstump
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I have had springs break, corks fail and stuck Amados. I thought Amados were developed to give the tubing a smooth pathway rather then the offset hole of a water key. Is that design element still relevant?

Cheers,

Gordon Stump
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James Becker
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing about Amado water keys is they need to be oiled as frequently as your valves, they are piston valves after all. In order to achieve an air tight seal Amado Keys are fit with minimal clearances. The copy cat versions we've come across can loose 20% or more in pressure tests.

A good example is a Conn prototype French Horn that was built for J.D. Shaw of the Boston Brass Quintet. The imitation piston water keys they used were SO leaky that when replaced with genuine Amado keys the Horn's pitch center improved immensely. For the small difference in cost we prefer using genuine Amado brand water keys.

For the record, the only alternative water keys that are capable of an air tight seal are Saturn, all others fall short in varying degrees of leakage.

Acoustically speaking, the choice is up to a player's preference. An added benefit of traditional water keys is the variability that's available through fine tuning. One could argue with Amado keys variability is eliminated and more consistent results are achieved.

I hope this is helpful.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James,

If an Amado key was lightly greased instead of oiled, would this improve the compression? After all, Amados do not need to be lightning fast.
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James Becker
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Occasionally I'll use Hetman light bearing and linkage oil to boost the seal, but generally they're pretty tight to begin with.

Amado water keys are made to a high standard, well enough to be used by trusted makers like Blackburn, Getzen, Kanstul and Monette.
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James Becker
Brass Repair Specialist Since 1977
Osmun Music Inc.
77 Powdermill Road Rt.62
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www.osmun.com

Our workshop is as close as your nearest UPS store https://www.ups.com/dropoff?loc=en_US
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James,

Thank you!
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dstdenis
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have two horns with Amado water keys. They work fine for the most part, but one key on one instrument gets sticky, even though I oil it every time I play the horn. Thinking about what Jim wrote, maybe this one is tight enough so it doesn't leak. I sometimes have to stick the end of a paperclip into the end to push it back and get it moving again, then douse it with valve oil or rotor oil that I got just for this purpose. Bit of a hassle. So I'm okay with Amados but not a huge fan.

I don't mind standard water keys either. I understand that the spout is supposed to disrupt the airflow slightly, hence the reason for Amados, but I'm not sure I could sense this in a blind test. I check the cork every time I clean the horn to make sure it's still in good shape. If it's starting to look worn or cracked, I'll pick up another one next time I'm at a shop and replace it. With regular inspection and replacement, I've never had one fall out unexpectedly.

I haven't played a horn with Saturn keys. I'd like to check that out.
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Comeback
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I appreciate Jim Becker's Amado insights, too. Thank you, Jim!

Body chemistry must have some impact upon players' successes with Amados. My daily player in recent months has been a Getzen 900 Eterna Classic. I simply have no problems with the Amados. I did have a cork fall out of a waterkey on one of the other trumpets a while ago, though.

Jim
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RandyTX wrote:
dewey wrote:
jhahntpt wrote:
Amado water keys are a nice novelty until they get stuck. You'll curse their very existence after that. I hear Saturn keys are good, I'm personally all for the standard ones.


until your cork falls out on a gig


Still waiting for that to happen. I've read stories of it, but never experienced it firsthand. I've also never seen it happen to anyone else, in a section, or on a video. Must be possible, but not for any realistically maintained horn.


+1; heard of it happening, never experienced it.

Brad
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mrsemman
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about the Joy Key? I had Osmun put three on my bass trumpet. They work pretty darn good. You don't have t fiddle with anything, although there I seem to have developed a phantom habit of trying to empty them.

Gary
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James Becker
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd have to say with Joy Keys the water doesn't dam up waiting to be released by piston, key or other, but is in constant flow exiting the instrument. As one might expect the air tightness is not near as good but the benefit of no build up of excess moisture causing a gurgling sound is avoided which is the Joy Key's primary objective. Remember, these were invented by a French Horn player that got tired of pulling and dumping slides and being caught off guard by a conductor that decided to continue either with or without him!
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James Becker
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Our workshop is as close as your nearest UPS store https://www.ups.com/dropoff?loc=en_US


Last edited by James Becker on Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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