Posted by Lew on April 14, 2002 at 14:30:41:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: Conn56J posted by Patrick on April 14, 2002 at 12:29:09:
Weighted valve caps are something that trumpet players have been using for years. The concept has something to do with dampening unwanted vibrations. The theory is something like this: the sound waves originate in the mouthpiece and propagate through the valves and eventually out the bell. Some of the sound wave can be dissipated by vibrations in the valve section. By adding mass to the valve section there is less loss at that point providing a deeper, clearer, and more centered sound. This is more significant at higher frequencies, like with a trumpet, but can still happen with the typical tuba frequencies.
I don't claim to be an acoustical engineer, but this is what I have heard about this. There are some discussions of this in the archives, and I think that the conclusion was that there is an impact, but whether it is beneficial depends on the specific horn and the player.