Posted by Bryan on February 24, 1999 at 03:02:33:
In Reply to: valve number five posted by Tom Caudron on February 23, 1999 at 08:10:29:
My experience with the 5 valve set-up is such that I would not want to be without it! I use the 5th regularly for quintet work and jazz. The configuration with the 5th activated with the right hand allows the thumb to be more than an ancher for the fingers ( I am not particularly fond of the left hand set-up). For BBb horns it is not as important as CC horns being CC's play a step higher, and DD's and DDb's can be a real bitch with only 4 valves!! While Jay prefers the one step 5th (admitedly the one he has gotten used to), I prefer the 2-step (the one I have gotten used to). (Added thought: Jay had a 5th valve added to his new Cerveny just before they became available from the factory!) Now, in addition to having 2 CC horns with 5 valves, I also have a Conn 2-J with 4 valves. While DD can be played on the Conn with all valves depressed, DDb is possible only with some serious genuflecting of the slides (not too pratical).
If you already have a BBb horn and are happy with it, then you are not missing anything (low B is only slightly less common than low Db. If, though, you are in the market for a new horn, especially a CC, then you would be doing yourself a favor by going with the 5th valve. The resulting payoff will more than offset the added cost.
These are just my personal thoughts, for what they might be worth. Hope it help answer your question!