Posted by steve on January 27, 2000 at 18:27:11:
In Reply to: St. Petersburg posted by A. Valdez on January 27, 2000 at 16:44:00:
I have to agree that the St. Petes don't hold up too well in public school usage.
I know of five school districts in my area that have purchased them, and all of the districts have had numerous horns in the shop for dent/creased bell/valve repair. One band director commented to me that for what he has spent fixing his horns, he could have bought as many horns of a more durable nature.
As far as the valves are concerned, the reworked, honed valves work fine when used on a very regular basis. The same band director mentioned above had all of his horns in the shop in November to free the locked valves on horns that had been sitting in cases during marching band season. They were locked so thightly that they had to be pressed out slowly (as opposed to tapping them out) with penetrating oil to avoid damaging the casings.
Don't get me wrong - for a mature adult they can be a great choice. I think they have a very nice sound and good playing characteristics.
Remember: a lot of people in high school band are there because the band gets more field trips than the wood shop class. Not everybody will still be playing the day after graduation.