Posted by Jay Bertolet on June 28, 2002 at 07:49:42:
In Reply to: Re: venting valves on the New King 2341? posted by Bryan on June 28, 2002 at 03:39:11:
With respect, I must disagree with your characterization of valve venting as some sort of placebo type affect. While I personally don't believe in cryogenic treatment or "tone improving springs", I do believe in the benefits of venting the first valve. Especially on the 4 valve Alexander CC tubas, which generally require quite of bit of 1st valve slide manipulation, this can be a real issue. I have had a couple of tubas that benefitted from a vented valve. It makes pulling the vented valve's slide so much easier. Later, I changed my approach and had tuning slide sticks installed on the main tuning slides of instruments that required any slide manipulation and this obviated the need for any vented valves. This approach works great on tubas with a long main tuning slide. Unfortunately, most piston instruments have a relatively short tuning slide so it isn't as practical a solution on those tubas. I'm fortunate enough to have two piston instruments that require no slide pulling for me to play them in tune so it hasn't been an issue for me so far.
I would say to anybody that finds themselves pulling an individual valve slide frequently that they should consider venting that valve. Done properly, it is completely safe for the valve and it will eliminate the annoying "pop" that results from pulling a slide and then pushing the valve down. Even better is installing a main tuning slide stick, if your main tuning slide adjustment is at least 4"+. The advantage of the main slide stick is that you can adjust all notes with that, even the open notes. Also, there is no build up in pressure using the main slide so there is no need for venting. You also don't have to fumble around looking for the individual valve slides, all adjustments are handled by one hand placement.
My opinion for what it's worth...