Introducing the Piston Valve Alignment Kit!
The Piston Valve Alignment Kit was introduced about 1 year ago and is still the most efficient way that I know of to align and maintain the piston valves on any brass instrument.
The kit is comprised, in most cases, of two brass washers and two o-rings for each piston. The brass washers are cut to a specific thickness and hold a snug fit around each valve stem. The o-ring is then placed on top of the washer to create the desired thickness. By utilizing the washer and o-ring, the valve should retain its alignment for many, many years, as the o-rings are specifically designed to withstand a wide verity of petroleum products.
Another advantage of using the o-ring instead of a wide rubber washer or felt is the lack of contact that the piston now has against the top of the valve cap. The contact patch of the o-ring is approximately .070. It is my theory that this frees the weight of the piston from the rest of the instrument. This is very much like the phenomenon that we experience when we use a stand for the tuba. The tuba is a vibrating body and the stand creates a limited amount of contact to the tuba, thus allowing it to vibrate more freely. Freedom to vibrate will result in more resonance! The o-rings act as a separation device or "stand" for the piston, so the rest of the horn can vibrate without the excess mass of the pistons.
All of the horns listed are instruments that I have aligned using a valve mirror and a bore scope. For me, up close and personal with the piston and the port is the way to go! The washers are cut by myself one at a time and measured to ensure the proper thickness while holding a .001 tolerance. This puts the rest of the alignment in the hands of the horn manufacturers! In MOST cases, the instrument manufacturers are well within tolerances that they allow, so the alignment kit will produce a wonderful free blowing experience that WILL NOT CHANGE!
This is one of the key ingredients for a player's success. If the horn is constantly changing, it's like trying to practice hitting a moving target. Once your horn is set, you'll be able to concentrate on hitting a target that doesn't move!
Alignment kits are available for ANY piston instrument. However, many horns such as trumpets will need to be brought to the shop as I'm finding too many differences from valve to valve to be able to just send out a kit. Please feel free to contact me to set up an appointment to visit the shop.
View images of the PVAK:
PVAKs are available for the following tubas:
MW 6450 Baer
MW 5450 Thor
MW 2165 (small valve section)
MW2182 F Tuba
Besson Sovereign 967 Euphonium
All B&S Piston Tubas
Canadian Brass CB 50
Gronitz PCK and PCM
Hirshbrunner Small F Tuba
Kurath F Tuba
Miraphone 1291 and 1292
Nirschl 6/4 CC Tuba
Willson 3050 CC Tuba
Willson F and Eb Tubas
Willson 2900 Euphonium
Yamaha YEP 642 Euphonuim
Yamaha 621, 821, 822 F Tubas
Order your Piston Valve Alignment Kit ($180USD/each):
PLEASE NOTE: I am out of town until August 16th. All PVAK orders received before then will be processed upon my return. Thank you! -AB