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Author Topic: Plastic on leather valves  (Read 239 times)

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mselic

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Plastic on leather valves
« on: October 12, 2019, 03:57:48 PM »

When using plastic valves, I know that at some point it can be a good idea to start using plastic-on-leather valves on the lower reeds to reduce valve noise. Does anyone have a recommendation when to start using them? Ie which notes/in which octave?
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mselic

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Re: Plastic on leather valves
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2019, 04:13:44 PM »

Also, can one simply use leather valves at that point instead of plastic on leather? Any advantages or disadvantages?
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Theo

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Re: Plastic on leather valves
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2019, 05:11:03 PM »

Leather valves can vary in stiffness, so you need to be ready to replace the odd one.  I also find it’s helpful to select from a batch of valves and use the softer ones on shorter reeds where the valves will need to be shortened.  You’ll also need to fit helper springs on larger size valves. 

Fitting valves appears to be one of the simpler jobs,  but it does have a lot of scope for subtle adjustments to get the best out of the reeds.
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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RogerT

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Re: Plastic on leather valves
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2019, 07:17:10 PM »

It is one of those things..you fit a load of valves and one, for no apparent reason, it looks fine etc, causes a vibration and the only answer is to change it. I use bass valves, made of leather, but with plastic springs alsready glued on, rather than the straight leather on which you have to fit booster springs. They do cost a little bit more but are quicker to fit than valves followed by booster springs. For most people fitting booster springs is fine, but I (sigh) do a lot of big PAs and after a while the idea of not having to faff with springs is quite attractive. But that is just me and I’m not necessarily recommending it.

mselic

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Re: Plastic on leather valves
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2019, 08:32:35 PM »

This is actually a PA that I’m fixing up. I’m replacing over 300 valves and have just about run out of my supply of plastic ones, but I have some leather ones which might work better anyways on some of the biggest treble reeds (such as ones with weighted tips). My original question pertained to when it might be best practice to start using leather valves instead of plastic on these bigger reeds.
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Theo

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Re: Plastic on leather valves
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2019, 08:57:38 PM »

Definitely,  and the ones with a plastic backing are the easiest to use.  Carini have recently introduced a new range of leather/plastic valves which I’ve been trying out.  They seem to be working very well and appear to be a better balance between easy if opening and ability to stay closed that I’ve come across yet.
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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boxcall

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Re: Plastic on leather valves
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2019, 09:19:07 PM »

This is actually a PA that I’m fixing up. I’m replacing over 300 valves and have just about run out of my supply of plastic ones, but I have some leather ones which might work better anyways on some of the biggest treble reeds (such as ones with weighted tips). My original question pertained to when it might be best practice to start using leather valves instead of plastic on these bigger reeds.
When I order some valve sets from Charlie he gave me plastic from the starting note up and leather / plastic on the reeds below the third button and bass side notes of course. I’m sure it’s different for PAs.

I imagine key might make a difference?
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Plastic on leather valves
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2019, 12:57:03 AM »

To answer the OP's question, I find that on modern Castagnari boxes which I've worked on, the change from all vinyl to leather valves (with either steel or vinyl reinforcing springs) tend to occur on reeds D4 or lower. If replacing valves I try to copy what is already there and if working on similar but non-Castagnari boxes, I will follow Castagnari practice.
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