"Breathing New Life into Classic Instruments"
Precision Valve Alignment for
Bach Stradivarius® Trumpets, Cornets, and Flugelhorns
BachStrads.com now offers precision valve alignments for Bach Stradivarius trumpets, cornets and flugelhorns in an easy to use and affordable do-it-yourself kit. I use a PVA on all my own personal Bachs and love the way it turns them into better horns.
Many specialty brass shops do offer valve alignment services, but also charge $200 in addition to shipping to/from the shop while your horn is out of service for the week. You can easily spend $280 when you are set and done. I've used several very well known valve alignment shops and gotten mixed results, so I decided why not do it myself ? Nobody cares more about how your horn plays than YOU. With my PVA kit, you can now do a superb alignment job yourself fairly easily by carefully following the instructions and using the precision parts I supply.
Every kit comes with:
A special valve inspection mirror
Precision upstroke and down stroke bushings
Multiple fine spacers for tweaking and optimizing the alignment
Highly detailed instructions to bring your valve alignment to the last .001" perfection.
I use a PVA on all my own personal Bachs and love the way it turns them into better horns.
Through my extensive experience with hundreds of Bach Strads, I've found that a PVA or Precision Valve Alignment helps a good Strad play better, and a very good Strad play great. A PVA makes your trumpet playing easier and more fun.
While the metal parts of the your Bach valves are engineered and manufactured precisely, the same cannot be said about felt bushings and and rubber bumpers that can compress or distort over time. These parts are often made too thick or thin and as a result create substantial valve misalignment. While the difference between a ML and L bore Bach is only .003" (.459 versus .462) I frequently see differences in valve tolerances from .010-.025 (8x as much!) which causes significant resistance and internal turbulence.
Fortunately, a PVA can correct this problem and help your horn play better on every note. With a PVA from BachStrads you will hear and feel immediate improvements in the playing characteristics of your horn.
*Extends your Endurance: Your horn will play more freely and easily. Greater efficiency and less effort in playing allows you to play longer with less fatigue.
*Better note accuracy: With a more uniform level of resistance throughout your horn, your accuracy will improve. The more consistent feel of your horn will help you better gauge the placement of each note and take out some of the guess work.
*Easier slotting in the high range: High notes starting above the staff are clearer and slot better. Instead of a slippery slide, the notes become better seated and more reliable to produce. When notes slot better, you feel more confident in your playing.
*Truer Intonation: You'll find that the intonation is more even on your horn. When a note is partially obstructed, the extra work you have to do to squeeze/force it can make the pitch climb and also add distortion. When the valves are properly aligned, the notes play better in tune without extra force from the player.
*Tone quality is refined: The improved airflow of your horn makes the tone quality better. I've found on most horns, that the sound becomes clearer, darker, and more pure, and acquires greater depth and dimension of tone. Some players have remarked that after a PVA their Bach sounds like what they imagined it was always supposed to be like. That is my experience as well.
*Playing is more comfortable: Our lips are quite sensitive to resistance and interference. A misaligned horn will have various levels of resistance as you change fingerings. This can make a horn feel stuffy or uneven or both. A PVA makes your horn feel smoother and easier to play with reduced backward shock waves and less turbulence in the resonating air column. The result is a more comfortable experience for the player and less adjustment necessary to play. A player should not have to fight his horn. The horn should be a resonant, responsive, and beautiful vocal extension of his artistry and expression.
All Bachs with misaligned valves will improve with a PVA. Note that some aspects of improvement are more dramatic than others depending on how extensive the misalignment on your horn is and which valves are most affected.
You can order my affordable do-it-yourself kit using the link below. I also can do a Custom PVA for your Bach Strad if you prefer. Cost for the service is $175 and includes a lead pipe and tuning slide cleaning. Return shipping priced at cost.
Either way, it is highly important that your trumpet's valves and slides are very clean prior to a PVA for the most accurate measurements. I recommend a chemical cleaning or ultrasonic cleaning (buzz bath) available at your local shop prior to getting a PVA.
BachStrads can do a chemical cleaning for you for an additional $60 when you send in your horn for a PVA.
When shipping your trumpet to BachStrads it is much safer to send your trumpet without a case, but instead thoroughly cocooned in bubble wrap to prevent damage from shock to your trumpet. Use an oversized double wall box so your trumpet will arrive in the same condition it left your home. For more safe shipping instructions please contact me. I always ship with insurance and that is highly recommended as well to protect your investment. Turnaround time is usually a few days to a week depending on my schedule.