Stuck thayer valve(s)

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pete
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Stuck thayer valve(s)

Post by pete » Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:59 am

Hi,

I have a really nice Jupiter X0, double, independent trigger bass trombone with Thayer valves. I love the trombone but the valves are a PIA. The second trigger, in particular, is always sticking. I tried cleaning them myself for the first 6 months, but that only lasted for a month each time, and it would stick again (even when playing regularly). Then I took it to a qualified tech who did the ultrasound and other stuff, but the first time I was gone for more than a week - when I returned, it was stuck. I've tried to unstick it with force from my thumb, but I don't want to start tapping it with anything stronger. I've had two professional cleans so far, but the last one only worked for a month before it stuck. The cleans cost between $135 and $200, so I can't keep doing this.

The company now responsible for the X0 line weren't that helpful (their advice was to take it to a technician), so I'm wondering what I should do now? Some possibilities:

1. Sell it / trade it for another bass trombone (but I don't want to pass on the issue to someone else really).
2. Force the manufacturer to repair it properly (hopefully switching out the defective valves)
3. Have it rebuilt with standard rotary valves (but almost everything behind my head would probably need to be replaced).
4. Pull the first tube out enough and treat it as a single trigger instrument (this is what I'm doing at the moment, but I really don't like it).

Any thoughts about what to do? I love the sound of the instrument, so I would like to keep/fix it. Plus, I got it as a demo unit for a relatively great price ($2500), but that's still a huge investment.

Thanks, Pete
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BGuttman
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Re: Stuck thayer valve(s)

Post by BGuttman » Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:33 am

Axial valves are quite "fussy" and need frequent lubrication. On the Edwards site there is a video of how to clean and lube them.

They also need to be "calibratee", a service that requires a Tech who will adjust the bearings.

Watch the Edwards video and make sure you are doing what they say. If it still doesn't fix the problem you need to bring it to a Tech. At your expense.

I think your options are not realistic:

1. If you like the horn you may not like what you replace it with.
2. You can't force them to do anything; they own the Warranty and you may already have broken it.
3. Rebuilding it with any other valves will far exceed the cost of bringing it to a tech for an alignment.
4. This is a workaround and not a satisfactory option.

Good luck.
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
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pedrombon
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Re: Stuck thayer valve(s)

Post by pedrombon » Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:40 am

Replace them with Olsen axials :wink:
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Kbiggs
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Re: Stuck thayer valve(s)

Post by Kbiggs » Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:43 am

If you’ve cleaned them several times, then cleaning them again probably won’t solve the problem. You may have something else going on like a spindle that is bent, a dent in the casing, a burr left over from machining... who knows? Take it to a different tech who has experience working on a lot of different Thayer valves and knows about the different manufacturers of Thayer valves.

There are a few good repair techs here on TC like Eric Edwards (bonearzt). If you’re on the West Coast, there’s John Sandhagen, Benn Hansson, and many others.
I have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.
—Mark Twain (attributed)
pete
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Re: Stuck thayer valve(s)

Post by pete » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:57 am

Hi Bruce,

Thanks for the suggestions. As noted, I've had a respected tech clean/rebuild them twice, but it's a frequent problem. I also followed the Shire videos to the letter as well as another YT version that had a few differences.

Pete
pete
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Re: Stuck thayer valve(s)

Post by pete » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:59 am

Thanks for the suggestions - I've contacted the makres of the Olsen axials and, I'm not far from LA so that might be the next step...or combine the two and have one of these repair techs put in the Olsens, which have some great reviews. It'll depend on the cost...
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Burgerbob
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Re: Stuck thayer valve(s)

Post by Burgerbob » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:30 am

Not all techs can really get down to the nitty gritty on Thayers. You'd need an expert.
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Bassmike
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Re: Stuck thayer valve(s)

Post by Bassmike » Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:50 pm

There could be stress in the build or the bell section could have been put back together with a slight misalignment that would cause the valves to bind. If you are comfortable with taking the bell apart do so and then reassemble putting the tuning slide in before tightening the bell braces. In other words make sure that everything is lined up before you clamp down on the bell braces.
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elmsandr
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Re: Stuck thayer valve(s)

Post by elmsandr » Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:02 pm

This is almost impossible to diagnose over the internet.

I will say the following things:
-Thayers eat oil. May need to be oiled and moved daily to keep them happy.
-Thayers can be too tight, the fit may have to be opened up. I would not let but a few folks do this. Not hard, but easy to screw up.
-Thayers can be really susceptible to tiny tensions in the build of the horn. Something may be slightly out of alignment, maybe even just in how the horn is held in the case.

This is not uncommon for Thayers. They are finicky. This is one of the reasons that I think they are becoming less popular, they just require more effort than a rotor to maintain. My Bach rotor from 1942 requires less thought and effort than my 2006 Thayers.

Cheers,
Andy
doctortrombone
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Re: Stuck thayer valve(s)

Post by doctortrombone » Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:20 pm

Something else to consider--Not all axial valves are Thayers. I'm not sure what Jupiter was using, but it's possible that they're a Chinese-made knock-off. Sometimes the metals used in these knock-offs aren't right. I've had Chinese-made rotary valves that would seize every time they were out of use for more than three days. Are these actual Thayers? Most descriptions of the Jupiter XO describe it as having "Thru-Flow" valves, which I'm pretty sure are an unlicensed imitation of the Thayer.
hornbuilder
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Re: Stuck thayer valve(s)

Post by hornbuilder » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:57 am

The Patent on the Thayer valve expired years ago, so none of the axial valves being made today are/should/need to be licensed. Regardless of where they are made. FYI
Jgittleson
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Re: Stuck thayer valve(s)

Post by Jgittleson » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:32 am

hornbuilder wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:57 am
The Patent on the Thayer valve expired years ago, so none of the axial valves being made today are/should/need to be licensed. Regardless of where they are made. FYI
This
doctortrombone
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Re: Stuck thayer valve(s)

Post by doctortrombone » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:37 am

hornbuilder wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:57 am
The Patent on the Thayer valve expired years ago, so none of the axial valves being made today are/should/need to be licensed. Regardless of where they are made. FYI
I hadn't realized that. Still, I do think the problem may not be an issue with the particular valve on that horn, but with a run of valves used by Jupiter. On the horn that I had with a similar problem, there was no visible corrosion on the spindles, but it had to be disassembled, cleaned, and relubricated each time I used it.
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