Posted by tuba player on October 16, 2000 at 00:46:57:
In Reply to: Various Valves posted by Ragin on October 15, 2000 at 23:19:37:
In the case of tubas, there are probably 3 reasons why these reduced resistance valves have not been used.
1)size and weight: Thayers, Haggmans, the K-valve, and the big Yamaha t-bone rotor are all VERY large compared to their respective bore sizes. For tuba bores, most of these valves would be HUGE and quite heavy. With some of those valves, you wouldn't even be able to fit 5 in a line on a standard tuba body. Plus, players don't like a lot of extra weight they don't need.
2)some people LIKE resistance: resistance is good in some places on the tuba. It allows for a more responsive horn in some ways. Other players find that if the bore is too big (ie- less resistant) that they don't get as much color to the sound. I really don't believe tuba players would want something like a 4th valve with no resistance and an open wrap- the amount of change between that note and an open note would be so significant that it would make the horn difficult to play with a consistant sound and ease.
3)cost of tooling these valves, and making them work: based on the 2 points above, I believe many companies will shy away from incuring the cost of tooling and producing these valves from scratch (which would be VERY expensive). It would be a big gamble, and last time I checked, instrument manufacturers don't have the kind of extra dough to throw at something that might fail. Lastly, based on the size of the valves- there would be a great tendency for the valves to warp, or wear incorrectly, causing them to fail mechanically in a very short period of time. Talk to trombone players with Thayer valves and you are bound to run into a lot of them who have had the valve "recalibrated."(as Edwards puts it) Simply, the larger the valve, the more unreliable it becomes.
These are my opinions based on my observations and asumptions. If I'm right, then I don't think tuba players will see these types of valves anytime soon.
some tuba player