Opinions on Valve Oils?



  • Care to post your opinion/s about valve oils?

    re Cass.
    FWIW... I have used the Bach oil since time began. Reason; it's fast. But... Bach is petrol based, so it is 'aromatic' and 'volatile': which implies it smells and evaporates quickly, which implies re-oiling every 2 hours or so. Seeking to avoid the smell and evaporation, I tried a bottle of Al Cass Fast, which is 'synthetic'. This Cass is indeed odourless and clear, as claimed. But Cass is not 'fast'. Cass viscosity feels significantly thicker, which causes valve action to be slower and require more finger-muscle. The viscosity makes the valves feel smoother, but at the expense of slower. But it is very much less volatile, so valves feel well oiled for many days. pros and cons.


  • Global Moderator

    I think everyone has an opinion on valve oils, and it is a fact that different instruments need different oils. My Besson baritone would leak with a thin oil like Al Cass, but would play nicely (for an hour so) with Hetman's #3.Which means that in a big band gig - using my Courtois Balanced Bb, Courtois 154R flugel and Buescher 263 cornet, I've got four bottles of valve oil around: One bottle of C.G. Conn Synthetic (I know they aren't on the market any more, but shortly before the oil was discontinued, I got myself two dozen bottles as reserve), for the Balanced. One Yamaha Light (for the flugel, because it is the newest instrument at 29 years), one Hetman's #2 for the cornet - and one Al Cass as a spare, if one of my colleagues has forgotten his... he's a repeat offender. But as he's got to pay a round of after-gig drinks every time, he's welcome to it.



  • Opinion 1: Here is the standard for valve oil comparison: https://www.nemc.com/resources/articles/valve-oil-the-more-you-kno_54

    Opinion 2: The best price/performance combination is Al Cass Fast.



  • Preferably Hetmans 2
    But anything works fine as long as it’s not Blue Juice
    If Holton oil was still a thing I’d still use it. I’ve heard Linzoil is the same but haven’t tried it



  • Ultra Pure has become my favorite.



  • @djeffers78 said in Opinions on Valve Oils?:

    Preferably Hetmans 2
    But anything works fine as long as it’s not Blue Juice
    If Holton oil was still a thing I’d still use it. I’ve heard Linzoil is the same but haven’t tried it

    I used both Holton (my initial favorite) and Blue Juice. I also was tempted by Monster Oil. Of these Monster Oil really slowed down my valve action, Blue Juice was just OK, and Holton did fine. However Ultra Pure gives me the fastest action, lasts the longest and leaves less residue in between oiling as I noted from wiping down the valves prior to re applying oil. Learned the valve wipe down technique from Rowuk.



  • Blue Juice works great on tight valves, but evaporates quickly, and when it does, the valves get balky pretty fast. Al Cass is a good oil for what it is - just simple, cheap petroleum-based valve oil.

    I like Hetman’s #2 for most of my horns. Good action, and it lasts a fairly long time. On more “loose” valves, Hetman’s #3 is good.



  • There are a bunch of good ones. For consistency, I just use Hetman on all my horns and tailor the strength to the age/condition of the horn.



  • Last time that I looked, Al Cass was not synthetic. I am also not aware of a valve oil that only lasts 2 hours. The volatility is such that one working day is normal. At that point, the "thin" stuff has evaporated, but the rest is still there - we are not down to bare metal.

    My experience is that spirit based oils last a day, then the action is not as "fast". Synthetics last a week BUT as the trumpet has no lubrication system except "reoil", the aerosols from our breath are flushed out during oiling - making the full week with synthetics a double edged sword.

    Our trumpets talk to us. When we learn to listen, we give them the care that they need.

    I have used LaTromba T2 for as long as I can remember. I have tried out Ultra Pure, Monster, Yamaha, Bach, Roche Thomas, Al Cass, Hetmans and they are all great - I just get a good deal when I buy a case of LaTromba T2 here in Germany. It is cheaper in bulk.



  • I buy the large bottle of Ultrapure on line and refill the smaller bottle for my carry all. Once a week is generally fine. The weekly application includes wipe down of the valves and fresh Ultrapure application.



  • Hetman or Monster Oil. Both are synthetic and both come in 3 different viscosities. Monster Oil is more expensive, but claims to contain a corrosion-resisting additive. I use it on some of my "antiques" that mostly sit in the closet. Start with Hetman #2 (medium viscosity) and experiment from there.



  • I have no clue how long oils last on my valves. I’ve only really ever had issues with blue juice.
    In my baritone I put fast on there one day because I forgot my oil (Hetmans 2) and it did not mix well at all!
    I oil every time I take it out of the case. I also very often oil before I replace it into the case.
    I’d rather not have any problems at all when I play.
    When I’ve played 3rd in very large sections it’s not a huge deal but when I sat front row cornet it was a big concern.
    Now playing baritone I don’t want to risk anything.



  • Anything beats the 2/3, 3-in-One oil and 1/3 kerosene mix I used when I had no money.



  • Monster Oil also makes a terrific slide "grease." A little goes a very long way and lasts forever.



  • Hetman has been good to me and with three grades it works well with my new to old batch of horns.



  • @grune said in Opinions on Valve Oils?:

    Care to post your opinion/s about valve oils?

    re Cass.
    FWIW... I have used the Bach oil since time began. Reason; it's fast. But... Bach is petrol based, so it is 'aromatic' and 'volatile': which implies it smells and evaporates quickly, which implies re-oiling every 2 hours or so. Seeking to avoid the smell and evaporation, I tried a bottle of Al Cass Fast, which is 'synthetic'. This Cass is indeed odourless and clear, as claimed. But Cass is not 'fast'. Cass viscosity feels significantly thicker, which causes valve action to be slower and require more finger-muscle. The viscosity makes the valves feel smoother, but at the expense of slower. But it is very much less volatile, so valves feel well oiled for many days. pros and cons.

    Synthetic oils have a very low viscosity index (the viscosity doesn't change much with temperature), and they don't change characteristics over time due to evaporation of light ends - unlike the distillates, they don't have light ends.

    So their performance is stable over time in a variety of conditions. You still need to pick one with the performance characteristics you and your instrument prefer, but that's for you to discover via trial and error.

    I tend to change oil at every use simply as good preventative maintenance practice, so I don't particularly see all the benefits synthetics have to offer, but I still use them (doesn't stop me using up old bottles of distillate oils).

    I like Tromba T2 but sometimes hard to locate. I'm perfectly okay with Wicks.



  • @grune said in Opinions on Valve Oils?:

    Care to post your opinion/s about valve oils?

    My opinion is that you should probably use valve oil. 😉

    I used Al Cass back in the 70s/80s. I use Hetman today for 2 reasons: it doesn't smell, and it comes in every variation from thin oil to thick grease.

    Some people talked about how long oil lasts. Once a week, I wipe down my valves and casings, and then re-oil. I rarely need to re-oil in between my weekly routine. Personally, I believe this has more to do with my weekly cleaning routine than it does with the oil I use.

    Mike



  • I agree with Mike. I think wiping down the valve block is key before adding a new drop of oil, no matter which one you choose.



  • Also unique to the Martin Committee, after cleaning, it is of value to fill the horn completely with water, then blowing the water through the valve casings before oiling.


  • Qualified Repair Techs

    I find most of the synthetics to leave a lot of residue over time, especially with horns that don’t get cleaned. If you don’t like to clean regularly, Hetman is not for you. It will degrade into a sticky yellow residue that is not fun to clean up! Yamaha synthetic likes to become a green cement in horns that sit too long, even new ones. It works great until you let it sit a few months, and then is best cleaned out in a chem clean. I like the Berp products because they stay very clean, tend not to react with other oils, and I have not had a horn freeze up in storage in over 10yrs. There’s nothing wrong with using synthetics, but for any you use, clean regularly, and be sure to clean out all old oil before switching brands - this includes brand new horns! Many synthetics will react badly when mixed with other synthetics or petroleum products - I have had customers return instruments only to find out they mixed two brands of valve oil and there are beads of goo in all the pistons - really annoying, especially when the customer has caused damage I have to fix when they cannot get the pistons out! This happened recently with a brand new Yamaha. Customer had applied Ultra Pure without cleaning out the Yamaha, let the horn sit for two days, and then freaked out when the pistons were frozen. Swore up and down they “did nothing to it - it works on all my other new Yamahas!” Got it back withbadly scratched pistons from being forced out improperly, and big balls of goo where the oils had reacted. Brand new horn that had to be repaired and sold as used because someone couldn’t be bothered to clean out the old oil.


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