A Tale of Two Valve Oils

Over the last several weeks I’ve been engaged in a search for the right oil(s) for the valves on my E. Schmid horn.  When the horn first arrived I used the oil that came with it, made by REKA.   Aside from the fairly strong smell, the REKA oil worked great, although I found myself needing to apply it at least twice a day.  This thin, light oil was very fast, but also required frequent use to keep the valves in top shape.  When the REKA ran out, I went back to the oil I’d been using on my previous horn, Hetman Rotor Oil # 12.  I soon realized that this was a big mistake, as the valves immediately became sluggish.   The Hetman #12 was simply too heavy for the newer valves, and had I stopped to think about it for a moment I’m sure that thought would have occurred to me…eventually.  At any rate, I found myself with a brand new horn with really slow valves.  What I needed was a thinner oil to flush out the heavier Hetman #12.  The next day I took a trip down to my local music store and picked up some Al Cass “Fast” Oil.  The Al Cass worked ok, and did the trick when it came to flushing out the previous oil, but the valves still didn’t feel as fast as they had when the horn came out of the box. While I waited for some lighter Hetman #11 oil to arrive, courtesy of Music and Arts in Dallas, TX, I asked some colleagues who owned Schmid horns what type of valve oil they preferred.  Recommendations included La Tromba T2 oil, and Blue Juice, among others.  The next day I went back to the local music store and picked up a bottle of Blue Juice.  So far, the Blue Juice is working very well – the valves are fast, and I am only applying it about once a day.  I’m not crazy about the smell, but I do have a bottle of Hetman #11 (which is more or less odorless) to try when my supply of Blue Juice is exhausted.  The moral of the story is make sure you use the right kind of oil for the valves on your horn. In this case, one size does not fit all, and I learned the hard way.  The good thing is that I can hold onto the heavier oils to use on my older horns.  By the way, if you aren’t sure exactly how to oil the valves on your horn, check out my YouTube video on this topic.  Provided you are using the correct oil, this method works quite well.

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