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Rotary Instruments

Rotary Valves

Rotary Valves are tapered cylinders that turn around their own axle in the valve casing. These are the commonly used valves on traditional orchestral instruments for playing classical/romantic repertoire and of course these have always been the traditional standard to play German and Austrian folk music. During the last ten years rotary valves have been gaining popularity in the rest of the world to play all kinds of repertoire.

I build modern, excellent playing rotary trumpets and flugelhorns with a striking appearance. The big advantage of the rotary valve is that all the position changes feel and sound nice and controlled/direct. Articulations are generally easier and it is easy to produce vocal sounding phrases in many different colours. A good example of someone who is a specialist on playing top action rotary instruments is Mr. Thomas Gansch of Mnozil Brass.

Manual Bell Engraving
Manual Bell Engraving

A little about bore size

Usually the average bore size on these rotary valve blocks for trumpets is around 11.0-11.2 for a trumpet/flugelhorn and even around 10.4 for a piccolo. Generally around 0.7mm smaller than perinet valves. A surprise to many that thought rotary instruments were bigger!

Because of the common configuration with a short first run (from mouthpiece into 1st valve) the smaller rotary bore can still feel bigger and more free blowing than the 11.7 perinet valves. This all depends on the chosen design, leadipes, bracing. etc.

Base Models

Customisable instruments with rotary valves: 

- TWI (Top Action Twister) Bb or C Trumpet

- TWU (Top Action Twugelhorn) in Bb

- SAO (Side Action Orchestral) C Trumpet (photos soon!)

Twister - Top Action Rotary Trumpet

The Twister trumpet is a very versatile instrument that is built completely to your preferences, just like all the other instrument models I offer. It was designed to combine the characteristics of rotary valves with the feel of a perinet style trumpet. 

The bell has multiple curves, based on a (1998) design from the French Horn builder Robert Engel. He modified a Cornet from the “Kessels Instrumentenfabriek” here in the Netherlands to have the typical double bend.

I am not the only instrument builder inspired by this, but I am (for as far as I am aware) the only builder that combines three curves in one bell. This creates the outward “twist” in the bell. I can achieve this by using a “in house” developped, tox free bending technique. This twisted shape facilitates a very nice setup for the valve block and a comfortable holding balance. 

For more details about the possible customisation options please have a look at the video about this model. You can find it by scrolling down a little.

Top Action Twister Bb Trumpet
Top Action Twister Bb Trumpet
Top Action Twister Bb Trumpet
Top Action Twister Bb Trumpet

Twugelhorn - Top Action Rotary Flugelhorn

The Twugelhorn is a result of the wish to create a flugelhorn in the style of the Twister trumpet. A nice compact wrap with wide bows and a pleasant holding balance. Producing all the pretty curves and angles is not easy but it is something I really enjoy doing.

Everything is done by hand and therefore it is possible to fully alter the character of “the beast” to your preferences. The instrument below for example has no water keys because the client preferred to first try it without. The chosen materials, finger hook style, brace style, lead pipe shape, response, engravings, etc. are all discussed before and sometimes even during the build.

For those that wish to be well informed about the design choices; Twister twister/twugelhorn style design stem from 2010. Quite some years before (well respected) colleague builders started producing flugelhorns in a compact curvy setup similar to my earlier designs.

Twugelhorn - Top Action Rotary Flugelhorn in Bb
Twugelhorn - Top Action Rotary Flugelhorn in Bb
Twugelhorn - Top Action Rotary Flugelhorn
Twugelhorn - Top Action Rotary Flugelhorn
Historic Rotary C Trumpet
Historic Rotary C Trumpet

Historic Rotary Trumpets

We also produce "historic" rotary trumpets, often used for romantic repertoire. We can use new parts made to historic specifications or we use original / salvaged parts. Most important is that we can apply authentic techniques like making handmade tubing, bells, etc. to match original trumpets. The goal of producing a "historic" instrument is that it will play well. We can make rotary trumpets in any key/pitch. Please contact us for more information and/or questions.