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.
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.
Customisable instruments with rotary valves:
- PRIMARIUS side action orchestral C Trumpet
- TWISTER op action Bb or C Trumpet
- TWUGELHORN top action flugelhorn in Bb
- Watch this space...something very exciting is in the make!!
Primarius - Side action Rotary Orchestral Trumpet
After many years of playing, testing and measuring several different types and (well known) makes of side action rotary trumpets in the orchestra I decided that it was time to build the “Primarius” trumpet. It is designed to modern standards and demands but with a classic balanced look.
The instrument has a bore of 11.0, 11.1 or 11.2 and comes with an exchangeable leadpipe system. Optional overblow keys and a mix of goldbrass and nickel components as shown in the pictures. The valve section is German made and can be configured with different types of triggers and water keys suited to your wishes. The instrument has a clear, thick orchestral sound without feeling heavy or stiff. Depending on the bell thickness and the garland style we choose the sound can be made brighter or darker. The intonation is excellent and the slotting in the high register is very good, also without the use of the overblow keys.
As with all of our models almost every part on this instrument can be customised to your wishes. So even if you like no garland and a fixed leadpipe, a bigger or smaller bore etc then please don’t hesitate to contact me and ask for options and possibilities. We don’t charge extra for advice because we love building instruments and want to see you happy with your instrument.
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.
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.