On my trombone, a Conn 88H-CL, there is a Rotarty Valve designed by Christian Lindberg. It represents a new concept for rotor valves on tenor trombones, but did receive surprisingly little attention so far. This is too bad, because in my opinion it is an extremely brilliant valve.
The CL2000 concept
The Christian Lindberg rotary valve (also known as: CL, CL2000, CL2K) has a lot of astonishing characteristics and a completely discrete design. It differs heavily from classical constructions, but also from other recent valve designs. This valve has got a Y-Junction inside, which allows very short lever movements.
But a Y junction also means, that there is always a dead end for the air to flow into. I saw a lot of discussions about this »dead end«. Critic voices never stopped raising, but there always were supporters, too. This design is probably the most discussed one, which is not a bad thing per se.
For a more in-depth description to follow, please take a look at this concept art fist.
There are some advantages to this valvue due to its design:
- The lever stroke movement is much shorter.
I. e.. it is about 40% faster, because the valve only rotates 45° forth and back.
- Very simple mechanical construction.
The »dead end« is often seen as a flaw – but you won’t notice while playing.
- Straightest air flow possible – even more straight than e.g. Hagmann, Bach-Axial and Thayer designs.
- No vacuum – no »plop« sound on operation!
Despite this, other valves do have their pros and cons as well – there are interesting designs by Hagmann and Thayer. But once you get used to the short lever stroke, the open and straight bore and the no-plop-operation, you won’t want to give it away anytime soon.
Conn charges a lot for this kind of valve. So if you compare the price for a Conn 88HO (standard valve, open wrap) with a r Conn 88H-CL (CL-Valve, open wrap) you may see a difference of about € 900,- (last udpated: July 2013). This valve is definitely worth it, but there are cheaper and almost same quality alternatives.
If you take a look at those images, you can see that a lot of brass and other materials are being used, hence the high price. Also, there is a second valve cap (not pictured) which has less weight and allows sharper attacks. The heavier valve cap (seen on the images above) on the other hand allows a more broad sound. Most musicians will chose probably this one.
The Lindberg valve is rarely seen in orchestras. Standard valves still dominate the orchestral trombones, and professionals tend to use Hagmann valves or sometimes Thayer valves. The Thayer vales however were being replaced by Bach, because the needed a lot of special (and costly) care. On Bach trombones, you can now find Bach-Axial-Flow-valves.
The most probably reason for not seeing this valve often is probably it’s a Conn-only design. If you are going to buy a Bach 42 (tenor trombone) or a Bach 50 (bass bone), you can chose one of those valves:
- Standard rotary valve
- Hagmann valve
- Thayer rotor valve
- Bach-Axial-Flow valve
But there is no option for Conn CL2000 valves.
So if you were buying a german Kühnl & Hoyer trombone, you might see similar options, which are:
- Standard valve
- ”Open Flow”-Meinlschmidt rotary valve
- Hagmann rotor valve
So no options to chose a CL2k valve here as well.
So there is Shire (brand), another well-known trombone manufactor.
- Standard valve (not commonly used on those trombones)
- S. E. Shires True-Bore valve
- Shires axial valve
No CL2000 valve found here, too. This means it is only available on conn brand trombones. If you don’t like the Conn 88H, you will probably never play this valve. This is a bummer, because the 88H is a very good trombone on the one hand, but on the other hand Bach trombones are a little more spread for a good reason.
Still, some reviews about the CL2000 valve can be found online. There is an anomymous Review, another can be found at Edition Tarrodi about Lindbergs commitment at Conn’s, a 3rd review of Steve Ferguson about the CL2000 valve and a few forum threads/discussions.
There is a nice (german) overview of available valves over at Bassposaunen.de (Ventile). There are two categories of valves: New designes versus standard valve enhancements. This means, you can easily see how these valves were constructed.
For example there is the Greenhoe-Quartventil. You can buy it tied up on a Conn 88HTG which will add additional € 2200,- compared to a 88H-CL (Lindberg valve). This means it is not interesting due to its price.
You can also compare available valves to the Bach 42 (open wrap design only) and you will get this:
- Hagmann: additional € 600,-.
- Thayer: additional € 560,-.
- Axial flow: additional € 700,-.
So every alternative is much cheaper if you buy a trombone from the competitor Bach. And those alternaves aren’t necessarily worse. Also, the CL2000 valve is only available on Conn trombones, not on Bach trombones. But valves of the brands Thayer and Hagmann can be found with a lot of brands.