Osmun.com Under Construction!

We have been working on a new web site for a few months now and we will be making the switch to the new site over this Easter weekend. Our new site will be more fluid and easier to order mouthpieces (with modifications), set up service appointments, ask technical questions, and browse & purchase products.

We apologize if you have recently been on osmun.com and it’s been a little glitchy. We hope to clean up all the bugs over the next week once the new site is up.

Any questions about products or if you need to place an order for something, please don’t hesitate to call 978-823-0580 or email us at sales@osmun.com. We’re open Monday-Friday 10-5pm and Saturday 10-2pm EST.

 

Measuring Rims

Measuring Rims
Here’s a Lawson B23G705 rim. Its inner diameter is either .705″ or .683″, depending on where you measure it.

We’re often asked to compare the diameters of rims from different makers. Whether a rim measures 17.5 or 18 mm depends on where it’s measured. There’s no “right place” to measure a rim and unless the maker tells you where a rim has been measured it’s impossible to compare.

The Lawson rim shown above was measured at a point .025″ down from its high point (crown). That’s where the “705” number comes from. We think that’s a less-than-ideal place to take a measurement because it’s in the middle of the curve.

Osmun mouthpieces are measured .050″ down from the crown because at that point the rim blends into the cup. So, in our measuring system the diameter would be .683″.  That’s .022″ (.56mm) different.

Other makers may use different measuring points and unless they tell you where they’re measuring, it’s impossible to compare.  So, take rim measurements with a large grain of salt.

 

 

 

Introducing the Osmun Visualizer

Use your own rim! Our new embouchure visualizer features a Giardinelli-compatible thread so you can use it with your regular rim. It fits our rims as well as Giardinelli, Moosewood, Houser, and most other American screw rims. Also available: models for Paxman Halstead-Chidell, Lawson, and others.

 

Allergies a problem? We can duplicate your rim in Delrin or Lucite. Call 978 823-0580 or email for more information.

Chem Clean or Ultrasonic: Which is Best?

Brass instruments have traditionally been cleaned with a combination of soaps and chemical baths, accompanied by a good deal of hand scrubbing. In recent years ultrasonic cleaners have come into the picture, offering a different cleaning method. Which method gets your horn cleaner, which is safer for the horn (and you)?  How do you choose?

valves-beforeAs a brass instrument is played, deposits build up on the inner surfaces. These include old grease and oil, food particles, dental plaque and bacteria, calcium, and copper carbonate, the material formed by the reaction of the acids in your breath and the copper in the alloy. Copper carbonate builds up green, rock-hard deposits. It’s the primary cause of sticking and other action problems in rotary valve instruments. If the mouthpipe is brushed out once a week or so and the instrument is oiled frequently enough, a brass instrument can go for years between Chem/Ultrasonic cleanings. In actual practice, however, this rarely happens and a cleaning is needed every year or so.

A Chem Clean starts with a scrub with brushes and detergents to remove old oil and grease. The instrument is immersed in a mildly acidic solution  which dissolves the calcium and copper carbonate. Areas of heavy buildup can be addressed with acids on a
q-tip. Then the instrument is scrubbed again with detergent to remove any residue and is re-assembled.

Ultrasonic cleaning replaces the hand scrubbing with sound waves. The disassembled instrument is put into a tank of cleaning solution and bombarded with sound waves. The sound waves cause microscopic bubbles to form in the fluid. These bubbles immediately collapse, converting the sound waves into kinetic energy. This process, called  “cavitation”, creates the scrubbing action that cleans the horn. One of the big advantages of ultrasonics is that that scrubbing action reaches all through the inside of the horn, even into areas unreachable by brushes.

valves-afterWhen using ultrasonic cleaners it’s important to be aware of their power and potential for damage. The microscopic bubbles are very good at finding their way into the pinholes left by dezincification and opening them up. So, older instruments and instruments that show any signs of dezincification (red rot) should not be ultrasonically cleaned. Ultrasonic cleaning can also remove some lacquers. So, it’s important to use the least power and the shortest time that will do the job.

Some people have the misconception that ultrasonics replace acids in the cleaning process.  This is not the case. The acids are needed to dissolve the calcium and copper carbonate deposits. The cleaning solutions we use are mild enough to be handled without gloves. We have tested samples for up to four hours of immersion with no measurable loss of metal. (Repair shops and manufacturers used to use Chromic acid to produce a bright brass surface. This material did remove metal and is also a carcinogen. It has been banned by the EPA although, amazingly, you can sometimes still find people using it.)

In our shop, a typical cleaning may involve both ultrasonics and traditional techniques. We choose the combination that’s safest and most effective for the instrument.

Schedule a Cleaning

Meet Genevieve

genevieve600

Genevieve is the newest member of the Osmun team.

We’re happy and excited to welcome Genevieve Rudolph to our team. Genevieve is a trumpet player and a student at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School. She’ll be answering the phone, helping with customers, and helping to keep our display instruments in tip-top condition. You’ll find her here on Saturdays and some weekday afternoons (when her band schedule permits.) We look forward to working with her.

Financing Your New Horn

We’re often asked by customers if we offer financing. The best way to finance a large purchase is with PayPal or a credit card.  PayPal offers six months of no interest financing on purchases over $99. You can choose PayPal financing on our website during the checkout process.  For longer terms, credit cards are the best option. Some cards offer interest-free financing for up to twenty-one months. Sites like Nerdwallet (http://www.nerdwallet.com/the-best-credit-cards) can help you find the best card for your needs and circumstances.

Getting Ready For the Holidays

Choosing gifts for the brass players on your holiday list can be tricky. You want to support and encourage them, but it’s difficult to pick out things will be appreciated. Here are some ideas for presents that will appeal across a wide spectrum.

  • The Maslet horn straight mute is a versatile all-around choice.A Really Good Mute. A professional quality straight mute is a basic item for every trumpet, horn, and trombone player. Horn players need a good fibre mute. Aluminum mutes are standard for trumpet and trombone. If your brass player is using a plastic mute or the old red-and-white fibre kind, a new mute will be welcome.
  • Silent Brass fells and sounds like a concert hall.Silent Brass/ Practice mutes. These specialized mutes for practicing allow a player to warm up or do basic maintenance playing without disturbing people in the next room.
  • Combo tuner-metronomes pack a lot of punch into a small package.Electronic Tuners and Metronomes. Rhythm and pitch are the building blocks of performance. Everybody needs a tuner.
  • Solid, stable, and hold its adjustmentStands and Lights. If your brass player is using a wire stand at home you can bet he or she will appreciate a solid, strong, orchestral stand that can support a heavy load of study materials. A good stand light can be a life-saver in a dimly lit room or pit.
  •  About Playing and PlayersBooks. Books about playing, players, and performance broaden horizons.

Made for Marking MusicStocking Stuffers. Small, inexpensive, and guaranteed to be appreciated: