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.

 

Osmun Music’s Visit to the Northwest!

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Osmun Music will be headed west for the Northwest Horn Symposium at Pacific Lutheran University on March 23-25th. Bob Osmun and Taylor Allen will be on hand with the Osmun Horn Mouthpieces along with a few Finke and Engelbert Schmid Horns. Please stop on by to try out our standard, replica, and signature model horn mouthpieces. Bob Osmun will be available for horn repair estimates and mouthpiece consultations.

The Symposium will feature three days of intense horn presentations, performances and pedagogy. Guest artists include Leelanee SterrettBernhard Scully and the horns of the Seattle Symphony. These artists will work with master class participants, share their expertise and perform in special concerts. Regional artists and scholars are invited contribute their special projects and music making. All horn players and enthusiasts are welcome. This year, there will be a horn quartet competition for any non-professional groups, with cash prizes. The event will also feature vendors for many of your horn, music, and gear needs.

This Symposium is open to the public. The following link has all the info. Hope to see you there!

https://www.plu.edu/northwest-horn-symposium-2018/

Engelbert Schmid Double Horn In Stock!

Osmun Music just received an Engelbert Schmid Double Horn in stock configuration*. Here’s a quick video of it. It’s here in the shop for anyone to try out. These horns are amazingly easy to play. If you were thinking about getting an Engelbert Schmid double, this one is available without the wait.

*Lacquered Yellow Brass, Two Water Keys, & Hand Rest (Bell is currently a medium spun yellow brass)

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.

Cleaning Schmid Horns

Osmun Music has been servicing fine horns for almost fifty years. The chemicals and processes we use have been exhaustively tested and are safe and effective. However, we do adhere to Schmid’s repair protocols when servicing Engelbert Schmid instruments. That means no chemical baths are used on rotors and corrosion is removed by mechanical processes. We will be happy to explain the process in detail and respect your wishes.

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