Elements of Brass Instrument Construction: Stölzel Valves
The piston valve consists of a cylindrical outer casing
(a) and the piston (b) inside, which fits tightly within the outer casing.
The valve loop (c), as well as the main tubing (d), are soldered to
the outer casing. The piston is perforated with ports (e) that lead
the air stream either straight through the main tubing or into the valve
loop. The valve loop is disengaged or engaged by the up-and-down movement
of the piston within the casing that aligns the ports either with the
main tubing or the valve loop.
This valve type was developed as early as
1814 by Heinrich Stölzel, after whom it is named. The
main difference between the Stölzel valve and the Périnet
and Berlin valves is that the main tubing enters the piston
from below. Two different Stölzel valve models can be
distinguished. In the "early model," the piston is guided and the spring
is stopped by a horizontal screw, going through the outer
casing. In the "later
model," the spring is enclosed in a barrel;
therefore, no screw is visible at the valve casing. Guidance
is provided by a key fitting in a groove or keyway at the
Click here to see an animation that shows how air flows through Stölzel valves (requires free Shockwave Player software to view).
I. Early Model Stölzel Valve
Parts of a piston valve (letters refer to diagrams at right and
|a = valve casing|
|b = piston|
|c = valve loop with slide|
|d = main tubing|
|f = touchpiece, finger tip, lever|
|g = valve stem|
|h = top valve cap|
|l = return spring|
|q = spring barrel or capsule||
Early model Stölzel valve with horizontal guiding screw.
Left valve: open. Right valve: closed. Valve at far right: turned 90-degrees.
II. Later Model Stölzel Valve
Later Stölzel valve with spring inside capsule.
Left valve: open. Right valve: closed.
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