Care & Maintenance
With only minimal time and effort a routine of regular maintenance, you will enjoy your instrument for much longer. To keep your Melton / Meinl-Weston instrument in the best possible condition, please consider the following information.
To help you in taking proper care we deliver with each instrument a small accessory bag complete with a soft cloth, grease and a bottle of valve oil especially suited to your instrument – depending on whether your instrument is a piston or rotary valve type.
Piston Valves should be pulled out of the valve casings and oiled preferably every time you play.
Note: Please do not oil your piston valves from the bottom caps – this method does not allow the oil to get to the whole surface it needs to lubricate.
Rotary Valves should be oiled by applying rotary valve oil at the spindle bearings (under the back cap and under the stop arm) once a week. The moving parts of the Lever mechanisms and Steel Ball linkages should be oiled with the rotary valve oil monthly.
Note: Please do not oil the inside rotors through the leadpipe or the valve slides as this will only wash the slide grease into the valve and slow down the rotor.
Moving and greasing Main Tuning and Valve Slides at least once a month will help to prevent stuck slides. To grease the slides, first remove the slide and wipe off the old grease, then apply fresh slide grease to the end of one slide tube and twist this slide tube while pushing it in. This will evenly distribute the grease. Repeat with second slide tube; then insert the slide normally and wipe off excessive grease. If the slides seem hard-working, a little oil can be used to thin the grease.
To protect the instrument from its first day on, it is coated with a baked clear lacquer that does not affect the tonal qualities. As an option, instruments can be silver plated.
To keep the instrument surface perfect as long as possible, we deliver all instruments in a soft, surface- protecting wrapping bag. This bag will keep your instrument scratch free when not in use. You can help to keep your instrument in its original condition by keeping the following in mind: Hard objects like watches, rings or other jewelry, objects of your clothing as buttons and belt buckles may cause scratches even on the highly resistant durable lacquer. After playing, be sure to wipe your instrument off with a soft cloth, if necessary with a special lacquer polish (on lacquered instruments only) or silver polish (silver plated instruments only).
Flush out the instrument regularly using a cleaning brush. Afterwards, rinse the instrument with lukewarm, clean water and finally apply oil to the valves as well as grease to the slides as described above.
Also, the instrument should be given some time to dry after playing – packing it into a case or gig bag while still moist will lead to red-rot in the long term.
Consider it a daily task to clean the mouthpiece with a mouthpiece brush. Even small particles in the backbore can influence the response and intonation drastically.
In case your rotary valve instrument does not respond in the usual way please check for correct valve alignment by looking for the marks under the bottom valve cap. If the marks on the bearing plate and the rotor do not align perfectly, you should check the corks in the horseshoe.
A worn out waterkey cork will also result in bad sound and response. Your dealer usually has these and other spare parts on stock.
If other problems occur, please do not hesitate to contact your local dealer who usually can solve problems quickly.