Holton 'short-action' sousaphone

I started this project just a couple of months ago from a parts horn that I purchased on The Web.  The sousa was missing one piston and had quite a bit of body damage.  I could have made a replacement piston but was luck enough to find a full set of them.  (Thanks, Lee!)  Apparently these 'short-action' Holtons are very rare so I haven't been able to find out much about them.  I've seen one other picture of a 'short-action' valve section on an upright body.  The serial number of my sousa indicates that it was made in 1946.  Any information you have on these rare old horns would be very much appreciated.  The piston configuration is unlike any other valveset ever produced.  The ports in the piston resemble sort of an 'unrolled' rotor.  The open bugle port... the circuit that normally runs through the valves...  connecting the casings with short sections of tubing, is totally different.  The bugle circuits resemble those that are found on compensating valves.  I've heard reports that these horns were very stuffy but I do not find that to be the case.  The only drawback that I can see is that the pistons HAVE to fit very well since there is not very much 'seal' area involved.  The two pistons that are pictured are 'spares'.  The ones actually in the horn are in much better condition!  Email me if you have comments or new information.


This page created on February 24, 2009

Last edited on February 24, 2009

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