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Synthetic Valve Oil: Use With Caution (except for Berp)
Trumpet Valve Oil

This is from over 10 years ago…

Although I am long time user of petroleum based oil, I decided to give synthetic oil a shot when I bought my new horn (a Callicchio R32). I couldn’t have guessed the effects this would have on my new horn. The purpose of this article is not to recommend synthetic over petroleum based, or visa-versa, rather it is to share my experience and suggest you carefully read the instructions on the bottle.

After about a week of using the synthetic oil, I discovered there was a great deal of corrosion on the third valve stem. I hadn’t noticed it throughout the week.

I couldn’t believe it, A BRAND NEW HORN WITH CORROSION! The synthetic oil caused a CHEMICAL REACTION . The bores and valves were turning black and the pads were changing from white to black. There was also a thin, dark, filmy layer throughout the entire horn. At this point I decided to submerge the valves in distilled vinegar thinking the mild acid would clean the black film. It didn’t work. As soon as I put the horn back together they turned black.

Finally I bit the bullet and took the trumpet to be chemically cleaned. The result? A fully restored horn that retained only small traces of the corrosion in the form of tiny blemishes on the third valve stem.

The repairman told me that my experience is not unusual. They routinely find corrosion in horns oiled with synthetic brands. I’ll tell you this, I sure wish I would have known this before I start squeezing synthetic oil into my new horn. My advice is to CAREFULLY read all instructions on whatever oil you choose.

Hey, you live and learn right?


I have found a new brand called Berp. It is THE best oil in the business! (yes I've literally have tried them all) Berp is very long lasting, and dramatically makes your valves smoother, and faster. Be sure to read about corrosion, and viscosity (very worthwhile) YOU'VE GOT TO TRY THIS FOR YOURSELF. Try a bottle, then you can email me a thank you note... BTW THIS IS Synthetic - But they know what they're doing.

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