Another item that arrived for review not long ago was Monster valve oil.
Backing up, horn players typically use three or four types/grades of oil on their instruments. This “Ask Dave” article explains the topic further, but in short you need:
- light oil for the valves
- heavier oil for the bearings
- slide grease
And, if your horn has mechanical linkages on the valves:
- ball joint linkage oil
The Monster line (website here) includes three grades of light oil (original, faster, and smoother), slide grease, and “slide oil.” The last item, while seeming to not be a product you could use on a horn (it is for kick slides on a trumpet), it is a heavier formulation and I found it worked well as a bearing oil (although it would be easier to use as such if it was in a needle point bottle).
I have given the line a good trial on various of my horns. It works well, and in particular the slide oil effectively quieted the noisy bearings on my 19th century style single F horn used on my recording project last week (series starts here). I also like the slide grease quite a bit.
Exactly how Monster oil compares to Hetman for example I can’t really say, I am not a chemist. The interesting side point I think is how the line is presented compared to others that horn players more typically use. Hetman comes across as being a bit more scientific in nature, and of course they have products that are aimed specifically at rotary valve use with needle point bottles. On the other hand, I know horn players who like to use Fat Cat oil because it has a kitty on the bottle. I don’t think any one of these three brands is the best, but you certainly give a bit different impression to your friends and colleagues if you have oil with a kitty on it compared to oil with a monster on it or oil in a white and green bottle.
Finally, I would mention that Monster oil has also produced a series of “Brass Chats” videos, part of their marketing but also a service to the brass world. Check them out here, this video below being a great teaser.