Home Trumpet Bach Trumpets – Valve Variations

Bach Trumpets – Valve Variations

by Bach Loyalist

Vincent Bach – Valve Variations

Valve Casings

It is generally understood that prior to S/N 121,7XX (approx. 1977), valve casings were made from 2 pieces. The top part was made of nickel silver. We’re still trying to narrow down this serial number range, please contact us through the header link.

However, it was recently brought to our attention that prior to S/N 121,XXX some valve casings may have been one piece, and out of the same material.

Serial number #597 actually appears to have both the top and bottom valve casing to be made of nickel silver.

In addition, Johan serial number #3112 (1935) has a one piece valve casing (brass).

(Images courtesy of Johan Åkervall)

Valve Guides

The metal (brass) valve guides were replaced with nylon plastic guides during the 1980’s. This was done for further cost/performance reasons.

Valve Serial Number – Casing

The serial number of the trumpet were stamped on the 2nd valve barrel, until in the late 49XXX, in which it was replaced by engraving.

NY Horizontal Serial Number above Bore Size on Upper Right side of valve casing
Mt Vernon Elkhart 2XXXXX’s Bore Size above Horizontal Serial Number on Upper Right Side of valve casing
2XXXXX’s 3XXXXX’s Horizontal Serial Number on Upper Right side, Bore Size on Lower Right side of valve casing
4XXXXX’s 5XXXXX’s Vertical Serial Number on Lower Left side, Bore Size on Lower Right side of valve casing
6XXXXX’s Current Vertical Serial Number above Bore Size on Lower Left side of valve casing

Valve Serial Number – Actual Valve

Also, the instrument serial numbers were also stamped on each valve as shown in this photograph. Some more insight to when this stopped (1970) was discussed on a recent discussion forum.

If you have updated information on this, please contact us. We’re trying to narrow this down, as there seems to be inconsistencies in this.

On valve 49889
On valve 502XX
Not on valve 50782
On valve (Mt. Vernon Cornet) 139XX

Valve Cap Serial Number – Finger Button

In addition the valve caps also had the matching serial numbers applied to the underside. The time period these were applied appears to be different than the matching serial numbers on the valve itself.

On Cap 1816X
Not on Cap 198XX
Other Variations (can not verify if these were original Bach)
Caps marked I, II, III 34xxx

Thanks to users from TrumpetHerald for this narrowed down serial number list on valve caps.

Valve Stamping

Throughout the Mt Vernon period, the second valve was stamped just below the center bell brace as follows as shown in the photograph below.

V. Bach

Valve Plating

In the 1940’s both the following options were available for Bach Trumpets.

  • Nickelplate pistons (nickel over silver base)
  • Chromiumplate pistons

In Jan. 1953, all valves were made of Monel.



© Conn Selmer, Inc.
© Various Images courtesy of Erik Veldkamp
© Early Bach Images courtesy of Jeff Dacks
© BestBrass.jp
© TrumpetHerald.com; various discussion threads (BobXX)
© various users (Fukushima, Dacks)
© Bracing Measurements provided by Marco Rippert
© various corrections, additional serial number ranges from Chris Kase.

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