How do I Change the String on my French Horn?

The arrangement of the valve string bar relative to the cork stops may be in one of two positions and both are illustrated as A or B. Your horn may have all the valves the same or a mixture. Check and follow the diagram and instructions for whichever is appropriate. In the description, the large screw will be referred to as the ‘rotor screw’ and the smaller screw that contacts the rubber or cork stoppers will be referred to as the ‘stop-arm screw’. The screw nearest the end of the bar (which is not part of the rotor assembly) will be referred to as the ‘end screw’.
  1. Take a length of valve string and tie a double knot at one end. Pass through hole as shown.
  2. Take the free end part-way around the rotor screw (anti-clockwise for A, clock-wise for B), having loosened the stop-arm screw to accommodate the string.
  3. Pass string (clockwise for A, anti-clockwise for B) under the stop-arm screw, and adjust the position of the lever to approximate height desired. Tighten the stop-arm screw temporarily.
  4. Carry the string (anti-clockwise for A, clockwise for B) around the rotor screw, and pass along as shown to end-hole of bar and feed it through.
  5. Hold stop-arm screw against the stop (as shown by arrow) and wind string clockwise around the end screw when taut. Tighten end screw. The lever height may be adjusted by loosening the stop-arm screw and then re-tightening. The end screw may then need a slight adjustment to take up any slack. Cut off the string leaving about 1 inch to spare for ease in subsequent re-threading.
  6. The level of the finger-plates may be adjusted by loosening the collar-spigot screw and then re-tightening. The screw at the end of the bar may then need a slight adjustment to take up any slack. Cut off the string leaving about 2cm spare for ease in subsequent re-threading.

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