FAQ – The JoyKey

Will one or more JoyKeys affect the sound?

This is, understandably, the most frequently asked question. The short answer is “NO!”

Designed and thoroughly tested by a professional horn player operating in a high pressure European orchestral setting, the JoyKey system has gone through rigorous on the job testing and passed with flying colors. Feedback from numerous audiences (and from professional musicians sitting both on stage and in the hall) listening to an Otto triple horn fitted with eleven JoyKeys has convincingly demonstrated that there is no discernible change in the sound for the human ear after JoyKeys are added to an instrument [» testimonials].
Why is positioning critical?
Extremely important! The JoyKey MUST be placed at the lowest point of the tubing to which it is attached for it to function optimally. The water is drawn through the WaterWick by gravity.

WHEN the holes of your current water keys are positioned correctly for the JoyKey System, you can simply remove the old keys and install the JoyKeys. Otherwise, you have a choice of leaving the original water key on the instrument and installing one or more JoyKeys additionally or removing the original water key and patching the hole.

How are JoyKeys different from normal water keys?

JoyKeys function automatically and have no moving parts. The JoyKey case is made of solid brass or nickel silver. The water rings and screw caps are interchangeable. Once installed, you can forget about the JoyKeys on your instrument except for when a WaterWick needs to be cleaned or replaced. JoyKeys automatically drop the water out of your instrument whilst you are playing, allowing you to maintain a constant “Flow State.” Placing your instrument in/on an appropriate stand when resting facilitates the process of keeping your instrument WaterFree.

At first you might feel a little like someone who has just given up smoking and is wondering what to do with their restless hands. Within a week or two you’ll probably find it hard to remember what it was like to have to pull slides all the time, grab for a water key lever or get upset at having clammed a note or entry because there was water in the lead pipe. You’ll quickly learn to value the peace of mind you have to prepare for your next entry.

How many JoyKeys do I need?

Depending on which brass instrument you play, the model and how many sections of your instrument you want to keep WaterFree, one or more JoyKeys will do the job. One JoyKey on the lead pipe of any brass instrument discharges water before it builds up and significantly reduces the amount of condensation that would normally collect further back in the instrument.

With french horns, adding a second JoyKey on the tubing section between the main tuning slide and the valve block leads to more dramatic results. Again water collects at an even slower rate further back in the instrument.

In addition to the lead pipe, the 3rd valve slide on french horns is a popular and practical JoyKey drainage point. The ideal JoyKey solution, tailored to the needs and preferences of the individual player, can range from having one JoyKey installed on a trumpet or trombone to up to twelve on a triple horn. You know your instrument best and the spots where water collects the most are ideal for installing JoyKeys.

What about replacement parts and WaterWicks?

The WaterWick has been carefully designed to allow optimal water drainage and maintain ideal sound clarity, air flow and quality of performance. The WaterWick lifespan will vary from user to user and JoyKey to JoyKey. We recommend that you clean WaterWicks at regular six week intervals to ensure optimal water drainage. When necessary, replace.

To replace a WaterWick unscrew the cap. Remove the used WaterWick and insert the replacement. Make sure the short end is inserted into the instrument. Check if the O-ring needs to be replaced. Place the O-ring onto the filter end extending out of the instrument. Then screw the cap back on. Finished.

Replacement WaterWick packs that come with a replacement O-ring and screw caps are available from your dealer. Normally, something pretty unusual has to happen before you lose one. If you manage to do something unusual, let us know. We’ll share your unusual story to warn others.

Used WaterWicks can be recycled.

What is the audience impact?

When brass players empty water out of their instruments, audience members are often turned off by what they think is “spit”. Also, all that turning, twisting and clanking can be distracting and irritating for an audience. Fitting your instrument with JoyKeys is the ideal solution for smooth, distraction free performances.

Have further questions?

We’d be happy to help.