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Thread: GENERAL: Horn finish

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    2,000
    I have had excellent (and quick) work done by the Kanstul shop on mouthpieces (including plating). They are very professional to deal with. I was unaware that they were doing the plating on entire instruments.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Nashville, Tennessee
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    6
    Hey guys,
    I play on a Besson Sovereign BE968. I was more so just curious on the whole topic. I don't know if I'd really consider it. I do not like lacquer on my instrument, though. The look nor feel. I have been looking into getting a Willson 2900s, but those are hard to find, especially in my price range. I also don't really know how much I could get for my horn if I sold it.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by atmullican View Post
    Hey guys,
    I play on a Besson Sovereign BE968. I was more so just curious on the whole topic. I don't know if I'd really consider it. I do not like lacquer on my instrument, though. The look nor feel. I have been looking into getting a Willson 2900s, but those are hard to find, especially in my price range. I also don't really know how much I could get for my horn if I sold it.
    Well, what's your price range, if you don't mind me asking? And, why are you leaning towards a Willson 2900s? And, would you consider buying my Besson 967 in silverplate, or a Yamaha 641 in silverplate I've got coming in? They're both under $3.5K. Anyways, ruthless self-promotion aside, realize that plating affects the sound; silver horns are brighter than their warm lacquer counterparts. AND, one of the reasons silverplate is used on pro horns so much is that silverplate stands up over time much better. And depending on the condition of the lacquer on your 968, I'd say you could get about $3K for it in perfect nick if you sold it to a school or inexperienced student. There's a couple Willsons available for sale on TubeNet in the $5.5K range, you might wanna check them out.

  4. Aren't modern epoxy lacquers quite thin? I recall on discussions I've read that some have mentioned how the old nitrocellulose lacquers were quite thick, as well as being not as durable as modern epoxy ones.
    Christopher Chen
    bolded are for sale
    B&H 967 - Globe Stamp
    B&H 960 (3 valve comp euph) - Globe Stamp
    Salvation Army Triumphonic Eb Alto, silver plated


    On the lookout for:
    Silver plated:
    pre '93, post '06 Sovereign Alto/Tenor Horn
    pre '93, post '06 Sovereign Baritone (3 valve)

    York/Sterling/LMI variants accepted

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaTweeka View Post
    ... realize that plating affects the sound; silver horns are brighter than their warm lacquer counterparts.
    Not to start a raging argument, but I'm pretty sure I've seen at least one pretty well done study that sort of killed off this belief. I'm sure this debate will rage forever. But you will find as many people who deny this kind of statement as endorse it. Here's a brief treatment of it and some of the claims, counterclaims, and arguments.

    http://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/v....php?p=1215152

    Perhaps the most that can be said is that no one has offered anything convincing except that heavily lacquered instruments MAY sound a bit different, but even this is denied by some. People will believe what they want to about this and continue to contradict one another.

    Interestingly, flute players don't tend to dwell on this dispute as much as "brass" players, even though their instruments are typically either silver-plated brass or silver (or maybe gold-plated). They generally attribute differences in the sound to things like the (surprise) thickness of the flute body or to whether it has soldered or "drawn and rolled" tone holes. Here is a typical comment from one of them in a thread concerning the relative merits of silver-plated vs. solid silver:
    This mental predisposition often influences players into making a decision that is less than ideal. Don't get hung up on metal content but rather the way it plays.

    Good advice.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  6. #16
    Fair enough. And I wholeheartedly agree; it's not about stereotypes, it's about the sound (though these stereotypes can inform the decision you make, especially when buying blind, even though it's a terrible idea). And given that the article is from a trumpet forum, I'm reasonably swayed by that; trumpets are incredibly sensitive instruments. However, I think it also stands to reason that different finishes mean different materials, and therefore different densities, so different finishes maybe vibrate differently. Whether it's a drastically perceivable difference remains to be seen, but this makes me think of the following, which I believe was mentioned earlier somewhere; Do manufacturers lacquer plate their lower quality horns and silver plate their better ones? Woo, conspiracy theories ahoy! Anyways, to restate a platitude, it's about what plays well, and THEN what you think looks good.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaTweeka View Post
    Do manufacturers lacquer plate their lower quality horns and silver plate their better ones?
    Doubtful. Different finishes are generally available in different quality levels of instruments. It would require quite a bit of individual testing, or at least additional inspection, to filter out the "best" instruments of each level for silver plating. Additionally, if you look at the history of instrument manufacture (at least in the US), you'll see some views expressed that the increase in silver finish horns (particularly trumpets) actually began in the lower end lines since making a shiny silver finish is cheaper than making a better horn. And it was easier than lacquering ... way back when.

    Plus, and I know this is really difficult to believe, some people actually don't like silver instruments. (I'm okay with gold -- that's really easy to take care of -- but a bit pricey .) I also SUSPECT that attraction to silver plate, at least in the larger instruments, may be skewed nationally. It just seems to me that Brits and Americans seem to go for the silver more than the Europeans, for example. And it also seems to be the case that if you want to be a professional euphonium player, then you MUST have a silver-plated instrument. I mean ... go on Youtube and just try to find a euph player who's playing a lacquered or raw brass horn. Ah ... I found ONE. Thomas Ruedi --- who plays a (mostly) lacquered brass euphonium and is ... uh ... Swiss (fitting in with a theory I just expressed). Except in more recent pictures he is shown holding a silver horn. I give up.
    Last edited by ghmerrill; 06-03-2013 at 06:07 AM. Reason: For the umlaut. Okay that didn't work. So going with 'ue'
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  8. #18
    We're building a tangent here, but I'll jump in (with some trepidation). My opinions are based on the opportunity to try many, many horns over the years. Because I have been a clinician for Besson, Sterling, and now Adams, I've had perhaps more chances than many folks to try different variations of the same basic design.

    Those who know me or my writings know that I like to qualify statements. However, I am 100% convinced that there IS a difference in performance when different metal/alloys are used. Period.

    Now, about plating... First, here is a blog entry from a couple years ago with some observations:
    http://www.dwerden.com/forum/entry.p...Lacquer-Finish

    Note particularly the part about how manufacturers may prepare the raw brass differently depending on whether it will be lacquered or plated (or left raw, for that matter, but I didn't go into that). That makes for a major discrepancy compared to the Schilke example Gary posted above. Schilke started with 3 identical instruments and then plated one, lacquered one, and left one raw. So any differences in pre-treatment are ruled out, assuming the description of the methodology is correct.

    My own impressions are that lacquer does sound a bit warmer, but that is based on limited exposure. There just haven't been all that many lacquered horns in front of me. But the sweetest Sterling and Besson I ever played were both lacquered.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
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    Ummm ... I seem to also recall something about ...

    Isn't it the case that (for the highest quality silver plating), the object being silver-plated is first copper-plated, and then the silver plating bonds to the copper? Again, this is a VERY thin plating of copper (we're talking microns, I think) and so it is difficult to believe it could have much effect. But still ...

    One other problem with lacquer not mentioned in Dave's blog entry is this: Not only will lacquer scratch (allowing oxidation of the exposed metal), but if an extraordinarily thorough job is not done of cleaning and de-oxidizing the brass prior to lacquering, such oxidation (or other chemical reaction) will take place UNDER the lacquer and appear as "spotting". This may take years to appear, but it is actually quite common to varying degrees. My red brass Cerveny exhibited this "feature" in a few small areas. I expect that this problem is independent of the improvements in lacquer itself, and is wholly dependent on the surface preparation.

    It is sometimes said that raw brass is very labor intensive to take care of. But this is true only if you need to polish it regularly in order to keep it bright -- rather than going with a nice patina. In that case it is indeed at least as troublesome as silver .
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  10. I am not sure who polished it with what but my Globe Stamp 967 has hardly tarnished for over a year now. Even in the annoying places like the crevices of the valve block. Basically I'm just saying that silver plate really isn't that troublesome to take care of. Or maybe this Globe Stamp is just amazing. Can anyone else report on how often their silver horns need to be polished?
    Christopher Chen
    bolded are for sale
    B&H 967 - Globe Stamp
    B&H 960 (3 valve comp euph) - Globe Stamp
    Salvation Army Triumphonic Eb Alto, silver plated


    On the lookout for:
    Silver plated:
    pre '93, post '06 Sovereign Alto/Tenor Horn
    pre '93, post '06 Sovereign Baritone (3 valve)

    York/Sterling/LMI variants accepted

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