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Thread: Mouthpieces changing colors

  1. Mouthpieces changing colors

    I have several mp's that I leave sitting out in my music room, and now they're changing color to a gold. Is that just tarnish that can be removed with something like Wright's Silver Cream? And can it be prevented by keeping them in pouches or the original box? Interestingly, the one I play regularly has not changed color and it sits out as well.

  2. Yes this is tarnish. I use Wright's Silver Cream on my mouthpieces and it works great. Yes keeping them in pouches or wrapped in the original small plastic bags they ship in inside of the boxes can help. Leaving them out exposes them to a fresh supply of airborn pollutants (mostly sulpher compounds) that causes tarnish. I was my daily used mouthpieces with handsoap and water just before I practice almost every day and that also keeps it from accumulating tarnish.

    Doug
    Sterling Virtuoso 1065HGS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HGS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  3. After I posted the mp discoloration question above, a related question came to mind. Will the same discoloration appear on my euphonium if I store it out of the case? I just started using the Hercules stand. I intend to store it bell up, but I can do that in the case as well, right?

  4. #4
    Yes, leaving the horn out can speed up the accumulation of tarnish. Much less in the case. I leave my horn out, but it only has a shiny part inside the bell, and I leave a cloth over the top of the bell when it is sitting in the stand. The rest of the horn is brushed brass and sterling silver, so I don't really get anything on that except dust.

    I did notice that my tuba mouthpiece got a ton of tarnish after leaving the tuba out and sitting in the stand. I put it away. I leave my trombone out and in the stand, and the Demondrae silver mouthpiece does get tarnish.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  5. Also yes, it will happen. I just did a complete inside and outside wash on my Sterling Virtuoso. The outside was a reddish-goldish tarnish (on the silver parts, not the actual gold parts). After using my HornRinse and Spitballs to complete the inside wash, I completely dry and disassemble the horn. I use Wright's on the slides and various caps. I use Hagerty's Silversmith's Spray Polish on the body of the horn. It is less abrasive than Wright's and much less abrasive than Hagerty's cream. It gets into all the nooks and crannies. I then spend a LOT of time wiping the horn down using very old and well washed (thus soft) old t-shirts that I save up just for this process. Some of these are torn so there are no hems, thus making it easy to wrap around the inaccessible parts of the valve section. When done, it looks like this:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Sterling009.jpg  
    Sterling Virtuoso 1065HGS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HGS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  6. #6
    My Adams has lacquer over the whole instrument (I suppose to protect the brushed finish), so on my Hercules stand there is not problem with tarnish.

    For a standard silver-plated horn, I suggest using this polish, which I previously used on my Steling silver-plated Virtuoso:

    Hagerty Silver Polish with Tarnish Preventative

    The silver preventative is has kept my Sterling very nice, and did the same on my Besson 967. Even with hard use I could go a long time between polishing jobs. But with the magic ingredient that some polish like this has, silver will tarnish very quickly.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  7. So my Adams custom E1 with the brushed antique-looking finish should be fine, but just watch and clean/polish as needed?

  8. An Adams with the brushed brass finish (in fact with any brushed finish) is lacquered. It will not tarnish. So do NOT, NOT, NOT polish it using of the polishes discussed above. These will scratch the lacquer finish and not do anything useful. Any lacquered surface can be spray cleaned with Windex or something like Pledge to make it look fantastic.
    Last edited by daruby; 10-16-2020 at 05:11 PM.
    Sterling Virtuoso 1065HGS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HGS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  9. Quote Originally Posted by John Morgan View Post
    I leave my horn out, but it only has a shiny part inside the bell, and I leave a cloth over the top of the bell when it is sitting in the stand. The rest of the horn is brushed brass and sterling silver, so I don't really get anything on that except dust.
    John, AFAIK, the brushed finish Sterlings are lacquered. Isn't the inside of the polished bell also lacquered? If so, no need (in fact don't) polish.

    Doug
    Sterling Virtuoso 1065HGS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HGS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by daruby View Post
    John, AFAIK, the brushed finish Sterlings are lacquered. Isn't the inside of the polished bell also lacquered? If so, no need (in fact don't) polish.

    Doug
    Doug,

    I believe the brushed finish on my Adams is indeed lacquered. I actually don't know about inside the bell. It is polished sterling silver. I don't know if that gets lacquered or not. I have not seen any kind of tarnish on that part of the bell, and I have never thought about using any kind of silver polish on it, just a soft damp cloth once in a while (on the whole horn, actually). Since I don't seem to get anything on the shiny inside of the bell resembling tarnish, I guess it must be lacquered. Sounds like a Miel question, or maybe Dave knows. I just read Dave's post above and he says the whole horn gets lacquered, so probably inside the bell, too.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

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