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Thread: Nitrocellulose vs Epoxy Lacquer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Sacramento, CA area

    Nitrocellulose vs Epoxy Lacquer

    Lacquer composition seems to be an interesting topic around here lately ( see posts 13, 14, and 15). So I thought that I would ask my question. Can you tell whether a horn has nitrocellulose or epoxy lacquer by looking at it? If so, what do you look for? A lot of us buy horns with only a few digital pictures to go on. It would be nice if a picture could tell us about the lacquer too.

    If there is not a characteristic look to nitrocellulose versus epoxy lacquer, are we basically left with researching the serial number to find the age, and then researching the age to see which lacquer the manufacturer used when the horn was made?

    If researching obscure horn production details is all we have to go on, maybe we can concentrate our knowledge here. If folks will chime in with the brands and models they know of, and whether the company was using nitrocellulose or epoxy lacquer, I can try to put it into a quick reference format. That should benefit the group and future tuba/euphonium buyers alike.

    - Sara
    Last edited by Sara Hood; 03-12-2020 at 09:02 PM.
    Baritone - 3 Valve, Compensating, JinBao JBBR1240

  2. #2
    Nitrocellulose lacquer can turn yellowish over time. However a lot of companies also tint their lacquer, so that's not really a good way to tell. The wear patterns with nitro, acrylic, and epoxy lacquer are going to be approximately the same. I've got a 1994 King trombone, which is not nitro, and a 2000 Bach 42T, which is, and they both have about the same about of wear in the same places. I have not really noticed much of a difference of durability to mechanical wear.

    I think really the only way to tell is to know what make of horn it is, and when it it was made. I have two Kanstul trombones, and I have no idea what type of finish they used.
    Sterling / Perantucci 1065HGS Euphonium, 1952 B&H Imperial Eb Tuba, Yamaha YBB-631S BBb Tuba, and a bunch of trombones.

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