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Thread: Lacquer and Plating Material

  1. Lacquer and Plating Material

    Hello everyone,

    I have recently been interested to note that there has been a growing trend in different mouthpiece materials and plating options being explored by players of all standards which is really interesting. It seems that although brass is still the preferred mouthpiece material this is closely being followed by stainless steel and bronze material options. I know a number of years ago, some mouthpieces were replated to match the York range of instruments.

    In terms of instrument silver plating and lacquer finishes seem to be the most popular choices with the Geneva range of instruments having a nickel and rose brass finish to some slides which is quite an interesting look. It seems that people are exploring ways in which to make their instruments unique which is quite an interesting topic in its own right.

    I was having a look through the internet yesterday evening and came across an advertisement featuring cars and it got me thinking of the potential future options which we could see featured on new mouthpieces and instruments.

    I thought it may be an interesting topic to discuss.

    Best Wishes,

    Micah Dominic Parsons

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Summerville (SC)
    Posts
    192
    There are metallic materials other than brass, bronze, and stainless steel used in mouthpieces. For example, while not priced for the faint-of-heart at just over $450, G&W offers euphonium mouthpieces in solid Titanium. See for example:

    https://www.gwmouthpieces.com/collec...ant=7585648961

    G.
    Euph - Wessex EP104 Festivo - 4AL
    Flugel - Kanstul 1525
    Trpt - Adams A4 LB
    Bb Cornet -Carolbrass CCR-7772R-GSS
    Eb Cornet - Carolbrass CCR-7775-GSS

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    2,045
    Fashion. It's all about fashion. (Well, mostly.) People have to have something new and "distinctive". Whether it's a matter of improvement in any sense is (at least in terms of mouthpieces) always a matter of intense debate -- as I'm pretty sure any other responses in this thread will demonstrate.
    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)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    192
    I honestly don't really care about plating and materials. As long as the damn things sound good, fit me, don't rot away under my hands and don't cause harmful physical reactions or activate allergies I honestly couldn't care less.
    Euphoniums
    Willson 2960TA Celebration
    Mouthpiece: Denis Wick 5AL
    1979 Boosey & Hawkes Sovereign (Globe Stamp)
    Mouthpiece: Denis Wick SM4
    Baritone
    1975 Besson New Standard
    Mouthpiece: Denis Wick 6BS

  5. Hello everyone,

    It has been a topic that has interested me especially when linked to the psychological aspects of how plating can effect sound and performance.

    Thank you for all your responses, I really do appreciate your help and support.

    Best Wishes,

    Micah Dominic Parsons

  6. #6
    There are a lot of options out there, but the question is, do they work well for brass instruments. I have tried stainless mouthpieces, but I did not like the feel, and am pretty much a dyed in the wool silver plated brass player. I did consider getting one of the Giddings Titanium mouthpieces, but opted against it. I have enough trouble without getting into option paralysis.

    I think the current plating options have been reached through centuries of experimentation. Nickel was used in the past, but it has issues that silver doesn't. Also with the film thickness, it's unlikely that plating will affect the sound/response in any perceivable way. It's more of a "Feel" thing, as some platings like gold can be "slippery", while silver is "grippy". Some of the finishing methods used on cars are not really suitable for mouthpieces.
    Sterling / Perantucci 1065HGS Euphonium, 1952 B&H Imperial Eb Tuba, Yamaha YBB-631S BBb Tuba, and a bunch of trombones.

  7. Hello TBoneSullivan,

    You are totally right, I think there are so many options out there that it can be quite difficult to make a decision especially as a new player. I am rather curious to see what future developments may happen in the future.

    Best Wishes,

    Micah Dominic Parsons

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Summerville (SC)
    Posts
    192
    I was until recently inclined to believe that, on a euphonium, the finish, be it metal plating, or lacquer, or raw brass would make no difference.... But a lacquer processing defect on my Wessex Festivo has gradually caused a 2" x 2" patch of lacquer to flake off the bottom bow, leaving a clean/shiny raw brass patch... While this lacquer failure is of course quite disappointing, it inspired me to conduct a quick resonance test on the horn....

    A couple days ago, I repeatedly tapped the bald patch with my fingernails, and then repeated the tapping on the normal lacquered area next to the missing lacquer, and discovered there exists a subtle but discernable difference in resonance between the two... The bald raw brass patch seems to resonates with slightly stronger higher frequencies than the pristine lacquered areas.

    This now leads me to suspect that a euphonium finished with a metallic surface such as raw brass or silver plate might in fact yield a very slightly more brilliant tone than a eupho of the same brand/model which has been lacquered, even though the lacquer were the modern super-thin epoxy type.

    Regards, Guido
    Euph - Wessex EP104 Festivo - 4AL
    Flugel - Kanstul 1525
    Trpt - Adams A4 LB
    Bb Cornet -Carolbrass CCR-7772R-GSS
    Eb Cornet - Carolbrass CCR-7775-GSS

  9. Hello Guido,

    Thank you so much for your message, I have tested instruments in a raw state, lacquered state and a plated state and I totally agree that these is a difference, it would be great to see if there has been any scientific experiences conducted into this subject.

    I hope you manage you get everything sorted with your Wessex Festivo! Keep us updated with how everything is going.

    Best Wishes,

    Micah Dominic Parsons

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Summerville (SC)
    Posts
    192
    Hello Mica, and thank you for your well-wishes

    Thankfully, the various blemishes in the Wessex EP104's lacquer do not appear to degrade its tone and playability, which whilst not comparable to those of first tier euphoniums, are certainly dignified, and adequate for an autodidactic babe in the euphonological art.

    Saluti, Guido
    Euph - Wessex EP104 Festivo - 4AL
    Flugel - Kanstul 1525
    Trpt - Adams A4 LB
    Bb Cornet -Carolbrass CCR-7772R-GSS
    Eb Cornet - Carolbrass CCR-7775-GSS

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