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Sound quality : raw brass vs lacquer vs plating



 
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GEORGE LYMAN
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:49 am    Post subject: Sound quality : raw brass vs lacquer vs plating Reply with quote

I would appreciate hearing thoughts about sound quality of horns that are raw brass vs lacquered vs plated silver or gold .
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deleted_user_fdb91a0
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only surface coating that will affect the sound and response is lacquer, which will deaden the sound and slow down the response. I have learned this firsthand after stripping a lacquered 8340EM down to the raw brass. The difference was night and day...and positive.

Raw brass and silver/gold are indistinguishable.
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trumpet.trader
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The differences between lacquer and raw brass are minimal in my experiences.

Silver, gold plate and raw brass all seem to respond the same to me.

Some lacquer instruments have had a slightly diffused and less resonance and slower response. But I think the player will notice the subtle changes more than any listener will.

Iíve had lacquer stripped on several instruments sometimes because of bad aging finish and other times out of curiosity on how the horn would respond. And Iíve had mixed results. Sometimes there has been improvement, sometimes not.
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trumpet.trader
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More important than anything about raw brass to me is maintenance. Instead of a quick wipe down with a lacquer or silver rag there is so much more involved to keep the horn clean and not stinky.

Some guys like the patina and look, but I think itís a hassle. My hands always turn green, my cases get that stinky odor, and with out protective finish the horn is literally disintegrating in slow motion.

Iíve had lots of vintage horns over the years and I no longer buy or take trades with raw brass horns. Iím sure Iíve missed out on good instruments, but itís just too much of a hassle for me.
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jazzhorn04
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a Yamaha 8335LA Bergeron model in lacquer that I had stripped. I had owned the horn for about 8 months at this point so I knew it pretty well. When I got it back, I definitely noticed some differences. Quicker response, more open, overall just easier to play. Note that I said it felt different, not sounded different. The change in sound, for me, came from the horn being easier to play, which made it easier to get to the sound in my head.
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Robert Rowe
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have every iteration here mentioned.

The differences are very subtle, if any. I have the knack of achieving "my sound", regardless.


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John Mohan
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

drewwilkie86 wrote:
The only surface coating that will affect the sound and response is lacquer, which will deaden the sound and slow down the response. I have learned this firsthand after stripping a lacquered 8340EM down to the raw brass. The difference was night and day...and positive.

Raw brass and silver/gold are indistinguishable.


Same here. I bought my first Benge CG trumpet through Claude Gordon and he ordered it for me with the features he preferred - lacquered finish, brass valve guides and no thumb hoop (his thumb was fairly wide and it would get stuck in the Benge thumb hoops). I liked the horn and played it for years. But then when I got the lacquer stripped from it, the sound became brighter and the horn just felt more alive - a significant improvement.
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RandyTX
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's worth noting that the type of lacquer as well as the thickness and other properties of it have changed, especially in the recent past. Not all lacquer coatings have the same properties.

Blanket statements about "all lacquer coatings do <x>" are about as useful as "all short people do <x>"
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TKSop
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I had my sop cornet prototype silver plated (having played it raw for about 9 months)...

The sound seemed basically identical in isolation - that is, in an even remotely decent acoustic where you could hear yourself clearly, almost nothing had changed.

What seemed to have changed a little bit was the feedback - I found during rehearsals I'd hear less of myself (less volume and less shimmer) even though noone else noticed the slightest difference, and even when I wouldn't hear any difference in isolation.
Playing two examples side by side (one plated, one unplated) in a decent acoustic I couldn't discern any significant difference at all.


So I guess it depends...

But regardless, the raw just isn't fun (for me) to use - it seems to get ugly, doesn't feel nice to hold and makes your hands stink.
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RandyTX wrote:
It's worth noting that the type of lacquer as well as the thickness and other properties of it have changed, especially in the recent past. Not all lacquer coatings have the same properties.

Blanket statements about "all lacquer coatings do <x>" are about as useful as "all short people do <x>"


I agree, and I also think that like many small changes made to any horn, horn A may react very differently from horn B might to the exact same change, in this case the finish.

Brad
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GEORGE LYMAN
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Appreciate knowing your experiences ! Thank you !
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Robert Rowe
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have come to prefer the aesthetic of raw-brass instruments. "Funky", and all.

Even, when sitting as an audience member, I recoil when seeing "shiny" / new-looking / highly-polished wind instruments. I can usually stereotype the players of same .... (I'll refrain from further comments, regarding that)

~ r2 ~
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dstpt
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a used, raw brass Lawler C trumpet about a year ago. It was a big step for me, having been primarily a (silver) Bach B-flat and C player for most of my career. Did not care for the smell the raw brass left on my hands, so I finally decided to have it finished this past fall. With advice from the brass tech, we settled on brushed silver plate for the body, where the hands primarily touched, and copper plating on the slides/valve tops/bottoms/buttons and the detachable bronze bell. Lacquer was applied to the copper-plated sections to minimize oxidization. Looks great and it did not change the playability whatsoever...to my ear and a few other pros who have heard/played it since. Maybe some would argue that the partial silver is keeping it from being deadened as much. The lacquer process today is not the same as it was during the 1960s, when Reynold Schilke wrote his article, contending silver over lacquer. Someone else can chime in with details about these differences today. Perhaps manufacturers (like Yamaha) use varying lacquer techniques...not sure. The work on this Lawler C was done at Anderson.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/remnyprh0g6lr8w/Lawler%20C%20Trumpet-Finish%20with%20Copper%20Bell-01.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/k3whzzq89anmwfg/Lawler%20C%20Trumpet-Finish%20with%20Copper%20Bell-02.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/tbv5oiebqqwhs5e/Lawler%20C%20Trumpet-Finish.jpg?dl=0
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Robert Rowe
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How much ($$$) ?

~ r2 ~
deplorable horn player
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dstpt
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert Rowe wrote:
How much ($$$) ?

~ r2 ~
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About $800 (and that also included installing the Saturn water keys, which was minimal).
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Dale Proctor
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you think lacquer affects your horn, it will. If you think it doesn't, it won't. It's even easier to tell a difference when you send it out for a lacquer job or to have it stripped, especially if it's not available to play for a couple weeks...
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