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Sax on the Web Archive / Buffet Archive / Buffet SDA's and colored needle springs

User ID: 9892733
Jan 25th 12:25 PM
Saxpics, Buffet owners, I'm curious about springs on SDA's. I was reading a thread under maintenance about springs, and it caused me to look at the springs on my 16XXX SDA alto. My springs are all gold or bronze colored (doesn't look like lacquer spray, but a more durable coating that has remained on all springs; only one spring has lost part of the coating, and it looks like it 'fractured' off). The coating is uniform, and so they were colored prior to assembly. The horn has its original 'sparkle' lacquer on keys/rods/guards, and they sprayed the pearls with a very light gold colored lacquer too (Randy Jones of Tenor Madness assures me that this was a factory treatment on the pearls - no, he didn't sell me the horn). I'm assuming that the colored springs are part of Buffet's intended 'look' to go with the sparkle lacquer. My question is, how did they do it, and was this on all their horns, or did they reserve it for the 'sparkle' lacquer horns?
John T.
User ID: 0247944
Jan 25th 2:00 PM
my 8k SDA tenor has orig. blue steel springs, but, its a standard lacquer horn.
User ID: 1007814
Jan 25th 3:15 PM
My SDA and S1 both have bronze springs AFAIK. Brilliant! The SDA has lacquered pearls too...
User ID: 0206274
Jan 25th 11:57 PM
kelly, first, please send pics! The sparkle lacquer horns are some of the most beautiful extant.

You may not like this answer: I've got three different SDA sparkle lacquer tenors on my 'site. I checked 'em all:

- The 1961 tenor has obviously blue steel springs (fairly good shot). The 9xx one from is harder to see, but they look like blue-steel, too.
- The undated one, however, certianly looks like it has gold-colored springs (look at the "sparkle" shots).

I've unfortunately misplaced my Dolnet Sparkle pics (different manufacturer, same idea).

I believe lacquer is sprayed on before the installation of springs, etc. (it'd affect "springiness" otherwise). Steve Goodson's Buffet factory tour seems to agree with this assumption.

One of the S1's (245xx) I have on my 'site also looks like the springs are golden. The silver S1's look like they have SILVER (or stainless steel) springs, too -- but some silver horns look like the springs are golden.

My Dynaction alto had original black/blue needle springs.

BEST ASSUMPTION: Buffet offered Norton gold-plated springs on some of their horns, similar to those on the Buescher 400 "Top Hat" and Buescher "Big B" Aristocrats

SECOND GUESS: Buffet electroplated the springs before installation. (Any metal guys out there who know about plating steel and could say how hard this is?) doesn't have any info on their website about the S1 or earlier and doesn't say anything about the springs on the S3.

I've got a lot to chat with them about. I'll give it a go and see.

User ID: 9892733
Jan 26th 10:19 AM
Saxpics. Thanks for the info and your thoughts. I wonder if they are Norton springs that were plated too. When Randy Jones looked at the horn he mentioned the gold springs in an off-handed way, as if he'd seen them before on Buffets. I'll send pics sometime (don't have a digital camera right now). As for the 'sparkle' lacquer, mine doesn't look like the Cyber-sax tenor and the others on your site. First, only the keys, rods, and guards have it. Second, this treatment looks more like fine parallel lines in the deeper lacquer layers, almost like they were tooled in, then covered with a coat of clear lacquer. They are very effective, in that they catch and reflect light only at certain angles. So as the sax moves, the reflected light will 'flash' at the audience.
User ID: 8715613
Jan 26th 12:05 PM
kelly, that actually sounds like it might even be more beautiful than the other sparkle lac. horns.

If you don't have digital camera, send me an e-mail and we can try snail mail.

I've recently asked for a forum topic on regarding the S1, S2 and S3 models and if that goes well, I'll ask about the springs.

The topics are moderated on the Boosey website, so if my topic's not posted, I'll assume Buffet doesn't wanna talk about it :)