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Distinguished SOTW member, musician, technician &
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4,981 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi

Is there a way to tell between black lacquer and black nickel plating? What about for a sax you can't see (i.e. how would you tell anyone to check if it's nickel of lacquer)?

On new Chinese saxophones, is it more likely to be black nickel or black lacquer?

Thanks!
 

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Distinguished SOTW Technician, Forum Contributor 2
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1,760 Posts
I have two asian-made black nickel plated saxes and have seen many others. From what I've experienced, black nickel plate varies quite a bit, from a smoky gray to bluish gray to a deeper black. In all cases I've seen, it has a underlying metalic-silver color to it.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2012
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4,370 Posts
It's usually pretty easy to tell the difference in person. In photos not as easy. Selmer, Yanagisawa, and Yamaha use black lacquer. Keilwerth and Paul Mauriat's use black nickel. Previously the VMI/B&S/Chicago Jazz Series had black nickel versions too. The many different Chinese horns could be either.....
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member
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3,875 Posts
Black lacquer is just a solid dark black color. Black Nickel is grayish and kind of has a ghost/see through quality to it. Also, under some flourecent lights, the black nickel will get this rainbow effect in squiggles and circles.
 
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