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Okay, everyone in my sax section at my school always says don't get a black lacquered saxophone. Other than you can't march with it, I don't see whats wrong with them. I've been wondering why they hate them so much. Can anyone tell me the difference other than color?
Thanks
 

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The fact that you cannot march with one (for reasons I do not understand) would be sufficient incentive for me to buy one.
No difference whatsoever....just the colour.
 

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Possibly harder to sell? Some big bands require the sax section to have the same color horns.
 

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The fact that you cannot march with one (for reasons I do not understand) would be sufficient incentive for me to buy one.
No difference whatsoever....just the colour.
Ha! If it kept me out of marching band, I would buy one too. I didn't play in school band, but marching never looked fun to me.
 

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First. Stop using the word "hate" unless you mean it. It's hyperbole and stupid.

Second, the answer is easy. Your section mates are going on rumour; what they "heard", not what they experienced. Their information is probably third-hand at the very best.

Third, (controversial statement alert)
- in some sax manufacturers' product lines, their black saxes likely are a bit darker sounding than their lacquered-finished saxes but for reasons other than the colour. Also,

- scratches and such wear look worse and show up quicker on black-finished saxes.
- they can cost more than other finishes in the same model types by the same manufacturers.
- they are much heavier because the black finish adds more weight than the lighter lacquer.
- - (OK sorry, couldn't resist. ;-)

It's likely that your section mates don't even know much of what is being posted above and are just blowing it out their *****. Don't pay them any attention.
 

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I don't see what it really matters in marching band. Most bands I've seen this year have a mixture of regular clear lacquer and gold epoxy/antique finishes. A black sax in the mix should not make much difference.

And other than looks, there's absolutely no difference. The black ones just seem to get scratched up after a while and get kind of ugly.
 

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It's been my experience that on the black saxes with the gold/polished brass lacquered keys, the keys tarnish/discolor before the black nickle plate. Grover Washington, Jr. and Tom Scott played them, probably a lot of others.

If you don't have one and your band director or leader says don't, you can either listen to them or not play for them... that's about the only real decision you have that makes a difference.
 

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First. Stop using the word "hate" unless you mean it. It's hyperbole and stupid.

Second, the answer is easy. Your section mates are going on rumour; what they "heard", not what they experienced. Their information is probably third-hand at the very best.

Third, (controversial statement alert)
- in some sax manufacturers' product lines, their black saxes likely are a bit darker sounding than their lacquered-finished saxes but for reasons other than the colour. Also,

- scratches and such wear look worse and show up quicker on black-finished saxes.
- they can cost more than other finishes in the same model types by the same manufacturers.
- they are much heavier because the black finish adds more weight than the lighter lacquer.
- - (OK sorry, couldn't resist. ;-)

It's likely that your section mates don't even know much of what is being posted above and are just blowing it out their *****. Don't pay them any attention.
IMHO this is the most insightful and "accurate" answer in this thread. I've had my S80-II Black laq soprano since 1993ish and the lacquer looks great to this day. The black lacquer horns consistently sounded darker than their counterparts from the same manufacturer which is why bought it among other reasons. And yes,this horn has always felt heavier than other horns.
 

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IMHO this is the most insightful and "accurate" answer in this thread. I've had my S80-II Black laq soprano since 1993ish and the lacquer looks great to this day. The black lacquer horns consistently sounded darker than their counterparts from the same manufacturer which is why bought it among other reasons. And yes,this horn has always felt heavier than other horns.
If it were highly polished I assume it would then be brighter. [rolleyes]
 

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I have a black chrome tenor with gold lacquered keys, and I think it looks awesome( I like "gaudy & pimp", lol). it plays sorta on the dark side but I think that's the model as much as anything....who knows, don't care. if you take care of em they will look good for a long time, if you don't the horn will have a lot of scratches & dings that really show up.
 

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- scratches and such wear look worse and show up quicker on black-finished saxes.
That is probably true on black lacquered horns. Some of the black saxophones are plated with a dark metal (instead of black lacquer). Those ones shouldn't scratch or look any worse than a regular brass lacquer sax. They may even be more rugged.

- they are much heavier because the black finish adds more weight than the lighter lacquer.
I didn't know that. They must add something pretty heavy to the lacquer.
 

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That is probably true on black lacquered horns. Some of the black saxophones are plated with a dark metal (instead of black lacquer). Those ones shouldn't scratch or look any worse than a regular brass lacquer sax
They do scratch and the contrast amplifies the defects.

They may even be more rugged.
Not so.

I didn't know that. They must add something pretty heavy to the lacquer.
Tungsten nitride.

<BS filter options: Believe no more that two of these statements.>
 

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Tungsten nitride.
Beat me to the punch. Before I read your post, I was going to add:
Kryptonite. It's not that it's any heavier. You're just weaker, so it seems heavier.
 

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It's just personal preference. I think Black Lacquer horns with gold keys look like pimp horns. Yuck!

As always, YMMV!
 

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I'm assuming by the context you are in high school. With that aside it depends on how it plays for you try horns of all finishes or none at all. Whichever plays the best is the one you should choose. Don't go for the black lacquer just because it looks cool either, looks are secondary. If my parents wuld have let me have my way in high school I would have ended up with a Mark VI with a not so perfect finish, but they insisted that they not pay 5 grand for a used instrument.
 

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Black lacquer looks worse than black nickel, but neither ages well. I de-lacquered my black horn over the summer and though it's tarnished quite a bit now, it has a much more likeable character (visually) than before. It plays and sounds exactly the same now as before.
 
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