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Discussion Starter #1
I am contemplating the idea, as suggested by my repairman, to have one of my relacquered Martin Committees chemically stripped.
It is very affordable, about 120$ (plus reassembly work), if keys are left out of the stripping work. He is very confident the sound will improve enormously.

Has anybody here experienced positive outcomes from a similar work?
 

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I have been thinking about doing the same for a horn.My question is, who does the chem. strip?
if you don't mind sharing. Why would you not get the keys stripped to?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
swingout said:
Why would you not get the keys stripped to?
That's because in that case it turns into a major overhaul. All pads need to be unglued and (possibly) replaced. It then comes stripping + repadding work, about 800$ canadian.

I don't know who does the stripping since my repaiman would send the horn out to have this done. I think who does plating/lacquer work does also stripping (but I may be wrong...).
 

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if all he is doing is stripping the old laquer, i am not sure i see how this will improve the sound dramatically outside of fixing any adjustment issues when its reassmbled or bringing to light some tonehole leaks that are there.

i would say wait till you have the horn overhauled.

i've played and worked on a fair amount of martin tenors, some pretty, some ugly, some OL, some relaqs, some bare brass. and the best playing horns, were the well adjusted ones with good pads and resos and nice moderate key heights.
 

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Buy some Feree's Cold Strip and save yourself about $115. You just put it on, wait five minutes, and wipe it off. If you want to strip the keys (if they are nickel-plated) you can get a nickel stripper from Caswell. It involves putting the keys, sans pads of course, in a warm bath of the solution, and wiping off the nickel. I did this to an old Evette tenor and it came out with that uniform patina that old horns get. By the way, I'm selling that horn cheap in the marketplace.
 

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The story is not exclusive to Martins - it's been hashed and rehashed so many times. If ANYTHING comes of stripping the lacquer, it's a result of the care taken in reassemblying the horn and setting it up. Just ask your tech to take it apart and set it up key by key. Get all the leaks out and set the venting of each key. If it's never been done, your horn will be better (unless your tech is not so good and then it will not benefit from the lacquer strip either).

If you've looked over Randy Jones' website, you'll see that he offers exactly that as a service on brand new horns. I had him go through one of my tenors after I played it for several years. Plays great and I didn't even have to strip the lacquer!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok, I see consensus here for a non-go decision.
I am actually not unsatisfied at all of that Martin and have full trust on both skills and honesty of this guy.
He made me curious saying "I am sure this one would do even better if totally stripped" and thought to give a try with the one of my Martin tenors that is not a great looker and won't lose much appeal in bare brass.
Since nobody think it would be worthy I guess I'll pass. He's not pressing me, so it's any easy pass too...

Thanks for all the replies.
 

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lots of people have different notions. he may honestly think it will play better.
 

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Hsitz, That is awsome looking! I might consider having a martin done. Stip the entire horn, relacquer the keys, and gold wash the bell.
 

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Hey rispoli,

that's exactly what I did with my The Martin Tenor, and I thought it made a very noticeable difference in the tone of the horn. I would say it was a change for the better. Some have called my Martin the UGLIEST horn they've ever seen (it's had the lacquer off for a while). I think it's BEAUTIFUL!! All in the eye of the beholder.

later

Joel
 

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Keep the lacquer it is designed to protect the brass from pitting. Chemically stripping wont make the horn sound any better but it will make looking after it harder. Relacquered horns dont really sound any better or worse than original lacquer horns provided they have been buffed ridiculously!

The only reason I would considering removing lacquer form a horn was if I was going to get it plated. You need something to protect the brass from pitting. Think long and hard about it before getting anything like this done!
 

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People don't like relacquers because (supposedly) metal is removed stripping the old stuff off. So I can't see the point of stripping the new stuff off as well. If it wasn't unfashionable it must be quite good to have a Martin looking shiny like they were sold to be in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
potiphar said:
People don't like relacquers because (supposedly) metal is removed stripping the old stuff off. So I can't see the point of stripping the new stuff off as well.
I have mentioned "chemically stripped", which means no metal beng scraped off, just the lacquer solved away.
 

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if you decide to have your horn stripped or relacquered, would you mind taking some audioclips of before (make sure your horn is tuned well and that the before and after clips would be taken under the same conditions or as similar as possible) and after (it will be tuned well by then). There is an ongoing argument among memebers and I for one second the idea that a horn will be sounding more and less the same (we all sound different in different days).It will be beneficial as further reference for most of us.
 

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I don't think the sound will be changed at all either (not that Andrea was implying it would, or desirous for those results). And even less so with a Martin Committee, which is a very thick walled instrument to begin with.

Any idea that the addition of a thin metal plating or lacquer assists or dampens the vibration of the brass would, in theory, be diminished that much more due to the extra "meat" on these Martin horns.

If the lacquer is shot to pieces on this horn (as it often is on vintage Martins in particular) what the hey, go for it.
 
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