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Discussion Starter #1
Hi I was wondering what you guys prefer when it comes to original finishes on vintage/antique saxophones. Keep the original or do other, I really enjoy the current pantina going on with the sax but is it something you guys prefer? Love to hear, thanks!
 

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Wellllllll....if the plated finish is in pretty good shape, coverage 75-80% +...definitely keep it. It's not cheap nor easy to remove silverplate; even harder to remove nickelplate.

Gold plate not as hard but of course, usually beneath the goldplate is silverplate.

If the plating is quite worn and there are large bare brass patches, ad the horn is generally spotted with bare areas here and there; then maybe removing the plating is worthy of consideration (although in these instances I usually suggest spot chemical plating to even out the finish a bit more).

Other thing is...OK you removed the original plating, and now have a bare brass instrument. So is that it ? You now have a bare brass horn ? Because bare brass is quite arguably more upkeep than a plated horn.....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's got 93% of the original finish with tarnishing going on by the bell inscriptions, but usually for silver plated thing such as my Boosey and Hawkes SV Bugle a good silvo polish leaves the instrument looking beautiful. I had been planning on never taking off the finish from the beginning. I've also got a neat finish thing going on with a Buescher Aristocrat IV where some spots the laqquer is coming off leaving what I can only assume is a bit of a reddish left over, kinda like freceles but from my research that is red rot which most likely i'll have to deal with soon, Thanks for replying!
 

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If you have a silver plated horn in anything other than the worst condition, why on earth would you want to devalue it and let yourself in for a large cost, to remove the perfectly good silver? That silver is the most durable finish for saxophones, as it's not prone to the galvanic corrosion that happens in gold plate at touch points, and it doesn't flake off like lacquer. Yes, it wears off at the touch points (after 50 or 75 years) but you're touching the horn at those points, so it still stays "shiny-ish" there.

If you want to keep it looking like new, you will have to polish it, which is a hassle, but you can easily avoid the hassle by not wanting to keep it looking like new, then you won't have to polish it. I have silver plated horns (saxes and flutes) with build dates of roughly 1920, 1930, 1945, 1950, and (the flutes) 2000 and 2008. The old ones look older. I am perfectly OK with that. Why would I want a 95 year old sax to look brand new?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I very much can agree, I love when the laqquer fits the instruments age, i've seen some New Wonders where its completely re-padded and it just looks weird. Even worse when the pad job was done incorrectly
 
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