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Dear members, in order to add an adequate horn description to a marketplace post:
Is a Horn which bow had been repaired (dent removed) and had been oversprayed by thin lacquer afterwards, an ‚original’ horn or a ‚relacquered’ horn?

Doesn‘t ‚relacquer‘ mean that original lacquer had been removed (physically or chemicalky) and new lacquer had been reapplied?

I want to sell this particular horn in the marketplace. It is a wonderful 27290 Selmer Balanced Action Tenor. The repair must have been done in the 1940ies and the overspraying is very dark. Some people complain that it is relacquered and argue about the price...


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Discussion Starter #2
Criteria for ‚original‘ vs ‚relacquer‘

Dear members, in order to add an adequate horn description to a marketplace post:
Is a horn which bow had been repaired (dent removed) and had been oversprayed by a thin layer of lacquer afterwards, an ‚original’ horn or a ‚relacquered’ horn?

Doesn‘t ‚relacquer‘ mean that original lacquer had been removed (physically or chemically) and new lacquer had been reapplied?

I want to sell this particular horn in the marketplace. It is a wonderful 27xxx Selmer Balanced Action Tenor. The repair must have been done in the 1940ies. Some people complain that it is relacquered and argue about the price...


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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I would say it's basically original lacquer horn with an overlacquered spot repair on the bow.

As long as you declare that repair with good photos of the whole horn you are good IMO.

Relacquer refers to the very common practice of removing all existing (presumably worn) lacquer and respraying the whole thing. The only downside is when the necessary buffing process is overdone to the extent it damages engravings and (more important from a plying POV) tone hole integrity.
 

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Re: Criteria for ‚original‘ vs ‚relacquer‘

Dear members, in order to add an adequate horn description to a marketplace post:
Is a horn which bow had been repaired (dent removed) and had been oversprayed by a thin layer of lacquer afterwards, an ‚original’ horn or a ‚relacquered’ horn?

Doesn‘t ‚relacquer‘ mean that original lacquer had been removed (physically or chemically) and new lacquer had been reapplied?

I want to sell this particular horn in the marketplace. It is a wonderful 27xxx Selmer Balanced Action Tenor. The repair must have been done in the 1940ies. Some people complain that it is relacquered and argue about the price...


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Well, I think the basic rule would be to honestly describe it. If I understand correctly, most of the horn has its original finish (in whatever condition that is by now), but the bow had dent repairs, lacquer was lost, the repair person polished the bow area and sprayed some new lacquer on the bow where the repairs had been done.

In that case I would describe it in the title of an ad as "mostly original finish" and then describe what was done.

If my understanding of the history is correct, none of the concerns about "relacquering" would apply such as thinning of the material or distortion of the tone holes by over-buffing.

Compared to a horn that had never experienced the damage and repairs you describe, if the playing qualities are identical, yours would sell for less than the never-damaged horn; but I don't think the reduction in fair price would be much. Of course I haven't seen your particular instrument, nor am I familiar with pricing for these horns.
 

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Right. It's not a 'relacquer' and that work should not affect the price as long as its not priced as a 'mint' example.
 

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Meh, they'll try to get a 50% discount if you don't include the original reeds. Then turn around and list it for three times what they paid.

I agree that you can state the lacquer is original and X% (even though the percentage people use seems arbitrary), except for a bow repair. That describes the situation clearly. Also discloses the repair. I do think it's important to disclose body repairs. No need to make a blanket "original" or "not original" statement.

People get a little ridiculous over the original lacquer issue. I've been playing since Lyndon Johnson was President, and have yet to see a botched relacquer, in terms of overbuffing and grinding down the tone holes. Not saying there are NO botched relacquers out there -- it's just extremely uncommon.

And I challenge anyone to put on a blindfold, play a bunch of horns, and accurately discern which were original lacquer and which were relacquered.

Still, it's a hard fact that original lacquer commands a higher price. That will never change. Take that to the bank. Often the difference is in the thousands of Dollars. It just means that if you are a savvy player and buyer, you can pick up a great horn at a bargain price. Just sayin'. Some players think if they insist on original lacquer, they're guaranteed to get a better horn, and that's not the case.

Sorry to rant. This is a subject I like going off on. Aaaahhhh... I feel better now!
 

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Meh, they'll try to get a 50% discount if you don't include the original reeds. Then turn around and list it for three times what they paid.

I agree that you can state the lacquer is original and X% (even though the percentage people use seems arbitrary), except for a bow repair. That describes the situation clearly. Also discloses the repair. I do think it's important to disclose body repairs. No need to make a blanket "original" or "not original" statement.

People get a little ridiculous over the original lacquer issue. I've been playing since Lyndon Johnson was President, and have yet to see a botched relacquer, in terms of overbuffing and grinding down the tone holes. Not saying there are NO botched relacquers out there -- it's just extremely uncommon.

And I challenge anyone to put on a blindfold, play a bunch of horns, and accurately discern which were original lacquer and which were relacquered.

Still, it's a hard fact that original lacquer commands a higher price. That will never change. Take that to the bank. Often the difference is in the thousands of Dollars. It just means that if you are a savvy player and buyer, you can pick up a great horn at a bargain price. Just sayin'. Some players think if they insist on original lacquer, they're guaranteed to get a better horn, and that's not the case.

Sorry to rant. This is a subject I like going off on. Aaaahhhh... I feel better now!
For instruments where there's a lot of variation among individuals, it MIGHT be that a relac'd horn that was well done is actually a better player (because it was played and played and played and successively sold to more discerning musicians) while a pristine original one is notso hotso (because the discerning players who've tried it out declined to buy it despite its beautiful appearance).

You can sidestep the whole issue by playing silver plated horns.
 

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Doesn‘t ‚relacquer‘ mean that original lacquer had been removed (physically or chemicalky) and new lacquer had been reapplied?
YES.

Period.

No argument to be made.

A "Relacquer" is exactly what you say - horn has had original lacquer removed, and new lacquer applied on entire horn.

A sax which has had some bodywork, thus resulting in some lacq loss at those areas: or ones which have had original lacq worn off in spots - THEN had some lacquer applied to the bare brass areas only....is NOT described as a 'relacquered' horn.

It is usually represented as having been spot-lacquered at the specified areas.

Hope this helps.
 

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Perhaps describe as a relacquered bow
 

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Don't even use the word 'relacquer'...no need to even go near that term in this instance.

"Bow appears to have had some dent work previously done; a well-done repair; area apparently lost some lacquer and appears to have been spot lacquered"

Or..."there appears to have been some spot lacquering done at bow, probably after a previous dent rollout where some lacquer was lost"
 

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Excellent, JKayLID
 

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If you don’t know the provenance or history of the sax, you should list or describe it as re-lacquered.
If you’re guessing at what may have happened, you should describe it as re-lacquered.
That’s how I would approach it as a buyer also.
It’s not that hard to spot a re-lacquer and I’m no expert.
I guarantee you that if you’d post a link to a good photo we could tell you.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Don't even use the word 'relacquer'...no need to even go near that term in this instance.
I agree, using the term relacquer would be misleading in this instance, and as long as you accurately describe the repair and the localised over lacquer, then that is honest and accurate.
 

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What if the whole sax has been oversprayed by thin lacquer at the factory to protect the original lacquer? Has anyone ever heard of this? I wonder if it was offered as a cheaper option to re-lacquering back in the days (1950s-1960s) when it was common to have saxes re-lacquered or is this just a "story".
 

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Never heard of that and it wouldn't make a whole lotta sense. Remember, relacquering services used to be very common back in the day.

Also, a horn with, say, 65% lacquer remaining, even after a professional cleaning, will still not look all that spiffy. I cannot imagine anyplace would actually attempt to charge someone for lacquering OVER existing lacquer. If they did, it was likely a short-lived endeavor....

I DO know that some makers (Martin, Holton to name a couple) would lacquer over their nickel plating....a practice which was thankfully, eventually discontinued (albeit not quick enough). That never made sense to me given that nickel really doesn't tarnish easily....
 

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What if the whole sax has been oversprayed by thin lacquer at the factory to protect the original lacquer? Has anyone ever heard of this? I wonder if it was offered as a cheaper option to re-lacquering back in the days (1950s-1960s) when it was common to have saxes re-lacquered or is this just a "story".
I think it would never happen, not at a factory. If a the lacquer was OK, they wouldn't bother over lacquering. If the lacquer wasn't OK, they would just get it relacquered. Overspraying an entire horn would require disassembly, because it would need a through cleaning for the lacquer to take effect.

So bits of spot lacquering could be done as in this case because the bow is easy enough to clean thoroughly - just couple of keys to remove which would have probably been off any way for the dent removal.

However I have had horns that had been oversprayed quite extensively, but probably a DIY job as it was not inclined to stay put - probably due to being the either the wrong kind of lacquer or as mentioned some residual dirt and grease hanging around.
 

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What if the whole sax has been oversprayed by thin lacquer at the factory to protect the original lacquer? Has anyone ever heard of this? I wonder if it was offered as a cheaper option to re-lacquering back in the days (1950s-1960s) when it was common to have saxes re-lacquered or is this just a "story".
No, it’s not a story - never heard it, don’t believe, not even credible.
 

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No, it’s not a story - never heard it, don’t believe, not even credible.
I agree

I do have a buescher alto art deco slant... that was factory re-lacquered. Without the care instructions that came with the horn showing it was re-lacquered, not sure I could have known it was a re-lacquer. Wonder how many of those are being sold as original, and no one having a clue.
 
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