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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I am poised to purchase a new sax for my daughter. After playing for years on her entry sax, its time for an upgrade. Our chosen sax is available in gold lacquer, dark lacquer and vintage matte.

My question is not about brand or model, but about lacquer. She really likes the dark lacquer look. Honestly, she would not scoff at a new gold lacquered sax as well.

Even with careful handling, over time the shiny sax will get scuffed, scraped and aged. It will need periodic servicing as well. Considering this, has anyone purchased a dark lacquer finish and regretted it as time went on?

I'm not inquiring about personal preferences between a gold versus dark lacquer, but whether or not the dark lacquered sax showed more distinguishable wear, scratches or other issues that would have led to reconsidering a typical gold lacquer instead.

Thank you-
Rob
 

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I’ve got a black lacquer 82z and previously had a black lacquer T901.

I’d like to help, but neither ever got scratched up much at all.

And not certain, but I think there are differences between types of dark lacquer finishes, so you may want to take that into account. Not all may present the same look with scratches, though that’s speculation on my part.
 

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Dark lacquer = the "vintage looking" lacquer ala the P Mauriat horns? If so, they hold up well. I had a Mauriat 66R for several years that still looked new 5 years on.
 

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A new lacquered horn should have a finish that is pretty resistant to scratching. A new scratch will probably show lighter brass, but eventually these darken up as the brass is exposed to the air and the elements.

I have a dark lacquered sax from the 1930s that probably turned that color over time because of age and the kind of lacquer they used back then. It has plenty of scratches and wear spots that don’t really stand out too much since the exposed brass has also aged.
 

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Yes, there are huge differences between the material and the quality of the finish in general from one maker to another. Cleanliness, uniformity, raw materials, etc.

I have had several and really like the look. I am also rather obsessive with keeping clean and undamaged, so no horror stories to share. I currently have a Barone tenor in black. Very nice. But no damage whatsoever.

I expect any finish will suffer damage with careless handling.
Why not just get whatever they want?
 

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I have a 2013 Viking M58 baritone with the dark lacquer. No regrets. It's pretty. (Ooooh! There it is in my avatar photo.)

I'm careful with it, of course -- not merely because I want to minimize scratches, but also, because it's a dang baritone.

Will your daughter be able to be careful of the finish?
 

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I would think that if you had a finish that was already "distressed" or "aged" then there is not much you can do to make it worse accept maybe polish it.
 

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I am poised to purchase a new sax for my daughter. After playing for years on her entry sax, its time for an upgrade. Our chosen sax is available in gold lacquer, dark lacquer and vintage matte.
You should name your chosen sax so we know exactly what kind of "dark lacquer" is involved. Black lacquer is not the same as cognac lacquer is not the same as Mauriat's dark lacquer.
 

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You should name your chosen sax so we know exactly what kind of "dark lacquer" is involved. Black lacquer is not the same as cognac lacquer is not the same as Mauriat's dark lacquer.
Just a wild stab, but I’m guessing it’s a Kessler Custom Standard series, which is offered in the three finishes mentioned by the OP https://www.kesslerandsons.com/tenor-saxophones/

If so, that dark lacquer looks to be a dark gold. Very far from the black lacquer I am familiar with. If it is the Kessler the OP is looking at, I can’t think of any reason not to buy the one OP’s daughter prefers. I can’t imagine there would be any significant issue as between gold and dark lacquer re long term looks after getting dings and scratches and so on. Should be a non issue IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Good sleuth work!
It is the Kessler Custom Standard Alto in dark lacquer.
I spoke with someone at Kessler earlier today. (Very patient and helpful!)
This current batch is darker so he updated the picture on the website to reflect it.
He stated that darker usually means that there are more coats of lacquer.

My daughter is meticulous with all of her possessions. I was wondering about the effects of typical use- and of course, the most careful person (or sax) can have an accident.

It seems that there is no reason to sway from her interest in the darker-colored sax.

I appreciate the quick, thorough and meaningful responses from the community!

I will order the sax tomorrow. It'll be a late Christmas present since Santa will not be able to have the elves build it in time for delivery!

Rob


Just a wild stab, but I’m guessing it’s a Kessler Custom Standard series, which is offered in the three finishes mentioned by the OP https://www.kesslerandsons.com/tenor-saxophones/

If so, that dark lacquer looks to be a dark gold. Very far from the black lacquer I am familiar with. If it is the Kessler the OP is looking at, I can’t think of any reason not to buy the one OP’s daughter prefers. I can’t imagine there would be any significant issue as between gold and dark lacquer re long term looks after getting dings and scratches and so on. Should be a non issue IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The Kessler Custom Standard in dark lacquer has been ordered!
Thank you again to all who responded.

And for anyone searching this thread down the line- to clarify, the dark lacquer finish of the Kessler is a dark gold color, not black- however the feedback from all still applies!

Rob
 

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Awesome, how did it go?
She loves the sax.
A mild adjustment to the new instrument but all has been good since.

The two high school band teachers are very impressed, which is nice for a student to hear.

The Kessler was a great value for an upgrade. The dark lacquer stands out nicely.

Thanks all-
Rob
 

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Glad it went well. And as a Canadian, it's good to know the Kessler dark lacquer will withstand the rigours of the North Pole.
 
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