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I have a mark VI alto 70xxx’s era that has a very different colour of lacquer on the low B, Bb, C and C# pad cups. I hadn’t seen this before, so just looking for some experts to weigh in and help me out with why this might have happened. The horn is all original, never relacquered. I have another 70xxx’s era VI I’m comparing that’s lost all of its lacquer so I can’t tell if it’s happened on that horn too, however there is a small difference in the patina on those same cups, so I’m curious if it’s a Selmer factory thing. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
And to clarify, the rest of the body is the classic American dark honey. And the yellowish lacquer colour extends to the low C key cover and the bottom part of the B-Bb cover.
 

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Looks like it was touched up with Nichols Gold Lacquer at some point. Kind of hard to tell with all the glare in the picture.
 

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Somebody in the past probably cooked the lacquer off those keys doing a pad job and tried to touch them up. I would wipe it off with lacquer thinner or some other solvent, wash the cup with 'Lime-Away' and wait for it to develop that tan patina.
 

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Somebody in the past probably cooked the lacquer off those keys doing a pad job and tried to touch them up. I would wipe it off with lacquer thinner or some other solvent, wash the cup with 'Lime-Away' and wait for it to develop that tan patina.
Interesting, thanks for the help! Anyone else got any different ideas as to the reasoning for the different colour?
 

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Interesting, thanks for the help! Anyone else got any different ideas as to the reasoning for the different colour?
I think 1saxman’s answer is the best, but if you are looking for something else, it could be that the pad cups were replaced and spot lacquered.

It is hard to tell from the images - is the whole key a different color, or just the cup?

Or... Factory rework after the initial lacquer job (although I would still like to hear from JMC whether the change in coloration is on the cups only).
 

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I think 1saxman’s answer is the best, but if you are looking for something else, it could be that the pad cups were replaced and spot lacquered.

It is hard to tell from the images - is the whole key a different color, or just the cup?
Yeah I was thinking the pad cups being replaced could have been the culprit but the key definitely hasn’t been replaced. It’s interesting, I’m comparing it to my 76xxx alto right now and there’s definitely a similar colour difference on the C# pad cup as it’s much lighter in shade. I wonder if it’s a thing that happened with the 70,000’s VI altos, or if it’s something dependent on lacquer wear in certain areas from storage conditions or weather. I’ll attach a picture of the 76 with the similar colour change compared to the rest of the dark honey body.
 

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How do you know the horn is not relacquered? have you been in possession of it from new?
Haven’t been in possession since new that’s for sure, but it’s undoubtably original. The lacquer colour change on those pad cups is definitely making me question the originality, but the rest of the body is all original that’s why I’m perplexed.
 

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Haven’t been in possession since new that’s for sure, but it’s undoubtably original. The lacquer colour change on those pad cups is definitely making me question the originality, but the rest of the body is all original that’s why I’m perplexed.
Yes I would doubt it. When you said it was all original I assumed you meant that you knew for a fact that it was all original, ie including those keycups. I still don't know how you know for a fact the rest of the body is original though. I'm sure you can be 99% certain if you know some of its history.

If it is the value you are concerned about, then I'd think it is devalued as any buyer (especially collectors) would just assume from those keycups that they are relacquered or even replaced.
 

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You could look at what parts come in contact with the case. Consider whether something might have been stuffed in the case in that region - but also look for what parts are NOT affected. I’m still in the rework/touch up camp at this point.
 

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You could look at what parts come in contact with the case. Consider whether something might have been stuffed in the case in that region - but also look for what parts are NOT affected. I’m still in the rework/touch up camp at this point.
That is a fantastic idea. In all the years I never thought about that being a cause for any lacquer wear in general. Thanks Dr G!
 

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That is a fantastic idea. In all the years I never thought about that being a cause for any lacquer wear in general. Thanks Dr G!
You’re welcome. I’ve seen two different types of case-induced finish wear: physical abrasion and chemical reaction. I’ve also seen similar things like plastic/vinyl outgassing from guitar straps causing lacquer to bubble on the tops or backs of guitars (don’t leave your strap in contact with the finish inside the case).
 
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