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I've always known that martin sax laq is pretty bad, but never to this extent. Last week I did a lot of playing outdoors in 90 degree plus weather, and I held my Magna tenor in the same place that I always had. By the end of the week I noticed that the laquer had rubbed away, and you could see the spots that i held the sax. Did the laq actually rub off that quickly because of all the sweat from my hands, or was the playing conditions just enought to rub the laq off in places that I had ususally held the horn? Anybody have similar experiaces? Thanks.
 

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Lacquer that old should be pretty hard. I would say it was either something on your hands OR is it possible that it is a relacquer? If so, when the body was cleaned, it could have some residue on it or the lacquer was put on much too thick and never dried on the inside. Martins have pretty poor lacquer but that shouldn't happen.
 

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I have had a similar experience with my Searchlight Alto - I've owned it since February, and have not played it as often as my main alto. That said, it started out with 95% original lacquer -- but now the area on the bell (right over the "Martin" logo) where I hold the sax while swabbing it has seen alot of the lacquer rub off. I think it's just the oil from the palm of my hand. Oh well, it still plays great.
 

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Well, I dont' know about pc1234, but the lacquer wear from your sax was probably a mix of the heat and oils as well as friction from your fingers.

I have more experice with lacquer finishes on guitars, but same material, same concept. Lacquer will soften up when exposed to extreme heat, and the oils from the fingers will help promote the lacquer from coming up off the body. And the friction from your fingers will act like a buffing pad. And it will slowly come up off the body. And I guess the lacquer must have been awfully thin in those areas because a week is pretty fast.

But my Yamaha has some wear on the bell, and instead of wearing away slowly. At a band competition last year, I was literally peeling off the lacquer. I'm thinking yamaha probably moved onto using polyurethane finishes instead of lacquer finishes now. That would explain why I coudl peel off the finish from my bell.
 
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