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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wonder why some mouthpieces seem to make the reed decaying process even faster than "Normal".
I have a Florida OL STM where the gold layer is completely gone - it looks silver. I assume that this will be the nickel layer ?

When I play with a new cane reed (regardless which brand) the reed will show green color after very short time. (maybe after a week)
I do care about my horns and equipment and ALWAYS swipe my horn and neck, disassemble my reed from the mouthpiece, clean my mouthpiece and remove moisture from the reed and store it dry and safe.

As I have different mouthpieces I can tell that this doesn't happen with any other of my mpcs.

So I assume it may have to do with nickel on the STM ?

Does anybody know why this happens and what I could do to avoid it.

Thanks for your ideas!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok, thanks.
What would be the best material for replating this?
Gold or silver ? Are there more alternatives? Clear lacquer maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks- but Inever leave the reed on ... the playtime seems to be enough to trigger the coloring. I am in doubt about using a brass cleaner but am not sure about the health aspect?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes it would and Vaseline has been used for this as well as better sealing of the reed for many years. However, just cleaning the mouthpiece with something that will remove tarnish/oxidation from the raw brass every so often will probably keep the green deposits in check. I use 'Lime-Away' or 'CLR', available at the grocery or home center, on my metal mouthpieces that have raw brass as well as my saxes with raw brass. You rinse it off or use a wet cloth. On a mouthpiece, wash with soap and water after using it. It leaves the mouthpiece/horn clean, doesn't affect lacquer or plating and leaves raw brass with a flat, golden-tan finish that really looks good.

At the minimum, removing the reed after each playing session and wiping dry the table as well as the reed, then not putting the reed back on until next time, will go a long way toward controlling it.

Re-plating sounds like a great thing to do until you understand what happens - they will buff/sand off the old plating, stains, corrosion, scratches, etc. to get down to polished bare metal, which is required to make the plating 'take'. This of course includes the table and facing, so if you really like the mouthpiece, you might talk to some mouthpiece people before sending it off.
Thank - I will try the cleaning method first I guess. The link plays great as it is - I would not want to endanger that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all of your comments!
Yes, I have had the STM refaced as the table was very uneven as someone had done a not so good job on it before.
So - the table is indeed down to bare brass. This is also the part where the reed turns green.
So I don‘t have pure brass in direct contact with my mouth as there is always a reed on top of it.
I will try a brass cleaner, for now I have started the „Vaseline approach“ and see where this gets me.
I have also come across a special lacquer - Zapon lacquer- which I learned is used to avoid brass turning green. (It can be sprayed)
This is something I will research further. I am still in doubt if this zapon lacquer might dissolve over time and if it is hazardous.
Has anybody had experience with this lacquer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Gerhard, do you soak your reeds in anything?

I agree that the most obvious answer to the green is from the oxide reaction with copper in the brass, but there are some nickel compounds that are also green. If you mouthpiece is down to the nickel plate, clean and dry most of the time, then you add a wet solution that reacts with the nickel, there is some possibility of a different chemical reaction.
I normally only soak my reeds in water, before I play.

I am reluctant to do a relacquer ss the mpc plays great now after having it refaced.

I'll try the vaseline approach first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Lacquer on a table strikes me a a bad idea...both chemically and in terms of creating an uneven surface. Chemically that being close to your mouthpiece is much more likey an issue than brass in your mouth. Yes its bare brass but none of the alarmists around here have presented anything that resembles data to suggest that there is any health threat.

To me you are going into darker territory to fix what is likely a non problem.

My suggest is that if it bothers you this much do the job right and have it replated. Personally, Id just play it.
Thanks,
Ad I said, I am reluctant to relacquer or lacquer at all, so will just play it as it is and try the Vaseline approach.

Later when I will have developped green and purple spots everywhere on my face and body i will hopefully remember this discussion ... 🙂
 
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