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Discussion Starter #1
I've seen there are quite some threads about lacquer vs plating already,
Some claim lacquer doesn't change the sound, some swear by it.

I wanted to know if the thought has crossed someone's mind on plated saxes, when corrosion sets in, that the sax may actually sound less bright, and possibly even less bright than a lacquer finished sax?

I mean totally corroded, no more shiny horn, not some corrosion spots.
 

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The major flaw with most opinions that a finish can change the way an instrument sounds (to a large degree), is that they never seem to take into account the actual instrument itself. If one were to play 50 saxes of the same brand and model, they would notice that the correlation between finish and timbre is weak at best. Though the problem is that hardly anyone tries the volume of instruments that could actually yield an educated conclusion...most make absolute claims after trying one or two :TGNCHK:.

But onto the subject at hand :).

You say corroded, but do you mean tarnish? (where the plating eventually turns black?) I've yet to see a sax that actually had any form of heavy corrosion over the entire instrument (even on instruments over a hundred years old!).

If that was what you meant, then no...it does not change how bright/dark the instrument sounds.

But if that wasn't the case, could you clarify a bit? (are we talking about something like verdigris?)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've seen many bronze instruments of a couple of decades old that lost their shine due to corrosion, mainly by people who don't clean their instrument.
At times not only taking away shine but making the surface like real fine sand paper, iow, it no longer has smooth surfaces.

It's strange you say, but most of these saxes of the '60's are like that. You don't even need to go as far as 100 years ago,
then again, there is a possibility that the manufacturing processes and craftsmanship back in those days was less than today.

A third possibility could be excessive wear through the plating, say the user sits down and holds the sax on the pants. the area touching the pants and touching the fingers would wear out over time. Then not the plating but the brass under it starts corroding.
 

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then again, there is a possibility that the manufacturing processes and craftsmanship back in those days was less than today.
And maybe they were better, especially the craftsmanship. In any event, one of the best-sounding altos I have heard is a 1929 silver-plated Conn.
 

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The whole myth about finish grossly (or even slightly) impacting the sound of a sax defies science and logic. Any acoustic engineer, or blind comparison test for that matter, will explain very succinctly why this is a fallacy. Yet the debate goes on and on via the internet. Were we arguing such triflings before the WWW?

"Princess and the Pea" comes to mind.

The truth of the matter is, different finishes were originally offered by the manufacturers purely as a cosmetic and durability option. Nothing more. Recently, the myth of varying tonal qualities has shifted the manufacturer's marketing strategy to imply more than that.

This debate has been discussed ad nauseum on this forum and elsewhere. Do a search, pop some popcorn, and spend a few days plowing through the results.:popcorn:
 

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In before the lock....

The thing that I like most is the uncanny correlation between physical appearance and tonal perception. The more yellow, or brown, or dull, it seems to make things "warmer, darker, duller", while the shinier, more brilliant the material, the "brighter, punchy, more brittle" the sound seems to become. And, the more expensive the material, the better! How many times have you heard that gold-plating a horn or mouthpiece gave it a richer tone?
 

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Compare with this: cars with completely rusted bodies don't drive as fast as they did when they were shiny and new. Obviously, its the rust causing the loss of performance, and it has nothing to do with the deteriorated hoses, gaskets and general wear to the engine, suspension, drivetrain, etc.
 

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Compare with this: cars with completely rusted bodies don't drive as fast as they did when they were shiny and new. Obviously, its the rust causing the loss of performance, and it has nothing to do with the deteriorated hoses, gaskets and general wear to the engine, suspension, drivetrain, etc.
Obviously, they've gotten rid of all the muscle cars in Texas?
 

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Compare with this: cars with completely rusted bodies don't drive as fast as they did when they were shiny and new. Obviously, its the rust causing the loss of performance, and it has nothing to do with the deteriorated hoses, gaskets and general wear to the engine, suspension, drivetrain, etc.
My Fiat Spyder 124 was going pretty fast when it blew up...

May it rust in peace.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ok, there's a minimal difference between gold and silver,
but if metal starts to oxidate, becomes black or green, it's almost like gets overgrown by fungus, and later weeds! :D

And weeds definitely change the sound properties! More than Lacquer..

*Edit: no, but on a more serious note, the oxidation can absorb more humidity, which will make it more spungy, kind of like you'd smear (a small layer of) mud inside your sax.
 

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I've seen many bronze instruments of a couple of decades old that lost their shine due to corrosion, mainly by people who don't clean their instrument.
At times not only taking away shine but making the surface like real fine sand paper, iow, it no longer has smooth surfaces.

It's strange you say, but most of these saxes of the '60's are like that. You don't even need to go as far as 100 years ago,
then again, there is a possibility that the manufacturing processes and craftsmanship back in those days was less than today.

A third possibility could be excessive wear through the plating, say the user sits down and holds the sax on the pants. the area touching the pants and touching the fingers would wear out over time. Then not the plating but the brass under it starts corroding.
You still haven't clarified what you mean by corrosion. There's a large difference between a healthy coat of oxidation versus red rot or verdigris (search here or google if you're not familiar with red rot or verdigris).

What I meant by the century old instrument comment was that I've yet to come across an instrument that was head to toe red rod/verdigris (though top to bottom corrosion could be possible in rare instances such as flood damaged horns).

My Fiat Spyder 124 was going pretty fast when it blew up...
You must have been going down a big hill :TGNCHK:...don't 124's have a top speed barely north of 100?
 

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It's the wax. I makes it slippery:)
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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ok, there's a minimal difference between gold and silver,
There's an enormous difference between gold and silver: density, colour, physical properties and market value.
 

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It's the wax. I makes it slippery:)
I know a former sports car race mechanic who always waxed his entries before every race to lessen air resistance. Did it help? I don't know, but he was convinced it did.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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But not the sound...
Well there would be when you hit it with a hammer.

And also, you might find you get slightly different response when you give your girlfriend a 24 carat ring as opposed to a silver one.
 

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Well there would be when you hit it with a hammer.

And also, you might find you get slightly different response when you give your girlfriend a 24 carat ring as opposed to a silver one.
Ah, so material does make a difference in sound after all.
 
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