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Discussion Starter #1
How much did the colour of the lacquer vary in US assembled and engraved SBAs? I’ve got two tenors and a baritone, and they’re really not the same colour as each other. *If* they were all original, I would expect the level of use to have influenced the colour, but these are quite noticeably different. Serial numbers include 48xxx, 53xxx, and 55xxx

(I’m wondering if this means one is a relacquer.)
 

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TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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It could, but bear in mind that the lacquer color could vary by the batch and by how thick it was applied. The Mk VI for example went from 'blonde' to 'dark'. I bought a new one in 1966 that was a 'blonde'. The color of the older horns can be influenced by how much sunlight they have seen as well as other environmental conditions.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
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Think about this too. These saxes were played five nights a week in nightclubs where everyone was smoking. After years of this, the lacquer will darken.
 

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Lacquer can definitely be different in color throughout the SBA range. Remember, Lacquer you see now is in DIRECT relation to how well it was cared for, how well the horn was degreased and prepped before being lacquered, brass composition and also what environments it incurred during it's life.

Furthermore, from what we've seen the 48xxx and 49xxx SBAs in America are generally lighter in color than the 50xxx - 54xxx SBAs. I would venture a guess that your 48xxx is lighter in color probably?

But ultimately, there are a lot of factors that will determine how the lacquer color turns out after aging and it's definitely not best to judge lacquer vs. re-lacq based on color.
 

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My SBA 54xxx has a rather dark patina as compared to modern lacquer jobs. We are pretty sure it is the original coat due to several factors, including the original factory pads it still had when I obtained the instrument. I don't believe my SBA was played much, but it sat in either an attic or basement for many years - so it was in a humid environment.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The 55xxx is paler than the 53xxx. The 55xxx is a baritone, the 53xxx is a tenor. I don’t know if that makes any difference? The 48xxx (also a tenor) doesn’t have much lacquer left, but what is left is paler than the 53xxx.
 
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