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can you tell me if the selmer action 2 from the 1991 series is painted black or if it's varnish? and what changes in the black sound?
 
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What you're looking at is the lacquer color. Black lacquer and the regular clear lacquer are common finishes for horns and slightly change the color of the sound.
 

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Sonically the saxophone has little to no change whether Unlacquered, lacquered (no matter the color), plated with silver, nickel or gold. This is a marketing gimmick that companies use because we have psychosomatic tendencies based on how the Sax looks like many surmise a silver plated horn will be brighter than a lacquered which has been disproven before. The series II is lacquered with black dye in the water based lacquer.
 

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Selmer used to make the claim that since their colored lacquer finishes (black or white) required approximately 5-6 coats to ensure opacity, that the extra lacquer damped the high frequencies and made the horns sound darker. Do those horns sound brighter as the lacquer wears? I dunno. The last many years of SotW have had an overwhelming number of people that believe that finish cannot affect sound.

My answer is to not care what and whether someone else believes. If you play a horn and like it, the finish just doesn’t matter (unless it is so ugly that you don’t want to play, then that’s on you.)
 

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Darker horn = darker sound. The science is settled.

(Quietly steps out of the room before the waste matter hits the fan.)
 

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Darker horn = darker sound. The science is settled.

(Quietly steps out of the room before the waste matter hits the fan.)
Amen - just let your silverplated horn tarnish.
 
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can you tell me if the selmer action 2 from the 1991 series is painted black or if it's varnish? and what changes in the black sound?
Yes it is “ paint "( I don’t know what you mean by paint or varnish, varnish is transparent and paint is not both are coatings ) or maybe better defined as black lacquer over brass.

It may wear out , Selmer used to make a wide range of color lacquers (white, pink, blue, red ) and there are several example as what happens to it in time.

The sound thing is nonsense, even the claim of high frequency, do you seriously think that paint OUTSIDE the horn may do anything at all, and as always, realize that you hold the saxophone in your hand, put it in the mouth and hold it against your clothes .

EVEN IF sypathetic vibrations of a minute amplitude compared to the air column vibration had any effect they would be dampended by all these contact points?

Take a suspended church bell, hit it with a mallet, BONG! , now hold it with your hand and hit it again with a mallet... TAK! because the hand kills any vibration.
Take te same wooden mallet and hit , carefully, your saxophone, it sounds TAK or Thud , hold the bell with one hand, it still sound Tak or Thud.


players who play with their eyes (there are many) believe it matters . Once I met someone who thought that Silver plating (few microns thin) could be detected by “ touch” , she said that it is EVIDENTLY thicker than lacquer (NOT!)
 

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Amen - just let your silverplated horn tarnish.
I had a silver plated Mark VI soprano and just let it tarnish because it was a pain to take care of. It only turned black around the ribs and keys and the body turned an odd color.
It did seem really dark. I couldn’t wait to get rid of it and bought a mint lacquered one that plays much more freely.
I still think Selmer silver plated the saxes they thought weren’t the best.
 

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Well, "paint" and "varnish" are not terms of art.

It's my understanding that Selmer still use a nitrocellulose "lacquer" (in inverted commas because it's not REALLY lacquer made from the secretions of the lac insect, it's a synthetic simulation of that). What it is, is a resin (nitrocellulose in this case, but other companies use other formulations) in a solvent carrier. As the solvent evaporates, the resin cures (it's not a drying process, it's an irreversible chemical reaction) and becomes hard.

If you want to color the coating, you add pigmenting materials. Most saxophones have a transparent tint added. For opaque coatings (as black "lacquer"), the pigments are opaque and basically consist of ultrafine particles suspended in the resin/solvent, and they're fixed in place when the resin cures.

Many other manufacturers use a two part coating for the resin - this could be epoxy, could be urethane, could be other things. The old Conn finishes from the 50s through the end were, I believe, epoxy, and they're extremely durable.

So if you have a black Selmer, it means that the coating has a black pigment in it. You can call it "paint", you can call it "varnish", you can call it "coating" but those terms don't have any actual technical meaning.
 

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Well, "paint" and "varnish" are not terms of art.

It's my understanding that Selmer still use a nitrocellulose "lacquer" (in inverted commas because it's not REALLY lacquer made from the secretions of the lac insect, it's a synthetic simulation of that). What it is, is a resin (nitrocellulose in this case, but other companies use other formulations) in a solvent carrier. As the solvent evaporates, the resin cures (it's not a drying process, it's an irreversible chemical reaction) and becomes hard.

If you want to color the coating, you add pigmenting materials. Most saxophones have a transparent tint added. For opaque coatings (as black "lacquer"), the pigments are opaque and basically consist of ultrafine particles suspended in the resin/solvent, and they're fixed in place when the resin cures.

Many other manufacturers use a two part coating for the resin - this could be epoxy, could be urethane, could be other things. The old Conn finishes from the 50s through the end were, I believe, epoxy, and they're extremely durable.

So if you have a black Selmer, it means that the coating has a black pigment in it. You can call it "paint", you can call it "varnish", you can call it "coating" but those terms don't have any actual technical meaning.
I don't think so. Nitrocellulose is very flammable.
It would be impossible to make a soldering (or even, a repadding with a torch) without loosing a lot of lacquer.
Moreover, using nitrocellulose would be very dangerous for the workers.
 

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Nitrocellulose was used for a very long time in the music industry and in particular in guitar making, virtually all of the production certainly until the more modern epoxy varnishes were introduced were made of nitrocellulose and it is still used in some cases to this day.

In the saxophone industry the use of Nitrocellulose is NOW no longer popular or even possible as usual we have spoken about this before but it was also the standard of the industry.


Selmer USED at one time Nitrocellulose but no longer does now.

Nitrocellulose tends to crack in time the nice bit is that it may be removed rather easily

In some countries (such as the Netherlands) the black Selmers were not popular at all (and still are not) so the few which there are, sometimes tend to be valued less than gold lacquer (there is no gold in gold lacquer!) ones
 

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yes, was a very common thing as you read in the thread I mentioned above, some nitrocellulose were responsible for the typical craquelure of the Martin from the ’50-’60, it darkens considerably over time , obviously this doesn’t affect then “ black” one, it is really easy to remove, sometimes just hot water is enough
 

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I don't think so. Nitrocellulose is very flammable.
It would be impossible to make a soldering (or even, a repadding with a torch) without loosing a lot of lacquer.
Moreover, using nitrocellulose would be very dangerous for the workers.
Yes, lacquer typicallly darkens and scorches when doing solder repairs, and you have to be careful when repadding.

Believe me, both saxophones and cars were finished with nitrocellulose finishes from about 1900 to 1970 and there were very few cases of combustion starting at the finish on either cars or saxophones.
 

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The greatest combustion hazard is when it is liquid or being sprayed.
 

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Combustible lacquer engulfing sax in flames = lighter sound. The science is settled.

(Steps back out of room.)
 
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