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Discussion Starter #1
I'd appreciate some input on how Selmers were manufactured, expecially MkVI period.
People often look to the lettering to see if any buffing is present and if so the horn is declared relacquered.
I've hear that Selmer horns sometimes have a lot more engraving and the explaination was that they engraved over any flaws in the lacquer.
The name and serial numbers appear to be stamped/ pressed in - so what is the process? Was it stamp the name, buff then lacquer then engrave?
I think the order of manufacture import to establish which are relacquered and I've seen some declared as original that gives me doubt and led me to question the process.
Is this horn a relacquer for instance?
http://jpegbay.com/gallery/000833983-.html#6
 

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The 2 Selmers that I own, 1 US assembled and 1 French assembled, appear to have been engraved after being laquered.
 

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The 2 Selmers that I own, 1 US assembled and 1 French assembled, appear to have been engraved after being laquered.
I agree with Spike. I used to have a Selmer SIII Paris and the engraving looks like it was done after being laquered. Mine did not have signs of buffing but if your does. Someone could have buffed it after they owned it.

Hey Oric your horn looks like it hasn't been relacquered. I cannot tell for sure without seeing it in person but I am 80% sure seeing it in pictures. Great looking horn.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If you look at the 'M' in Selmer in the name it is thinner than the S and R. Above this in Henri, the N is thin and the central bar is broken.
The number round the back are kind of wobbly - not clean edged.

It's not mine BTW. Mine is a later 110xxx. But I was led to believe mine was relacquered because the name appears to have been buffed. On mine the bottom of the E is mostly gone so it looks more like an F.
So were they buffed after being stamped then lacquered - then engraved?
 

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the horn is buffed after stamping, lacquered, engraved, then after the engraving most MK VI's are "top coated" (well, actually "were")
 

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There doesn't appear to be any sign of buffing to the lettering of mine, however I might offer this. I previously owned a Mark VII, which I bought new. The Selmer name and logo stamp was uneven in depth and was probably not stamped precisely so the depth on one side was less than on the other. I suppose one could mistake this for buffing. I have seen other Selmers, VI's and VII's where this was the case, including the patent, serial; no. stamps. The stamper didn't have his stamp lined up or hit it wrong, etc. Engraving is much shallower and if remains detailed and clear, chances are there has never been a relaquer. Also, I believe Selmers are engraved after being laquered so there will normaly be some corrosion around the engraving which is pretty obvious. Some folks use the color of the laquer as an indication, expecting to be darkened to a brownish gold. Since I own both a French and US assembeled horns, I can tell you that the Alto, which is US, has darkened considerably, while the Tenor, French, remains clear and white, even though it is about 4 years older. I believe the European assembled horns use a coating that has less tendency to degrade (oxidize) over time and remains clear longer. As far as your pictured horn, as near as I can tell, it looks original and the color is similar to my '69 Tenor. It's hard to tell, though, from a picture.
 

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OK, I looked at your pictures again. The original horn (1st posting) seems to show slight corrosion in the engraving. I'm going to go with original finish. The second horn appears to have been laquered over the engraving (no corrosion) or it is a pristine closet horn, so I'll go with relaquered, but very nicely done. The stamp on the second horn looks almost identical to my VII when brand new, so I'm going to say that the stamp uneveness was not caused by over buffing and probably looked like that the day it came out of the factory. Without seeing the actual horn, the best anyone can do is a good guess, so I hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I suppose with bells being hand-made there is going to be some variation to the diameter i.e curvature. The stamp is going to have a curve intended to match the bell, so if there is some variation it isn't going to press evenly.
My one is pretty immaculate. I got it and a Conn 6M which had been really hammered so I assume the seller used the Conn as their main horn and didn't use the Selmer so much.
I've been over the engraving with a magnifier and I can't see any area that is buffed. All the lines are even. The only wear is on the name and the numbers round the back, and a tiny spot on the pattern round the bow ring. If it is a relacquer it's the best job I've ever seen. I assumed it was because of the uneven letters, but I'm not so sure now.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Interesting stuff. I've not seen that Selmer factory clip for a while.
Still, on that first sax, the shot with name on the bell has a bit of guard foot showing. Around it there appears to be a bit of polish/ rouge which can be the telltale sign of a relacquer. (I find that infuraiting. My Martin is red inside - why can't they clean it up?)
On the shot with the patent and serial numbers it looks a bit rough and there's some solder or something that's got into the patterns round the bow ring.
Lacquer over repair job must be relacquer (???)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thought I'd stick some mroe pictures of my MkVI up - trying to show the even lines of the engraving. If it is a relacquer it is a superb job. I wonder if it is because the rest of the horn is in such good condition. The keys are silver plated with no wear. The pearls are sound. Screws show no sign of wear, including the brass ones.
The only sign of buffing was over the lettering and patent numbers. Now I've learnt this is done before lacquering I can't decide if my horn is original or not.
 

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I don't know why you're worried - it's looks very original to me. In any case, unless you're trying to sell it, the only thing that really matters is how it plays, no?
 

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I don't know why you're worried - it's looks very original to me. In any case, unless you're trying to sell it, the only thing that really matters is how it plays, no?
Ditto . It is a lovely horn. It's possible to relaquer a horn and preserve the engraving, but that is not often the case. Of course it would take more time and care and in the normal industrial production or high volume shop, that's usually not the case. In talking to a repair tech I used back in the 70's and 80's, there seemed to be this concern about removing all the pitting and of course that would require more agressive buffing. If your horn is a relacquer, it's a good one and I wouldn't give it a second thought. It's also possible to get a horn re-engraved. That's a remote possibility, I suppose. The main thing is, it's pretty, you like it, so enjoy it.-----------Cheers
 

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Like Juan said, they are stamped, then buffed, then lacquered, then engraved, then a final lacquer coat after padding. Also the stamping is sometimes very even, sometimes not- this goes for both the logo and the serial. I have seen many many Selmers where the stamping looks for all the world like a sure sign of relacquering on a horn that is very obviously original. So the stamping can be a clue, but sometimes it is a red herring, and it can never be used by itself to figure out the originality of the finish.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Cheers guys.
I've always thought you could tell relacquers by buffing marks but hadn't really thought too much about the name being done first. I wanted to confirm the process for future reference - and I guess the horn value is significantly affected. A nice condition original is going to be worth a great deal more than a relacquer - such is the market. It seems everyone is claiming original lacquer when selling - I wasn't sure. Really, I want to sell it on at some point. I'm just enjoying it at the moment.
Finally I want to know how careful to be with the horn. If it's original I want to try and keep it fresh. I keep my Super20 tenor safe and use my Trevor James Signature for every day playing. It's getting a bit worn as the top coat of lacquer over the silver plate wears away very easily. I got it so cheaply that the resale value isn't going to be affected too much if it's a bit tatty. Similarly if a relacquer gets a bit worn it wouldn't lose much value. (Not that I'm carelss or anything.)
 

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Interesting stuff. I've not seen that Selmer factory clip for a while.
Still, on that first sax, the shot with name on the bell has a bit of guard foot showing. Around it there appears to be a bit of polish/ rouge which can be the telltale sign of a relacquer. (I find that infuraiting. My Martin is red inside - why can't they clean it up?)
On the shot with the patent and serial numbers it looks a bit rough and there's some solder or something that's got into the patterns round the bow ring.
Lacquer over repair job must be relacquer (???)
It's actually just as likely that red rouge will be found on some rod/pin threads on a completely original sax that has never been washed while disassembled. Also, acid bleed is a sure sign of original lacquer because the old solder flux residues get washed off when the horn is washed/polished before relacquering. Either way, rouge can be found after lacquering, either original or re-done.
 
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