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Wonder if those with silver-plated instruments would be kind enough to share their choices with respect to care. A recent and still pristine horn is coming to me and I’m wondering about anti-tarnish strips in case. Also whether tarnish itself is good aesthetic option for vintage vibe or just suggests sad pawn shop neglect. I am kind of a care nut and wipe down, swab and plain-paper-dry the pads every time I play. Thanks for your experiences!
 

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Re: Silver Plate — Polish or Tarnish?

I have had good success with Dr's Products Gleam Anti-Tarnish Sachets. They are advertised to contain 75% more of the anti tarnish chemical than the 3M strips. Haggerty's silver polish cloths are also an effective way to polish and shine accessible areas.
 

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I don't polish my silver plated saxophones, or my flutes either for that matter. Where you touch them they stay shiny and where you don't they develop a grey patina that I think looks classy, like the old Louis Lot that Paul Taffanel is playing on the frontispiece of the Grands Exercises Journaliers.

Silver tarnish will NOT harm the function of your instrument in any way.

By the way I have been playing silver plated instruments (not exclusively, I also have several lacquered brass) since 1984 when I bought my Conn baritone. Yep, they tarnish. I am not into "ooohh, all new and shiny" anyway, not with my musical instruments, my cars, my suits or shoes, or much of anything else.

The great thing about leaving silver plate alone is how incredibly easy it is to care for. Here's what you do to take care of it.











Got all that?
 

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I have silver Yamaha’s and I’ve had my tenor for 1 year and it’s all ready heavily tarnished. I just tried to polish it up and I can’t really get it to look great again. I’m not going to mess with it and just let it tarnish and when it needs work I’ll ask my tech if he has a solution. I also have the matching alto which is new and still looks great . It will tarnish too. But the horns play so good I’m just going to let them tarnish . You would think companies would have a solution to this by now
 

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I bought my silver Yamaha already tarnished, so I kept it that way. I was in high school at the time, so I didn't have the knowledge to properly clean it, nor did I care. I was jsut happy to have a fabulous ax. Still am.
 

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Re: Silver Plate — Polish or Tarnish?

I have silver Yamaha’s and I’ve had my tenor for 1 year and it’s all ready heavily tarnished. I just tried to polish it up and I can’t really get it to look great again. I’m not going to mess with it and just let it tarnish and when it needs work I’ll ask my tech if he has a solution. I also have the matching alto which is new and still looks great . It will tarnish too. But the horns play so good I’m just going to let them tarnish . You would think companies would have a solution to this by now
They do, some companies lacquer over the silver plate.

Of course, if the lacquer starts to come off then you have an ugly piebald appearance.

No company is going to be able to re-engineer the oxidation potential of silver in an atmosphere that contains oxygen.
 

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I transitioned to nearly all vintage silver-plated horns beginning back about 15 years ago. None of them look as good now as when overhauled/cleaned, but they're also not tarnished messes. At first I may have polished spots a bit, without taking off keys and going nuts, but I haven't even done that in years. I do keep those paper strips in the case, or have kept them in cases. Have no idea if they worked, but then again... I haven't had to deal with major tarnish issues over time. But if you want your horns shiny and new looking always... it's going to take work. Work I abandoned long ago.
 

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I like polished silver saxophones and clarinets (I have a Silver King clarinet that is gorgeous - and requires little effort). I don't mind the work it takes to keep 'em that way. I don't use silver-strips.

Some of mine tarnish (a silver YSS62S comes to mind) and some don't (a TT soprano with what appeared to be an after-market lacquer coating).

Turf3 is right about the look of a silver-plate coated in lacquer becoming ugly when the lacquer wears off - I have silver-plated Yanagisawa soprano necks where the lacquer has deteriorated (but Yanagisawa's lacquer seems to deteriorate regardless of the underlying finish).

I once owned a new Selmer Serie III soprano in silver-plate. It required some work to keep it looking new, but it was striking in appearance and I received many compliments about its appearance. Too bad the actual playing experience didn't match the horn's appearance.

Only time will tell, after you receive that horn, as to whether or not it will need periodic attention. If you enjoy "pulling maintenance" on your stuff, it should not be a problem. I have a pair of silver mits that work very nicely and keep the chores to a reasonable level. DAVE
 

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When I brought a silver plated sop to Les for an overhaul, he cleaned it up nicely but suggested not to polish the silver to make it all shiny or whatever because each time you are removing silver and eventually it’s gone.

I don’t know myself how much silver there is or how much gets removed from polishing, but it makes sense to me. Polsihing certainly doesn’t add any silver.

Oh, I sold that sop. And I have realized that after owning a few silver plated horns, I don’t really care for the look.
 

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Regardless of what one may think about Jupiter saxes...
I have an SG889 which was the silver plate with lacquered key work. It was absolutely beautiful when I bought it. But, it has definitely turned that grayish black. It looks kind of interesting but I still liked it better when it was shiny.
I'm just leary of taking it apart to polish it.
 

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Re: Silver Plate — Polish or Tarnish?

I use Goddard’s polishing cloth on my ‘45 Silver Plate Zephyr alto because bright silver highlights the gold wash in the bell.
 

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Re: Silver Plate — Polish or Tarnish?

Regardless of what one may think about Jupiter saxes...
I have an SG889 which was the silver plate with lacquered key work. It was absolutely beautiful when I bought it. But, it has definitely turned that grayish black. It looks kind of interesting but I still liked it better when it was shiny.
I'm just leary of taking it apart to polish it.

The JTS-889SG is a jewel of a horn. Only players who think ill of Jupiters are ones who played the cheap, badly maintained, student models in grammar school. All the silver and gold Artist models I've owned, tenor, alto, and soprano, were great.

Keep the horn cased, never left out exposed to air circulation. Polishing it lightly once a year will do it no harm, although its silver plating is quite thin. And you will be surprised how little surface area you cannot reach without removing action parts.
 

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Re: Silver Plate — Polish or Tarnish?

Regardless of what one may think about Jupiter saxes...
I have an SG889 which was the silver plate with lacquered key work. It was absolutely beautiful when I bought it. But, it has definitely turned that grayish black. It looks kind of interesting but I still liked it better when it was shiny.
I'm just leary of taking it apart to polish it.
Go for it!



P.S. No calipers needed. I was just measuring my horn for a set of pads.
 

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I’m wondering about anti-tarnish strips in case. Also whether tarnish itself is good aesthetic option for vintage vibe or just suggests sad pawn shop neglect. I am kind of a care nut and wipe down, swab and plain-paper-dry the pads every time I play.
Anti tarnation strips work. They help dissipate sulfur from the case environment. Hard rubber mouthpieces are made with sulfur, not keeping it in the case helps. The cosmetic appearance of your instrument is a personal thing.
No one will think more or less of you if you play it well.
Hagertys has some great silver care products. Saxoclese & Dr G introduced me to these products and they work extremely well.
 

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Re: Silver Plate — Polish or Tarnish?

Regardless of what one may think about Jupiter saxes...
I have an SG889 which was the silver plate with lacquered key work. It was absolutely beautiful when I bought it. But, it has definitely turned that grayish black. It looks kind of interesting but I still liked it better when it was shiny.
I'm just leary of taking it apart to polish it.
Go for it. Have a good quality screwdriver and a spring hook. Look closely and identify the pivots on screws that are different from hing rods so you don’t bend them. Accept the fact you’re going to get stuck by a spring at least once. Take lots of pictures to refer to later for assembly.
 

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Re: Silver Plate — Polish or Tarnish?

The JTS-889SG is a jewel of a horn. Only players who think ill of Jupiters are ones who played the cheap, badly maintained, student models in grammar school. All the silver and gold Artist models I've owned, tenor, alto, and soprano, were great.

Keep the horn cased, never left out exposed to air circulation. Polishing it lightly once a year will do it no harm, although its silver plating is quite thin. And you will be surprised how little surface area you cannot reach without removing action parts.
Thanks, man! I've got a Martin, a Kohlert 57 and a Yani and the Artist holds it's own.
 

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Re: Silver Plate — Polish or Tarnish?

Go for it!



P.S. No calipers needed. I was just measuring my horn for a set of pads.
I know G...
We've had this discussion before. And, I've admired those pictures you've posted of the Borgs on many occasions! My hat's off to you, my friend. It's not that I'm not mechanically inclined. I think my lack of confidence stems from poor eyesight and some very small parts! :)
 
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