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Hi,

I'm a band instrument repair student and have been wondering about what effects platings and lacquers have on a horns character.

To my understanding, pretty much everything added to bare brass will darken a horn to some extent by dampening vibration and canceling out some of the high ends. Does anyone have any opinions(fact-based) on the matter?

Also, I was wondering what lacquers/platings would do if they were on the inside of the instrument. This only comes to mind because I've heard that some early Mark VI's were lacquered on the inside as well as out. It seems that lacquering on the inside would have more of an effect due to the inside of the horns more direct correlation to the actual sound of the instrument. So, does this correlate to the craving of those early VI's? I too have played and owned one of these. There is definately a more prominant directness to the tone of this instrument and other early examples that I've played. Many here can attest to a lot of the later examples being brighter and more spread. Is this all due to a simple lacquering of the inside?

Your pal,

Sausage Mahoney
 

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I am Pretty sure no good is going to come of this:(

this topic has been done to death without any consensus.
but the more favoured opinion is that finish and materials have no affect / effect on tone.
(the plastic grafton is always cited in these discusions)

Try the search button for the many threads on this subject.
this dead horse has been well and truly flogged:shock:

here is somthing to get you started
Plating
http://www.saxontheweb.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=42432&highlight=finish+tone+plating
Lacquer
http://www.saxontheweb.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=40249&highlight=finish+tone+plating
 

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I really like the aticle that Mathew of saxforte did. I believe it. Some on this forum think material and finish doesn't matter. Only the bore. I think the article is intersesting in that it addresses hearing loss at high frequencies as we age and the fact that sax size matters ie tenors and baritones it is easy to hear the differance w/material/finish vs alto/sopranos wich are more difficult to hear a differance.
 

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Josh56 said:
the link tells me 'file not found.'
link works now I cut and pasted in the middle of my thread and deleted a letter by mistake. It works now!!!!SORRY!!!
 

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This has been discussed to death, beaten to a pulp of a dead horse corpse.

Use the search function, and you'll find plenty.

My opinion remains, that the air column makes the sound, and that any vibration in the brass is at such a miniscule level in comparison, that finish makes so little difference as to be undetectable.

I would start by reading about the debates here-they got pretty technical, and there were many scientific studies that were quoted from.

You might also google 'concrete flute'.
 

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You might also google 'concrete flute'. posted by hakukani!!!!!ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!Funny!!!!
 

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Everyone hears differant. Joe Jazz and I both agree Black Nickel Keilwerth tenors have a buzz to their sound(I describe it as a ring to the sound). Some may not hear it!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Josh: Every so often this subject comes up, either with a straight forward question like yours, OR by someone posting a flat statement that finish matters. There are gobs of threads about this.

I am one to believe that the presence or absence of lacquer or plating makes absolutely NO difference in a saxophone's tone or response. And if need be, I can cite example after example of admittedly anecdotal experiences I've had over 50+ years of playing saxophones.

The problem with those who believe that finish matters is that even if they experienced an unlacqured saxophone that played better than a silver-plated saxophone (or any combination of finishes), they cannot prove that the finish was the cause.

Whereas, my experiences tend to disprove the claim that finish matters - why would a lacquered silver-plated brass saxophone sound better and respond better than one with just silver-plate? etc., etc. The pro-finish claims cannot be proven. The anti-finish claims tend to disprove the pro-assertion. DAVE
 

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sycc said:
You might also google 'concrete flute'. posted by hakukani!!!!!ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!Funny!!!!
Have you not read Coltman's study?
 

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sycc said:
Everyone hears differant. Joe Jazz and I both agree Black Nickel Keilwerth tenors have a buzz to their sound(I describe it as a ring to the sound). Some may not hear it!!!!!!!!!!!
I know where the buzz is coming from.....:D

But seriously, if there is a difference in sound, it should be measureable by something more reliable and repeatable than human perception, which is notoriously easily fooled by expectation effects.
 

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hakukani said:
You might also google 'concrete flute'.
a very interesting exercise, as it turned out.

i'd not previously heard of coltman's study. i personally got a kick out of it, as in my recent professional life, i managed environmental compliance what-not for a portland cement factory and its gaggle of concrete batch plants. yet another use for the stuff. who knew?
 

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hakukani said:
Have you not read Coltman's study?
I will google concrete flute!!!!!You have intrigued me!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, I don't see how it's possible for it not to effect the horn. From what you say, not much of anything matters besides the bore and the player. If that were true a copy of a VI would be just as good as the real thing. Or that any sax is as good as another accepting the materials are the same. It only seems logical that if you add something to a material that that same material is changed. This would change the sonic qualities of the horn as well. I don't see how this concept is so outlandish.

Josh
 

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hakukani,Gee and I was so stoked that my DeFord flute was solid sterling silver and not siver plate then I googled concrete flute :cry:
 

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Josh56 said:
Well, I don't see how it's possible for it not to effect the horn. From what you say, not much of anything matters besides the bore and the player. If that were true a copy of a VI would be just as good as the real thing. Or that any sax is as good as another accepting the materials are the same. It only seems logical that if you add something to a material that that same material is changed. This would change the sonic qualities of the horn as well. I don't see how this concept is so outlandish.

Josh
Many things that seem like they should be true are not. Many things about acoustics are counter-intuitive. If the sax were a bell and you struck it, causing it to vibrate--then material/finish would make a great deal of difference. However, a sax is a container/amplifier for a vibrating air column. The vibrating air is most of the sound.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yes, but can it be denied that a saxophone also vibrates? I can feel the vibrations in my hands as I play. So, barring the vibrationless saxophone there should be a difference. Also, if that plating or lacquer is on the inside what does it do to that vibrating column of air? My guess is something different.
 

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The vibrating air column thing would explain why the grafton plastic altos sound good.;)
 

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sycc said:
I really like the aticle that Mathew of saxforte did. I believe it. Some on this forum think material and finish doesn't matter. Only the bore. I think the article is intersesting in that it addresses hearing loss at high frequencies as we age and the fact that sax size matters ie tenors and baritones it is easy to hear the differance w/material/finish vs alto/sopranos wich are more difficult to hear a differance.
When Mathew talks about high frequency loss, he's certainly not talking about sax tone. There's truly not much of anything that even a 5 year old can hear that a 50 year old cannot in the sound of a sax.

In fact, I would say that there's virtually nothing above 12 kHz in any saxophones timbre. Most hf loss in older adults is not significant enough for day to day hearing unless it gets below 12 kHz, which is where some of the 's', 'p', and 'b' consonants have much of their acoustic energy.

I find it odd, also, that no one seems to talk about anything other than 'high frequencies is where brightness and edge come from.'

I specifically thing that the tones that make the sax bright are the 4th-8th harmonic, and edge tones are the 9th-12th harmonic.

I suppose I should sometime take some measurements with a spectrum analyzer while using different mouthpieces to see where these fall. Anyone know any grad student out there that's done such a thing?
 
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