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Discussion Starter #1
I have a lovely nickle plate Keilwerth toneking tenor (21xxx). Recently, as I have gotten to know the horn better, and comparing it to vintage silverplate and lacquered keilwerths, I have found it a little unresonant and was wondering if taking the nickle plating off the body would help this?? I recently helped a friend strip his heavily relacquered Amati Toneking tenor and it completely changed the horn and opened up the sound.
Do you think this could apply to my nickle plate tenor?
I have very little experiance with these sorts of things so all opinions are greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
 

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Nickel plate is usually applied very thinly as an undercoat prior to silver plating (nickel is normally applied to a thickness of less than 10 microns, which is much thinner than any lacquered or silver plated finish - silver can then be applied onto the nickel from 12 to 25 microns, and lacquer is much thicker still), so for the expense of having the nickel stripped and then the sax rebuilt it's not worth it, and chances are you may not even notice the difference in sound as the nickel plating is so thin to begin with - nickel plate is the closest you'll get to having an unplated sax in terms of the thickness of the plating - it's applied to prevent the brass tarnishing, but applied so thin it's almost as if the brass is still bare.

And the processes (chemical stripping and reverse plating) to remove the nickel could also erode the brass leaving the finish pitted. So save your money and leave it as is - maybe a full overhaul with good quality pads throughout could bring it back to life as the existing pads could be porous causing the lack of resonance (I have no idea of the condition, I'm assuming it hasn't been overhauled for a while and the pads are old).
 

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For what it's worth, I used to have nickel plating on my '69 VI. I had it stripped off (Don't worry, Mark VI freaks, the nickel wasn't original anyways). I didn't ever really like how the nickel felt under my fingers, and the tone felt like it was somewhat lacking. I had it removed, and it was like my horn had grown from a child into an adult. The horn was more responsive, more in tune, and felt great. Now the only problem I have is my hands smelling like (br)*** after I play or practice. But the trade-off is worth it. Just remember, this is what happened to me, and I'm by no means saying it'll happen to you. Just though it may help your decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies.
I ended up selling the horn anyway in favour of a Martin.
 
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