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Forum Contributor 2012, SOTW Saxophone Whisperer,
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3,209 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
As a purple clarinet mouthpiece just came across my repair bench to get a new cork put on it, I had a thought ....

What if you were wearing a blindfold and were trying different saxophones, and the one that seemed like the best saxophone you ever played turned out to be some disgusting color or color combination, would it still end up becoming your main gigging horn to be used in public?

Basically if you hated they way a saxophone looked but LOVED the way it played - would you still buy it?

(the disgusting color would have to be different for everybody so lets leave that as a generalization.)
 

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SOTW Columnist and Forum Contributor 2015-2016
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3,832 Posts
Yes. If it's a color that means lacquer (typically) which can always be stripped off chemically so as not to alter the horns playing characteristics. Absolutely would purchase.

- Saxaholic
 

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Über Geek, Forum Contributor 2010 Distinguished SO
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3,841 Posts
I'd dig it, but I have a bizarre attraction to fugly saxophones.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member
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2,319 Posts
Only if I could get rid of the color. I might still buy it otherwise but would have to pick and choose at what kind of venue I would use it. I might just use it at home for enjoyment or if I did a studio thing.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2010
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3,310 Posts
My horns seem to be getting fuglier by the day, but I love how they sound (if not how I play), so they will be keepers. Having said that if they were purple to start with I dont know if I would have bitten so hard...


If its really possible to strip and relaq without affecting anything, why are the vintage / selmer VI crowd so nervous about relaqs...
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
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Yes. If it's a color that means lacquer (typically) which can always be stripped off chemically so as not to alter the horns playing characteristics. Absolutely would purchase.

- Saxaholic
But, but... It is firmly established that removing the lacquer WILL alter the horn's playing characteristics. Or isn't it?
 

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SOTW Columnist and Forum Contributor 2015-2016
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Dr. G, you have to stop. You're making a habit out of causing me to chuckle out loud, which sometimes results in choking on my water bottle.

To Canadiain: If you chemically strip the lacquer, the integrity of the metal isn't affected. The reason why relacquering has the evil mythos surrounding it is some relacquers are done by buffing the hell out of the horn, which removes metal and can cause problems.

- Saxaholic
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
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32,943 Posts
If its really possible to strip and relaq without affecting anything, why are the vintage / selmer VI crowd so nervous about relaqs...
Because the market has gone STUPID and you can stand to lose many thousands of dollars if you pay for "original lacquer" only to find that it is a relacquer when you try to sell it.
 

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I will answer yes. If I am being judged by what color my saxophone is rather than the sounds that are coming from it, I don't want to live on this planet anymore. If it smelled bad... That's a different story. I have always wanted a strange colored sax, but the red and blue ones are always of lesser quality.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
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4,466 Posts
Dr. G, you have to stop. You're making a habit out of causing me to chuckle out loud, which sometimes results in choking on my water bottle.

some relacquers are done by buffing the hell out of the horn, which removes metal and can cause problems.

- Saxaholic
or can it?
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician
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I'd dig it, but I have a bizarre attraction to fugly saxophones.
I kinda feel that way too... but then to be fair, I figured I'd answer the question not in regard to what color the horn might be, but perhaps in regard to something that would greatly offend me; engraved in a manner that couldn't be concealed. If so, then I'd pass.
 

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My mentor had an old Busher Bari that he got for dirt cheap because some mold or mildew was growing on it and turning the horn green. He never played it live because it didn't have a low a but he said it had the best sound of any horn he has ever played the even though it was green and smelled funny
 

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Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
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Yup! I'd buy it and play it in public.
If they're staring at the ugly horn they won't be paying attention to the awful sound coming out of the bell! ;)
 

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My 10m is ugly. Not the good ugly, the kind aspired to by new production bare brass horns. Mine is the bad ugly. Worn yellow lacquer with a subtle touch of green, cloudy nickel keys. I love the horn though, and don't think I'll ever give it up. The pearls were worn down by use by the previous owner, so someone else must have thought it was special too (or maybe they had enough sense to just use what they had). I've thought about stripping the lacquer and buffing the keys. The horn would look sharp, but I can't help but think it would lose some character.

But I suppose you're wondering if there is a thing as too ugly.



...probably.
 

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Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
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That horn would be perfect for those little girls who still play with Barbies!
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member
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Actually Iwouldn't mind playing that LA sax in public- maybe at one of my 50's gigs.I would try to get it to glow like Big jay McNeely's Conn.
 
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