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  1. #161
    Distinguished SOTW Member kymarto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Yes, these tests have been done with accelerometers attached to the horn body. The body expands one micrometer in response to the pressure of the air column. This translates into a radiated sound 10000x weaker than that of the air column. This is completely imperceptible. As an analogy, think about lighting a match in a room lilluminated by a 1000 watt floodlight. Yes, if the room is completely dark the light from the match is significant, but when the room is strongly illuminated, can you see the difference when the match is burning? More accurately: can you tell the difference between 10000 candles burning and 10001?

    Here's something to chew on in reference to "who knows what the ear can detect?": an experiment was done with trombone bells, using ten top pro trombonists as test subjects. Unlike woodwind tubes, bone bells can and do vibrate enough to be significant. However in blind tests, not one of those pros could tell the bells apart, even though there were differences of up to 2dB in the partials making up the radiated sound spectrum measured at the position of the player's ear. 2dB is well within the range of perception. Oh, and of course all those guys could "hear" a clear difference in those bells before the lights went out...

    In answer to your last question: as explained in F&R, even in a very thin tube of circular cross section, the lowest resonant frequency lies well above any playing frequency. Of course you can tap it and it will ring somewhat like a bell, but this is a deformational mode that is not excited by the air column. For an analog of what an air column would do to a bell, try to imagine a 360 degree hammer that strikes the bell at the same time around the entire circumference. In a normal bell, the first frequency at which the bell would ring if hit like that would be well in the supersonic range.

  2. #162
    Distinguished SOTW Member Aldevis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    I am happy to have found this thread active.
    I am currently trying a lovely SML nickel plated: quite an uncommon finish on a Gold Medal. And no engraving.
    It sounds very well, but there is something in the finish stopping me from buying it. I am generally not fussy about the look of horns. My yani silver plated soprano now looks like a piece of rust and my tenor is green.

    Any comment about nickel plated horns?

    When, years ago, I used to work in a music shop, the old man had a theory about Selmers (SA80II at the time): They selected the best ones for engraving and the even better for silver plating.

    Does it make sense?

  3. #163
    Distinguished SOTW Technician Stephen Howard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    No, it doesn't.

    Have a think about it...lacquered horn are far more popular than plated ones.
    On the whole, players who prefer silver-plated horns will take lacquered ones instead - but player who don't like plated horns simply won't buy them.
    It makes no sense then to make the 'best in range' horns all silver-plated.

    Regards,
    Stephen Howard
    www.shwoodwind.co.uk
    - Woodwind instrument repairs & period restorations
    Author, Haynes Saxophone Manual, Haynes Clarinet Manual

  4. #164
    Distinguished SOTW Member Aldevis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Howard View Post
    No, it doesn't.

    Have a think about it...lacquered horn are far more popular than plated ones.
    On the whole, players who prefer silver-plated horns will take lacquered ones instead - but player who don't like plated horns simply won't buy them.
    It makes no sense then to make the 'best in range' horns all silver-plated.

    Regards,
    Thanks Stephen,
    the man said they did that to justify the difference in price.
    but I am still curious to know if there is a form of selection before the finishing.

    There was on buffet clarinet: apparently R13, Evette, Evette Master Model used to come out from the same factory and branded differently after a test playing.

    i have no idea what kind of quality control can be in use nowadays.

  5. #165
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    horns are plated before they are in playable state so how would anybody know which is better to be plated based on a sound they cannot , yet, hear?

    So, it doesn't make sense and it is an " urban legend" based on something totally impossible and illogical.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aldevis View Post
    Any comment about nickel plated horns?
    nickel plating has to be one of the more durable finishing but is is not to everybody's taste.

    Even Selmer offered this finish (rare) in the past and a nickel plated horn from the '30 can look as good as new nowadays. The only problem is that undenting such a horn might result in the nickel plate cracking and that won't be very nice.

  6. #166
    Distinguished SOTW Technician Stephen Howard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    I think if I was a manufacturer I'd probably prefer to to plate the horns that had cosmetic blemishes that might show under a lacquer finish.
    These would be harmless, and in no way affect the playability of the horn - for example, a visible seam joint.

    Regards,
    Stephen Howard
    www.shwoodwind.co.uk
    - Woodwind instrument repairs & period restorations
    Author, Haynes Saxophone Manual, Haynes Clarinet Manual

  7. #167
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    They plate the ones that are made from shell casings.

  8. #168
    Forum Contributor 2011 Koen88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    I have a 1960`s Amati Toneking Nickel plated (gold wash bell) and it`s still in maticulate condition.. besides the fact that the bell attachement rod came loose, and someone soldered it quite nasty.

  9. #169
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    They plate the ones that are made from shell casings.
    I have been told........ (urban legends always start this way) that all Asian saxophones are made using spent American shells used in Vietnam. (not a political statement!) if anything is wrong with them must be because of the Agent Orange!

  10. #170

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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Two identical Conn saxes are in my possession, one silver plated and the other gold plated, both like new. The silver one, my preference, is more "focused" and the gold one is more "warm", not alike at all. Who knows what this means?

  11. #171

    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    How are you sure they're identical? The same model form the same time period does not mean they are identical. That would require analysis of their interiors to make sure they are exactly the same.

  12. #172
    Distinguished SOTW Member Dr G's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by Aldevis View Post
    When, years ago, I used to work in a music shop, the old man had a theory about Selmers (SA80II at the time): They selected the best ones for engraving and the even better for silver plating.

    Does it make sense?
    Only if they fully assemble the horns, play them, then strip apart the best ones, remove their pads and springs and then refinish them.

    Maybe that's why silver plated horns are more expensive...





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    "When you are doing well, don't forget to do good." - Sichan Siv.

  13. #173
    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by wesbrow View Post
    Two identical Conn saxes are in my possession, one silver plated and the other gold plated, both like new. The silver one, my preference, is more "focused" and the gold one is more "warm", not alike at all. Who knows what this means?
    They're two different horns. I find my friend's Mk VI tenor stuffy and hard to play. I find mine free blowing with a nice spread sound when pushed. They were set up by the same technician. The finish is nearly identical.
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

  14. #174
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani View Post
    They're two different horns. I find my friend's Mk VI tenor stuffy and hard to play. I find mine free blowing with a nice spread sound when pushed. They were set up by the same technician. The finish is nearly identical.
    This happens. Though one person's "stuffy" could be another's "dark"

  15. #175
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by wesbrow View Post
    Two identical Conn saxes are in my possession, one silver plated and the other gold plated, both like new. The silver one, my preference, is more "focused" and the gold one is more "warm", not alike at all. Who knows what this means?
    This is an Oxymoron.

    As others have remarked, there is not such a thing as “ two identical saxophones” because even saxophones made in the same way are, in fact, different, so what you have are two saxophones of the same model which play differently, and we know that that is normal, that is why , ideally, when you buy a new saxophone you chose several examples of the same model and play them against each other to choose the one which plays the best.

    If that wasn’t the case, you could order a saxophone mail order and expect all to play in the same way..........but we know that that isn not happening.

  16. #176

    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    What Milandro say is true,

    Even it is the same model but produce over different time period will be different. Hell, even produced in the same time period will be different because of the final assemble and adjusting personal. If you don't trust me , look at the cork for the 2 same mdoel horn which is under the same key. the angel and depth of the cut usually various from person to person.

  17. #177
    Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    A sheet of metal is cut and folded to a frustum (decapitated cone), and brazed down the length (by hand). The heat distorts the metal. it is not round in cross section. Each one is slightly different. They are put over a mandrel and beaten until they approximately fit the mandrel. They are all beaten slightly differently, so the metal is distorted differently, especially since the beating work-hardens the metal, and that will occur in different places on the metal for each cone. . So each come comes off that mandrel a slightly different shape. And much bigger differences occur in the bell, bow and neck. Shape does make differences to tone.

    So two saxes coming off the same production line on the same day will be different, just as two eggs fried the same way in a restaurant will not be the same.

    Nothing to do with the finish of the sax.

    As others have suggested.
    Contentment is not the fulfilment of what you want, but the realisation of how much you already have.

  18. #178
    Distinguished SOTW Member
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon (NZ) View Post
    Nothing to do with the finish of the sax.
    While it's possible that this is true, it's still just pure speculation.

  19. #179

    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Sorry if this is wrong ,

    From Wikepedia

    Hot air travels faster



    From Wikepedia

    ... Reflectivity is inversely related to emissivity and when added together their total should equal 1 for an opaque material. Therefore, if asphalt has a thermal emissivity value of 0.90 its thermal reflectance value would be 0.10. This means that it absorbs and emits 90% of radiant thermal energy and reflects only 10%. Conversely, a low-e material such as aluminum foil has a thermal emissivity value of 0.03 and a thermal reflectance value of 0.97, meaning it reflects 97% of radiant thermal energy and emits only 3%. ...
    Materials absorb and reflect thermal energy



    From www.instrumart.com

    Gold- > Emissivity -> 0.10
    Silver > Emissivity -> 0.02
    Two saxophones:

    Pure Gold -> Absorbs and emits 10% of radiant thermal energy and reflects 90%
    Pure Silver - > Absorbs and emits 2% of radiant thermal energy and reflects 98%

    Wich one will be harder to play in tune?

  20. #180
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    This happens. Though one person's "stuffy" could be another's "dark"
    or "velvety" or "breathy"

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