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Thread: Light colour gold wash bell - does it mean the horn is overbuffed?

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    Default Light colour gold wash bell - does it mean the horn is overbuffed?

    I recently found a nice vintage horn with satin silver plating and gold wash bell. The satin Silver plating looks beautiful but the gold wash bell is very light colour - like, close to just silver.

    I'm just wondering if that necessary means the horn's plating is buffed before? I've seen some horns with very "goldish" wash bell. How can I tell if it is original?
    If you don't live it, it won't come out your horn. - Charlie Parker

  2. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Member LateNiteSax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light colour gold wash bell - does it mean the horn is overbuffed?

    Most likely its been polished by a bunch of times by someone who didn't know that you do are not supposed to polish gold plating. You will polish it right off the the horn, it is very soft. The gold in the bell of your horn is polished away, revealing the underlying silver.
    "We sax players need to stick together and save the world." Sonny Rollins, 1993 after a show.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
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    Default Re: Light colour gold wash bell - does it mean the horn is overbuffed?

    A lot depends on the brand. I have found some Bueschers where the gold is almost nickel looking and some that look copper. My Martins are in the middle and many of my Conns are very light. I look more for areas that are not even and hope to find horns that have the same amount of gold all around. Inner bells are not usually machine buffed and light hand polishing is the best route. Satin silver horns often have the keys buffed but not the body.

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    Distinguished SOTW Technician griff136's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light colour gold wash bell - does it mean the horn is overbuffed?

    basically because the plating inside the bell was gold - and very expensive - the gold plating on most makes of horn inside the bell was very thin. Thats why it's referred to as a gold wash bell as opposed to a gold plated bell - it is a play on words - but just means that the plating is super thin and over time will eventually rub off.

    I have in the past have re plated inside the bells to good effect and the customers satisfaction, using a gold plating pen like this kit shown here on the video clip http://www.goldn.co.uk/?gclid=CLXH8K...Fc8Z4QodNwG0pQ

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    Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian paulwl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light colour gold wash bell - does it mean the horn is overbuffed?

    Some Buescher bell washes were apparently a copper solution that contained no gold at all. These fade particularly badly with time, tarnish and polishing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bear at Cybersax.com
    There are two techniques for achieving [bell wash]. A yellow gold effect is achieved simply by briefly plating a highly polished silver inner bell in 24 karat gold. The plating bath isn't maintained long enough to make the surface layer so dense in gold to be ‘gold plated’ – merely ‘washed’ over with a lovely golden tint. The second method results in a ‘rose gold’ effect, used primarily by Buescher on its silver plated saxes made after about 1925. 'Rose gold' is gorgeous, but really not gold at all. The 'rose gold' effect is achieved by laying on a copper wash (thin layer of copper plating) instead of a 24K gold wash.
    Source: cybersax.com
    Jazz = a man with a $5,000 horn driving a $500 car to a $50 gig.
    Conn, Buescher & Martin Saxes - Selmer & Conn Clarinets - Woodwind, Morgan, Link & Brilhart Mouthpieces - Alexander Reeds

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    Distinguished SOTW Member Dr G's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light colour gold wash bell - does it mean the horn is overbuffed?

    Bear is not always right. Rose gold is a low alloy of gold - 25% copper. Copper wash would be a very different hue.
    Go for The Tone,

    g



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

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    Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and 2014 Forum Contributor maddenma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light colour gold wash bell - does it mean the horn is overbuffed?

    No idea what it would cost in HK to do this, but it's quite possible to get the gold wash redone. Had this done to my Buescher C-melody last year. Cost was $90 at Anderson Plating.
    1926 Buescher True Tone Series III Gold Plated Soprano -- Morgan Vintage 6
    1936 Buescher Custom Built Bare Brass Baritone -- Strathon 8*
    1938 Buescher Aristocrat "Custom Built" Gold Plated Baritone -- Strathon 8*
    1939 Buescher Aristocrat Silver Plated Series I Alto -- Ishimori Traditional Jazz 7, TW Durga 8
    1947 Buescher 400 B-11 "Top Hat & Cane" Bare Brass Tenor -- TW Durga 8
    1949 Buescher Aristocrat "Big B" Lacquer Alto -- Ishimori Traditional Jazz 7
    1949 Buescher Aristocrat Gold Plated "Big B" Tenor -- TW Durga 8



    Nothing works so well in gathering information as a display of ignorance. I've been learning a lot lately.


  8. #8

    Default Re: Light colour gold wash bell - does it mean the horn is overbuffed?

    I have a very early SML Alto without RTH in a wonderful two tone silver plating and gold wash bell.
    It does not say "Standard" at the Bell.

    My Conn 10M silver plated with Gold wash bell has the same light golden Color inside the Bell.
    No differencd between them. The Conn was build in 44´ and the SML 45´.

    If you could write the Brand of your Vintage Horn or post some Pictures,
    it were much easier to tell you if it was a original.

    But as many People wrote befor.
    Gold wasn´t cheap at all - they wash out real Gold-Particles in a very thin ply.

    It would make me a few nervous if there were a thick ply of Gold inside the Bell and the Horn was produced around the War.
    Especially if it wasn´t a Top of the Line Horn from a well known Brand.

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    Forum Contributor 2012 dubrosa22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light colour gold wash bell - does it mean the horn is overbuffed?

    My SML Rev D has a bell that has goldish hues but I thought nothing of it until my tech suggested restoring the goldwash bell.
    I didn't believe it ever had a goldwash personally until recently I've seen a number of SMLs with the feature. Most are 40s horns though not early 50s.

    The rim of the bell is pretty much just silver but below it definitely could be goldwash... it's goldish/copperish not bare brass.
    Unfortunately it's very hard to capture with a photo.


    Does anyone know of SML Rev Ds with a goldwash bell?

    Alto: SML 'Revision D' // Selmer 'Short Shank' Soloist C*
    Tenor: Selmer TS600L // Otto Link STM 6*; Berg 95/1/M

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