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  1. #1
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    Default Did Buescher lacquer-coat its plated horns?

    I recently rebuilt a gold-plated Buescher True-Tone tenor (circa 1927) and in the process quickly found that the body and most of the keys had a coat of clear lacquer.

    I'm assuming this was something that one of the horn's owners had a a repair shop do later in life. But I thought I might ask the Buescher experts here. Did the horn makers put protective lacquer coats on their plated horns?

    Not a Buescher, but I also have a silver Martin Comm II that served in the military. It too had a heavy coat of clear lacquer that had yellowed. I chemically stripped that away but wondered if it was something the military bands routinely did to their plated horns.

  2. #2
    Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and 2014 Forum Contributor maddenma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Buescher lacquer-coat its plated horns?

    No. Near as I know, Buescher didn't lacquer anything in 1927 as a normal thing. Certainly wasn't one of the regular finish options in the catalogue, though I do know of a green lacquer straight alto from somewhere in that period. Might have been able to get them to do it as a custom finish, but I suspect the lacquer was probably applied later.

    That said, I have a gold 1926 sop with silver keys. That wasn't a regular finish option either, so who knows for sure what they were willing to do with a special order. The green straight alto certainly indicates an occasional flirtation with custom work.

    Can't speak for the other manufacturers though. Strikes me that I've read that the Silversonics had lacquer on them, but I don't know when they started that.
    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
    1980-something Yamaha YBS-61 Baritone -- Strathon 8*



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


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Did Buescher lacquer-coat its plated horns?

    Quote Originally Posted by maddenma View Post
    No. Near as I know, Buescher didn't lacquer anything in 1927. Certainly wasn't one of the finish options in the catalogue.

    Can't speak for the other manufacturers though. Strikes me that I've read that the Silversonics had lacquer on them, but I don't know when they started that.
    That's what I thought. In fact, I think I may have asked this question about half a decade ago and forgot. Oh well, haven't been around here in a long time....

    My guess is that the horns I have were given a shot of clear-lacq by repair shops to protect their finishes from wear.

    Modern makers I know do coat their plated horns... Yanagisawa silver necks certainly have a coat of clear lacquer, but yes, I was under the impression lacquer didn't really catch on with the US makers until the '30s.

  4. #4
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian paulwl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Buescher lacquer-coat its plated horns?

    Buescher didn't clearcoat plated horns, but Martin clearcoated all its horns for awhile.
    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

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Did Buescher lacquer-coat its plated horns?

    I have a '28 straight TT soprano in matte silver-plate with polished keywork and engravings. When I got it, it had an after-market lacquer coating. This horn will put the lie to what negative effects folks may THINK lacquer brings to a saxophone. DAVE
    Dave

  6. #6
    Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and 2014 Forum Contributor maddenma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Buescher lacquer-coat its plated horns?

    Meaning that the lacquer is intact?
    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
    1980-something Yamaha YBS-61 Baritone -- Strathon 8*



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


  7. #7
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian paulwl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Buescher lacquer-coat its plated horns?

    Quote Originally Posted by maddenma View Post
    I have a gold 1926 sop with silver keys. That wasn't a regular finish option either, so who knows for sure what they were willing to do with a special order.
    More likely a replate when the gold wore down and the owner couldn't afford new gold!
    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

  8. #8
    Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and 2014 Forum Contributor maddenma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Buescher lacquer-coat its plated horns?

    Although the body's plating is clearly original, it's entirely possible that you're right about the keys -- particularly since the finish on the keywork has imperfections that look a little like dust under lacquer -- 'cept there isn't any lacquer to get dust under.

    I was thinking that perhaps gold had worn off, but it just was too even for that to have been wear. You may have just solved a small mystery.
    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
    1980-something Yamaha YBS-61 Baritone -- Strathon 8*



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


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Did Buescher lacquer-coat its plated horns?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulwl View Post
    Buescher didn't clearcoat plated horns, but Martin clearcoated all its horns for awhile.
    That I didn't know. I have a Comm I (131xxx) here also, in silver with gold wash but no protective lacquer coat. Maybe removed, or before Martin began clearcoating....

  10. #10
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian paulwl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Buescher lacquer-coat its plated horns?

    ISTR from Paul Bro's paper on sax makers that Martin began offering "Martinamel" clearcoating on all finishes in about 1930. My 101xxx Master tenor is silver plated but came with a deteriorated and yellowed clearcoat, probably original(?), which I had stripped during an overhaul.
    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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