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  1. #1
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    Default Lacquer vs nickel plate(black)

    Got my oldest daughter a lacquered Keilwerth EX-90 II tenor instead of the more expensive EX 90 II Black nickel plate and the cannonball big bell nickel plate w/ silver keys. It got me thinking how well does nickel plate hold up vs lacquer and how thick is nickel plate????I know nickel plate makes horn brighter and we prefered sound of the lacquered brass(darker).

  2. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Member kymarto's Avatar
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    Finish doesn't affect the sound at all. If the nickel plate sounded brighter it is because the dimensions of the horn are different. It doesn't take much difference in dimension to affect timbre, and you will find different response in different exemplars of the same horn with the same finish due to normal manufacturing variations. Nickel generally holds up better than lacquer--just look at 30 yr. old horns in plate and lacquer and you will see the difference. Nicklel is obviously much harder than lacquer.

    Toby

  3. #3
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    sycc: The subject of finishes-vs.-sound has been beaten to death on SOTW. I've vowed to confront those notions whenever they come up.

    I agree with Toby - a horn's finish has no effect on the horn's sound. I've played similar models of various horns and they sounded the same regardless of finish. When the sound IS different, it is most likely because of the way the horn was assembled (pads, pad-openings, etc.).

    My experience with silver-colored nickle finishes are that nickle dulls out over time. DAVE
    Dave

  4. #4

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    On the other hand, the black nickle finish sure looks a hell of a lot cooler than a plain old gold lacquer.

    --On the other hand, once everybody is playing a cool looking nickel finish horn, mabey the gold lacquer will the the new "retro" hip finish to have.
    Justice C. Bigler
    alto: JK SX-90R clear nickel 110,xxx
    tenor: JK SX-90R nickel silver 121,xxx

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all of your replies guys!!!!!We got lacquer because it's nuts enough to get a EX 90 II tenor for a elementary student let alone spend $400 more for black nicklel plate. I also played the SX-90 in lacquer, it sounded real similar to the lacquer EX-90 II. I thought the EX-90 II in black nickel plate I tried at USA horn was brighter than the lacquer EX 90 II we bought at Music and arts center but 2 differant places = differant acoustics. Should of brought my tenor to Usa horn to use as a referance on tone signature not just mouthpiece. Brought my USA omega tenor(sterling silver neck) w/ me to Music and Arts center.

  6. #6
    Distinguished SOTW Member kymarto's Avatar
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    Lacquer tends to get beat up over time, and sometimes if solder flux is left around posts you get discoloration under the lacquer. Don't expect it to last forever, but modern epoxy lacquers are much more durable than their older nitrocellulose counterparts. I agree FWIW that $400 extra for something that doesn't affect the playability of the horn is not really worth it, unless you have money to burn.

    Toby

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by sycc
    ...it's nuts enough to get a EX 90 II tenor for a elementary student...
    Oh, well, by all means, if it's just for an elementary student, then all you need is gold lacquer. Everyone's gotta pay their dues on a plain old gold lacquer horn. I thought your daughter might be in high school and this was a present for making all state, or something.
    Justice C. Bigler
    alto: JK SX-90R clear nickel 110,xxx
    tenor: JK SX-90R nickel silver 121,xxx

  8. #8
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    Yeah both daughters play and are spoiled-but they play very very well for their age. Very proud of them. Try to get them the best equipment within reason sometimes a bit beyond reason. LOL

  9. #9
    Distinguished SOTW Member kymarto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sycc
    Yeah both daughters play and are spoiled-but they play very very well for their age. Very proud of them. Try to get them the best equipment within reason sometimes a bit beyond reason. LOL
    Good for you! A good horn can really make the difference between a young'un enjoying playing and pursuing it and giving up after fighting the equipment, without really knowing why except that it wasn't any fun to play.

    Toby

  10. #10
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    WELL SAID!!!!I didn't want her to go from her Cannonball big bell alto to the school beater Yamaha 23 tenor. 23's are good but after years of abuse probably are not. My children take good care of their equipment-no dents or dings. They had it drilled into their brains- brass is soft and sax mechanisms are delicate.
    Last edited by sycc; 03-07-2006 at 04:39 PM.

  11. #11

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    The nickle platning is more durable, since it connects with the metal of the horn. The laquer ist just sprayed as a layer on the horn and will come of faster.
    Nickel is probably the most durable finish. I have a few old horns from the 20s and 30s, silverplated and nickel plated ones. The nickel plated ones look almost new. Hardly any wear on the finish.

  12. #12
    Distinguished SOTW Member kymarto's Avatar
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    I don't know exactly why, but nickel plate always seems more slippery than silver plate. It is definitely harder but it tends to flake when things go bad. On the other hand it does tarnish, but then again on the other other hand some people have rather nasty reactions to nickel.

    Toby

  13. #13

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    I had an early King alto with nickle plate and it never warmed up. Cold in the hands and cold to the hands, too. The black looks great but is more of a "hey look at me, guys" sort of sax. Great if you - and your playing can stand the admiration, disaster if they can't!

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