Gold Brass / Rose Brass / Yellow Brass

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpet Dreamer, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The plating has very little if any effect. The reason is simple. The plating is thin and galvanically bonded to the bell itself. It is so thin that the resonance of the bell doesn't change. Lacquer could theoretically have a difference because it cannot resonate like metal. I can't say that I have ever been able to notice a difference though. The difference in my playing from day to day is greater than that coating, so it is impossible to say if it is me or the horn, if I notice anything at all.
  2. kctrumpeteer

    kctrumpeteer Piano User

    Dec 23, 2009
    That's what I love about this forum is that it is a great sounding board with lots of view points... I'm working with someone that has over 20 years of experience configuring / selling brass to professionals, universities, and of course individuals like me. This guy swears by the fact that the lacquer finish will have a different sound / resonance, etc. than the same horn with the silver plating.. I suppose if one could have the exact horn and just with different finishes then you could easily experiment playing each and determine what if any sound differences there were. Being scientific minded that seems to be the most logical way, but I don't recall being anywhere where they had the exact same model of horn but with various finishes to choose from. With the advent of Internet shopping local shops choose to hold less merchandise on stock / less overhead. Although seeing all of the youtube videos of people doing plant visits for monette trumpets, etc I would think that you could visit a places around the country where horns are being made and have a row of horns to test out with different finishes..

    Speaking of which... so far as plating.. The following article talks about materials and plating and says that plating has very little effect on the sound but it also goes on to say that lacquer does indeed affect the sound in comparison to silver/gold plating.

    Schilke Brass Clinic
  3. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2010
    Jazz Town, USA
    The above is born out in my own experience. Two of my trumpets have different bell compositions, one being yellow brass, one being gold brass. My wife tells me the gold brass version has a warmer tone color than the yellow brass model. But the horns are from two different manufacturers ( brand Y and brand G), so the hand hammering of one trumpet (Getzen) may alter the tone as well.
  4. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    I think the answer to this repeating question about whether the plating affects the sound ...... is simply the wrong question. Yes, of course it affects the sound, how could it not????

    The more useful question would be: WHO can hear the difference. If you can't hear the difference then the question about plating is moot. If you're a trumpet player and you can't hear the difference, you have to figure your audience will never hear it. Not through the mix of a concert ...... Some people can hear the difference and some can't.

    The Turtle
  5. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    I've read some technical reports on this subject and from a microscopic acoustic standpoint, there is a difference. Your point is a good one. My wife cannot tell the difference between a trumpet and a cornet. She only knows that she wants the door closed and the silent brass in!!ROFLROFL Old cellulose lacquer was thicker than modern epoxy. Back in the day, maybe you could hear a difference. I think it is as much about marketing and looks, as it is sound. I do think pure copper offers a different sound, but again, I think John Q. Public is oblivious to the nuances and it is a debate left to "acoustacrats"! :roll:
  6. 65Strad

    65Strad Pianissimo User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Toms River, New Jersey
    To those that claim to be able to tell if a horn is lacquered or plated by it's sound (I can't), a simple test is all it takes. Sit in the hall while a player plays a short passage or excerpt using two or three horns and listen without looking. A blind A/B comparison often will surprise the listener.

    A player can't hear what the audience hears from the other side of the bell. Feedback that we receive from our side of the bell often influences what qualities we "think" we are finding in a given horn. From the audience's standpoint those "qualites" we thought we are messaging are often heard in a different way altogether.

    My 43 lightweight Goldbrass Strad has a "warmer/darker" quality from the audience standpoint than my 37 Yellowbrass at dynamics to forte, yet from behind the bell it seems "brighter". Both are lacquered. The lightweight Goldbrass 43 made in 2008 and the standard weight Yellowbrass 37 in 1967. Beyond forte they seem fairly uniform (bright/dark) from listeners side of the bell. Go figure.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  7. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    I think there are too many other variables involved to decide that the difference between two otherwise "identical" horns, one plated and the other lacquered, is due to the finish. Take a lineup of "identical" trumpets, all silver plated, and test them - they won't play alike (unless you're talking about Yamahas, which are all equally bland...:D). Even if you take an unfinished horn and play test it, and then have it plated, you're not doing a back-to-back test, which makes you a big variable. I say, buy a horn you like the looks of, and don't worry what potential "drawbacks" your choice of finish may have. Much more important are the basic specs of the horn (bell, mouthpipe, bracing, type of metal used, etc.) and how well it's built. Even then, you're basing your choice on general tendencies of the specs involved.
  8. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    Thanks Tobylou8! It's always nice to have scientific backup. Especially when you're not entirely sure what you're talking about and go way out on a limb, like I just did. :lol:

    As for the blindfolded listener test ..... The PLAYER would also have to be blindfolded for the test to be scientific. Better yet, get that ROBOT to do it. He won't mind, he's programmable!

    The Turtle
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010

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