Is tarnished silver stronger than untarnished silver?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by limepickle, Jul 26, 2015.

  1. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    3,444
    1,154
    Aug 15, 2009
    Alabama
    That may be;however, I have noticed and wonderedwhy most of the lacquered horns on my considered buy list that are lacquer look quite worn and the silverplated do not. It is like the lacquered horns don't hold up- the lacquer that is. Just an observation- no research.
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,616
    7,958
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
    Let's get serious.

    There ARE certain parts of the horn subject to abrasion. Tarnish does not help there, common sense does. To avoid abrasion get a better case. a piece of scotch tape can also work wonders.

    More of a problem is when your sweat reacts seriously with silver. Tarnish doesn't help there either - common sense does - wipe the horn down regularly with a soft rag.

    I have a silver Bach C trumpet from 1973 or so. Except for the wear from my thumb between the 1st and 2nd valve and left ring finger on the third valve, the silver is perfect. Since 1973 I have kept the horn clean and dry and used boiling water, salt and aluminum foil to keep the oxide off. Bach does not have the best silver plate on the planet, and still, keeping it shiny did not cause more damage. This was my main axe until 1997 but still gets a lot of use up to today.

    Ignoring the finish of the horn is more likely to cause damage if you are playing it regularly.
     
  3. Culbe

    Culbe Forte User

    1,170
    425
    Jul 25, 2014
    Normal
    Also, a horn will get tarnish if it is not played or taken care of. And if a horn is not played, the finish won't wear.
     
  4. limepickle

    limepickle Piano User

    268
    172
    Aug 30, 2013
    Dallas, TX
    Good points all around

    trickg, I also prefer the new lacquer, for looks and wear. And yes, although a tarnished horn is "cool" in its own way, it's coolness probably comes from the novelty of it. It would look somewhat unprofessional in an orchestral setting imo. The luster of a bright silver finish has a more lasting appeal.

    Vulgano, that's a never ending trend apparently. They still successfully sell these phony intermediate horns, which are basically just beginner horns with silver plating and fixed rings to attract the middle/high school students itching for a cool, silver horn. I do remember how quickly you could get tired of looking at those dull, lacquered yellow brass horns everyday as a kid.

    rowuk, hand sweat eating through the lacquer/plating was a big problem for me growing up. I agree that it will eat through any type of lacquer/plating. So I started using a handkerchief ala Louis Armstrong, and it works really well. Actually, I wrap a little over to the other side and prevent the wear between the 1st and 2nd valves, so there is pretty much no wear with this method (I use my pinky for the third slide ring). I don't why this isn't more popular, as a handkerchief is so light, thin, and flexible. It works much better than those ugly leather valve guards that probably have some impact on the sound and gunk up the valve area. You can hand wash it easily too. For my case, I use a torpedo bag, and abrasion from the case is no longer an issue due to the design and materials.
     
  5. Kantza

    Kantza Pianissimo User

    228
    39
    May 28, 2012
    Belgium
    @Limepickle,

    Didn't know some people their sweat can also eat through silver plating...
    I have a lacquered carol brass horn and on the contact points my sweat ate through it completely in less then one year.

    I've ordered a new horn (they are still making it) and I especially asked for them to silver plate it since I don't have good experience with lacquer.
    I hope my sweat likes the silver :-?
     
  6. limepickle

    limepickle Piano User

    268
    172
    Aug 30, 2013
    Dallas, TX
    It's possible, but if your sweat is acidic, it will eat through the silver too probably. I would get handkerchief and use it as I've described above.
     
  7. Buck with a Bach

    Buck with a Bach Fortissimo User

    Age:
    68
    4,009
    719
    Dec 29, 2009
    Canton, Ohio
    The Argenta I played in H.S. was nickle with lacquer coating. By my Jr. year, it was in need of re-lacquering from the acid in my system. I have been watching my current stable of horns more closely for finish wear.:oops:
     
  8. Kantza

    Kantza Pianissimo User

    228
    39
    May 28, 2012
    Belgium
    And the fact that some people have acidic sweat, is this something we're born with?
    Or does it have something to do with what we eat etc?
     
  9. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    3,444
    1,154
    Aug 15, 2009
    Alabama
    Some people's sweat does seem to be more acidic and burn through silverplate much more quickly than others. Don't know that it is food related. I had a similar problem for my first 15 years of playing. (Now same diet, but not the problem- metabolism has greatly changed however). Using a GOOD valve guard helped, and I also used a handkerchief, the Louis A. method, as lime pickle mentioned. I have a Bach Strad that has an angled wear line, about a cm wide, that runs across the leadpipe. The reason is I place my first finger there when resting. Enough to completely remove the silver. Yes, it does seem to be much worse for some people than others.
     
  10. J. Jericho

    J. Jericho Fortissimo User

    2,996
    2,336
    Mar 16, 2011
    Why use a handkerchief when you could use white gloves instead? And I'm only half kidding; you'd be spared the awkwardness of manipulating the handkerchief, and if white didn't suit you, why wouldn't another color do, as long as the gloves were thin cloth?
     

Share This Page