raw copper trim kit

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpet 101, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. trumpet 101

    trumpet 101 Pianissimo User

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    Jan 8, 2009
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    so im thinking about getting a raw copper pickett brass trim kit for my black nickel cannonball trumpet soon and letting the copper just oxidize and turn brown. how do you guys think that will look? im looking for all opinions. :D
     
  2. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

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    Oct 16, 2008
    I'm personally not a fan of raw brass or copper. I know there are lots of people who talk about horns that develop a "beautiful patina", but to me it just looks and feels dirty.

    I like the looks of a nice, smooth, even finish on a trumpet. That could be gold, silver, lacquer, brushed, bead blasted...whatever.

    Just my opinion...
     
  3. trumpet 101

    trumpet 101 Pianissimo User

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    Jan 8, 2009
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    no problem with that :) my finish is coming off because of my acidic skin, and i personally think it would be good looking. im also interested if there would be a harmonic or resonant change in the horn because of metal and weight at the caps.
     
  4. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

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    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Copper turns green, not brown. Brass turns brown. So if you want the look of black and brown, get the raw brass caps.
     
  5. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

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    I believe copper trim kits and instruments typically turn brown, not green. I'm sure someone will jump in with the chemistry involved, but I think it has a lot to do with the amount of copper in the metal blend.

    Here's a copper bell I received before I polished it;

    [​IMG]
     
  6. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

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    Copper does turn brown first, and then it turns green. It would be interesting to know how long that bell had been left unpolished. I do know that the copper on our statehouse dome turned green.

    But as you say, it may well depend on the amount of copper in the alloy, because copper pennies don't turn green but then they're not pure copper.
     
  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Consider this. I had some brilliant finished crash cymbals (bronze) for my drums. Brilliant finish means that they were polished bright and left uncoated. Eventually brilliant finish cymbals develop some oxidation, and left long enough full out patina. After cleaning them (and I never let them get that bad) there was a MARKED difference in how they sounded. You think that it doesn't affect a trumpet in the same way?

    But given that this is a trim kit, whatever floats your boat. If that's what you want, then do it.
     
  8. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

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    The comparison to the penny is a good one. The alloy used in "raw copper" trim kits and bells lets them get brown, but not green.

    (edited because I reversed brown and green!!!)
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
  9. Clarion

    Clarion New Friend

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    Oct 3, 2010
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    With a cymbal, it is the size, shape, thinkness, contour, and alloy of the metal itself that creates the sound.

    A trumpet is basically a flared pipe. It is the vibrating column of air that produces the sound. The metal of the horn will mainly contribute only to the "color" of the sound.

    Pure copper does turn brown and then green. It can take ten years or more to turn green depending on the environment. Exposure to certain salts will hasten the conversion to a green patina. I imagine skin oils will counteract this to some degree.

    Brass can also be affected the same way, although not to the same degree. I have an old brass doorknob that was black from decades of use and exposure to hand oils and sweat. I had a habit of hanging a sweaty rag on it for a couple of years and it did acquire a greenish patina.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Yes and no - the patina on the cymbal definitely changes the way it sounds. There are drummers who will take a set of cymbals out into their back yard and bury them and leave them for a time, simply to put that patina on them to smooth the sound out. They wouldn't do this if it didn't affect the sound in a profound way, and it's oxidation and patina that changes the vibration properties and resonance of the metal.

    And you forgot a couple of other things that have a major impact on a cymbal's sound aside from the things you listed - you mentioned thickness, and that is achieved by lathing, but there are different types of lathing (wide groove, thin groove, regular, irregular, etc) that also have an affect, and the most important aspect is hammering, which partially determines the contour, but also determines the type of sound. And lets not forget the difference between cast bronze, sheet bronze, hand hammered vs machine hammered, and the amount of automation vs genuine hand crafting.

    The same thing happens with trumpets too. Don't believe me? Let a silver trumpet get really dirty and tarnished on the outside (clean the inside as much as you want) and then make a point to really clean it up and remove the oxidation and built up grime. It will change the sound and response of the trumpet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010

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