raw copper trim kit

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

  1. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

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    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    I have two horns with copper bells -- one a Calicchio flugelhorn with a one-piece copper bell and the other a trumpet with a seamless, plated copper bell. Both horns were unfinished when I bought them. Both bells turned blackish-brown with tarnish -- neither turned green. I had the flugelhorn lacquered. The trumpet is still raw and the bell is dark brown, though a few sections are developing a shiny bluish look. I'm trying to hold off the impulse to polish to see if the blue turns green.

    My first flugelhorn was a silver-plated Bach. I repeatedly let it tarnish until it was utterly black. After a few years I would have an attack of conscience and polish it up. Then it would slowly turn black again. Of course the silver was gone at the contact points after a few cycles.

    I never noticed any change in tone or response after a polishing. Of course, I didn't expect to.
     
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    You probably wouldn't notice it quite so much with a flugelhorn. I notice it with my Schilke, which is probably because with some of the playing I do, it pushes my limits as a player with some of the high energy, high, loud rock and roll horn lines I play and the horn responds better and lights up more when it's really pushed right after I clean and polish it up.
     
  3. Clarion

    Clarion New Friend

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    Oct 3, 2010
    N.E. Ohio
    trickg - So, we agree then. I never said the patina of the metal has no effect on the sound. In fact I DID (indirectly) say it would affect the "color" of the sound.

    My point about the very different sound producing mechanism of the horn and cymbal was largely irrelevant. (sorry)

    I also said that pure copper does turn brown first and then (eventually) green, Again, it depends on exposure to harsh conditions. I have in fact seen green pennies. They have clearly been exposed to harsher conditions (moisture, salts, etc.) than the majority.

    In most cases, a horn is generally kept in a relatively protected environment. A horn with "raw" copper may never turn green with proper care. In fact, while it my look pretty, I'd say allowing a green patina to form would probably be highly detrimental. The green patina is in fact copper "rust", and it would probably deaden the sound of the horn rather significantly.
     
  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Clarion, cymbals and trumpets are different, but not that different - while all of the sound comes from the vibration of the metal of a cymbal, there is still vibration that goes on with a trumpet bell that affects the sound too. It's just a point that I have tried to make for those who say they want a raw brass horn because they think it will look cooler - IMO if you are truly concerned about sound and response, the best bet is to go with well maintained silver plating.

    I kinda hijacked the thread because we're talking about a trim kit and not a whole horn or bell - my apolgies on that.
     
  5. Clarion

    Clarion New Friend

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    Oct 3, 2010
    N.E. Ohio
    Well, we're not the ones who steered the topic off course. We were just going with the flow. So, to provide some irrefutable evidence...

    I bought a cornet today (dirt cheap) which had apparently been in storage for a while and not in ideal conditions. It is entirely made of brass. The exposed slides and edges had turned a rich green. Not the bright green of pure copper, but green none-the-less. Fortunately, none of the slides or caps were frozen in place by the corrosion.
     

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