Re-Lacquering an old horn

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by wezley, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. wezley

    wezley Pianissimo User

    Oct 24, 2011
    I was wanting to get my horn re-lacquered but my band instructor said that if I did then it would sound completely different and be unplayable. What is your guy's take on this?
  2. JediYoda

    JediYoda Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 25, 2010
    State of Confusion
    get a different band director..........
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    The differences between finishes are real subtle. Silver is more durable than lacquer, gold doesn't tarnish as quickly as silver. Most of my horns are raw brass, just because I am still messing with them.
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  4. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    I have lacquered, silver plated, and gold plated horns - I can't detect a difference - relacquering should put you back to scratch.
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  5. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    Depending on the horn it might sound slightly better behind the bell because modern lacquer is thinner than the old stuff. Your instructor is full of it.

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  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I just had my Olds Recording re-lacqured by Tom Green. Before I sent it, I borrowed my brother's Recording. Played them both together, and they sounded identical. When my horn returned, I blind folded myself, gloved my hands, and had my daughter give me one horn, then the other, I did this again and again, then took the score. The results, I could not tell the difference! So IF YOU PICK the right person to get the job done, that sound will remain the same. I can not comment on other people's work, but Tom Greens results are proven in a double horn, blinded, randomized control trial!
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
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  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Perhaps your band instructor was confused with your questioning and thought you were having the horn re-plated. This would potentially change the quality of the sound. And as you have seen in other posts, lacquer if place on thick, can also have this effect. So before we diagnosis your instructor as a buffoon, make sure s/he truly understands your question AND he explains why s/he feels this way. If s/he cannot give you this detail, then I would concur with other posts above that s/he needs to be re-furbished.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
  8. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    I bought a raw brass Lawler C7 and played it for a couple of months and then had it silver plated, after it was silver plated I could not tell one bit of difference before or after the plating. I also bought a nice Benge CG that the laquer was mostly gone and I sent it to Tom Green and had it re-laquered with a gold tint [horn looked beautiful] and it also sounded exactly the same as before. In my own old mans opinion we let what we see aftect what we hear. We think a shiney horn will sound brighter then a laquered horn and a gold horn will sound darker. If we take appearences out of the equation I believe the same horn will sound the same no matter what it looks like. In the past the laquer applied to horn was a very thick coating and that would affect the sound some what but todays finishes are so thin it doesn't affect the sound enough that we mere mortals can tell the difference if we can't visualize the horn. of course you must remember this is my opinion and I'm just an old geezer. send your horn to a reputable shop and get it looking like you want - it's your horn.
    amzi likes this.
  9. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    From the Eclipse trumpet site, here are their findings on finishes.
    Eclipse Trumpets: Options
    Most folks can't really tell much, if any, difference. The original 6310 Shew model was a notable exception. That horn could be much too bright in silver. So much so, Bobby wished Yamaha did not offer silver as an option.
    Rich T.
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  10. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Like the others, I have several trumpet models with some bare brass and some original lacquer and some relacquered. I cannot tell any difference in sound. I much prefer those with lacquer as they are much easier to maintain. I will not give, sell, or loan out a raw brass trumpet to anyone who has not had experience with them as having green hands seems like a potentially unhealthy situation.

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