Reburbish or not

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by oldbob, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. oldbob

    oldbob New Friend

    1
    0
    Sep 30, 2009
    I have a Contempora Leonard Smith Model Trumpet and Cornet. Trumpet serial #31xxx and Cornet 44xxx. They are not a matched pair. I bought them about 53 years ago and they have taken some very heavy use. Put in storage near the ocean and the finish is bad with some pitting. Is it worth having them refurbished and if so would this effect the value. If I did have it done where would be the best place to go. I am on the NC shore and there isn't much here (you don't play bluegrass on a trumpet) As I got them when I was a kid they do have some sentimental value but would consider selling. I don't have the original case I traded the trumpet case for the dual case and that was ruined.
     
  2. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    1,827
    43
    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    It really depends on whether your going to keep them or sell them. One school of thought is if they are original they bring a higher amount. My personal feeling, is whether you keep them or sell them I would want them to look good. If they are silver plated which you don't say I would send them to Anderson Plating.
     
  3. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Age:
    81
    1,804
    91
    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    If my ancient memory serves, the Contempora series were lacquered brass with a high copper content alloy bell and leadpipe. This means that to silver plate them would destroy their collectors value and their inherant beauty. Your posting infers that you are more than open to selling them. If that is the case, I would leave them original. Refinishing is often a total loss of money. They 'usually' fetch a higher price than if refinished. They are a beautiful instrument that is worthy of the highest accolades as players. Play the bloody things. They deserve it.


    OLDLOU>>
     
  4. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    493
    4
    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    I usually try to talk my repair clients out of having their instruments relacquered, especially those which have sentimental value and would be hard to replace if they got destroyed.

    In 30 years of being a professional repair technicians handling relacquering (I've never worked in a shop with lacquering facilities) I've never had an instrument get destroyed, but when I was in repair school, it was a real eye opener about what can happen if an accident occurs when the horn is being buffed prior to lacquering.

    As Oldlou says, refinishing is a total loss of money in that you can't add that onto the resale price of the horn and expect to get it. If the horn is worth $1000 without refinishing, it's worth $1000 with the refinishing. It might sell faster, but you can't add on the $400-$600 it'll likely run you and expect people to buy the horn for $1400-$1600.

    I'm with those who say "play the things" -- the only people who really need great looking horns are the front people in flashy shows such as in Vegas. For the rest of us, the appearance of the horn is secondary to how the horn plays.
     
  5. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    2,858
    68
    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Hello Oldbob - I am a member of the unofficial welcoming committee so, Welcome to Trumpetmaster.

    I will take a slightly different approach to your question. If you have a photo of your horns showing the condition, perhaps you could post it and we would have a better idea of where to go. There have been several similar threads where the opinions changed once some photos were posted. Certainly the answer will depend on several factors, such as:
    * Are you planning to play them or sell them?
    * What specific cosmetic issues are there, including pitting, abrasions, dents, creases, and - worst of all - ripples in the brass (dents and creases can usually be economically removed - ripples or an uneven surface are very expensive to remove.
    * What specific mechanical issues do they have such as worn valves, casings that are out-of-round, broken braces, loose ferules, or red-rot in the leadpipe or tuning slide.

    You might think of them in similar terms to a classic car. Some are good enough that they can be enjoyed as they are but some are clunky rust-buckets that need restoration to have any value to anyone. I know because my brother has a 1956 Mercedes that is like that but he won't fix it because he's stuck in the mindset that it is "original". I keep trying to tell him that the dents and rust and worn tires and oxidized paint are not original but he won't listen so it remains a clunker rather than an enjoyable classic car.

    So, it depends on where you are and where you want to go. I have trumpets that are worth far more than the sum of the acquisition cost + refub costs - and I have ones that are worth less. It is hard to tell without knowing the sentimental element of it.
     
  6. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    2,858
    68
    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    ***Oops - Double post gremlin strikes again! :-( ***
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2009
  7. sach7581

    sach7581 New Friend

    36
    0
    Mar 14, 2008
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    If you are going to sell, forget it. If you are going to keep it, it depends on if it bugs you the way it is. My Olds Super is in raw brass with some pitting. It bugs the tar out of me and I end up polishing it every month or less. It plays great but if I had the money I would dump it and get a prettier one.
     
  8. rword4

    rword4 New Friend

    13
    0
    Apr 13, 2009
    Bay Area, CA
    Old Bob,

    I agree with all posts, but in the end it is up to you. I also play a Reynolds Contempora and it has been my workhorse for years. I decided to have mine refinished after years of kicking it back and forth. It was really for cosmetic purposes, It still plays teh same, it's just a little prettier now.
     
  9. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    3,751
    2,152
    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    If you relacquer, do it because you want to keep the horns for a long time. You would't get your money back out in a sale.

    As for buffing before lacquering, I don't know about other shops, but my horns from Charlie Melk have crisp, clear engravings and stampings. If you go with one of the top guys nationally, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

    Tom
     
  10. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Age:
    81
    1,804
    91
    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    In retrospect, after a good bit of thinking about your posting I have come to the conclusion that the horns are yours and the money, likewise. Do whatever YOU want to do with them, but, be prepared for a financial loss from the cost of having them cosmetically refurbished.


    OLDLOU>>
     

Share This Page