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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by crowmanic, Feb 3, 2016.
Does stripping the finish off of a trumpet change the tone?
I asked a similar question a while ago - some of the replies may answer your question:
Given my experience I think you should be fine if the lacquer stripping is done by somebody who is careful and knows what they are doing.
Not enough to matter.
Well, it depends.
Probably an edge case, but a Buescher Model 220 is a horn with heavy, thick lacquer on it... I mean really thick. Charlie Melk, who never swears, called it "that thick goopy shit."
When you strip it, the sound of the horn changes dramatically. Brightens up, lots more responsive, and so forth. Night and day. I can only think that Buescher wasn't happy with how bright it was and put a thick coat of lacquer on it to dampen it down.
But for the vast majority of instruments, as Dale says, not enough to matter.
Thanks to Tom/VetPsychWars and others for responding to my question. I'm wondering if Buesher used a thick coat of lacquer on their 220 to darken the tone are heavy bottom valve caps meant to do the same thing. For that matter does adding any additional weight to a trumpet darken the tone?
cromanic (formerly crowmadic)
As already stated, not a noticeable difference. What make and model are you stripping? Old, old nitrocellulose can be removed with hot water and baking soda. Many a player have "stripped" an old nitro horn cleaning it with hot soapy water. If it's epoxy, I'd take it to a pro. Then later, if your hands turn green from raw brass, you can have it re-lacquered!
The actual bottom caps are thin and flat and thread into the valve casing. The valve block on the Models 220, 225, 240, 261, 266, and 275 are all unitized and brazed together. After that, the mouthpipe and bell are soldered to the valve block, making for a massive, unitized horn.
In the picture of the Model 240 Custom Built below, the nickel-silver balusters are brazed to the valve casings and then to each other. The bottom cap is brass, you can barely see them.
This picture of the Model 225 "The 400" valve block gives you a better idea of the construction. The bottom caps are nickel-silver.
As with the modern heavyweight horns, I'm sure the intent was to dampen vibrations to make sure that all of the energy in the system went out the bell instead of back to you as feedback.
In general does a heavy horn darken the tone? It's possible. Depends on where they put the weight. But not as a general rule, no.
For what it's worth, I had the lacquer stripped from the bell flare of my horn and it made it more brassy, not only to my ears but my music student friends' ears