The differences in metal

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by cobragamer, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. cobragamer

    cobragamer Pianissimo User

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    You guys seem to talk about alot about the different metals that the horns have. What would be some of the characteristics and what would you use them for.
     
  2. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

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    Common yellow brass is the most commonly used metal in the making of most brasswind instruments. It is fairly inexpensive, compared to most of the other metals used for this purpose. It is malleable to readily allow the stretching, bending, and forming of the various parts of the tubing and bell material. It is lubricious, making valve casings low on the friction coeficient scale. It is readily plated and coated with various types of lacquer. It does have a 'few' glitches in its character, though. It is prone to red rot, a leaching away of the zinc in the alloy, thus dramtically weakening the metal, causing cracks, leaks and unsightly blemishes.


    Gold brass is also a copper/zinc alloy but, just a bit heavier in the percentage of zinc in its mix. Its good points are that it resists red rot just a bit better and its bad points are that it is slightly softer allowing dents more easily.


    Pure silver, commonly known as Sterling Silver is one of the finest, but, most expensive metals from which some horns are made. It is totally resistant to red rot, quite soft, readilly denting, and VERY susceptable to surface scratches and black tarnish. I currently own one King Silvertone trumpet and a Silvertone cornet the tone and response is unmatched in any horn in my 'accumilation'.


    German or nickel silver, hard, difficult to work and highly resistant to normal wear. If used as extra wear surfaces as is found on many of the higher grade Reynolds horns it virtually never erodes from hand contact. On the bell flare of such as my Olds Studio MOdel it enhances the brilliance of tone of the horn. The downside is the of nickel poisening that quite often occurs from skin contact with the raw nickel.


    Various other metals and alloys have been used in the making of brasswinds, many of which are superlative, but not readily obtained from metals suppliers. The rarest of these is Gilding Metal, a Cupro Nickel alloy used primarily for the making of bullet jackets. I have two York horns, a trumpet and a cornet that have Gilding Metal bells. They were made from left over sheet material that York used in making billions of these bullet jackets for the U.S. military during the second world war. Superlative!! Another was an economy measure used by Conn because the cost of scrap pure copper was at the time very low and the cost of any form of brass sheet very high. By an electro plating process scrap copper was formed over a mandrel making a not only beautiful, but excellent bell. This was used by Conn primarily on its student grade horns to help drive the cost of manufacture down.


    I could go on at great length, but, my fingers are getting tired.


    OLDLOU>>
     
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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  4. cobragamer

    cobragamer Pianissimo User

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    what about the laquer like Rose brass and the qualities of it versus silver and copper or yellow brass. Where would the special treatments be used in like orcestral solo or lead band playing
     
  5. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

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    Cobra,

    Rose, red brass and copper are not lacquers or platings, but brass alloys with different percentage of copper. Orchestal sound depend on many variables first of which is the player. The things like the shape of the mouthpiece cup, its backbore, the size and shape of the leadpipes, the bell flares, braces and the weight of the trumpet.
     
  6. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

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    Nickel silver - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I don't think it is the nickel that is toxic.
    American coinage is a form of "German silver."
    We use nickel based stainless steel for food processing.
    Other metals within the alloy such as copper can be leached out with acid.
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    There are enough examples of incredible orchestral players playing on plain old yellow brass. The horn will NOT make your playing more or less suitable.

    We find all of the materials in all venues of playing. It is the player NOT the hardware!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do not believe the marketing lies.
     

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