Trumpet trimming service question.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Repair and Modification' started by [email protected], Jan 25, 2009.

  1. Scooter01

    Scooter01 Pianissimo User

    Mar 31, 2006
    I would contact Dr Valve, Charlie Melk etc. and ask what they charge for similar work. If Dave Williams is appreciably lower then I would really worry. I know Old Lou and if he says to skip the guy, that's good enough for me.
  2. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008

    Is it possible that you'll send this guy your horn (worth +/- $1,000) and you'll receive a quality gold plating job on the slides, inside the bell, and on the trim pieces for $150? I guess it's possible, but considering the current state of the global economy and the price of gold I'd say it's more likely that your horn will actually come back to you in worse condition or you'll never see it again.

    You're an adult (presumably) and it's your money so if you want to roll the dice and go with "choice 2" then go for it.
  3. bobmiller1969

    bobmiller1969 Pianissimo User

    Dec 13, 2008
    Mays Landing, New Jersey
    I sent my Conn flugelhorn to him, and I am very happy with the work he performed. I didn't have anything on the horn re-plated, just re-lacquered. He suggested a couple different options with me, and I decided on the sand blast finish with shiny trim. He did include re-plating of 3 mouthpieces as part of the deal, or in my case, 2 mouthpieces and a tone-intensifier ring. I've been playing on them and haven't noticed my lips turning green, so it must be real gold. I don't remember how much I paid. I believe it might have been $200 for this package. He was friendly with his communication with me, and turned a very questionable horn in to a keeper. There is a picture of it in my photo album.

    I contacted Dr. Valve and Charlie Melk on several occasions about getting some work done on my Yamaha 6335H. I'm sure that these guys do great work, but neither of them bothered to get back to me, despite multiple emails.
  4. oldlips48

    oldlips48 Piano User

    Mar 1, 2007
    The price of gold IS going up, but all businesses are hurting these days and looking for business. Perhaps the trim plating deal is a loss leader to drum up new customers?

    just trying to look at all sides.

  5. GoodMusic@PA

    [email protected] Piano User

    Aug 7, 2008
    Ok, now 2 to 1, 2 positive, 1 negative, all the others, just assuming or expecting.... waiting for more.:-)
  6. Brass crusader

    Brass crusader Mezzo Piano User

    Your horn is too valuable to trust to anyone who has any negative reviews, in my opinion.
    Send it to a very very reputable tech, a few have been mentioned here.
  7. GoodMusic@PA

    [email protected] Piano User

    Aug 7, 2008
    You guys are right, now I have thought about it and came up with these choices: 1. Send my trumpet to "good" company that does this-the most priciest 2. Buy an Olds Ammbassador that is has the gold trimming on it- probably about $500-700 3. Buy a pocket trumpet, since I've been wanting one
    What would you do?
  8. wesstewart3

    wesstewart3 New Friend

    Jan 28, 2009
    In Nov 2007 I talked to David Williams about 5 times on some work I wanted done. We settled on a price and I then sent him my Strad which he had to remove all dents etc and then send it to Elkhart, IN for custom engraving by Sherry Huntley. It then went back to David in Florida for final prep and back to Elkhart to Anderson's for silver plating. Then back to David in Florida for polishing and 24k gold slides, caps and bell wash.

    I think David is a good guy, means well and does good work, but underestimates how long it will take him to complete his work. I too got excuses about why it was taking so long, but in the end it was worth the almost 4 months. David's main problem for me was communication and excuses. I would send him another horn as I think he will do the work, just might take a while.

    He told me the gold plating process goes on pretty quick, but do not polish it like you do the silver parts. The silver polishing cloths will remove gold very easily since it is such a soft metal.

    Here is a link with pics of the progress and final result: :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  9. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008

    I'd make my own decision and not leave it up to strangers on the internet! :D
  10. lovevixen555

    lovevixen555 Banned

    Nov 5, 2008
    I do not know if it is a scam but I would think it must be shooty at that price. They are more then likely useing what I think is called brush plateing or something like that my mind is gone right now. It is used in aviation and other mil-spec industries. Instead of being submerged they use what looks like a fabric or foam covered paint brush of various sizes. They apply the in this case gold one layer at a time andin specific locations. It is very precise and is not as waste full as tank or drum plateing where the entire object is placed in a tank for plateing. I am assumeing that they only gold plate part's that are already silver plated for that price. One of the reason gold plateing is so expensive is that the type of process used today usualy requires that the instrument be already silver plated before it can gold plated. Like wise many silver palters palte in copper before appling the silver plateing. So if you have to copper plate then silver plate then gold plate a brass horn sure the price is going to be off the chart! Last I checked their was no substitute for true gold plateing nothing looks like gold. So itis not like nickle,silver and Rhobidium where they can all look simalar depending on the level of polish. Also I am willing to bet it is more like a gold wash effect. What I mean is they are proably putting on a single layer so it is not going to look as dark and rich as many lafer's. You might have seen some old school copper, red brass or silver bells that had gold wash finish in the inner bell??? Often the gold wash was almost translucent especialy on copper or red brass bells you could almost see a hint of red llightly under the gold washed inner bell. Now on the other hand if you look at old trumpet's that are nto suffering from finish wear that are gold plated they look deep and dark withthe gold color their is no tranlucent because the gold plateing is fairly thick compared to a gold wash?

    Oh and the only problem with the technique I think he is useing is that few people get mil spec equipment and the hobby stuff is junk for doing something as important as a trumpet! Also the chemicals are not cheap and the combination of the chemical's and equipment with this type of plateing are more important then the person operateing the equipment! I mean it a well trained idiot can do a good job with the right chemicals and equipment it is not a technique to go cheap on!

    Their are people out thier that do good work and are cheaper then Anderson's. The advantage to useing Anderson's is that you know it will be done right the first time and that it will meet Mil-Spec/Nasa Spec.!!! That is why you pay top dollar to Anderson plateing! Their are some projects that do not need Anderson's level of skill but then their are some thatnothing else will do since the value of the trumpet has to be considered!

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