What trumpet finish resists sweaty hands corrosion?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jgotteach, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. jgotteach

    jgotteach New Friend

    Mar 27, 2010
    We are ready to purchase a professional model trumpet for our son, now that we know he will continue to play in college. His teacher has recommended the Bach Stradivarius LT 180-37 which our son has tried and loves. It is a big investment for us, and we want this trumpet to be the last one WE purchase for him. The problem is that he has very sweaty (acidic?) hands, and has worn through the silver in many places near the valves of his Getzen, despite always using a hand guard and wiping down the trumpet after each use. We had heard that a lacquer finish is more resistant to corrosion, but our local trumpet store just told us that this isn't true, that lacquer will also corrode. Now we are really confused. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
  2. sonarerocks

    sonarerocks Pianissimo User

    Mar 22, 2009
    Omaha NE
    hi, lacquer will corrode much faster than silver, silver is generally fairly resistant, my hands sweat alot when i play and I don't use a valve guard and my silver has held up fine for the past 3 1/2 years, bach silverplating is probably of a higher quality than getzen intermediate, so don't worry about it!
  3. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    I disagree with my compatriot. Modern epoxy lacquer is completely impervious. It was a major concern of mine when I had my grandfather's trumpet restored as my hands had eaten away not only the nitrocellulose lacquer on the horn but some of the brass as well.

    The restorer was Charlie Melk. I believe Charlie before I believe anyone else.

    I would recommend that you call Charlie and ask him what he thinks of the lacquer on the horn you plan on buying.

  4. abtrumpet

    abtrumpet Pianissimo User

    Nov 14, 2009
    Gold plating if you have the money.
  5. a marching trumpet

    a marching trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Well I say that Lacquer is probably more resistant, but Bach silver plate holds up extremely well, just wipe her off and she's good to go 34 years and no silver loss
  6. a marching trumpet

    a marching trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Murfreesboro, TN
  7. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    There are a number of threads here related to this topic and the recommendations are not totally consistent. Certainly there are variables in body chemistry, the nature and quality of trumpet finishes, frequency of use, and general care. So, the speed at which the Bach silver plate will corrode is not known in your case but it will corrode - whether in 1 year or 34 years. Also, while epoxy is tough, I am not sure it is impervious - there is some level of acidity that will affect it. But, in any case, you should check with Bach to find out what sort of lacquer they use on their lacquered horns. There are different types of after-market clear coat that can be applied around the valves (anywhere the hands touch) to either a silver-plated or lacquered horn that will help protect the finish (EverBrite is one that comes to mind) and if you apply it judiciously, the effects on the tone should be negligible. It may take some research on your part to find an effective solution that is less expensive than gold plating - which does work but is very expensive and some think that a gold finish is just too much 'bling' for their taste.
  8. mlrenick

    mlrenick Pianissimo User

    Sep 20, 2009
    Ft. Myers, Florida
    they have thicker custom made hand guards that may offer more protection. I would try to look into those.
  9. jgotteach

    jgotteach New Friend

    Mar 27, 2010
    Thanks so much to everyone for their helpful responses. Am I ever glad I stumbled onto this site!

    VETPSYCH: I emailed Charlie Melk with my concerns and will post his response.

    Although my son would probably like the "bling" factor, gold plating is definitely out of our budget for the next several college tuition years.

    In talking with different musicians, it sounds like some people, like my son, have extremely acidic (for lack of a better word) perspiration. He has a friend who has the same Getzen model and has no corrosion whatsoever.

    My internet research led me to a doctorvalve site that talked about different kinds of lacquer on older trumpets (nitrocellulose vs. baked-on epoxy). I emailed them asking if the newer lacquer is more durable. When my son was in elementary/middle school, he played a Yamaha student lacquered trumpet for a few years, and had no problems with corrosion. I don't know if this was because of the lacquer or if his body chemistry changed with adolescence.

    Comebackkid: I couldn't find any other threads through my search terms, so I appreciate your summarizing the conflicting responses. I will contact Bach directly with my questions.

    Again, I really appreciate all of the responses.
  10. mchs3d

    mchs3d Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 30, 2005
    Provo, UT
    There actually is no corrosion happening. A silver finish simply wears away at points where the hand contacts it the most. It happens to almost every horn at some point in its life. If there were true corrosion, you would see little red pock-marks on the outside of the leadpipe. That is corrosion from the inside. The best way to fight it is to keep the instrument clean and to use a high quality valve guard.

Share This Page