Why silver plating?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trickg, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. Blue Band

    Blue Band New Friend

    Feb 16, 2006
    What I am going to say is from Dr Sievers posts over on The Trumpet Corner (Bach).

    Silver plating is more durable in comparrrison to laquer. The horn SHOULD ALWAYS be wipped off after use to remove any of your oils diposited on the horn

    Drum Corps:

    The easiest way to keep silver plating clean is to WEAR white or black gloves (marching band) when you are handling the horn. Whipe the horn down with a clean soft cloth before the horn is put away. Use a treated cloth from time to time as needed.

    Also: problem with silverplating flaking off, the same would happen to the laquer finish
  2. tom turner

    tom turner Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Georgia, USA
    Some folks have a skin chemistry that eats up lacquer fast . . . and some are rough on silver.

    However, lacquered instruments all eventually look rough AND repair issues ARE hard to hide and make look good when the horn is lacquered.

    Silver is much more durable, easier to buff and spot-plate back to (near) perfection after a repair . . . and silver looks soooo good when it is polished.

    I wouldn't/couldn't have a lacquered horn again. Lacquer and I don't "agree." However, my silver horns have always looked great for years and years and years!

    HOWEVER . . . I'm now strongly in the Gold corner! Gold is added atop the full silverplate (usually), and few people have a skin chemistry that reacts to gold plate on a horn. Thus, few people will have a bubbling effect on a gold horn! GIVE ONE POINT FOR GOLD!

    It truly sucks to have to polish silver horns all the time to make 'em look great . . . but you just gently wash down a gold horn's exterior and pat dry it off with a soft cotton cloth! GIVE TEN POINTS FOR GOLD!

    Repairs? Well, when a dent is removed from a gold or silver horn, the area must be buffed. Sometimes that buffing removes all the silver at that area . . . requiring spot plating but not too often! Gold? The buffing of the repair WILL buff down to the silver at least . . . requiring spot-plating on that area. SLIGHT ADVANTAGE--SILVER.


    My goldplated Wild Thing Bb trumpet was "born" in November 1999, and my goldplated Wild Thing short cornet was "born" about a year later. Both still look WONDERFUL . . .

    The goldplating on each is still probably 100% . . . although gold does lighten a little over time where you handle it! At current rates . . . I'll probably ship 'em back to Flip for "refreshing" in about another five years.

    I've been quite stunned just how beautiful, easy to care for, and (strangly) LONG LASTING the gold finishes have been.


    Tom Turner
  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Cool post Tom!

    I've been trying to be a bit more careful with my Schilke - I really like this trumpet and want to maintain it as best I can for as long as I can, but I haven't taken the steps to have it gold plated. One day I'll go ahead and do it, but for now, I'll just keep wiping down the silver.

    Something new I have started to do lately with this horn is to just take it to the kitchen sink and rinse it off really good under the faucet. I figure this removes any salts or acidic buildup and will help over the long haul to keep the silver plating from corroding.
  4. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    For keeping silver clean I have used alcohol and a flannel cloth. It cleans the surface with minimal abrasion. The problem with washing with water is that if you're not careful you can scratch the silver when drying it with a towel.
  5. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    With apologies to Tom (I know he prefers all-polished), if you have a scratch or satin gold horn you can remove any water spots from the scratch finish with Windex. Just wash the horn the way you normally would (quite warm water, detergent or Simple Green), let it dry and then "de-spot". Assemble. Remove inevitable slide-grease and valve oil smudges again with Windex. I find the gold finish FAR easier to maintain than anything else, although the "drool marks" in the bell (polished) tend to show up a bit more.
  6. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    I use a non ammonia Windex type cleaner.

    Was advised to not use ammonia on my satin gold. Didn't ask why.

    It just cleans right up.

  7. Jhorn229h

    Jhorn229h Pianissimo User

    Feb 17, 2006
    I think Gold trumpets look great. Phil Smith says it helps warm-up the sound of his high (Eb and picc) trumpets. Have you ever dented or had some repair work done on one? Can you "spot" gold plate? I'd hate to make such a huge investment and have an accident ruin it!


  8. The Weez

    The Weez Piano User

    Dec 23, 2008
    Wichita, KS
    Fortunately for me, my skin does not react badly with silver plate. So I find silver plate to be much more durable than lacquer. I think that peeling lacquer is the worst look ever for a horn. Also I've never been fond of the look of lacquer anyhow; just looks cheap to me (although some vintage horns look very cool in lacquer).

    I've never owned a gold plated horn so I can't comment on that.
  9. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    This thread is 5 years old.
  10. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    ...and once again I did not notice! Quite an interesting one for me, since I've recently bought a lacquered trumpet and am keen to keep it as good looking as my silver Bach does for as long as possible.


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