Why silver plating?

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

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    My opinion is that silver is relatively easy to plate. Gold is a real pain. Lacquer has a reputation (in my opinion undeserved) as sounding duller. Bach lacquer was the industry standard for crap. That is why silver has taken such a foothold.

    For any with acid issues, there may be dietary help available. As far as the horn goes, simply wipe it down with a decent microfibre cloth. Soaks up the nasties leaving less potentially harmful moisture on the finish.
  2. JimCulp

    JimCulp New Friend

    Dec 13, 2010
    I've got my old Bach off for rebuilding right now, and I'm having it silver plated. Why? Well, for one thing I just think it will be pretty, and for another I believe the plating will hold up better than lacquer. The alternative I considered was bare brass, but I went with silver instead.

    Just one guy's take.
  3. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010

    The Bach lacquer on my teacher's Mt. Vernon looks like h*** while the horn sounds like heaven. Lacquer held up pretty well on my 1924 Martin, though the guy's index finger was so acidic, it wore a hole in the lacquer and beyond ... Alarming. Makes you wonder what his diet was that made him so acidic. Can't be all that healthy.

    Silver plating is probably not all the same .... My Getzen shows no wear in the silver even though I had to spend $60 taking dents out. Seems totally solid and easy to clean up.

  4. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Shucks! To minimize all the maintenance problems, I could only dream of an entire horn and mpc being made of surgical grade stainless steel. Still, I may be dead before such is available, but I feel such is coming in the future. We've already got the mpc! Could a leadpipe be next?
  5. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    Ed, there is an advantage to have a horn made of brass. Both copper and zinc have strong bacteriostatic properties, that's why the growth of smelly mats of the bugs in tubes self limits even without frequent clean ups. Stainless steel is also unfriendly to bacteria but not quite as good as brass.

    With a stainless steel trumpet, you'd have to make sure you clean it often, less your audience sits at a distance for bad musical breath reasons:shock:

    Plus it might be a bit heavy...
  6. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    If any horn isn't clean, don't blow it in my face ... and I'd believe that more, than less, of all in use today are not and such doesn't matter what they are made of. My lacquered brass take a bath now at least once a month, even though I'm not now playing them. At concerts, I don't prefer orchestra seats aside from the fact that I now can't afford them.

    More weight is something I could develop the strength to cope with, whereas already I have and I've played a trumpet configuration (marching) mellophone, but yet I still hug my euphonium, albeit then often in a shoulder slung sack as I did also with a tuba (when I had one), and I no longer desire to play a gig on a Sousaphone and endure the ache as developed on my left shoulder. Otherwise, I do believe stainless steel is a stronger metal than brass and would escape many light dings common to what we now have. My only question is tone, as in matching others in a section (Until all in a section had the same). Boxing, fencing and exercise with hand weights strengthens the wrists to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome many players have endured. Finally, as said, I'll likely be dead before they become available in entirety ... but a leadpipe as is most prone to red rot may be available earlier in surgical grade stainless steel.

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