On my old student horn, the lacquer came off very quickly, while my friend's "intermediate" silver-plated trumpet had not worn at all. This led me to believe that a combination of my body chemistry and the fact that the horn was lacquered had caused this deterioration.
It has now been about a year since I got my Olds Recording lacquered at Kanstul- naturally, I play it more often than I played my student horn, because I'm growing as a player and practice more. No lacquer has worn off. It has also been about a year since the SAME friend got an Andreas Eastman trumpet and the silver has come off in the same areas that the lacquer came off on my student horn.
From what I've read, Andreas Eastman has been known to apply thin plating, and Kanstul may apply a thicker coat of lacquer than is usually done. This is all added on to the fact that lacquer, even in regular applications, is applied in a much thicker layer than silver plate.
Still, this leads me to question- Is lacquer really more prone to wear than silver?
Are we so used to having a student trumpet whose company, in order to save money, puts a thinner layer of lacquer than it could (or should)? Do we then buy a professional horn that is silver-plated (the norm for pro horns) at a solid level because no sacrifices to quality have been made? Do we then conclude that silver-plate is less prone to wear than lacquer?
Basically, if the norm of lacquer application were tweaked to match the higher content provided Kanstul, or the norm of silver-plating were tweaked to match the lowered content of Andreas Eastman, we probably wouldn't reach the same conclusions about the durability of silver plate.
The relative balance between silver-plate and lacquer could be off because of the general pattern of the market (student horns-lacquer, pro horns-silver)
The reason I didn't mention gold was because, from my understanding, gold does not wear at all. Is this true? Does anyone have experience with sweat eating up gold plate?
Also, I've assumed that the thickness of silver plating on my friend's bach intermediate trumpet was the same as it would have been on a bach strad. From my understanding, silver-plating is one of the few perks of an intermediate horn, so the company would at least put a solid coating.