Like others here I play both silver and gold plated horns. The only difference I can detect is in the required cosmetic maintainance. Silver plate WILL tarnish, and quite quickly. Gold plate is much less labor intensive. It just very rarely changes its appearance. Given a choice, I will elect for the gold plate. I have, as an example, a gold plated King Liberty made back in 1927 that still looks new, and plays that way too.