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Saxophones Lacquer vs Plating.


I am hunting through saxes while I save up money for the day when I might be able to afford a more professional model and I have a question for the players who have had their sax for a while. Which tends to hold up better in the long run, lacquer or a plated finish. I may buy a sax after this next one, but I want the next one I buy (given that I do my part) to last for a long time.

I have read Stephen Howard's book and it looks like they both require similar upkeep processes, plating probably costing a bit more. To me plating sounds like it might hold up to the scratches and dings you will get over time a bit better before a repair service might be required to restore it(which also is probably more expensive). Maybe I am wrong on that so I thought I would ask here.


ex Landrover Nut
Plating. As long as it's done properly and you clean witha non-abrasive cleaner. But many silver plated saxes are laquered on top of that.


Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
My tenor is silver plated,no lacquer.Starting to age great.Getting dull and scruffy,the way i likes it.If you like gleaming horns just give them a soft cloth rub after your session.I dont say mine never get cleaned.


Sax Drinker / Beer player
I have a 60's keilwerth toneking stencil (by Amati though a Keilwerth body) which is nickel plated and the inside of the bell is gold plated..

I've had it for about 2 years now, and it still looks the same as I bought it and if you look at it you'd think it`s a 10 year old sax!

Morgan Fry

Senior Member
IMO Silver looks worse quicker. Non issue, though, unless you play the horn with your eyes ;).
Saxholder Pro

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