should I strip? ;)

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352
Hi guys,

think Ive asked this before a long time ago, but (still) considering getting my mk 7 tenor stripped. Can now get it done properly very cheaply, hence the reconsider, and the guy I know in Leeds* who's sound I love and playing I love has advised me to go for it - he played a mk7, said it sounded wicked stripped. As we seem to be going for a similar sound, I'm really up for it, but spoken to lots of people both for and against (some almost militantly so!) so thought I'd see what you guys had to say, see if any one here has had it done?

cheers,

Oli

*Simon Kaylor - absolute monster, plays with a contemporary quintet If Destroyed Still True (IDST) - well worth keeping an eye out for...
 

Pete Thomas

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I wouldn't do it. probably sounded better because of being taken apart and put back together, overhauled and set up. I had a Conn 10M relacquered once as it had no lacquer. It sounded better when lacquered. Within 2 days all the lacquer fell off and it sounded exactly the same. So I concluded the difference was due to the repad.
 

Mikey B

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Hi Oli,

I think its really a matter of personal preference, I have an old Yamaha YTS Tenor that I recently stripped the lacquer off but that was because it was a bit beat up around 50% was worn anyway and I wanted the horn to get that mean and moody kind of look.

I have to say though I did notice a slight difference in the tone afterwards, it also had a full repad and set up at the same time so this may also have had some influence on how it sounds.

I am happy with the look and the sound of the horn, it works for me.

Regards, Mike
 

thomsax

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I don't think the surface coating has anything to do with the tone. Goldplated, silverplated, bare brass, gold-lacquer, clear-lacquer, red, black .... . This is my own thoughts!

I think the tone or sound of a sax is decided from:

1. The player. What do you want to sound like? It's you as the player that plays the sax!! The mouthpiece and sax is just a tool or extension.
2. Mouthpiece (design, material) and reed.
3. Design of the neck.
4. Design of the conical tube.

But if you belive in that a stripped sax will make you sound better, then you should get it stripped. But personally, I would put more efforts in practising to achieve "the right tone"!!

Thomas
 
OP
O
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352
cheers for all of this - slight rephrase - will getting it stripped do any damage? for the price I can get it for I'm up for getting it done, on the off chance - I care more about my sound I think than anything, and spent along time doing long tones, harmonics, breathing exercises etc, and also getting the right mouthpiece, spending waaayyy to much on reeds, and recently upgraded my crook as was slightly damaged.

I by no means think its going to make a huge difference but if I can just squeeze a bit more out of the sax I think it'll be worth it.

However, what I don't want to do though is make it sound worse or damage the horn. From people's experience am I in danger of doing either of these things?

cheers guys,

Oli
 

Moz

Senior Member
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North of Liskeard, Cornwall,UK
Don't do it

Hi guys,

think Ive asked this before a long time ago, but (still) considering getting my mk 7 tenor stripped.
Last night we did a gig in Liskeard, Cornwall. We were the main band and there are six of us in it. The support band before us was a trio so didn't use up much of the stage therefore I left my sax set up in position on it's stand.

By coincidence a spotlight was trained on it all through the first bands set and I thought to myself at the time that it looked bloody impressive as it reflected not only the spotlight but the nightclub lights that were on as well. I thought, also coincidentally considering this thread, how dull it would have looked without it's laquer. Any sound difference couldn't compensate for that.

Martin
 

Morgan Fry

Senior Member
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447
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Leeds
However, what I don't want to do though is make it sound worse or damage the horn. From people's experience am I in danger of doing either of these things?

cheers guys,

Oli
It depends on how it's done. If the lacquer is stripped chemically, it's not a big deal, if they buff it off they could take too much metal with it. It will make the horn more succeptible ti the elements regardless of how well it is done. Lacquer was put on to protect the instrument, and it has a negligible afect on the sound, especially with a ribbed horn that doesn't resonate all that much to begin with like the Selmer. Any difference, better or worse, is much much much more likely to be from how the horn is set up after it has been stripped.
 

Saxlicker

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Breakfast room since '06 UK
First of all I would only do this if the lacquer on my sax so bad anyway that it would be of little consequence.

But before you decide, why don't you try 2 horns that are commercially available in both lacquer and bare brass to see if you can hear a difference that is both different and up your alley? There must be a common link to all bare horns that you might be able to cross reference.

Yamaha custom 82Z or something modern like that are usually available in many finishes so long as you can find them in stock at the same time....bet you can!
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
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3,352
All my horn's apart from 1 are stripped bare(3).I love the look of bare brass,bronze horn's.I think Unlacquered sax's play more free and have more zing to them but that's my opinion and lot's will say i am wrong but when there my sax's that's all that matter's is what i think.If you want it bare go do the deed and enjoy it.As will it harm the sax i no for sure my horn's will out live me a few time's over for sure so bare they are.I dont like new gleaming sax's apart from silverplated horn's which i have had a good few.As for resale cost i never think of that as i enjoy the gear i have at the time and never think what if,life's to short i think so do what you feel is best now.
 

Pete Thomas

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In spite of everything I say, I have a barenaked brass Kohlert alto (was in the yardsale for a while and may be back there).

It is brilliant.

But I can't say it's because it's stripped though...
 

Pjonah

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For what its worth, I would say that no two horns are the same even supposedly the same horn.

I like the look of an unlaquered horn, but better still for me anyway is a silver horn thats never been polished and deeply tarnished. For the record I think its aesthetic more than anything else, if there was such a thing as identical horns, then I still think they would sound identical to each other if one was made from unlaquered brass or laquered Bronze. Large portion of sales hype, manufacturers are doing all they can to get you to part with your cash.

The sound your looking for lies within!;}
 
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old git

Tremendous Bore
For what its worth, I would say that no two horns are the same even supposedly the same horn.

I like the look of an unlaquered horn, but better still for me anyway is a silver horn thats never been polished and deeply tarnished. For the record I think its aesthetic more than anything else, if there was such a thing as identical horns, then I still think they would sound identical to each other if one was made from unlaquered brass or laquered Bronze. Large portion of sales hype, manufacturers are doing all they can to get you to part with your cash.

The sound your looking lies within!;}
Does that mean that we sound better when playing naturists' gigs or wearing BR Thongs with The Hat?
 

Pjonah

Member
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Does that mean that we sound better when playing naturists' gigs or wearing BR Thongs with The Hat?
Definitely that latter me thinks, what a great idea, where on Petes pages can we buy these somewhat illusive BR Thongs and how much are they going for?

So is this what the CaSLM get up to during their extended sojourn??
 

Pete Thomas

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where on Petes pages can we buy these somewhat illusive BR Thongs and how much are they going for?
Oops, I'm going to have to more work then if you missed the thread and ads.

And there was me thinking I wasn't being subtle enough.

Or maybe you have a clever way to block the ads?
 

Martin

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Grenada, West Indies
So what is the best way to strip laquer?

I've been considering stripping my 1928 Buescher True Tone alto when I rebuild it. The laquer is VERY beaten up so I think I'll be losing nothing. But how to do it? It sounds like a chemical stripper followed by hand polishing, but what chemical?

Martin
 

Pete Thomas

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The lacquer on that is not original.

Once you have the horn apart I'd try first of all a hot soapy bath. If that is no good try some eco friendly paint stripper. If that doesn't work then something like Nitromors, but be careful how you dispose of the stuff you rinse off. I've heard of people using very fine wire wool (like 0000 gauge), but I'd be a bit concerned, if you have to try it on less important bit first.

Clean and dry really thoroughly before any chance of springs getting rusty if they are still on there.
 

thomsax

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Just a wondering: Aren't there a difference between the new type of laquer (epoxy) and the old type (cellulose) when it comes to remove/strip laquer?

I have never stripped a sax. Waste of time. I'm playing on Martin saxes and the laquer on these saxes is not good. It comes off whether you want it or not!

My favourite sax is a -38 Martin Handcraft (Comm I) tenor with less than 10% of the laquer left! I don't think it's more freeblowing or have a differnt tone than my other saxes. It just a good sax (no damage, straight body and solid nickelsilver keys) and it was overhauled by a premium shop. Good pads, ResoTech sterling silver resonators and accurate sat keyheights!! The shop is familiar with Martin saxes and they spend a lot of time playing on the saxes and it's setup from your desire (mouthpiece, genre and how you play...) before they hand the sax back. I think this explain why the sax plays so well.

Thomas
 

Martin

Member
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Grenada, West Indies
The lacquer on that is not original.
Thanks Pete.
I'd always assumed the laquer was original...I'll have a closer look at it when I get home today and see if I can detect any tell tale signs of re-laquering. I guess from what you say that all Truetones of that era were originally unlaquered?
I'll follow your advise and start with the gentlest treatment and work up in severity until the laquer comes off.

Just a wondering: Aren't there a difference between the new type of laquer (epoxy) and the old type (cellulose) when it comes to remove/strip laquer?
Thomas
Hi Thomas.
An epoxy finish is extremely hard and as far as I know, immune to chemical attack, so nothing will soften it. I have stripped and relaquerred a barometer and a couple of oil lamps that were epoxy laquerred. Not being delicate musical instruments, I attacked them with wet and dry abrasive paper followed by Brasso polish. Even so, the epoxy was very difficult and slow to remove. I wouldn't like to be that brutal on a sax, hence my question above.

Martin
 

Pete Thomas

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I guess from what you say that all Truetones of that era were originally unlaquered?
That's right, but I believe there was an option to get your bare brass TT factory lacquered once they started doing it, so you see quite a few TTs with lacquer done by Buescher, and you would think it was original as it was very well done, nice dark gold lacquer.
 
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