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Silver plated models - good idea/bad idea?

DavidUK

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Just wondering how a silver plated sax would be to own?

How do you keep it from tarnishing, and is it a pain in the backside to clean in between the posts if it tarnishes?

I've seen some 30's Conns with silver plating which looks immaculate but I don't know how much effort the owners have put into keeping them shiny.

I seem to recall there are some benefits to do with protecting the brass better than lacquer, and to do with the sound, but I've never really researched these.

Anyone offer any insight into maintenance, pros and cons?

Many thanks!
 

griff136

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I live in Exmouth Devon.
Some silver plated horns are lacquered on top of the plate, generally older horns aren't and tend to have more thicker plating. Some manufacturers silver plating is better than others - Ive seen more than a few Cannonball silver-plated horns where the plating was poor and tended to tarnish quicker for some reason.
Silver plate tarnishes and rubber tends to speed up the tarnishing so if you have a hard rubber(ebonite) mouthpiece then that can speed up the tarnishing process.
Having said that - I had a silver mk6 selmer alto and I used a Ralph Morgan ebonite Excalibur mouthpiece with and kept it in the case.- I kept it clean by having 3M anti tarnish strips in my case and I would wipe down the sax with a silver cloth once id finished playing. It kept it in great nick.
Dent repair on plated saxes can be generally less visible than on lacquered saxes IMHO.
 
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I polished my 62 (very thick plating and no laquer thankfully) and it`s still untarnished 2 months down the line after cleaning it on purchase , what I like about it is that it gives you an Unlaquered horn (which means nothing to wear and look messy) and yet doesn`t look skanky and make your hands messy when it`s not cleaned like brass does , it takes on an antique silverware look if you neglect it .. I`ve not seen a laquered Silverplated sax, I Believe it`s hard to get the laquer even , thankfully it would seem that few are laquered.

Another thing about silver plate is that it gives the horn a real feel of quality in the hands as well as to the eye - hence why it`s popular to silver plate flutes and the keywork on better clarinets .

I wholly recommend Silver plated saxes - so long as they`ve not been laquered of course and that 6M two-one (bras keywork) looks better than any high and mighty 26M
 

jonf

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Betelgeuse
Just wondering how a silver plated sax would be to own?

How do you keep it from tarnishing, and is it a pain in the backside to clean in between the posts if it tarnishes?

You don't. You just play the thing.

Seriously, they get to a certain level of tarnish then don't get any worse. I've got three 1920s silver saxes and they're all still identifiably silver, but a bit tarnished. If I ever wanted them shiny they'd polish up. Their slightly dull colour has no impact on the sound that comes out of them, so I just eave them cosmetically and play the things. My life's to busy to waste time polishing saxes.
 

DavidUK

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How about this "look"....

Conn silver1.JPG
Conn silver2.JPG


I konw the later non-RTH 6Ms were nickel keys on brass body, but this always smacks of a student horn. What do you think of gold plated keys on silver plated body, as above, or is the classic all brass look better...

Conn 37.JPG

6m 2.jpg
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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I prefer silver. Here there's little tarnishing, and a quick going over with a silver cloth every now and again works well. Cleaning between posts is a pain and best left, or take the necessary keys off. Just watch for sweaty fingers as well as the rubber Gruff warned about. Quick rub down with a duster after plsaying sorts that.
 

DavidUK

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Some silver plated horns are lacquered on top of the plate, generally older horns aren't and tend to have more thicker plating. Some manufacturers silver plating is better than others - Ive seen more than a few Cannonball silver-plated horns where the plating was poor and tended to tarnish quicker for some reason.
Silver plate tarnishes and rubber tends to speed up the tarnishing so if you have a hard rubber(ebonite) mouthpiece then that can speed up the tarnishing process.
Having said that - I had a silver mk6 selmer alto and I used a Ralph Morgan ebonite Excalibur mouthpiece with and kept it in the case.- I kept it clean by having 3M anti tarnish strips in my case and I would wipe down the sax with a silver cloth once id finished playing. It kept it in great nick.
Dent repair on plated saxes can be generally less visible than on lacquered saxes IMHO.
Yes, I've heard about the anti tarnish strips. I guess they exude some kind of vapour?
 

jbtsax

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I love the look of gold plated keys on a silver body, or better yet gold keys on a white body. I love my silver SBA alto. It remains tarnish free after several years. Here's how:

1) By polishing it using Haggerty's Silver Polish with R-22 tarnish preventative,
2) Keeping 2 fresh Dr's. Gleam Anti Tarnish Sachets inside the case, and
3) Always keeping it inside the case when it is not being played.
 

altissimo

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leicester
"anti tarnish paper strips have been impregnated with 3M`s Tarni-Shield technology which protects metals from tarnishing by absorbing sulphides and other pollutants in the air which cause tarnishing to occur."

so it's the sulphide that does it, which explains why HR mouthpieces may promote tarnishing and living next to a busy road junction turned my mate's silver plated Martin black. Sweaty hands won't help - I've been wearing a silver bracelet for the last 10 years and the bits in contact with my skin have stayed shiny, due to wear, but the nooks and crannies have gone black. Same with my Conn C Melody - spitty dribbles up near the palm keys have left their mark..
JBT's advice is excellent, as usual - I think one of my jewellery making friends uses a silver polish that foams up and cleans silver wonderfully. Must find out what it is and get some for the C Mel...

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/journa...issue-18/tarnishing-of-silver-a-short-review/
 

jbtsax

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I used the 3M tarnish strips for several years before I discovered the Dr's Gleam Sachet packets. He claims that they have 75 times the anti-tarnish ingredient that is contained in other brands. I do know they have been very effective in keeping my sax and flute tarnish free.
 

DavidUK

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I used the 3M tarnish strips for several years before I discovered the Dr's Gleam Sachet packets. He claims that they have 75 times the anti-tarnish ingredient that is contained in other brands. I do know they have been very effective in keeping my sax and flute tarnish free.
JBT... that top photo is one of Borodi's custom jobs: http://www.borodimusic.com/
He seems to have a good reputation on SOTW, apart from some more garish "colour changing" models.
Have you come across any of his work personally? What do you think of his ability, and the "craftsmanship" on these non-standard creations?
 

Ads

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1) By polishing it using Haggerty's Silver Polish with R-22 tarnish preventative,

Over here it`s Goddards silver polish which does that, it smells nicer than Silvo and is less aggessive too but it`s very runny . I only polished the 62 when it arrived, not had to do it since (only wipe spit off & pull it through after sessions or when I get home ) and it still looks fantastic and I`ve not got any anti-tarnish strips

How do anti-tarnish strips work ? , surely a thin bit of whatever can only protect a small area near it
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
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Berkshire, UK
In a previous thread it was proven that silver sounds better than brass as well...................!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Saxdiva

Older, wiser, should know better....
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Burgess Hill, West Sussex
Over here it`s Goddards silver polish which does that, it smells nicer than Silvo and is less aggessive too but it`s very runny . I only polished the 62 when it arrived, not had to do it since (only wipe spit off & pull it through after sessions or when I get home ) and it still looks fantastic and I`ve not got any anti-tarnish strips

How do anti-tarnish strips work ? , surely a thin bit of whatever can only protect a small area near it

I think they absorb all the stuff in the air that makes the sax tarnish, so you pop them in the case with the sax and Hey Presto!

My Albright must have a layer of clear laquer over the silver plate, as sax.co suggested. Nothing needed as yet but a quick wipe and pull-through like your 62, and same care as my laquered brass saxes. I'm not complaining. I like to care for my saxes, but it's nice to do it by choice, not because it's needed.
 

Ads

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I`ll have to give them a go , can`t do any harm :) . I thought the Albright was all black , I didn`t realise the body tube was silver plate as i`ve not seen one up close , I guess they would laquer that as it`d look awful when it tarnished next to the pristine black bell
 

Pete Thomas

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I prefer silver. Here there's little tarnishing, and a quick going over with a silver cloth every now and again works well. Cleaning between posts is a pain and best left, or take the necessary keys off. Just watch for sweaty fingers as well as the rubber Gruff warned about. Quick rub down with a duster after plsaying sorts that.

I polish my silver 10M every now and again, maybe every couple of years.

I don't bother polishing between the posts usually. If tarnishing between the posts is a problem, it's easily remedied by not looking between the posts.
 

gtriever

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Western KY, USA
I've had all brass, brass with nickel keys, and silver with gold keys. I just play the darned things, and wipe'em down with a soft cloth every now and then.
 

Andrew Sanders

Northern Commissioner for Caslm
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Ilkley West Yorkshire
My silver/gold keys Hanson still looks good after nearly two years.
Silver polishing cloth and heavy breathing to get the spit marks off does it.
 

DavidUK

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I can`t imagine anyone going to the trouble of doing all that work including silver plating to a horn which was less than superb, it`d be a waste . as I`ve said , my concern lies in the resellability of it if you need to pass it on a few months down the line, will the Borodi refurb devalue the horn ? . it`s not as if its a rare model or anything and 6Ms in general are hardly thin on the ground so maybe not ?

When I eventually get the cash to get my 10M , I`d rather have a scruffy original laq one than a relaq or a refurb like that but to be honest, it`ll be the sound and action which will sell it to me . that 6M does look very good to me . a kinda reverse student look , very Cannonball, Mauriat , whoever
 

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