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Saxophones Yamaha YTS 480 Gold lacquered vs Silver plated need advice

Andrej

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Singapore
Hi guys,

I wanna buy a new sax Yamaha YTS 480 but I have no idea whether to go for the gold lacquered or silver plated. I found an awesome deal on both, almost 1000 € off for the silver and 800 € off for the gold lacquered, which still makes the silver more expensive by around 200 €.

Is there any difference in performance aside for the different look? I'm not that experienced to know the difference. My concern for the silver is the intensive tarnishing and how well it can maintain resale price and performance over time compared to the gold lacquered.

Any advice from your knowledge and experience is more than welcome.

Thanks
 

kevgermany

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They should play and sound identical. Many silver plated saxes are lacquered to stop tarnish, not sure if this is true of the yamahas.

I have some unlacquered silver plated saxes. Unless you live in a polluted area, tarnish isn't a problem with silver plated saxes that aren't lacquered. Wipe the sax with a soft cloth every time you play. And polish gently with a silver cloth 3-4 times a year. Year strips of cloth to get into difficult areas and use a pencil or thin stick to help. Be careful of unseating springs from their cradles.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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I had a silver-plated sax for my previous tenor. As Kev says - if it's lacquered, not an issue, if it's not then silver cloth etc as Kev outlined. Silver plate does wear off over time - probably less of an issue if it's lacquered. Silver is soft so it does wear.
 

nigeld

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Whether or not silver plating makes a difference to the sound of a saxophone is a religious question - i.e. a topic where discussion is based largely on personal belief and can get very animated. Most people think it doesn't make any difference. But on the other hand lots of people think that bronze saxes sound different to brass ones, so why not silver?

However, no two saxophones are exactly the same, so there will be a small difference between them. If you can try them, then choose the one you like best. If you can't try them, then go for the one you think is prettiest. (I'm serious - I'm sure that a person's attraction to the instrument makes a difference to how much they enjoy playing it.)
 

kevgermany

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Silver plate does wear off over time - probably less of an issue if it's lacquered. Silver is soft so it does wear.
Agree, but generalising, silver plate lasts longer than the lacquer on many saxes, especially Selmer. However I wouldn't want to take a bet on Yamaha, seems their lacquer is really tough.
 

Mostlytenor

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Just get the gold lacquer one. It's been scientifically proven that gold lacquer sounds better than silver plate.;)
 

Tomasz

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The answer to your dilemma is really quite simple... if you like the look of the lacquered sax then buy it. Alternatively, if you prefer a silver-plated look then buy the other one instead. However, if you think that the former will play/sound better than the latter (or vice versa) then don't torture yourself over which to choose because they'll play/sound the same.

The only merit of a silver-plated sax is when vintage saxophones become involved. Then, the issue of whether there's been a relacquer job (and whether some idiot went overboard with the buffing wheel) by definition isn't an issue with silver-plated horns. Of course, with a modern Yamaha the question of the dreaded buffing wheel doesn't arise, because Yamaha saxophone lacquer is unusually resilient.

Bottom line:- base your decision on looks. Buy what looks pretty. In short, it's a question of "eye-candy".
 

Andrej

New Member
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Singapore
Thanks a lot to all !!! Just ordered the gold lacquered. Was very helpful to understand more of what I am buying and what the difference is. Thanks guys :yess:
 

ukSaxHire

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4
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Derbyshire UK
Hi guys,

I wanna buy a new sax Yamaha YTS 480 but I have no idea whether to go for the gold lacquered or silver plated. I found an awesome deal on both, almost 1000 € off for the silver and 800 € off for the gold lacquered, which still makes the silver more expensive by around 200 €.

Is there any difference in performance aside for the different look? I'm not that experienced to know the difference. My concern for the silver is the intensive tarnishing and how well it can maintain resale price and performance over time compared to the gold lacquered.

Any advice from your knowledge and experience is more than welcome.

Thanks
Hi,

I wondered the same, if there would be any sound difference between the two instruments. I tested both with my eyes closed and couldn't really tell the difference. If anything the silver one was a slightly brighter sound.

Hope that helps

Kate (ukSaxHire)
 

Andrej

New Member
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26
Locality
Singapore
Hi guys. Thanks all. I just got my sax YTS-480, and to my surprise it is Made in Japan, wanted to mention it since in all forum everyone saying all 480 made in Indonesia, not true ;). It's my first Yamaha, and I really like the built quality and feel. So easy to blow and so good on the sound side, even though I'm not that advance I really feel the difference compared to other brand. I use to have a Jupiter 789 before which is quite a good instrument for the money, but for few hundred $ extra, you really feel the difference and it is worth it :D.

Cheers!
 

Ne0Wolf7

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Long Island
I know this thread is a but old, but there's something I've got to say that hasn't been said:
I went to Music and Arts today to discuss buying a Saxophone (havn't bought anything yet... soon... soooon......) and when discussing finish options of with the manager she said that there won't be a difference in sound, but if you'll be trying out for a lot of groups, some will care what you look like and the lacquered finish is standard looks. For that reason, I would say always get lacquered saxes unless, of course, you find a magical one in another finish.
 

nigeld

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I know this thread is a but old, but there's something I've got to say that hasn't been said:
I went to Music and Arts today to discuss buying a Saxophone (havn't bought anything yet... soon... soooon......) and when discussing finish options of with the manager she said that there won't be a difference in sound, but if you'll be trying out for a lot of groups, some will care what you look like and the lacquered finish is standard looks. For that reason, I would say always get lacquered saxes unless, of course, you find a magical one in another finish.

On the other hand, if you are trying out for Too Many Zoos, a bright blue sax might get you noticed. :cool:
 

DavidUK

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So long as you trust the lacquer over silver plate that's fine. BUT... if the lacquer gets compromised and your silver starts to tarnish underneath or the silver plate wears off more than you can accept it's an expensive job to have it re-plated (as opposed to re-polished with a plain brass finish) and then re-lacquered.

Having had a brass finish lacquered tenor totally stripped and re-polished for £80, I was surprised to hear that to un-plate and re-plate an alto in silver plate might cost anywhere north of £1000. This is due to not many specialists wanting to handle silver plating chemicals and, due to the rarity of experts in this field and the dangerous chemicals, the price rockets.

It's common for lacquer over a brass finish to wear through at the keys but simple to occasionally polish up the dull brass if this bothers you. Left bare brass this wear and tarnishing can give a vintage patina which many people like.

When silver plate wears through to the brass under it is the difference in appearance which makes it look unsightly, as here...

Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 13.08.46.jpg


Polishing the worn brass isn't going to sort this, and it's not particularly attractive as with a "patinated" fully brass finish.

So, for the majority of big well regarded brands lacquered silver plate shouldn't be too much worry so long as the lacquer was applied well and you keep it clean. But for older, cheaper horns I don't recommend silver as it could be costly to re-finish and if you ever come to sell folks like me may be put off by the cost of rectification.
 
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