Cleaning Laquered Instruments

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by tubatu, Dec 1, 2002.

  1. tubatu

    tubatu Member

    Hi all,
    I've acquired my first Laquered instrument, a Sovereign EEb Bass :D , in the past I've always played silver plated instruments. So my question is, what is the best method for keeping my instrument clean?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    Laquered Eb Bass!

    Oh dear Tubatu, :(

    I take it you haven't been reading the postings about Laquered Instruments. . . .
    especially Boosey & Hawkes Soverign Basses!

    Look at the topic Instrument Quality in the Random Chat Forum for more information.

    PS: Don't polish it to hard or the Laquer will come off! :lol:
  3. tubatu

    tubatu Member

    My Bass is not new, It was made about 9 years ago and works perfectly, I just haven't had any experience in cleaning a laquered instrument.
  4. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    Cleaning Lacquered Instruments

    It sounds as though you have been lucky enough to have acquired one of the pre lottery instruments. :lol:

    Regarding cleaning, most marks (finger marks etc) can be removed with a yellow duster.

    For more stubborn marks, just wipe over with a damp cloth and dry with a duster.

    It is not necessary to use any cleaning products as these can damage the Lacquer.

    Hope this information is helpful.
  5. tubatu

    tubatu Member

    Cheers Roger, just what I needed to know.
  6. mr.forde

    mr.forde Member

    Ime sorry but i dont meen to affend enyone when i say that laquerd instroments are pants.... but they are. The thing is i allways say the look like you are a begginer i dont know why but ime just a odd person i suppose.:eek: :eek: :eek:
  7. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    One comment I would add to Roger's - don't wash it in water that is too hot! The water needs to be luke warmish. Otherwise the edges the laquer coating will start to "fray" and flake off. I know because I made this mistake on a 6-month old Strad Flugel :frown:
  8. JDH

    JDH Member

    Congratulations on your lacquered Sovereign Bass - if it is 9 years old, it should be a good one! Having had both finishes myself, I would say it will require a lot less effort to keep looking good. I used to hate polishing a silver instrument - always ending up with black hands.:frown:

    One bit of advise I would add is to wipe the areas which you hold (such at the tube on which you rest your right hand) with a duster before you put it away. Otherwise, your sweat may eventually eat into the lacquer. That is something which I have experienced.

    TIMBONE Active Member

    May I just add that you also avoid strong detergent, a samll amount of mild washing up liquid is ok. Having said that, many orchestral trumpet players buy brand new instruments, and immediately strip the laquer to improve the tone :eek:

    Roger, I am surprised at you, but I am sure you meant to say "Don't polish it too hard..." but your finger missed the second 'o' :biggrin:
  10. kiwiposaune

    kiwiposaune New Member

    The best thing you can do for the sound of your bass is strip the lacquer off. It won't be as pretty but you'll no longer have 'glorified shrink wrap' constraining the instruments ability to make the most vibrant sound.
  11. sevenhelz

    sevenhelz Active Member

    i've been told that the laqcuer can give you a warmer sound?? (i play silver anyway but...)
  12. JDH

    JDH Member

    What I have heard is that bare brass gives the warmest sound, then lacquer with silver plate the brightest sound. However, the sound difference is minuscule.

    A change in mouthpiece will have much greater effect.
  13. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Doesn't lacquering or silverplating brass serve as a protective coating to prevent wear? Another thing to maybe consider is that the transfer of acids from the hands will attack (oxidise) the instrument and reduce it's life expectancy. Finally, what about the residue left by this oxidation? Can't be too healthy if it is absorbed into our body system (... allergic reactions too?). :rolleyes:
  14. JDH

    JDH Member

    I completely agree. I have had a tube on my Besson Eb bass eaten into so much by hand acids that it has had to have a patch soldered over. A protective coating of lacquer, or silver plate is therefore more than just for appearance.

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