Cornet re-lacquering Vs SIlver Plating

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by waynefiler, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. waynefiler

    waynefiler Member

    I've got an ageing Yammy Maestro which I'm going to get overhauled but I want it to look pretty too. I't currently lacquered (in places) but is seriously worn.

    I spoke to my repairer and he said I should consider getting it silver plated.
    I'm of the ilk that thought it would affect the sound of the instrument or make it different to play.

    I'm putting it out there into Tmp-land, does it actually make a difference and what are peoples views to my predicament?

    Thanks y'all

  2. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Yes, it does make a difference to the sound, and yes it probably would affect the response or "feel" of the instrument. Having said that, there's no guarantee that if you had it re-lacquered it would "feel" exactly the same to play as it did before. Different quality/thickness of the lacquer would change the response just as much as having silver plate. The only thing you can reasonably do is to try out instruments in different finishes and see how you find them.
  3. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    Relacquering will make a difference to how it feels (the general perception is that it darkens it VERY slightly).
    Silver plating will make a difference to how it feels (the general perception is that it brightens it VERY slightly)
    Gold plating will make virtually no difference to how it plays (or such is the perceived wisdom).

    The bigger difference is how each of the plating materials holds up to daily use - if you are someone whose natural perspiration "eats" through lacquer (you will know - where your hand goes now has no lacquer whilst the rest of the instrument looks fine) then silver will be more resilient than lacquer, but gold plating will be MUCH more resilient than either of the others.

    Between lacquer and silver, I will always go for silver (the sound difference is minimal and a lot of the difference is that many people will hear what they see) but as a personal preference, I go for gold (yes, it is more expensive but I have found it be worth it).
  4. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Is it right that re laquering, silvering etc. affects the valves and they need re bedding? I'm sure, when I considered having my Smith Watkins done, I was advised not to, if I was happy with the valves and overall sound.
  5. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Also, bear in mind that re-finishing of any sort normally requires some degree of dis-assembly of the instrument. There is every chance that the "feel" of the instrument will be slightly different when it is re-assembled, irrespective of the actual type of finish chosen.

    Given your location, it would probably be worth contacting Will Spencer ( for some advice. (unless of course he is your regular repairer anyway, in which case I advise that you take his advice!)
  6. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    Friend of mine, when her Lacquer Bone needed an overhaul decided to have it plated, soley on the basis that if it ever needed a future repair themn the plate could be "touched up", something which doesnt work that well on lacquer (according to mcQueens and others)
  7. GeordieSop

    GeordieSop Member

    I have a besson 928 and one fatefull durham gala day i dropepd it meaning it needed a lot of work to it.

    one thing that needed to be done was for the laquer to be re-applied, however i decided instead of laquer i may aswell get the finish i wanted so went with the silver plating.

    i have to say that personally i didn't notice much difference apart from how it felt in my hands.

    Can't remember how much it cost me however the guy that i used (and would whole heartedly reccomend) was a guy called Will Spencer.

    google him to find his details
  8. waynefiler

    waynefiler Member

    Given your location, it would probably be worth contacting Will Spencer ( for some advice. (unless of course he is your regular repairer anyway, in which case I advise that you take his advice!)

    Thanks guys,

    Indeed I do use Will Spencer for my repairs, and I'm also leaning towards the silver.

    Lets hope he get it all done before the Nationals in sept!
  9. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Our band had a Getzen Olds Student cornet made in 1975 that was lacquered but had got warn over the years. Re-silvered and serviced in 2006 for £175 - like a brand new cornet and plays well.
  10. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    The start of term tends to be a busy time for all repairers (especially Will, from experience) as all parents suddenly have to get their little darlings' instruments ready for the new term (having been neglected all Summer, lol) - I would contact him sooner rather than later.

    A superb repairer - he is dealing with one of mine tomorrow, hopefully
  11. GordonH

    GordonH Active Member

    Refinishing the instrument will mean buffing it which will remove a tiny amount of metal. Silver plating adds metal so its probably the best option.

    I have always preferred silver plated instruments until recently when I realised that my two lacquered instruments are always easier to keep clean.

    Overall my personal jury is out on this. I assume you know that Yamaha give the silver plated ones different model numbers so your plated one will have the wrong number on it (not that it matters of course).

    Also, plating varies in quality so make sure you get a decent job done.
  12. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    To re plate or just plate for the first time the instrument will have all slides and valves removed. it will be buffed to a mirror finnish and the whole instument imersed in the plating medium so there will be a coating of silver plate inside the valve caseing. Cosmetic plating ( finish ) is usualy only a few microns thick so should not be a problem with valves. Most instument technitions would make sure the valves were properly fitted before handing it back.
    we had a cornet in for a service and it had several parts resoldered and the repairer deceided to replate it completly rather than patch the repairs. it is a realy good cornet to play and looks almost new and it is a boosey and hawkes Imperial from the 70's now in almost mint condition.
  13. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  14. cutter

    cutter New Member

    I had a euph refurbished a few years ago. Changed from lacquer to silver plate. The instrument looks great when polished and feels hugely improved. The sound is probably the same, to all intents and purposes, but because the instrument looks fantastic I always feel like I've got to blow to match the appearance.

    If you get something like that done, you will always feel that the beast is not the same as it was. The trick is to make yourself love the differences.
  15. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

    I decided to part with my Xeno and got hubby's rather shabby looking gold 928 whenhis band got new instruments. I'd always previously played on Sovereigns but this one was an embarrassment! :oops:
    It was taken to Paul Andrews and he silver plated it, took dents and dings outn and gave it a good overhaul - that was at least 3 years ago and I don't think I'll change my cornet ever again. Didn't affect the sound or anything - thanks Paul! :clap:

Share This Page