To silver or not to silver ....

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by englishgill, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. englishgill

    englishgill Member

    I have recently bought a laquered tenor horn which looks pretty bad - lots of the laquer has been worn away, especially round the valves (probably by rings etc) - but sounds great.

    I am considering having it silvered but wondered if anyone had any experience (good or bad) of this and if they had any recommendations as to where to get it done, rough prices etc in the South East.

    Thanks all

  2. GingerMaestro

    GingerMaestro Active Member

    Not sure where you can get it done but if the instrument is as good as you say the get it done it can only prolong the life of the instrument
  3. megasop2000

    megasop2000 New Member

    Never had it done myself, but I know a number of people who have gone to McQueens, and all have been very pleased with the results. The site is Says there a horn is about £450, and they do a nation wide collection service. They do a very thorough job and the horn will come back looking like new!

    Personally, I wouldnt bother if its only the laquer which has worn away. It may not look as nice, but its what it sounds like and how it plays that is really what is important and £450 will buy you alot of beer and curry!!

  4. i had my tuba completly redone / un bent , when i dropped it at pontins one year

    was £1200 i think for it in the end , altho insurance paid , did a very good job
  5. rdouglas1976

    rdouglas1976 New Member

    Try I know he does plating on instruments, when I was getting quotes for my trumpet a few years ago it was £300 so expect to pay around £400.

  6. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    McQueens are excellent. Ask them about the variations in finishes too though as there are hundreds now. Matt finishes look great (although black is obviously the way forward)
  7. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Ed Flower at Prestige Brass did my bass trumpet and he was fairly reasonable (£350 ish). There are a couple of things to bear in mind, though: Silver plating an instrument will change the way it feels and blows. My bass trumpet felt like a brand new one which hadn't been blown in and the sound was a lot brighter. May I suggest that, if you want your beloved instrument to look nice, perhaps you could just get it relacquered? It's much less obtrusive than silverplating.
  8. My advice would be to have it overhauled and silver plated. Laquer is never a very permanent coating. Even with the kindest of treatment sweat, jewelry and general wear and tear will cause it to disapear. The problem then is that you start eating into the brass, and the enevitable pitting really can compromise the instrument, eventually needing patching.

    On the subject of changing the sound or response of the instrument - any alterations are very minor and much less than the variation between individual instruments... Try playing a few "identical" Sovereigns and even from the same batch they'll sound and feel quite different! The biggest perceived change is due to the chemical cleaning that goes on before silver plating takes place which means the instrument is absolutely clean inside and out. That's the main reason it comes back feeling and sounding slightly differently.

    Incidentally, my price for a horn - all dent removal, laquer strip, complete overhaul to as-new standards, including silver plating is £250-£350 depending on initial condition (the amount of work can vary dramatically!). I can put you in touch with lots of people who've had the work done if you like.

    Hope this helps!

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