Vincent Bach Lacquer Wear On Trumpets

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by musicwhizz, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. musicwhizz

    musicwhizz New Member

    Hi, I have just tried to order a Vincent Bach Strad Trumpet in Lacquer and have been told that it is a waste of time getting a lacquered one as the lacquer will fall off in a matter of months :confused: Has anybody experienced any problems with the lacquer 'falling off' soon after purchase? Any replies would be very much appreciated. Many Thanks Adam
  2. simonpohare

    simonpohare Member

    I'm on my second strad; the first was silveplate, which I reget having sold(tried a a xeno for a couple of years). The second is a lovely lacquered LR 37ML. It's 3 yrs old and in general it is in excellent shape. There is a tiny bit of wear around the waterkey area, but nowhere else. Very happy with it!
  3. JRH

    JRH Member

    Anti-Bach mythology no doubt. They've been lacquering horns for many decades. I doubt they've suddenly forgotten how to do it properly.

    I have seen 50+ year old lacquered bach's with beautiful lacquer on them still.
  4. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    I have a King Sousaphone made in 1945 which still has origional Laquered finnish almost completly intact. I had inside the bell redone because it was looking tired but the rest is origional. would have been some one against laquered instruments telling you it would come off in months
  5. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    It all depends on how acidic your sweat is - I have seen lacquer instruments last unspolit for ages in certain hands, whilst the same instrument may have the lacquer stripped by someone else in a couple of years (even months in extreme cases).

    Speaking about Bach specifically, there was a time when the quality coming out of the Bach factory was not that great but from what I have seen they have managed to raise the standard more recently.

    There was also a fashion a few years ago for stripping the lacquer to "improve" the sound (many people going for raw brass). Some people preferred it, others went back to having instruments lacquered or silver plated.

    The best Bach trumpet I have ever played was lacquered.

    Personally, if I am getting new instruments, I prefer them gold plated - maintenance is much easier and there are no issues with eating through the lacquer (there isn't any and gold is VERY resistant to corrosion).
  6. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    ^^^ What Mike said.

    I am one of those people with excessively acidic sweat, and I can take the lacquer off any instrument, no matter how well produced, within 6 months. Which is why I would never buy a lacquered instrument. But that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with a lacqeured Bach Strad ...

    Ideally, your choice of finish should be determined primarily by the sound characteristics, and what you want sound-wise.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011
  7. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I'll just add that professional musical acousticians seem agreed that the material of the finish makes close to no difference to the sound as it reaches either the audience or the ears of the player. Blindfold tests with pro trombonists by Richard Smith with a couple of complicating factors compensated for showed that they could tell no difference between different bell materials in reality. It's not trumpet, but it is brass... If the finish was an arbitrary choice financially, I would always choose it based on how pleasing it looked...

    Also, Bach are far from the worst on the lacquer front. Both Conn and Rath trombones shed lacquer almost from new, at a much quicker rate.
  8. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    May be true for trombones, and other larger brass. I don't believe it's true for trumpets, and smaller trumpets in particular.

    Certainly not true so far as Renold Schilke was concerned, anyway:
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011
  9. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    And many respected makers of trombones offer different bell metal options too, advertising the supposed differences. There's usually a sharp opinion divide between players (and even manufacturers) and scientists on this point, where many players are deceived by a combination of other factors and the placebo effect. I really must see what literature there is out there from acousticians specifically on trumpets. I'm very much inclined to doubt that it would be different, but I'm not going to get dogmatic about it, as that would be silly... I'm just putting this info out there so that the OP can see all sides of the story.
  10. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    Relacquering a Strad after 25 years

    My mum bought me my Strad Bb Trumpet (lacquered brass) way back in 1979 and I finally got it relacquered and overhauled around 2004. It had started to look a bit tatty around the handling points, but the rest of the lacquer was still pretty sound. Turns out the new lacquer is mechanically softer than the original - I managed to scratch it by polishing it. (Won't do that again!)

    I didn't consider getting it replated instead as the original has two-tone metalwork - the outer slide sleeves and various other bits are silvery-coloured, but the remainder is gold-coloured, and all the nice details would vanish if it was plated. The new lacquer is paler than the original - trumpet looks really yellow. I like it very much.

    On a slightly different note, I do understand that some people don't like Strads. I know how it feels when you pick up a trumpet and it just doesn't feel right in your hand. Fair enough. But it's clearly wrong to then say 'I played/owned a Strad once one and didn't get on with it, so every Strad is bad and you definitely won't get on with one either'.
  11. simonpohare

    simonpohare Member

    I have always used a leather valve guard to avoid any significant lacquer wear on the valve block. They are inexpensive and work really well.
  12. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    They also (in my experience) dull the response and "feel" of the instrument ...
  13. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    Leather valve guard

    This isn't my experience. Unless you replace them frequently and clean the valve block thoroughly when you do, the guard will soak up the sweat from your hand and press it against the instrument all the time, making the lacquer and brass degrade faster than if there was no valve guard. By far the worst areas on my Strad were where the leather valve cover had been. I'd never use one again.

    To avoid sweat damage, rather than using a cover, I try to wash my hands before playing...
  14. bbocaner

    bbocaner New Member

    Bach lacquer is nitrocellulose whereas most everyone else is using epoxy lacquer which is much more durable. I can eat through nitrocellulose lacquer at my hand contact points in a few weeks whereas it takes a year or more for the same sort of wear on an epoxy lacquered instrument. It is possible to keep either nice by wiping down the instrument carefully after use.

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