Saxophone Forum


by sax_maniac
(984 posts)
11 years ago

Signs of relacquering?

Does anyone have knowledge of tell-tale signs that a horn has been relacquered? The one I'm aware of is washed out engravings and serial numbers where the metal has been burnished. Go ahead and be terribly specific. I'm expecting there are subtleties that aren't noticeable at first glance.

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  1. by Selmk7ag
    (5 posts)

    11 years ago

    Re: Signs of relacquering?

    sometimes you can find tell-tell signs of a red buffing compound around the tone holes. an old sax with a really good lacquer job and faint engraving probably is a relacquer. not all relacquers are bad, depends on who did the work and how much buffing was done. some are chemically stripped, hand polished then relacquered.

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    1. by jasonparvey
      (7 posts)

      11 years ago

      Re: Signs of relacquering?

      If the horn is old and it looks brand new, look for stress/dent pulls. People will fix a trashed/bent up horn and relaquer it to somewhat cover up the work. Look around the neck strap hook, bow, and bell. If the horn has had major dent work/buffing, that compromises the structual integerty of the horn, which means it is weaker and goes out of adjustment easier. The horn cannot take the same wear and tear. Also, Compare the color of the neck to the horn. Sometimes the neck can be naturally, from the factory, a slightly different color than the horn. That is usually not the case. My question is, in terms of street value (not what it is worth as a players horn), how much is a relaquer mark 6 worth? I know people who would pay not a penny more than $500 for relaquer even if it played extremely well. Joshua Redman owns a relaquer SBA tenor. That horn is obviously worth something to Josh because its a players horn and he sounds good on it. Some people don't want realquers even if they do play well. Whats the deal? I know that the body can be weakend and stressed, but what else?

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      1. by sax_maniac
        (984 posts)

        11 years ago

        Re: Signs of relacquering?

        To me, if a horn sounds good, it's worth playing - whether it's all original or not. There may be purists/collectors that feels it's not worth owning if it's been relacquered, but purists and collectors are not necessarily true musicians. I like the idea of stripping the lacquer with chemicals or boiling hot water. Maybe spot finishing the metal if there's really bad scratches - but trying to make a vintage horn look brand new from the factory just seems weird to me. If I see a horn that has lots of lacquer wear at the right hand location on the body and the left hand thumb rest and palm keys, it kind of reassures me that the horn is a player.

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        1. by jasonparvey
          (7 posts)

          11 years ago

          Re: Signs of relacquering?

          I've seen lots of horns with lacquer wear my touch pieces and else where, and they have played like crap. My $700 Jupiter Tenor blew em' into the ground! I also have an 80,xxx Mark 6 tenor that has about 80-85% of its lacquer and it plays great. As long as the horn isn't dented up, who cares what type of laquer wear it has, if it plays great, play it.

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        2. by jasonparvey
          (7 posts)

          11 years ago

          Re: Signs of relacquering?

          Correction from previous post- "I've seen lots of horns with lacquer wear by touch pieces and else where,"

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        3. by Spunky2sax75
          (75 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Signs of relacquering?

          One sign of re-laquering is almost like stripes in the alcquer. Look very VERY closely at the laquer and there can be almost like rows in it. I have heard that this is a tell-tale sign of relaquering. I have used it to identify re-laquered horns and this method usually works to tell them apart.

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