Saxophone Forum


by staguk
(10 posts)
5 years ago

Unlacquered Hornes?

Would anyone like to tell me their thoughts about purchasing an Unlacquered Tenor horn? , i am considering a Cannonball "Madmeg" big bell. I understand the sound is better without the lacquer ?,is that the case or is it just about the classic look? I would be interested to hear from anyone. Thanks Chris.

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  1. by blackfrancis
    (396 posts)

    5 years ago

    Re: Unlacquered Hornes?

    It has more to do with how you play than what finish is on the horn. If you like the unlacquered look, by all means go for it. If you want the true classic look, wear the finish off at the gigs.

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    1. by chalazon
      (547 posts)

      5 years ago

      Re: Unlacquered Hornes?

      I've played on a few Mad Megs, and I think they've got a great sound...I don't know if it's the unlacquer shtic or not..but they do sound well....however..I've worn the lacquer off of my tenor at the gigs...bought it new 35 years ago.

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      1. by staguk
        (10 posts)

        5 years ago

        Re: Unlacquered Hornes?

        Thanks guys for the information, sadly i do not class myself as good enough to gig ( but i shall get there in the end!) and i am a late starter do no know if i will be blowing in 35 years. Also thanks to all who have answered. So the answer is that the unlacquered does not enrich the sound? as i am not that bothered about the aesthetics of the instrument just the sound?. As i have read that some professionals strip the lacquer off to get a better sound that was all. Regards Chris

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        1. by kelsey
          (793 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Unlacquered Hornes?

          I also bought my Mark Vls new. I think I liked them better when the laquer was on and they were all shiney. I don't remember what they sounded like back then, I do have old recordings of me and they sound OK. I like the way they sound now and that's what counts..............Kelsey and Rosie
          Barry Kelsey

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        2. by staguk
          (10 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Unlacquered Hornes?

          Thanks Kelsey and Rosie I shall have a re-think on the issue, and i quiet like one of the other suggestions regarding wearing your own lacquer off by playing, its all been helpful. Regards Chris

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        3. by kneejerk52
          (397 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Unlacquered Hornes?

          i took the lacquer off a vito i have just to see if it made a diff. i could not hear and noteable diff, of course it is not fully tarnished yet, i don't know if that will do anything we will see.

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        4. by staguk
          (10 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Unlacquered Hornes?

          Thanks Kneejerk, all info gratefully received . Regards Chris.

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      2. by RyanCannonball
        (36 posts)

        5 years ago

        Re: Unlacquered Hornes?

        Hi Chris, The unfinished horn will sound a bit darker and will feel a bit more "free" than its plated or lacquered counterparts. But since your question is whether "the sound is better," well, whether that's good or bad depends what sound YOU like. If you prefer and edgier "in-your-face" sound, then go for a different finish, but for a more warm / mellow sound, go the Mad Meg route. That's based on my experience, so take it or leave it. I've seen a lot of top notch saxophonists come here to our headquarters at Cannonball and try the "Mad Meg" (unlacquered) finish against the other finishes we offer. And through the years, players' reactions to the different finishes are surprisingly consistent. For example, our polished silver and polished black-nickel plated horns are always described as having more bite / edge / brightness. Go figure. In the end, you need to play as many horns as you can and stick with the one that you feel the best and sound the best on. Personally, I love the Mad Megs because not only do they sound great, but frankly I love that I don't have to polish them or worry about little scratches. It's a very practical horn from that perspective. Good luck out there! -Ryan

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        1. by staguk
          (10 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Unlacquered Hornes?

          Ryan thanks very much for your input, i shall go and try a Mad Meg out at my local stockist and take your advice to try as many horns as i can . Regards Chris.

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