Saxophone Forum


by StratmanBaze
(61 posts)
9 years ago

stripping saxes

some say that a sax with its laquer stripped sounds good. lets say I wanted to strip the paint off of my alot sax...how would i go about doing it?

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  1. by connsaxman_jim
    (2336 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: stripping saxes

    DON'T DO IT!!! The lacquer really doesn't make that much difference. The extremists say that without lacquer, the horn tends to resonate a little better because the lacquer deadens the resonation. This IS true but not to any great extent. The lacquer helps protect the brass from pitting and corrosion. Without the lacquer, the brass will oxidize much faster. Just don't do it! You're really not going to gain anything, and your horn will look like shit in no time!

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    1. by martysax
      (148 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: stripping saxes

      I have a nice MkVI that was de-lacquered by Emilio. It's the balls to play, the resonance on the low Bb is worth the price of admission. Only negative so far: the hands don't smell so nice after touching bare brass for a while. If you have a nice sax that has a lot of wear already, have a professional complete it for you. I think it's better than a re-lacquer.

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      1. by sax_maniac
        (984 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: stripping saxes

        I have a Martin alto I stripped (for appearance's sake)and it's been "aging" for the past year. I'm not of the opinion that stripping the lacquer makes a big difference on alto unless the lacquer was very heavily done to begin with, though I think it makes a slight difference on tenor. I sensed a 10M I once stripped vibrating more in the lower range, but it's hard to say if it was due to the delacquering or the other things I did as part of the refurb. The patina on the Martin is really cool now - almost like a rainbow finish with the different hues. It is important to dry and wipe down a bare brass horn when you are done, but you should do that with lacquered horns as well. Good horn maintenance can not be emphasized enough for any saxophone. If you aren't playing it, it should be dry. Period.

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        1. by mjohnnie
          (66 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: stripping saxes

          There is a lot of hooey about materials of instruments. I read this one article about a double blind test done with 1)a flute made of gold 2) a flute made of platinum 3)a regular flute 4)a flute made of concrete. They got some pro flute players to identify the material of the instruments by sound only. Many picked the concrete flute as the best sounding. So, the bottom line is IMHO is. Yes material does make a small difference, but it's the air column that makes the sound, not the instrument. On another 'note'. I live in a humid place near the ocean. My late model MkVI alto (199xxx-but I bought it new in 1972 and will never sell it) is turning red where the laquer has rubbed off--Any ideas?

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        2. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: stripping saxes

          The redness is caused by oxidation of the bare brass, which happens when exposed to air. The oxidation will not hurt the brass, but you need to be careful and wipe the horn down after playing, because the acid in saliva and oils in the skin can cause pitting. About the only thing you can do is to have the sax relacquered. A professional relacquer can make a horn look like new again. A bad relacquer can really mess one up! If you decide to have it relacquered, make sure the tech knows what he is doing! Especially with a horn as valuable as a MK VI

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        3. by mjohnnie
          (66 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: stripping saxes

          I agree that it must be oxidation. However, I have friends on the island that also have MKVI's with similar wear. Theirs haven't turned red. Strange.

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        4. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: stripping saxes

          That red isn't oxidation or corrosion or any of those things. It's lipstick from all the women kissing the horn when you're done playing it, right? BTW - Taco Bell hot sauce (restaurant packets) are great for removing oxidation from copper or brass. I never tried it on silver, though. Next time you go to Taco Bell, soak a penny in hot sauce for a couple minutes. I suppose vinegar and tomatoes has more to do with it than the spices, but you never know...

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