Saxophone Forum


by saxskillzyamaha
(52 posts)
9 years ago

relaquer?

i have a yamaha yts-52 with a lot a wear on the laqcuer about 70% original. Would relaqcuering be a good idea and what would it do to the sound?

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  1. by rednecksax
    (24 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: relaquer?

    although relaquering your horn my sound like a good idea, the general consensus is that relaquering will change the sound a they way your sax sounds. Sure it will be pretty, but they first need to remove the current laquer (and often end up taking some of the brass too), which thins the walls of your saxophone. I've heard that some people's saxes become "tinny" but I have also heard great things about relaquered horns. I guess it really just depends on who does the work. I personally think it takes away the soul and the character of the horn. To me, the oxidation of the laquer is a coming of age for the horn. If someone played on it so hard that they removed laquer, the sax obviously didnt suck. I couldnt imagine to remove the only thing that distinguishes your sax from any other out there. Just my 2 cents (although i don't have much more than that) Take care Vern

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    1. by Sax alert
      (15 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: relaquer?

      About how much does it cost to relaquer a saxophone? I'm looking into the matter and I would like to know if it would be better to leave it unlaquered or not. I've heard that it can hurt the sound to have new laquer/plating put on. Is this true?

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      1. by brian jones
        (1 post)

        9 years ago

        Re: relaquer?

        i have a selmer super action 80 series 1.i need it relaquering,how much will it cost.i have removed the old laquer down to the brass

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      2. by SaxMan
        (559 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: relaquer?

        It is possible to relacquer a horn without screwing it up. Most people just don't do that anymore. the selmer factory used to do it all the time. a relacquer, I imagine would cost a few hundred PLUS whatever a rebuild costs - probably another 500 dollars

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        1. by chiamac
          (586 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: relaquer?

          my 10M has new lacquer and it sounds great... BUT that was at the expense of the engraving and it looking like a used 60+ year old horn. Now it looks new, plays great... but I'm lucky. and no it wasn't me who got that done.

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        2. by Sax Mom
          (964 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: relaquer?

          I was told a relaquer on a sousaphone would be about $1700, and that's without all the keywork a saxophone would need. Wouldn't that mean a relaquer on a saxophone would be more?

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        3. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: relaquer?

          I had my 10M completely overhauled and relacquered in 2002. I didn't have the keys replated, only polished. The place that I had do the work is well known for their quality of work, and I had seen several of the horns that they had restored prior to taking mine there. They are very careful to preserve the engravings and do only minimal buffing in certain areas. My 10M also had a few dings that were removed, and the key guard over the B and Bb keys was missing. Another one was fabricated out of nickel which looks like the original, only nickel. Because there are a few wear spots on the keys, a close look will tell you that this is not a new sax, but a vintage instrument that has been well taken care of and loved. I wanted to give her back her dignity. The old lady was starting to look pretty bad under the oxidation and tarnish. The lacquer was completely worn off in a few places. Now, she looks as good as she sounds! The total cost of the relacquer and repairs was around $1100. Last year, I had my 6M alto refinished. The pads were nearly new, and in good condition when I bought the sax. It had been relacquered before, and whoever relacquered it did not do a very good job. Thankfully, they hadn't buffed away the engraving or lacquered the keys. The sax didn't have any dings or dents, but the strip of metal at the bottom of the bow was missing. I had a new strip soldered on, the sax stripped and relacquered, and the keys polished. I did not have it repadded. Once again, The Windworks did a fantastic job and my 55 year old alto looks like new! The cost of the relacquer and fixing the strip on the bottom; $550.

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        4. by Sax Mom
          (964 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: relaquer?

          Where is Windworks located? Sounds like the place to go for lacquer work.

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        5. by saxskillzyamaha
          (52 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: relaquer?

          no, a sousaphone is about 3 times as big

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        6. by Sax Mom
          (964 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: relaquer?

          Sure it's bigger, but almost nothing moves! There are no rods, about two screws (spit valves), and three valves (keys).

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        7. by saxskillzyamaha
          (52 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: relaquer?

          i guess, it breaks about even

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        8. by saxybandgeek_88
          (10 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: relaquer?

          i just picked up an alto that I THINK is a beucher but i could be wrong because the finish is so oxidized... is there a way i can scrape off the oxidization without damaging the horn. This is just a junker that i got for free but i'd like to make a project out of it. It smells really bad. Whoever had it before didn't take very good care of it. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!

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        9. by Sax Mom
          (964 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: relaquer?

          If you take of the oxidation, you'll take off the lacquer, too, if there is any. I'm not sure that's a bad thing. The lacquer was there to prevent oxidation, and it's no longer doing its job. I wouldn't feel too bad about getting rid of it. Brasso for a brass horn, Silvo for silver plate. That's what my tech recommends (if you don't mind losing the lacquer).

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        10. by Tbone
          (120 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: relaquer?

          First off a relacquer can be done with virtually no removal of brass. Chemically strip the old lacquer and hand polish in preparation of relacquering. Buff only the dent repair areas that are absolutely necessary and apply a premium lacquer or epoxy finish. Sadly, bad relacquers have created a stigma on the whole relacquer idea. Now for the big myth. The effect on tone. A saxophone's sound is produced by the vibrating air column inside the horn which means, simply put, the horn is merely a vessel to contain said air column. Now I know there are many of you that will say that will say that the body vibrates too thus also creating sound. It does but it's db level is far below the db level created by the air column so it has virtually no effect on the horn's overall tone. Think of it this way: Both a BB gun and a shotgun create a sound when fired but the shotgun's sound is at a much higher db level. (I think we can all agree on this?) Now fire both at the exact same time. Did the BB gun's sound effect the shotgun's sound or merely get drowned out by it? You decide! Lacquer has only one use on a sax. To protect the brass. If you want to protect your horn then get it relacquered but have it done by someone that knows what they're doing!

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        11. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: relaquer?

          I agree with about 99% of what you are saying here, Tbone. The lacquer does, however, dampen some of the resonation of the horn. Heavy lacquer on a horn will dull the sound. I do think that in most cases this is minimal and highly overstated. I think that the benefits of the lacquer most definately out-weigh the dampening effects it has on the sound. Still many people like the unlacquered horns. I think it's the look and nostalgia of the bare brass that some find appealing more than the difference in sound.

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        12. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: relaquer?

          As I said, I've had a couple of my horns relacquered. Both were chemically stripped and cleaned with a mild acid cleaner, and minimal buffing was done. The finish is as good as factory, and I don't think most people could tell that the horn was a relacquer. If the job is done right, you can take a great old horn and make it look like new again. But on the other hand, if the job is done poorly, you can ruin a horn also!

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        13. by Tbone
          (120 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: relaquer?

          jim, there's no doubt in my mind that the lacquer dampens the body's vibrations. But what I'm saying is that to the audience that's listening can not hear that difference due to the low db level. The player will notice a differance because he's holding the horn and the body vibrations are "felt" through the hands, lips, teeth, etc. The player then perceives a difference that the listeners simply can't hear.

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        14. by Slausonm
          (51 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: relaquer?

          I've had this discussion with others, so here's my take on it as a repairman, flute player(not sax) and someone who has relaquered many horns. By the time your horn needs relaquering the likelyhood is that otherthings are at issue as well that you are quite possibly compensating for. The only way to solve and answer the problem scientifically is to take a known good horn, strip the lacquer then buff and relacquer. Test to see if there is a difference. In otherwords, unless you can remove all of the variables in the experiment except the buff and lacquer one, you don't know if the new finish changed the sound or the new pads and regulation and dent removal etc. made the change. In addition, what do you think the instrument manufacturers do when there is a run in the laq. or some quality control problem in the finish. They don't through away the horn! They strip buff and relacq. In my opinion, if a good relacquering job is done including dent removal, key fitting good pads and adjustment...you should be very happy. Get your horn redone by a good repairman. Matt

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        15. by kelsey
          (823 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: relaquer?

          Right! The player will notice the difference. He's holding the horn and the body vibrations are felt. That's the reason not to have a horn relacquered. I play for people, and whether they like what I do or not, I really am playing for myself. If I don't hear myself like I want to I don't enjoy playing. If I don't enjoy the horn I may as well be typeing on this computer........Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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