Posted by Lee Stofer,Jr. on December 19, 1999 at 18:49:14:
In Reply to: laquer & horn color posted by steve dedman on December 18, 1999 at 21:57:36:
You're absolutely right. unprotected metal tarnishes, deteriorates and eventually goes away. Of the metals used in the manufacture of brass instruments, yellow brass is the most susceptible, rose brass, also called "goldmessing" in German, is less susceptible, and nickel-silver is very resistant to wear and oxidation. That is why you'll see upper-line Meinl-Weston, Rudolf Meinl and Alexander tubas with nickel-silver inner-and outer slides, and sometimes nickel-silver valve casings and leadpipes. They are more costly, but I recently worked on a 1950 vintage Alex that isn't nearly worn-out, and is played every day. Brass will last a very long time if it is encased in silver plating or lacquer. I have worked on turn-of-the-century instruments that still had a solid, original leadpipe, etc. The reason it was still solid was that in those days, the silver plating solution was allowed to run through the entire instrument, which had preserved the instument for 80-90 years.
If you want your Cerveny to last, it's like having a fine car that has aged, but you want to keep it, so you get a new paint job. Otherwise, when parts wear through on your horn, you can have those parts patched or replaced. As an instrument repairman, I could say, "You can pay me now or pay me later. . ."