February 29, 2024

Found this interesting article at WWBW (which is a great place to get stuff BTW) by Greg Vail.

“With that said, let’s start with the most common finish – lacquer. Lacquer is a liquid substance that dries hard, protecting the metal of the sax and maintaining its beautiful appearance. Most saxophones are made primarily of brass, and then lacquered. There are saxophones available that do not have lacquer on them known as un-lacquered instruments. The difference between the same model with and without lacquer can be significant.”

Check it out.

2 thoughts on “Does The Finish Affect The Sound?

  1. Like most articles that promote the idea that lacquered/unlacquered makes a difference, Mr. Vail’s offers nothing to back up the idea besides the author’s own experience. It’s also worth remembering that instrument makers and retailers have a vested interest in having you believe that the finish does affect the instrument’s sound.

    It’s a hot-button issue, and Mr. Vail has far more skill and experience than I do, but here’s an alternate view that I did my best to ground in good, peer-reviewed science:
    Does material affect tone quality in woodwind instruments? …

    In my article, I also offer some suggestions as to why materials could make a difference due to factors entirely separate from any inherent acoustical properties that the materials might have.

    1. I had a guy on Jazz-Clarinet absolutely raging about how plastic/rubber clarinets are just as good as wood clarinets. I am yet to be convinced otherwise. I’ve tried several plastic/resin Oboes that just don’t compare to a good wooden one.

      Your article is very extensive. A better resource than Mr. Vail’s.

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