So what is the difference between
Gold and Silver finishes on Trumpets, Trombones and Saxophones?
Let’s start with a non-plated instrument. In general these will be the loudest and smoothest sounding. Once the lacquer has been added the sound tends to be more refined and focused.
Both silver plating and gold plating have unique characteristics. Gold has a large bold sound with great resonance. Silver tends to deliver a bit more range and is especially strong in the top range of notes.
For Brass finishes the most popular are Yellow Brass [the most common], Gold Brass and Rose Brass [Softer and More Mellow tone].
Laquer vs Plating
Some instruments are coated in laquer which will help to protect and maintain the color of the brass. Plating is a more involved electro-chemical process. On a gold plated instrument it will first be plated in silver and then plated gold on top of the silver.
Some musicians feel that a plated instrument has a better sound due to the plating process.
Unplated brass, while normally being louder, is infamous for discoloring over time. Some musicians like this patina while others prefer the clean, high polish of a plated or lacquered instrument.
If you go with silver you will want to clean it often to prevent tarnishing. Gold tends to be more forgiving.
Silver and gold lacquer in general is easier to maintain than silver or gold plated.
Hopefully this article will give you a start in picking the perfect finish. You can reach our Sales Team at 1-877-778-7845 if you have any other questions – We are here for you!