Klarinet Archive - Posting 000479.txt from 1995/03
From: Luuk van Buul <vanbuul@-----.NL>
Subj: Key plating: cosmetic?
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 1995 05:35:04 -0500
The plating of clarinet keys has more than a cosmetic function. The 'bulk'
material is much more susceptible to wearing than the plating.
After wearing through plating, the material below quickly detoriates and
cavities develop just like holes in rotten teeth.
My repair man said it is not possible to replace worn off base metal, so when
the plating shows open spots it is necessary to resilver as quickly as possible.
I have extremely acid fingers: I bought my clarinet three years ago (Leblanc LX)
and had to resilver the two pieces with the rings attached to them already last
year. Now the silver at other places is starting to develop pits.
Also the thumb hole insertion, which is not silvered but plated with a less
resistant metal, is being eaten away from the inner ridge.
My friend bought the same type of clarinet at the same time and uses it as much
as I do but hers looks like new. The wood also looks different; mine has
blackened more than hers which looks deep brown.
Maybe gold will work for me, but here in The Netherlands I've never seen a gold
plated clarinet. I know gold is used for saxophones.
Luuk van Buul
P.S. Story goes that plating isn't what it used to be. Manufacturers cut on
silver plating because customers don't notice this when they buy an instrument.
Any comments on this?