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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000190.txt from 2005/08

From: (Ormondtoby Montoya)
Subj: [kl] Not pure gold or silver (was: Ah, ligatures....Gold vs. Silver)
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 23:39:57 -0400

The following illustrates how myth and science can become confused with
each other.

Someone (Geoff?) mentioned that "gold is softer than silver" and this
may account for a difference n sound.

I remembered that "gold plate" and "silver plate" are *not* pure gold or
silver. With Google's help, I found a web page which explains that the
hardness (and expense) of both silver plate and gold plate can be
controlled by adding tin, epoxy, rhodium, and ther materials to the
plating solution. A chart showed that both gold plate and silver plate
can have the same surface hardness ("90" on some scale, I have no idea
what this scale measures).

My point is that "everybody knows" that gold is softer than silver, and
it's easy to make the leap to "warmer tone" or whatever else you think a
softer material will accomplish. But just as gold jewelry is not pure
gold (it's too soft), neither is gold plating.

This doesn't prove that gold plating does (or does not) affect the
sound. But it *is* an interesting example of how easily false
assumptions can 'color' the tone of a person's expectations and
willingness to believe.

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