Woodwind.OrgThe Clarinet BBoardThe C4 standard

  BBoard Equipment Study Resources Music General    
 New Topic  |  Go to Top  |  Go to Topic  |  Search  |  Help/Rules  |  Smileys/Notes  |  Log In   Newer Topic  |  Older Topic 
 Key plating cost, silver vs. nickel
Author: JMcAulay 
Date:   2003-03-25 14:02

Yes, silver tarnishes more rapidly; and yes, some players seem to be allergic to nickel. Indeed, some players even have corrosive sweat that eats most plating away pretty rapidly. Some people even go to the expense of having keys gold plated.

But what about the cost difference between silver and nickel plating? While preparing to toss out an old (2001) catalog from WW/BW, glancing through it a bit revealed some interesting list price differences. Buffet wanted the standard R13 Bb to sell for $360 more with silver-plated keys rather then nickel, yet the A Clarinet of the same model was only $320 more. Curious, as the A-pitch instrument has larger keys, and $40 would buy over half a pound of silver. Leblanc's Clarinets available with either plating finish, on the other hand, had a consistent $250 higher price for silver -- except for the Infinté, which was $350 higher.

Excuse me, but all this seems a bit nuts.

My older Leblanc (fondly remembered) had "nickel silver" keys with no plating at all. That seemed to work just fine.


Reply To Message
 Re: Key plating cost, silver vs. nickel
Author: BobD 
Date:   2003-03-25 14:20

Like gold the market price of silver probably varies a bit over time. But I think the main reason for what seems to be an inordinately high price for those silver plated jobs is probably part of the market hype. The real cost of all plating systems in the U.S. went up when EPA got into the act. Plating costs in other countries depends on pollution control laws in effect. Ah,yes, the plain old nickel silver keys! That's what my horn during school years had and I could never get them to shine like those on the Conns and Selmers.

Reply To Message
 Re: Key plating cost, silver vs. nickel
Author: GBK 
Date:   2003-03-25 14:51

Currently, WW/BW charges $250 more for the R-13 Bb (or R-13 A) to have silver keys rather than nickel, but the cost for the R-13 Greenline Bb (or R-13 Greenline A) to have silver keys is $200 more than the nickel key version of the same clarinet.

Isn't the keywork on the R-13 and R-13 Greenline identical?

I would suppose that since more regular R-13's are sold than R-13 Greenlines, they have raised the silver key cost by $50 to increase profits.

Personally, I would use this comparison when bargaining with the salesperson for your final price ..GBK

Post Edited (2003-03-25 15:52)

Reply To Message
 Re: Key plating cost, silver vs. nickel
Author: Rick Williams 
Date:   2003-03-25 22:03

Most likely the price of silver only moderately effects the final price as reflected in the selling prices of clarinets. Various factors come into play including turnover of instruments (the higher, the cheaper-usually), competative pricing, desirability (the more people want something, the more you can charge), and as has been pointed out, manufacturing costs.

Also reflected may be taxes, import/export duties, associated costs such as transportation and insurance etc..

Free markets tend to seek value which isn't always the same as cost. Are silver keys worth $X more? If they are to the purchaser and the price meets expectatons, then the transaction occurs, if not, then it doesn't.


Reply To Message
 Re: Key plating cost, silver vs. nickel
Author: BobD 
Date:   2003-03-25 22:49

Silver has an emotional value to people in general whereas nickel doesn't.
Our gov't. once made Silver Dollars .....compare that with the lowly "nickel".

Reply To Message
 Re: Key plating cost, silver vs. nickel
Author: Dee 
Date:   2003-03-26 16:36

To BobD,

Just in case you haven't run across it yet, nickel silver is a nickel alloy that contains no silver at all. Why it is so named is a mystery. It is also called "German silver" and not only contains no silver but isn't "German" either!

However, my mid-1950s Leblanc has the nickel silver keys and while they get dull, don't really tarnish.

Reply To Message
 Re: Key plating cost, silver vs. nickel
Author: Bradley 
Date:   2003-03-26 22:18

I'm guessing they say Nickel Silver refering to the colour......

Reply To Message
 Re: Key plating cost, silver vs. nickel
Author: BobD 
Date:   2003-03-26 22:23

Dee: Yes, I'm quite familiar with nickel silver aka German silver. Had a horn with keys unplated and probly have one now somewhere around here. I believe it was once called kupfer nickel and before stainless steel was invented it was used for its excellent corrosion resistance. You can still purchase kitchen sinks made from it.

Reply To Message
 Avail. Forums  |  Threaded View   Newer Topic  |  Older Topic 

 Avail. Forums  |  Need a Login? Register Here 
 User Login
 User Name:
 Remember my login:
 Forgot Your Password?
Enter your email address or user name below and a new password will be sent to the email address associated with your profile.
Search Woodwind.Org

Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale

The Clarinet Pages
For Sale
Put your ads for items you'd like to sell here. Free! Please, no more than two at a time - ads removed after two weeks.

     Copyright © Woodwind.Org, Inc. All Rights Reserved    Privacy Policy    Contact charette@woodwind.org