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Does finish matter?


Whether you are looking at saxophones, or brass instruments, the customer is often given a variety of finishes to choose from when purchasing metal instruments; most typically these are silverplate or lacquer.  On our own brand John Packer saxophones and trumpets and trombones, we offer a lot of different finishes and it can be difficult to know what to go for.  Most people tend to choose the finishes they like the look of, but what is relatively unknown is that these finishes can actually effect the sound your instrument makes.   

Here we look at the John Packer range of saxophones in a little more detail...

JP045 INSTRUMENT SHOT  Gold lacquer
Gold Lacquer (G)
This is the traditional sax finish that is most commonly affiliated with the saxophone.   A good balance of rich tone and response.

JP045S INSTRUMENT SHOT silver plate

Silver Plate (S)
Silver plate is less common than gold lacquer and is more hard-wearing, though it does need frequent cleaning due to oxidisation.  It creates a brighter sound and is usually a bit more expensive to buy.


Vintage (V)
As the name suggests the Vintage finish aims to recreate the look and sound of older saxophones.  It produces a large, mellow tone and has a brushed gun-metal look.



Rose Brass (R)
Another more traditional look but with a higher copper content in the crook, bell and body to give a rose colour.   Not only pretty it can also mellow your sound more than the traditional gold lacquer finish.


Black Lacquer with Gold Keys (BG) or Silver Keys (BS)
A striking finish that will offer a slightly deeper and darker sound.   It is worth noting that the gold keys are easier to maintain as the silver will be more prone to tarnishing. 

Check out all our JP Saxophones

When looking at the finishes of saxophones it is also worth remembering that mouthpiece, ligature and reed set-up will ultimately make a much bigger difference than the finish. 

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