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Why are Saxophone Mouthpieces Plated?

As you are probably aware, a saxophone’s plating and finishing do have an effect on the sound of the instrument. Does the same hold true for mouthpieces as silver-plated ones have a greater pitch than gold-plated ones? The quick response is no. Why then would manufacturers plate mouthpieces and incur that additional expense? Let’s investigate this conundrum.

Why are Saxophone Mouthpieces Plated?

The primary reason that mouthpieces are plated is to protect the mouthpiece’s raw copper or brass, which might have serious negative health effects if played on. These include allergic responses, lead leaching, and metallic toxicity such as brass poisoning. You should consider having the mouthpiece replated when the plating starts to wear away, for example, when the bite plate comes off.

Refacing is another step that the mouthpiece must go through when the plating begins to wear away; however, not every expert who does replating also performs refacing.

Not to mention, there’s a chance that refacing might have a bad impact on the mouthpiece’s sound if the specialist doesn’t have a lot of experience. In order for the repairmen to have experience, you need make sure that the business you choose has high ratings, is well-established, and has been operational for a considerable amount of time.

How to Apply Mouthpiece Patches?

To start, carefully clean your mouthpiece with soap and water. For further disinfection, you may submerge it in hydrogen peroxide for a minute. However, keep in mind that you should use chemicals with caution to prevent damage to the metal plating. Additionally, use warm water since hot water may cause your mouthpiece to get discolored.

Peel the patch off after that, being careful not to touch the glue with your fingers. Align the patch with the mouthpiece beak after that, leaving a few millimeters at the tip. The patch should now be firmly pressed down to secure it before you begin practicing.