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Tarnish under lip plate

Taking care of your instrument

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Flatfive
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Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:08 am
Location: West Yorkshire, UK

Tarnish under lip plate

Postby Flatfive » Sat Apr 09, 2016 6:19 am

I bought a Trevor James Cantabile just under a year ago as a step-up flute. Overall I'm very pleased with it.
However, I have noticed for a few months now that it has some tarnish visible under the lip plate... looks like something wasn't quite finished off correctly when it was made (perhaps). It's only an aesthetic point... doesn't affect the playing in anyway, but as it's still under guarantee I don't see why I should put up with it.
The flute has a solid silver (92.5%, I think) head joint. I play for one to two hours most days and I'm very scrupulous about drying and cleaning and returning to the case. I did successfully clean the tarnish off week ago, but it returned within a week... which I find a bit weird. The tarnish seems to take the form of parallel lines coming from under the plate... makes me think of some sort of stress lines during manufacture (but what do I know?) Don't really think I can take a decent picture of it, but I can see it peeping from below the lip plate when I'm up close and personal.
I'm taking it back next week anyway (before the guarantee expires) and I'm just wondering if anyone has any comments that might help before I go:
such as:
- that's very weird, definitely take it back
- it's within acceptable parameters, don't worry about it
- that happened to my uncle Joe once and it was XXX
My venerable old student flute, a 20 year old Buffet Crampon, has never shown anything like it, although it does have a plated head joint.

Cheers, everyone.
Steve J

mirwa
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Re: Tarnish under lip plate

Postby mirwa » Sat Apr 09, 2016 11:32 pm

Photos ?

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Flatfive
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Location: West Yorkshire, UK

Re: Tarnish under lip plate

Postby Flatfive » Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:58 am

Bit of a job capturing this on a photo, but this might give an idea. The lines extend beyond the lip plate and were quite noticable before I used the silver polish (wadding, not liquid), but they are coming back very quickly.
image.jpeg
image.jpeg (150.85 KiB) Viewed 1948 times
Steve J

mirwa
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Re: Tarnish under lip plate

Postby mirwa » Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:40 pm

Are you referring to the solder lines of your riser

Steve

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Flatfive
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Re: Tarnish under lip plate

Postby Flatfive » Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:18 am

Thanks for replying to my query, by the way... should have said that first time around.

I don't know what solder lines are (although I can guess). I don't have them on my old student flute and I've never seen them on any other flute. If they are a result of the manufactacturing process, then they're rather ugly and I'm not sure if it's acceptable on a flute of that price which is less than a year old... which is why I wanted some opinions.
Steve J

SylvreKat
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Re: Tarnish under lip plate

Postby SylvreKat » Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:12 am

I'm guessing since they did go away for a short time, that they aren't solder lines. No idea what though.

Have you contacted Trevor James about this? See what they say about the lines.

Since it's still under warranty and the lines bother you, then yes, exchange it. Just be sure to take your body along and make sure you like how the new head works with it.

>'Kat

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Flatfive
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Re: Tarnish under lip plate

Postby Flatfive » Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:40 am

Hi
I'm going in to the shop tomorrow, so I'll take the whole thing back.
It seems that TJ have a 5 year warranty, so no rush anyway, but I don't make the trip to the big city very often, so I might as well take it in.
Thanks
Steve J

SylvreKat
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Location: KC metro

Re: Tarnish under lip plate

Postby SylvreKat » Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:09 am

(submitting this today, Tues, 'cause I know it'll be a few days before it actually gets posted....)

So how'd your trip to the store go? What did they have to say about the streaks? Did you get a new headjoint? Did you try out several, or just get handed a new one "Here you go"?

>'Kat

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Classitar
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Re: Tarnish under lip plate

Postby Classitar » Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:11 am

Thanks for hanging in there 'Kat - you should be able to post instantly soon

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Flatfive
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Re: Tarnish under lip plate

Postby Flatfive » Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:55 am

Not a good experience. I had a decent chat with the flute expert, but then the boss (I assume it was the boss) barged in. Rather haughty and dismissive guy. It was all environmental factors... everything to do with me and nothing to do with him.
Anyway, I won't be going there again, I'll deal with TJ directly in future (if necessary).

Apart from that I had a great day... Couple of beers and a pizza... Not played much flute this afternoon.

One other question, if anyone can give advice... will it make it worse if I keep polishing, or is it better to leave it? I 've also got some anti tarnish strips to stick in the case.
Steve J

SylvreKat
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Re: Tarnish under lip plate

Postby SylvreKat » Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:16 pm

Without really knowing the cause, I'm not sure anyone can say if polishing will make it worse or not.

I'd say call Woodwind/Brasswind tom and ask them. Or TJ direct. Describe what is happening and how it looks and what happened after you polished it. Have it there with you when you call in case they ask specifics like how long or how dark etc.

I'm guessing you don't have a regular instrument repairman? 'Cause I'm thinking mine would be my first call about this. I even called him when Brooks-May closed and had a Yami 580-something for $900-some (he very emphatically ordered me to buy it! And pointed out how good he was at spending other people's money, and BUY IT!! :D ) You know, if you don't have a repairman, that's someone you should shop around for. Best resource ever for your instrument. But probably look somewhere besides that store you hit today. Egads.

It's sad when folks get like that. I bought a GIANT lava lamp from a pawn shop, was working fine there 'til the bulb burned out. I found replacements, but it just made icky intestine-looking tubules rather than balls and globs. I contacted the lava lamp folks, who told me how to reset a lamp. Still made intestines. So she sent me a brand new replacement that is the most beautifully wonderfully magnificently active ballsy lamp I've seen! Incredible customer service. As in the definition of good good good! Too bad your shop's boss doesn't realize that making a customer happy (esp when it won't cost him anything more than possibly shipping) is so much better than stomping on the customer instead.

I have no idea how he thought he could pull off claiming the streaks are any sort of your fault.

Yeah, call TJ about this. And do keep posting how this goes for you. Esp if anyone figures out what the streaks are--good info to share!

>'Kat

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pied_piper
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Re: Tarnish under lip plate

Postby pied_piper » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:49 pm

There is more than one reason tarnish can form on a flute. The environment can contribute to flutes tarnishing quickly (as your sales guy told you), but based upon your description and experience, I'd bet the problem is caused by the flute case. I've seen several different brand flutes that suffered similar quick tarnishing and in nearly every instance the case was the root cause of the problem. After replacing the case, the problem disappeared or was dramatically reduced. Most good repair techs are aware of this issue. It is caused by something used in the manufacturing of the case. The cases off gas some substance that accelerates the flute becoming tarnished. I personally have seen two cases (and own one) that causes the flute to quickly tarnish. The problem can be diminished by using anti-tarnish strips in the case, but the real solution is to replace the case with a good quality one.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

SylvreKat
Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Tarnish under lip plate

Postby SylvreKat » Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:17 am

Even if it's the case, the boss should've still addressed the issue.

Wait--I'm assuming you've kept the flute in the original TJ case it came in?

If yes, then it's still a warranty issue. TJ should replace the case. And possibly the head joint. Def the head joint if a new case doesn't solve the streaks.
If no, then put it back in the original case and see what happens. Or else buy a diff case and see what happens.

PP's right that the environment does affect metal. My Dad gave me a tin cross he'd made. I've had it hanging on my wall for many years now. My sis-in-law from Houston saw it and said he'd given them one, too, but it tarnished to black within months. They can't have anything like that, unless they polish constantly. Meanwhile, I haven't touched mine once to polish, and it has no tarnish yet.

Oh, when you call TJ, you might just mention how their dealer treated you. Don't be nasty about it, just "Hey btb, I stopped back at the store I bought this from and the boss said the tarnish was my fault and refused to do anything about it, that's why I'm calling you direct." They need (and most likely WANT) to know how their dealers behave as it's an indirect reflection on their brand.

>'Kat

SylvreKat
Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Tarnish under lip plate

Postby SylvreKat » Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:17 pm

So flatfive, did you contact TJ? If so, what did they say about all this?

>'Kat

SylvreKat
Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Tarnish under lip plate

Postby SylvreKat » Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:10 am

I'd still like to hear from you, flatfive, about how this has played out since the miserable store manager experience. Also, still curious what the tarnish streaks are--tarnish, or some odd manufacturing thing.

>'Kat
Flutes:
1975 Gemeinhardt M2 in chrome nickel
1982 Armstrong 80
2006 Yamaha 584

Piccs:
1978 Artley piece of crap 15 P
1982 Gemeinhardt 4S
1980s (?) Armstrong all wood (no model)

Bass:
2006 Jupiter di Medici G0199

Plus many many flute-cousins....


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