Posted by Jay Bertolet on May 26, 1999 at 18:12:20:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gig Bag Wanted for Yamaha 822 F posted by Tim Cary on May 26, 1999 at 16:01:42:
Tim is absolutely right. The whole purpose of using Nickel as a plating agent, rather than Silver, is because it is more durable and tarnishes much slower. The trade-off is that Nickel won't polish up to as brilliant a shine and I've heard of some hazards handling it during the plating process.
The situation I've heard regarding the St. Pete problem is not just that the Nickel is an inferior grade thus causing the fast tarnishing. Charlie Krause, at the Woodwind & Brasswind, relayed a story to me about someone bringing in a St. Pete for trade-in on a new tuba. Charlie couldn't offer the guy much for the tuba because it had turned almost completely black. When Charlie tried to polish it off, figuring that the horn was just tarnished, he was shocked to find that the black didn't come off. He told me that he had his repair shop do some tests and they found that the binding material between the raw brass and the Nickel plating had rotted and turned the plating a black color. No amount of polishing was going to fix this, only stripping and replating. This is the third such story of this type I've heard.
I really don't know what recourse anyone who owns a St. Pete. with this problem has. I suppose that would depend on what kind of warranty was offered when you purchased it. My opinion is that this is certainly a manufacturing defect. One of the more severe cases of this I've heard about actually ended up with the plating starting to flake off the tuba. My best advice is that you contact whoever sold you the tuba and see where that leads. Ultimately, that is the person who will have to make good on the product if there is a remedy. Good luck!