On occasion we do get asked questions along the lines of "What's the difference between the Lacquer and Silver Plate?" when customers are looking at an instrument.
The most basic answer is that the difference is purely cosmetic and aesthetic - it really is just a different colour! There are however more long term considerations to your colour choice.
Silver is much tougher and longer lasting than Lacquer. It won't discolour over time, like Lacquer eventually will, and spots of the instrument that get alot of wear on Lacquered instruments will eventually tarnish. Properly cared for, however, either finish will be fine for many years.
There is also a school of thought from some players that the material gives instruments different tonal characteristics. They say that Silver instruments are brighter while Lacquered instruments have a more mellow, sombre tone. There are many players that disagree with this theory too, so it does come down to what your individual ear can hear!
If you're planning to play in a Brass Band or think you may like to join one in the future, it's worth checking to see if they have any regulations. Some of the stricter bands do have colour co-ordinated positions (All silver front rows, for example) which may help you choose the colour of the instrument if you did have an aim to join.
For any further advice on choosing an instrument or finish, please contact our Sales Team.