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I can weigh in here on this one

The sax can be blasted with soda, it will take the lacquer off, Most horns are made of brass, they polish it to a high finish at the factory and spray it with clear lacquer, that's what causes it to stay shiny.

If you get an old horn where the laquer is worn in places the brass will turn dark because its unprotected. see

I said all that to say this, You can blast it but you will screw up the pads unless they take all the rods and cups off. A repad will run 300 or 400 bucks done right.

I wouldnt touch it with a 10ft pole unless they signed a waiver holding you harmless. If the tone holes are out of level when you are done it wont play in tune and they will blame you. That repair is 600-700.

A lot of people are wanting their horns to be new and look old, so if you remove the lacquer you get that effect.

Had to show it off My 1946 Conn 10m Yeah!
Most of the lacquer is gone


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