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Messages - BLMonopole

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All about Clarinets / Re: Why don't clarinets come standard with low-Eb?
« on: February 19, 2020, 11:30:09 AM »
I'm not sure there's a "right" answer here....but it's all in what composers write for and expect. 

I think a better example is that bass clarinets don't "need" to go to low C, but they can and some composers write parts for that.  Those low C bass clarinets are also substantially more expensive than low Eb horns. 

Transferring this logic back to other clarinets, they could all go down to low C, but that would make all of them more expensive.  And there isn't anything written for that range (okay, okay, basset clarinet notwithstanding).  I think that low E is "good enough"... I certainly don't want to pay more! 

All about Clarinets / Re: I finally started to play clarinet again!
« on: February 09, 2020, 12:14:08 PM »
I have been playing contra alto (along with bass) in a group since the fall, and it has been lots of fun.  Nothing quite like playing those low "Pedal" notes and shaking the place (and my head) with that amazing rumble. 

Just an update...

A year later, and the Kessler Low C Bass continues to be a great instrument.  Really fun to play, nicely in tune, well built.

I should note, however, that some things have broken in the past year -- the screw in the peg mechanism, and the neck basically broke into two pieces.  Ahhh, the wonders of Chinese engineering!  Both items were easily replaceable (those necks they sell on eBay for $99 fit perfectly!), but it was annoying to have to do it. 

For the price and quality of everything, I'd still recommend the horn for anyone looking for a Low C bass clarinet on a budget.  But these were the areas that the "OMG, it's still a Chinese instrument and not quite right" came through. 

All about Clarinets / Re: Wood Basset Horn Barrel/Neck
« on: February 03, 2020, 03:36:52 PM »
...and he created a wooden basset horn neck for me that brought a Selmer Paris Basset horn back into tune.  Jared is amazing!  Highly recommend!

All about Clarinets / Re: "Carbon Fiber" clarinet?
« on: July 06, 2019, 06:39:30 PM »
I don 't get it.  You can get a great sound from a professionally finished instrument made from a number of different materials, including wood and carbon fiber as companies like Buffet prove daily. 

I feel like true progress would be eliminating the wood (some types of which some are endangered, and it's a material that cracks with some regularity) or fixing the issues with carbon fiber (i.e., that it breaks when submitted to sideways pressure).  This doesn't seem to fix either of those things....does it?

Where are the space age polymers or hard rubber compounds or something new entirely that brings clarinetting to the next level?

All about Clarinets / Re: "Too geeky to be fraudulent"
« on: June 17, 2019, 08:53:16 AM »
I sent an instrument to Jared DeLeon for his assistance, and was a bit nervous about sending it to an individual rather than a shop.  Then, I came to realize that anyone doing this kind of work is too nerdy and specific to be a scam artist. 

Jared does great work, btw, but it's a pretty niche business.  And geeky, too.  But aren't we all, really? 

All about Clarinets / Re: What is the most OVERHYPED clarinet?
« on: June 02, 2019, 03:39:46 PM »
Interesting.  I'm a fan of the vintage R-13s (I have one from 1961 that is my daily instrument) and don't think that they are overhyped at all -- in fact, I still have never played another instrument that I think is better.  That said, a Selmer Series 9* or a Couesnon Monopole Conservatoire are every bit as good in my experience. 

However, I do think that Buffet instruments overall have been more about the marketing than the actual quality of the instruments for many years.  They seem to be getting by on their past reputation and ubiquity.  I have tried many new Buffets with the intention of purchasing one (I  had my eye on a Divine, Prestige, or Tosca) and came away feeling that none were better than my old trusty 1961 R-13 despite the significant asking prices.

Just my two cents...YMMV.... 

Propeller wood, violin finish or whatever they call them, they are beautiful instruments.  Sadly, my experience is that they just don't play all that well.  Maybe I haven't found a good one (or properly overhauled one) yet!

All about Clarinets / Re: Eb & D clarinet set (what?)
« on: April 07, 2019, 03:43:33 PM »
Well, it WAS a thing.  Not much written for D clarinets these days (or, really, ever).  I can think of maybe 4 pieces of music and an Eb can handle those just fine.

All about Clarinets / Re: Selmer Bass Clarinet info
« on: March 08, 2019, 10:49:53 AM »
Well, theoretically, Q600 would have been built before Q1100....sound I'm going to say your horn was probably built in 1954-55.  It's not clear when they would have switched from P series to Q series, but your horn would have been built in there somewhere.  Theoretically.

And, this dating is consistent with the model number you're referencing (which is the same model as the "Series 9" basses, and this model ran for a very long time...over 20 years).  I have a 1970s Selmer Paris bass myself, which is newer than yours, but still a model 30.  The model numbers aren't marked on the instruments, so that makes things more complicated.  Here's what I remember:

Model 30 (no articulated G# or LH Ab lever)
Model 32 (with the above keys)
Model 33 (with the above and low C)

Hope that helps.  In the end, you have to play the horn and see if it works for you. 

All about Clarinets / eBay ad of the week....too funny
« on: February 21, 2019, 04:33:10 PM »

All about Clarinets / Re: New metal clarinets!
« on: February 02, 2019, 10:04:43 PM »
Broadly, the reputation of most metal clarinets is Built like tanks, but sound like crap.

When you play a really good one, it's a joy though....

All about Clarinets / Re: Difference between sax and clarinet playing
« on: January 29, 2019, 02:23:06 PM »
I've known several double lip players, and have actually used that embouchure myself occasionally across the years.  It's actually great for training yourself (and strengthening the muscles) for good clarinet embouchure.  I still use it on occasion for specific passages.  Just a personal choice...

Why not?  It's like a reverse stencil....

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