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Messages - DaveLeBlanc

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in terms of a truly professional life, I am woefully unemployed due to the virus.

Ironically, I had three active job offers before the plague struck. I turned down Bank of America and AAA in favor of a management track at Geico. However, the Geico offer was entirely rescinded so I was left on unemployment for the past several months.

With unemployment around 13%, I don't have any real prospects for the future. At least the local Home Depot and Trader Joe's are hiring...

I never went pro. I played clarinet at UCLA in a variety of groups

1. Symphonic Band. This is the standard band group for non-music majors (I got a BS in Meteorology, BA in Asian Studies and MA in Asian Studies)
2. VGOC (Video Game Orchestra and Choir) which became GME (Game Music Ensemble). I was one of the very first members of VGOC, when there were less than 20 members. When GME began, there were up to 200 players, so many that they had to audition for each individual peace. Each piece in a concert was played by only a fraction of the total membership.
3. On-call Contra Alto Clarinetist. As I appeared to be the only C-Alto Clarinetist in Great Los Angeles, I was the on-call guy whenever UCLA had any event that needed a Contra player. My favorite was probably the Doctoral Concert for a guy who was pursuing his Doctorate in Conducting. As I understood it, the concert was basically part of his PhD dissertation. It was nice to be invited to such a special occassion.

I haven't really played clarinet since college. I transitioned almost entirely to clarinet repair and restoration, with a bit of "Clarinet Historian" on the side. I also help with this forum and (though I've been slacking on the .xyz site - I'm sorry, Phil)

Long story short, I was never "good" enough to make money playing. I always found it a fun hobby, and used my skill as a rare contra-alto player to get myself gigs where necessary.

All about Clarinets / ClarinetPages Museum Archive Google Drive
« on: June 30, 2020, 07:49:09 PM »
Hello all,

Here is a public Google drive that I request you use to back up any linked images you post on this forum. After a time, eBay links die and the images are gone forever. In order to preserve these images for posterity, please upload them into this google drive. I have created a variety of folders for all sorts of clarinets.

All about Clarinets / Sleiste's 1920s H. Bettony Buffet
« on: June 29, 2020, 02:45:36 PM »
User Sleiste emailed me these pictures requesting more information.

I determined it to have a manufacture date of before 1923, as the single posts really put an upper bound on the dating.  The serial of S321 doesn't tell me too much personally.

The bell is stamped with "H Bettony Boston." I have seen several stamped with Carl Fischer, but I feel like this is the first one stamped by Bettony. Neat.

I appraised this with a maximum value of about $200-250.

Please post any opinions or corrections you have to my dating and appraisal.

All about Clarinets / Re: Help identifying a supposed 1800's clarinet
« on: June 27, 2020, 10:52:58 PM »
One of my dreams is to 3-D print replacement keys for unique or oddball clarinets. The odds of finding the key you need in a box of parts is slim to none. 3D printing should be able to produce the strength, if not the chrome look, of an original key. A bit of woodworking/engineering will allow you to mount the key properly and use it as intended.

Anyone got a 3D printer and a lot of knowledge?!

I would keep my 1958 Selmer Centered Tone. But - that may change as I recently sent a Selmer BT M serial number off to be overhauled. But I'm also fond of a recently-acquired Couesnon Monopole Conservatoire full Boehm which plays great (I bought it to sell, but...)
I have worked on 3 Centered Tones so far and every single time I really wished I could have kept it. Two were for clients, one was for myself. I really should have kept the one I bought personally.
CT is probably the nicest sounding and most all-around "good" clarinet I've ever played.

I currently keep a Noblet Stubbins system as a daily player (mainly for the novelty), but the CT really should be everyone's daily player.

The only C clarinet I've ever owned used a standard Bb mouthpiece; an Eb would not fit.

This was one I can't entirely remember, but it was an 1880's model, full simple system. High Pitch, but boy did it sound nice. When I sober up I'm sure I'll remember the name. haha

All about Clarinets / Please post pictures along with your links!
« on: June 27, 2020, 05:21:10 PM »
Hello all,

This is a PSA to request that anytime you post a link that redirects to an image, PLEASE ATTACH THE IMAGE TO THE POST AS WELL

This is a major problem with older threads that mention an eBay listing. After a while, all eBay links die and those images are gone forever. For preservation and posterity, from this point on PLEASE PLEASE attach images to your linked posts.

Hello, I have just come upon, in my mom's attic, a Penzel Muller Pruefer (New York) clarinet, so have joined you as another newbie.  The serial number on this beauty is 3074. On the bell are also stamped the letters U S O M C , just above the serial number. It has a wrap around register key.  What do I do now ?
Thank you so much for all the information I have already gleaned from your site!
It will be marked USQMC, which stands for "United States Quartermaster Corps."

Sounds like it's probably from the 30s. Is it Boehm system? If so, it would be a relatively late example of wrap-around register on a Boehm.

Please post some pics if  you have a chance. If it doesn't work for whatever reason, please email me directly at

All about Clarinets / Re: Dad's Conn 448N
« on: June 25, 2020, 08:44:22 PM »
Sorry to hijack the thread, but I would like to share a lovely Classic that I restored a while ago. It's not a Symphonie, but it's pretty close! The font on this and the original Symphonie are just about the same. Looks like they changed the font for the Symphonie 2 and above

All about Clarinets / Re: Bore measurement
« on: June 25, 2020, 06:58:18 PM »
Do you know what forum youíre on!? Weíre all geeks here!!!

Great video. Iíll have to watch the whole thing sometime

All about Clarinets / Re: Dad's Conn 448N
« on: June 25, 2020, 06:57:17 PM »
Thatís a good point. Lots of people think that old = valuable and that is absolutely NOT the case with clarinets. Maybe saxophones, but for the most part any clarinet before 1970 is going to be worth a buck or two.

Iíve always had a dream myself. A music store with honest prices, honest techs, and a no-discrimination policy.

One day Iíll open up that shop. But probably not today, haha.

All about Clarinets / Re: Dad's Conn 448N
« on: June 25, 2020, 01:36:51 PM »
I never understood why anybody would refuse to work on a clarinet like that. I have a ďno clarinet left behindĒ policy.
Given a regular old Bundy Iíll still spend many hours and put as much care into it as I would an R13.

I guess it just depends what your personality is and how much you respect the instrument.

All about Clarinets / Re: Dad's Conn 448N
« on: June 24, 2020, 10:58:03 PM »
Those early Symphonies are really something, aren't they? Worked on one myself around 3-4 years ago. Always hurts to part with someone you love...

All about Clarinets / Re: Dad's Conn 448N
« on: June 24, 2020, 08:29:00 PM »
Hey Peter, any relation to Sheridon Stokes?

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