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Messages - DaveLeBlanc

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All about Clarinets / Re: Eb & D clarinet set (what?)
« on: April 14, 2019, 09:50:44 AM »
I purchased a Wolverine (Conn stencil) C melody sax for around $220 or so. After very painstakingly taking FOREVER to restore it, I finally sold it for $750 to some guy in Canada. Good profit margin, but it took so long that I do not plan to do that ever again. I'll stick with clarinets, thank you very much.

There isn't too much use for an Albert system clarinet. Unless you're looking for a High Pitch instrument to play in some sort of period band, Albert systems are as a general rule pretty much unusable. They're simply too old to be comparable to modern instruments, and nobody wants to learn a different fingering anyways.

You can usually find Albert systems for extremely cheap, sometimes as low as $40. They're fun to work on and bang around with but please don't take it to your local symphony!

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And a gracious welcome to our forum! You will find an excellent community of knowledgeable players, collectors, and historians here. It's a clarinetist's paradise!

Sorry about the Captcha thing - after a certain number of posts it won't be required anymore. Around 2012 or 2013 this forum was actually completely shut down by a massive spam attack, and we had to basically purge and restart the entire site. After that we instilled some security measures to ensure that wouldn't happen again.

If the Captcha becomes too much of an irritation, feel free to contact me directly and I can probably use my powers to help out.

-Dave, your friendly neighborhood moderator

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It's absolutely incredible that you have such a rare and unique piece! Most manufacturers did not keep good records back then. Heck, most of them either did not keep serial number records or records were destroyed in fires. It's too bad that you can't get "official" confirmation of its existence, but still, the story behind it is absolutely spectacular. Your father must have been truly something else!

Centered Tones are AMAZING. I've had the great fortune of restoring three of these for clients and I'm always very tempted to purchase them off the client at the end of the overhaul.

Like you said, the bottom end is INSANE and certainly blows away pretty much anything else I've played.

About a month ago, I restored both an R13 and a Centered Tone within a few days of each other. The R13 sold for a cool $1300 while the Centered Tone was only able to fetch $750.

For the massive price difference, I simply did not feel that I got "twice the clarinet" from the R13. Given a choice, I would rather pay for a good Centered Tone than be offered an R13 for free, if I was trying to get a real good player with an excellent tone.


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All about Clarinets / Re: Eb & D clarinet set (what?)
« on: April 12, 2019, 11:17:04 PM »
Many Albert system clarinets can be bought for $50 or less, but some are worth a LOT more, for no real reason.

I suspect it might have something to do with a general societal shift towards "older" things. For example, 20 years after the literal death of film photography, film is one of the hottest trends in photography today.

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All about Clarinets / Re: Can anyone give me some info?
« on: April 05, 2019, 10:22:34 PM »
Restored you’re looking at $250-300 or so. Excellent return on investment

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All about Clarinets / Re: Confession Thread.
« on: April 05, 2019, 01:53:51 PM »
It's funny how uncommon Eb soprano and Eb alto clarinets are. When I was in middle and high school, most people, even the clarinetists, didn't believe me when I said that an alto clarinet existed.

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You bought a Selmer for $10? Is it bass, alto, or soprano?

If it's a Henri Selmer Paris it's worth BIG money.

If it's a plastic Selmer USA, and is an alto or bass, it's also worth BIG.

How do you find these deals? I've never in my life found anything good at any antique store or garage sale, and it's not for the lack of trying.

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I'd like to have a saxonette just because it's different and I'd probably use it to mess with my sax friends. Since I have a dent knowledge of 3d modeling and have a 3d printer I could probably make the parts to convert one of my clarinets to a saxonette in the future.

As for sound projection, while a decent amount of sound comes out the bell of a clarinet or saxophone, some sound also comes out of the open holes so I would think it would only really help with projecting forward on long fingered notes.

My thoughts exactly. I don't think the bell makes a noticeable difference for all but the most exacting studio recordings. Some clarinets, such as the Buffet Prodige have a "stippled interior bell texture" which is, in my opinion, just marketing malarky.

Unless the only notes you play the lowest chalumeau notes, then the bell is just there to lengthen the instrument and balance it out.

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As a collector of clarinets and other instruments, these Chinese clarinets really interest me because they are affordable, decent quality, and in some harder to find tunings. Thank you for your reviews of this and the others. Thanks to you I got one of the C clarinets and I really do enjoy playing it.


Perhaps it's time to rethink the CSO (clarinet-shaped-object) reputation of Chinese makers. It's proven that Chinese-made clarinets CAN be good. The factories absolutely have the capability to produce very decent instruments.


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Heck, for $900 I'll leave the cute factor at home and get a better quality clarinet :D

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For $40 you did WELL. Like I said, these can be worth big money to the right buyer. Either way you cut it, you'll be making an absolutely absurd amount should you decide to sell at some point.

I don't know how you managed to get an alto for $40. Even a busted up, completely trashed one sells for no less than $200 on eBay.
The cheapest alto I ever got was (also a metal one) $75 or $80 and it needed a lot of work.

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The Custombuilt line was, I believe, near the top-of-the-line for Pedler at the time.

In general, all-metal alto clarinets are VERY rare, so that's great! I own a metal Kohlert myself and it's pretty sweet.

If your daughter is in the 8th grade then I would be surprised if the band had any music even written for the alto. Alto clarinets not commonly played at all, and it is pretty hard to find one in anything but a very high-end symphony. When I was in middle school I asked to play alto; the director said the school did not own an alto to rent. Even if I obtained one myself, he said that their music library simply didn't have alto clarinet parts in general.

I played in the college band at UCLA and in 5 years never saw anybody else with an alto clarinet. Except for one time, in an off-shoot music group where the director specialized in composing for unusual instruments.

If the middle school band director has sheet music written for alto clarinet, then by all means. These are worth quite a bit restored, up to $1,000, so it's your judgment call on whether or not you want your daughter to be banging around on a potentially valuable instrument.

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Looks great!

Question - what's the third post on the lower joint for? There doesn't seem to be a key in it.

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