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Messages - DaveLeBlanc

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All about Clarinets / Re: Why don't clarinets come standard with low-Eb?
« on: February 19, 2020, 05:33:15 PM »
But WHY are Low-Ebs more expensive, and MUCH more expensive at that?

I get the extra materials and labor, but that doesn't excuse the extreme premium that comes with it.

It's just an extra 2 inches of material, and another key...

Is this the phenomenon where a product is sold missing features, and then the missing features are touted as an "optional add-on" at extra cost

Make and Model lists and research / Re: Clarinet Identification
« on: February 16, 2020, 12:37:24 PM »

I am new, sorry if I am in the wrong place. 

I was trying to find some information on a Vals Artist clarinet; made in France. No  serial number.  This is all the information I have, I think Vals is Spanish for Waltz.  The clarinet is nice unstained wood and plays OK.

Hi Steve,

Please go back to the main topic page and click "New Topic" near the upper right of the page.

Please also post pictures of the clarinet, especially of keywork and any logos. If the image is more than 600kb, then you will have to use Microsoft Paint, or to resize the picture to 600kb or below. If you have any issues you can email the pictures to me at and I can post them for you


All about Clarinets / Re: Wood Basset Horn Barrel/Neck
« on: February 16, 2020, 12:02:14 PM »

Sorry to bother you, but can you tell how I can start a new post of my own.

Go to
Click on the category you want to post in
Click on the button "New Topic" near the upper right of the page.

pls let me know if you have any issues

Hey Larry,

That's great! I'm very pleased that it's working out well for you! I felt that it played better than any of the clarinets I had worked on in the past. Here's to another 50 years

(Sorry about the thyme, I usually dilute it 1:3 with almond oil, but it looks like that's still too strong a concentration)

Thanks for the update! Sounds like a great option for those who need a Low C, but don't need to take out a second mortgage.

For a new, quality instrument, the price can't be beat!

All about Clarinets / Re: VOIGT clarinet?
« on: February 02, 2020, 07:48:01 PM »
This is an Albert System German clarinet from approx 1910-1920, or so. It appears to be of a reasonably high quality, but I am not familiar with the brand name itself.

All about Clarinets / Re: VOIGT clarinet?
« on: February 01, 2020, 08:04:47 PM »
Itís tough to tell without any pictures

Make and Model lists and research / Re: Clarinet Identification
« on: January 30, 2020, 06:07:00 PM »
It's the bane of this forum. You will have to use MS Paint, or

OR, you can just email the picture to me at and I can post it for you!

Looks like the metal rings have a relatively unique design, I can go through my archive and see if I see anything close

All about Clarinets / Re: Daddario synthetic reeds
« on: January 27, 2020, 10:25:08 AM »
On a par with Legere apparently.

Why are synthetics so expensive?  I fail to see how a machined piece of plastic costs several times as much as a similar piece of cane.

I don't think the materials cost nearly as much. I figure maybe the marketing that "one synthetic lasts as long as a whole box of cane" means that the plastic now HAS to be more expensive.

If they sold plastic for the same price as an individual cane (sub-$5), then I feel like people would not be as willing to try it, believing that a cheap product is an inferior product.

Jack up the price and it suddenly turns into a "premium" item and people buy into it accordingly.


Are there are any markings at all? Serial number, "Made in France," or anything?

From a distance I might say Thibouville but the other guys should be able to narrow it down further.

At least we can be about 99% sure it was made in the 1940-1960 range.

All about Clarinets / Re: Conn 446N and 444N lengths and barrel question
« on: January 20, 2020, 08:26:45 PM »
I don't think I can really speak to the barrel lengths.

However, re the metal tenon cap: your clarinet MAY or MAY NOT have originally had a tenon cap. They are not integral to the wood; in other words, they simply slide over top and are technically removable.

The extra metal is going to be extremely slight - probably 0.1mm or so, so I doubt it will make a noticeable difference.

All about Clarinets / I finally started to play clarinet again!
« on: January 17, 2020, 08:26:49 PM »
Guys, I haven't played clarinet recreationally in 2 years at this point.

I decided to pull my old contra alto clarinet out of storage, dust it off, and give it a go.

I have to say, it's very nice to be back in the saddle. I can't tell you how much I truly missed the sweet, low, and resonant sound of the contra clarinet.

Make and Model lists and research / Re: Silver Throat clarinets
« on: January 17, 2020, 01:21:46 PM »
Pad mites are a type of small insect that devours the felt interior of the pad.

If you work with enough instruments, you will end up seeing dead bugs, bug shells, and if you're lucky - a real live pad mite!

Make and Model lists and research / Re: Silver Throat clarinets
« on: January 12, 2020, 09:44:37 PM »
Hey there, your picture is broken so I can't see it!

However, you've got a great price on that. Can't beat a $25 clarinet.

As for pads, you don't always have standardized sizes across all instruments.

I would do your best estimate with a ruler in mm, and then order up and down each size. You'll end up with a bunch of extras, but if you ever get into doing more then you'll have stock to start with.

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