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Author Topic: The 'Official' ClarinetPages Vito Reso-Tone thread.  (Read 12654 times)

Offline Airflyte

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The 'Official' ClarinetPages Vito Reso-Tone thread.
« on: February 02, 2017, 05:18:11 PM »
Greetings! I have wanted to create this thread for quite some time now. The more I researched these clarinets the more I realized just how many variations (even if only cosmetic) were manufactured by LeBlanc. Then, add in the altos and bass members of the family and it gets overwhelming! Just an initial disclaimer though - I'm not an expert on these instruments. I do hope through our collective discussion here, we can establish a detailed and accurate record of Reso-Tones.
 I would also like to discuss the wooden Vitos as well, even if they seem somewhat "rare" at least compared to the plastic ones. The VSP and the Pete Fountain models are rather interesting as well.

So, where do we start? Well, I did seek counsel from the more active members here and we determined that Normandy's would not be covered due to the fact that well, they're not Vitos! However, I do need to at least mention the Normandy Reso-Tone as it's most likely the clarinet that ultimately became the very popular Vito. I could be wrong so please correct me if I am.  I think it's safe to say the Vito brand name was inspired by Mr. Vito Pascucci who formed LeBlanc USA In 1946.

So back to the Vitos . . . . the early ones had French keywork anchored to U.S. made plastic bodies. That's not bad for an affordable student grade clarinet. At some point that with any luck we may be able to determine when the switch to all U.S. components occurred.

I don't have a lot of time right now to dedicate to this subject but I just wanted to get this thread off the ground with my first and hopefully accurate observation - the earliest Vitos were stamped with 'Clari-Tone' and later changed to 'Reso-Tone'. If anyone can confirm this or offer a timeline, that would be great!  My theory would be that Clari-Tones were early 1970's instruments. I have recorded two serial numbers as follows;
  • 7141A
  • 7160
Notice the lack of a letter on the second serial number. Again, researching these Vitos is an adventure that raises some questions!

That's all for now.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 05:25:27 PM by Airflyte »
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Offline Lisa

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Re: The 'Official' ClarinetPages Vito Reso-Tone thread.
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2017, 07:17:52 PM »
I'll post about my Vito, serial number B22750, manufacture date of 1974.
 Its not specifically labeled as a resonite, but it's not wood.  It is marked only with "Vito" on the upper joint and bell, and matching serial numbers on both upper and lower joints. School inventory number WSD 74-132 is scratched into each piece, except the mouthpiece.  The Vito mouthpiece pictured is my own, not the Encore one it came with.  I can't find any info, other than the serial numbers put it at 1974.  I've not found one picture like it, none.  The knurled metal joint rings-bands make it distictive.  Other forum members were sure it was wood, based on pictures, but it isn't, so maybe a prototype?
I think it plays very nicely and easily, I really like it a lot, and am not bothered that it isn't wood.  I hope a lot of kids played it, and got a good start on clarinet.  For a school instrument, with 74 scratched into it, telling me it was added to the fleet in 1974, and in my mind, verifying 1974 as a manufacture date, it's in fantastic condition, so I think it was appreciated by its players.
Lisa
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 07:20:15 PM by Lisa »
Lisa  Upper Michigan

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Offline Airflyte

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Re: The 'Official' ClarinetPages Vito Reso-Tone thread.
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2017, 07:28:44 PM »
Wow, we're off to a great start with what I consider a less common style of Vito. I've always wondered about the "knurled bands" and assumed they were newer instruments. Does this have the indexing pin for lining up the upper and lower joints?
So now we have serial number;
  • B22750

and a date of 1974. So now a 5 digit number with a letter B as a prefix. Interesting . . . .

Thanks for posting Lisa and the picture is good to have!
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Offline Lisa

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Re: The 'Official' ClarinetPages Vito Reso-Tone thread.
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2017, 08:50:09 PM »
No, it doesn't have any pins to help line up the joints, it's normal in every way, except for the very heavy woodgrain appearance, and the knurled rings.  Perhaps that it doesn't have a ring on the bell should be noted also. 
I don't have a very expensive measuring device, but the bore looks to be 14.9 at the top of the left hand joint, and 14.85 at the bottom.
I should also add that while i've found no pictures, i did find a forum reference somewhere, where the poster talked about their old Vito V40, that they had sanded down the woodgrain effect a bit because it was too much, too overdone.  I hadn't seen any V40's with a woodgrain effect, so maybe they only made a few of them that way in 1974, the first year the V40 was produced, and what I have is a V40, also know as a 7177 that first year.  But, i'm speculating, as my instrument has no model markings at all. 
Actually, I haven't seen any Vito's with the woodgrain effect that this one has, which is very strong and pronounced, and I've looked at tons of pictures on the internet trying to figure out what model I have.  Everybody must of sanded their horns down like that one guy said he did!
Lisa
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 08:57:36 PM by Lisa »
Lisa  Upper Michigan

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Offline Airflyte

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Re: The 'Official' ClarinetPages Vito Reso-Tone thread.
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2017, 06:23:15 PM »
Phil covers a few different versions here on his website ; http://www.clarinetpages.net/plastic-clarinets/vito

He talks about the "Big V logo" on a 7212 model (also known as Vito 3!) and has recorded the following serial numbers;

  • 07574 - older Vito 3
  • 02131 - another older model

 . . . then - using Phil's data, we have the following serial numbers for the 7212 model;
  • 096638
  • E48049
  • A02660
  • C88230
Using the serial number list from this very informative website; http://www.dannychesnut.com/Music/Clarinet/Leblanc/LeblancSerialNumbers.htm, it appears that the 7212 model was in production from around 1973? to at least the mid 1980's. The funny thing is the "reset" of using the 'A' prefix in 1984. Confusingly, a 7212 model with a 'B' prefix could be from 1973 or 1989!

Phil recorded the following serial numbers for the 7214 model (Lyre Logo)
  • C09423
  • C55853
  • C82370
  • C96244
So, once again looking at the list these could be from late 70's or from early to mid '90's. I assume they are from the 90's.

Well that's what I have for now. If anyone has any specific info on the 7212 or 7214 model, please chime in!






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Offline Airflyte

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Re: The 'Official' ClarinetPages Vito Reso-Tone thread.
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2017, 08:01:08 PM »

Actually, I haven't seen any Vito's with the woodgrain effect that this one has, which is very strong and pronounced, and I've looked at tons of pictures on the internet trying to figure out what model I have.  Everybody must of sanded their horns down like that one guy said he did!
Lisa

Lisa, here's a Vito with what appears to be a woodgrain effect. https://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions/Vito-Clarinet-by-Leblanc-With-Case-36820139.html It might not be a perfect match to the grain on your clarinet. It's a 7214 model with the "hump" in the top trill key and trim ring on bell. Looks like an 'E' series serial number (1984).
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Offline Lisa

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Re: The 'Official' ClarinetPages Vito Reso-Tone thread.
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2017, 08:38:45 PM »
That's pretty cool looking!  It's close, but I do think they toned down the woodgrain effect, or made a more satiny, less shiny finish as years went by.  It looks very nice, I like the trill key hump.
Thanks for posting that!
This is what I got, which seems more veiny.
Lisa  Upper Michigan

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Offline bbrandha

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Re: The 'Official' ClarinetPages Vito Reso-Tone thread.
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2017, 09:51:26 PM »
The following are excerpts from things I posted last year on another forum.

I have a white Vito Clari-Tone with gold keys.

 The serial number is 0905. No letter. All other serial numbers listed have a letter with 5 numbers. A poster on another forum said they pre-date the Reso-Tone and that his college marching band used red and white Clari-tones. He thought they may go back to the 60s. I also cannot find a model number to attach to the model name. It is very heavy. I think it could safely be used as a baseball bat.

Black ones with SN# 2212, 7802 sold on ebay.
A90964 and 2 more w/o SN given (not the same as 4 digit clarinets)

So I am guessing there were 2 versions of the Claritone. The first version, like mine, has the emblems engraved. It has a small vito and CLARI-TONE, USA inside an oval. The newer ones have the vito lyre printed on.

I called LeBlanc and was told rather rudely that the serial number wasn't correct. When I assured her it was, she said they didn't have a history department and she had no information. She also had no information on what the model number of a Clari-Tone is. Because they don't HAVE A HISTORY DEPARTMENT.
 

Offline mechanic

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Re: The 'Official' ClarinetPages Vito Reso-Tone thread.
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2017, 10:47:54 PM »
Here's a few more for the list.  These all have the ringless bell, which should make them all 7212's .
D32921  marked 7212, has the P.R.A.G (positive radial alignment guide) or alignment post to the rest of us
D26012 no model number, no P.R.A.G, coil spring on the register key
D20581 no model number, no P.R.A.G, coil spring on the register key
B27745 marked 7212, no P.R.A.G

Those 4 all have the oval Vito logo and are Reso-Tone 3

9408F  no model number, no P.R.A.G.  Oval logo, but only a Reso-Tone (no number) Also has the funky kidney bean keys

Any of the serial number lists I've been able to find all start with 1972 and the A prefix.  It's my understanding that Vito built the factory in Kenosha in 1951 and started cranking out plastic clarinets soon after, so there's close to 20 years of Vito's that will be tough to place.  I think my 9408F is in that category.  Somewhere I saw a timeline that showed the Claritone and Reso-Tone timelines.  They overlapped a number of years.  I'll keep poking around and see if I can find it again.
Picture 1 is the Reso-Tone 3 logo, pic 2 the Reso-Tone logo and pic 3 the Reso-Tone bean keys.

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Offline Airflyte

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Re: The 'Official' ClarinetPages Vito Reso-Tone thread.
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2017, 08:04:52 AM »
The following are excerpts from things I posted last year on another forum.

I have a white Vito Clari-Tone with gold keys.

 The serial number is 0905. No letter. All other serial numbers listed have a letter with 5 numbers. A poster on another forum said they pre-date the Reso-Tone and that his college marching band used red and white Clari-tones. He thought they may go back to the 60s. I also cannot find a model number to attach to the model name. It is very heavy. I think it could safely be used as a baseball bat.

Black ones with SN# 2212, 7802 sold on ebay.
A90964 and 2 more w/o SN given (not the same as 4 digit clarinets)

So I am guessing there were 2 versions of the Claritone. The first version, like mine, has the emblems engraved. It has a small vito and CLARI-TONE, USA inside an oval. The newer ones have the vito lyre printed on.

I called LeBlanc and was told rather rudely that the serial number wasn't correct. When I assured her it was, she said they didn't have a history department and she had no information. She also had no information on what the model number of a Clari-Tone is. Because they don't HAVE A HISTORY DEPARTMENT.

Ok, this is good bbrandha. This helps to confirm that the Clari-Tones predate the Reso-Tones and are from the 60's.
Your white one may be rather rare and there could be red ones out there as well!  These must be pre-Dazzler models.

As for the serial number with only 4 digits and no letters, it's obvious these are early horns and your number is very low.
The weight of your Clari-Tone may be attributed to the white pigment added to the resin. I work in a paint shop and can tell you that a 5 gallon pail white paint is waaaaay heavier than any other color.

Hopefully, we can form our own little History Department here on the forum.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 08:39:53 AM by Airflyte »
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Offline Airflyte

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Re: The 'Official' ClarinetPages Vito Reso-Tone thread.
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2017, 08:36:09 AM »
Here's a few more for the list.  These all have the ringless bell, which should make them all 7212's .
D32921  marked 7212, has the P.R.A.G (positive radial alignment guide) or alignment post to the rest of us
D26012 no model number, no P.R.A.G, coil spring on the register key
D20581 no model number, no P.R.A.G, coil spring on the register key
B27745 marked 7212, no P.R.A.G

Those 4 all have the oval Vito logo and are Reso-Tone 3

9408F  no model number, no P.R.A.G.  Oval logo, but only a Reso-Tone (no number) Also has the funky kidney bean keys

Any of the serial number lists I've been able to find all start with 1972 and the A prefix.  It's my understanding that Vito built the factory in Kenosha in 1951 and started cranking out plastic clarinets soon after, so there's close to 20 years of Vito's that will be tough to place.  I think my 9408F is in that category.  Somewhere I saw a timeline that showed the Claritone and Reso-Tone timelines.  They overlapped a number of years.  I'll keep poking around and see if I can find it again.
Picture 1 is the Reso-Tone 3 logo, pic 2 the Reso-Tone logo and pic 3 the Reso-Tone bean keys.

Great stuff!  The acronym for the joint pin is nice too.

So in general terms, the 7212 models will have a ringless bell and Reso-Tone 3 stamp. Variables will be spring type on register key and P.R.A.G or no P.R.A.G.

Now, about your 9408F horn . . . . . I have a 3764F Vito (same as your #2 pic). Oddly enough, it does not have the same L.H. pinky keys as yours. I'm convinced that if someone wanted to collect all the different versions of plastic Vitos, it would be nearly impossible.
Maybe we can develop some kind of serial number list for the early clarinets? We have 20 years to work with!

Thanks for posting and the pics are greatly appreciated.
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Offline bbrandha

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Re: The 'Official' ClarinetPages Vito Reso-Tone thread.
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2017, 02:08:02 PM »
Here's the pictures I have. It is loaned to my son-in-law, so if you would like to see other views, he can send some to me.


Offline Airflyte

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Re: The 'Official' ClarinetPages Vito Reso-Tone thread.
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2017, 06:51:19 PM »
Nice looking Vito! Thanks for posting the pics.

Now here's an oddball Vito - actually it's a Wurlitzer - a Reso-Tone stencil!
https://www.shopgoodwill.com/viewItem.asp?ItemID=36769221


Just sold for 39 bucks. Looked very clean in the pics with a nice case to go with. Even the cork looked decent.
I'm sure with a repad, this one will sing. Serial number appeared to be 13085.
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Offline Airflyte

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Re: The 'Official' ClarinetPages Vito Reso-Tone thread.
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2017, 06:39:24 AM »
Here's a newer Vito (with LeBlanc finally putting there name on it). It's 7242 model and I guess we could call it the " Big L" logo. I kinda of like it. https://www.shopgoodwill.com/viewItem.asp?ItemID=36597671

Serial number was E92826 so it should be an '84. The case sure looks like it's from that era. Has the trill key hump.
This one went for $67. I was surprised to see that - only because now were into plastic Yamaha territory in terms of price for a no guarantee untested horn.

 
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Offline mechanic

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Re: The 'Official' ClarinetPages Vito Reso-Tone thread.
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2017, 08:22:02 AM »
This one that recently sold on ebay is also a 7242 but with the painted on big V logo.  Serial # E99328.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vito-Classic-7242-Bb-Clarinet-premium-beginner-student-instrument-Very-Nice-/332055420686?nma=true&si=9xR%252FNiJQ98Fm3YKiUK1QGZc%252BesA%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

The E99*** serial number doesn't even make the lists and to be from 1984 would mean a production run of over 70,000 that year.  The lists I have found show them going from E13605 to A07632 in 1984.  Another reason I think the painted big V is a late models is the addition of "Classic" on the big V. 

This is strictly conjecture on my part, but I think the logos will have a lot to do with dating the Vito's.  Here's my guess as to how it will all pan out:
Big V stamped into the clarinet (as seen on the clari-tone) will be the earliest, and not on the lists.
Oval Vito, pre 1972 to mid 1984.
Lyre Logo, mid 1984 to early 2000's
Big V painted on, early 2000's
Big L Leblanc, post Conn-Selmer purchase (2005).

I'm about 75% confident in the first 3 logos/times, the painted on ones- not so much.
Bell photo credit goes to ebay seller tiermis0



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