Author Topic: New metal clarinets!  (Read 181 times)

Offline LarryS

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New metal clarinets!
« on: January 17, 2019, 06:03:07 AM »
Someone mentioned that metal instruments are no longer made, but someone on Facebook showed me this site!

http://www.musik-foag.de/index.php/en/metal-clarinets
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Offline Dibbs

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Re: New metal clarinets!
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2019, 06:36:23 AM »
Wow!  Hand made to order.  I didn't know about them.  I see they make instruments for one handed players too.  That'll be because they cost an arm and a leg to buy.

I've just remembered that there are Turkish metal clarinets in G too.


Offline LarryS

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Re: New metal clarinets!
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2019, 08:15:12 AM »
.  I see they make instruments for one handed players too.  That'll be because they cost an arm and a leg to buy.

Ha, good one
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: New metal clarinets!
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2019, 09:52:28 AM »
You can get a metal Boehm straight from China for like $400.

This way you can experience the low quality of a vintage metal clarinet, in a shiny new form
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages

Offline modernicus

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Re: New metal clarinets!
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2019, 10:39:58 AM »
Cool!  I think one could still get metal clarinets new from Orsi or something in the recent past, by request.  IIRC they can make you anything they ever have produced because they retained all the tooling.  Hmm...  now that I think about it, metal clarinets barely ever went away, really-couldn't you gets Noblets into the late '60s or early '70s?  Then, one of the Hammerschmidts or somebody made aluminum clarinets (and flutes etc...) in the' 70s- in Boehm even, yes!

If you ain't got 'em, that's why you need 'em...

Offline BLMonopole

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Re: New metal clarinets!
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2019, 11:26:51 AM »
If its just for fun, or as a conversation piece, sure.  Otherwise, I think that there are better instruments out there worth far more of your attention.



Offline LarryS

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Re: New metal clarinets!
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2019, 02:52:47 AM »
What's wrong with metal clarinets? Why so many against them?
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Offline BLMonopole

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Re: New metal clarinets!
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2019, 03:38:33 AM »
There's nothing wrong with them.  However, a significant percentage of them are not high quality instruments.  And, because so many of them come from the 1920s-1940s, many are not in good repair. 

Several years ago, I owned a lovely Eb SilvaBet that I had lovingly restored.  It played beautifully, and was a blast to play. 

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: New metal clarinets!
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2019, 10:01:47 AM »
What's wrong with metal clarinets? Why so many against them?
The vast majority of metal clarinets were student-level at the time they were made (70 years ago). Student level then does not equate to student level now, hence the negative attitude.

It's sort of like plastic Chinese clarinets. There's nothing inherently wrong with a plastic clarinet from China. In fact, some very, very good plastic instruments come from China.
However, 99% of plastic Chinese clarinets are junk, which leads us all to avoid Chinese instruments.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages

Offline LarryS

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Re: New metal clarinets!
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2019, 05:39:16 AM »
Yea well those in the link I posted are new and made in Germany
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: New metal clarinets!
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2019, 04:36:29 PM »
I don't know of anyone who has tried one of those new ones, so for me they're pretty much unproven.
Admittedly, they do look pretty awesome, and are probably quite high quality since they're seemingly hand-built with care (as opposed to the mass produced vintage ones)
However, the cost is so high that one would be better off getting a tried and true quality product, like a high-end Selmer or Buffet.

Here's a list of pros and cons of the metal clarinet:

PRO
1. Sturdy, will never crack
2. Extra loud sound and better projection compared to wood
3. Not affected by humidity changes

CON
1. Metal is a conductor so is much more susceptible to temperature changes
2. Most metal clarinets are one-piece, so too large to fit in backpack or carry-on luggage
3. Generally cannot swap barrels and less aftermarket choice of barrels

So it seems to me that in general, a wood, plastic or hard rubber clarinet is more versatile than a metal one, mainly due to the greater choice and freedom a player has in barrel choice.

Metal clarinets do have their place, though. Jazz musicians often swear by the metal, as it helps their sound better project and blend with the rest of the jazz group.

The main problem facing metal clarinets I believe is their poor reputation from the 40s and 50s, which has led to a sour taste in the mouth leading until today.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages

Offline 350 Rocket

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Re: New metal clarinets!
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2019, 06:10:13 PM »
In what aspect is the "poor quality" of student-level metal clarinets considered to be? Build quality? Tone? Intonation?
Posted to the original The Clarinet Pages forum from my Power Macintosh 6100/60 using Netscape Navigatorô

Offline BLMonopole

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Re: New metal clarinets!
« Reply #12 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....

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: New metal clarinets!
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2019, 11:41:37 AM »
In what aspect is the "poor quality" of student-level metal clarinets considered to be? Build quality? Tone? Intonation?

Sort of like how modern cheap Chinese plastic clarinets are no good.

Physically they appear to be a perfectly sound clarinet. However, build quality is poor, and quality control is poor. The same is probably the case with the metal clarinets - these were churned out by the hundreds of thousands, and were not made to as near a standard as your typical hand-finished higher-end clarinet.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages

Offline mechanic

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Re: New metal clarinets!
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2019, 06:37:39 PM »
In what aspect is the "poor quality" of student-level metal clarinets considered to be? Build quality? Tone? Intonation?


I've only dealt with 2 metal clarinets, both student models.  Most of the tone holes on both were rough inside, some pitted, others with what resembled slag.  The key work on both was a bit soft, so trill keys all needed straightening.  When all was said and done, they were way sharp.  With the barrel pulled as far as it would go and still seal, it was close enough to play with the pep band in a gymnasium.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 07:12:24 PM by mechanic »
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