Author Topic: New metal clarinets!  (Read 192 times)

Offline 350 Rocket

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Re: New metal clarinets!
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2019, 08:48:14 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.

That puzzles me then... the "cheapest" non-parts-instrument metal clarinet I have is a mid- to late-'50s American Standard, H.N. White's student model. While it's hard to know how "original" something this old is, as it sits now the build quality is generally quite good - superior to most Bundy Resonites. Keywork is plenty sturdy and I can't find any real examples of corner-cutting save for some finishing marks on the keys - which, for a student-level instrument, has no impact on it in my opinion. In terms of playability I'd say you could put it in a school band room amongst Vitos and Bundys and Yamahas and not be at a disadvantage.

However, I once looked at a Cavalier (Conn's budget brand) 92N and found it utterly appalling in terms of quality. It was part of a batch of instruments liquidated by the Minneapolis school district which might've been an indicator of a hard life, but the Silva-Bet and Pedler I bought from that batch had held up respectably over decades of wear.

They built tens of thousands of Cavaliers, so if they really were all that cheaply made then I can see where the reputation comes from given Conn's position at the time.
Posted to the original The Clarinet Pages forum from my Power Macintosh 6100/60 using Netscape Navigatorô