Author Topic: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)  (Read 381 times)

Offline windydankoff

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Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2019, 06:21:47 AM »
Enjoy some SOUNDS of G clarinet ...

The heart of the G tradition is in Turkey:
Here's a G clarinet summit and instrument review
Isa Pini  and  Hüsnü Senlendirici
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIuqM9sSq4Y
Such a different concept, like from another planet. Isa Pini, on the left, is playing a Boehm G. On the right is the Albert G, the standard in Turkey, Greece & Balkans.
There is no doubt the Boehm is up to the task!

Pericle Odierna plays G clarinet as only an Italian film composer can!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIloDcZ0JeU

But wait! This just in ...
MOSES played a G clarinet!
"Le clarinettiste se penche sur le mythique exode du peuple juif, guidé par Moïse à sa sortie d’Egypte."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22DgqNtWuxs
Ma zeh? It's a Boehm system G!

    <<<  G Wiz!  >>>

Here is a link from a Turkish G supplier.
https://muziksel.com/urunler/2/
Notice that SOL is their designation for key-of-G. See all the SOL clarinets listed! All are German/Albert system. Few traditional musicians use Boehm G, but judging from these Youtubes, it will become a trend.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2019, 11:02:58 PM by windydankoff »
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Offline philpedler

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Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2019, 06:43:31 PM »
Can't wait for mine to come in two days!

Offline philpedler

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Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2019, 05:34:19 PM »
I got my G clarinet, and I am quite pleased with it. It is a little distressing that I find that it will take more getting used to than I anticipated. This is mainly in the effort that it takes and the stretch for the fingers. The stretch is not really uncomfortable for my hands, just really unfamiliar.

I feel like mine might be a bit better than Windy's. Jaren Di Leon's YouTube's give correct information. On the RH joint, I did not need to expand the tone hole for the low G/clarion D, but I undercut it DRASTICALLY. I undercut the second resonance tone hole somewhat, hoping that would also help. Just like Leon's, the F/C also needed undercutting, but not as much. That G/D is the MAJOR problem with this horn. The three open holes on the RH joint needed to be opened up and somewhat undercut where the excess glue for the tone hole inserts was protruding out into the holes.

Also, just like Windy said, the bell needs to be pulled out as far as possible. I covered the whole tenon with black Valentino cloth, and wrapped the short part where I wanted to attach the bell with Teflon tape, to make a good seal.

I use the longer of the two barrels supplied. And I hardly need to pull out at all. On the left hand joint, I flattened tiny 'snakes' of Poster Tack in the tone holes that were too sharp here and there. The low C# tone hole on the left hand joint needed major undercutting. For some reason, most of the holes needing Poster Tack were the open holes that you put your fingers on, especially the thumb hole and the 2nd and 3rd finger holes on the LH joint. 

I am using the same mouthpiece that I use for my Bb and A. It is the Van Doren BD5, which is more open at the tip than I previously used. (I have enjoyed that mouthpiece for its darker tone, while not giving me a throat tone E that was too flat.) On the Bb I use a Legere Signature 3 3/4 reed. On the A I use a 3 1/2 strength. And on the G clarinet, I find that I am quite happy with a 3 1/4 strength. But something kind of funny happened. Some time ago I ordered a European cut 3 1/4 reed by mistake. It was too soft and completely unusable on my A clarinet, which is the instrument I was wanting it for. But when I was trying out the G clarinet with my BD5 mouthpiece, I grabbed the European cut reed by mistake. It happens that the combination of that reed and my mouthpiece plays very freely on the G clarinet. My BD5 mouthpiece is not optimal for the European cut reed, which is just a hair over 1mm wider at the tip than the regular American style Signature reeds. The European cut reed really fills out the whole width of the flat part of the beak of my mouthpiece. But maybe that extra width is helpful when playing such a low clarinet. I will be trying a 3.0 strength American style Signature reed soon, and maybe I will like that better than the 3 1/4 of either style.

One thing that will definitely take getting used to is transposing music written in C up a fourth. But I will learn.

I was surprised that the throat tones are so robust on the G clarinet. The G is great, the A and Bb don't really need resonance fingerings. They are great as they are (once the tone holes were tweaked a bit. They needed minor undercutting. The normal resonance fingerings DON'T work. I rather like LH 2 and 3 for the Bb, and 1, 2, and 3 on the right hand down for the A. The upper register notes from A to high C are way sharp. While the high D above that C is unacceptably flat. The high D can be played with no fingers and no thumb, and then it can be lipped down to be in tune with some practice. But that's about as high as I intend to go with this G clarinet. I removed the cork that regulates the bridge key so that depressing the right hand rings does not completely close the left hand rings. In this way, I can add a finger or two on the right hand in order to lower the too sharp high C.

My LH extra Ab/Eb key worked great out of the box. It wasn't binding. But I think that the connection to the right hand key may be too loose, allowing it to slip out of place. So I might take it off, as Windy has done.

The pads on the G clarinet are good quality. They are bladder pads. But they are not making as tight of a seal as I like, so I will be repadding the whole horn eventually with Valentino greenback pads.

So all in all: I will enjoy playing this clarinet in our church services. A lot of time people like it when I can sound like a cello, and the extra lower register notes plus the gutsy dark sound of this instrument are very cool for that purpose. Also our music team here seems to always play in F, C, D, and G. The G clarinet is perfect for those keys (if I can just get used to the transposition). So I can recommend this as a great purchase for anyone willing to spend the time tweaking it.


Offline Airflyte

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Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2019, 06:43:25 PM »
Ugh, you guys have me this close [------] (very close) to getting one of these.

Do not need, do not need, do not need . . . .
"The Clarinet - in a class of its own"

Visit Phil Pedler's Clarinet Pages NEW website!
https://sites.google.com/clarinetpages.net/clarinetpages

Offline jordan.1210

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Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2019, 02:28:40 AM »
I definitely want one, I just don't know if I can make the modifications myself (or if I trust myself). Instrument repair has always been an interest but I don't know if this is how I want to start
I spend way too much time looking at instruments I probably shouldn't be buying.

Offline windydankoff

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Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2019, 01:52:20 PM »
This is much more than a repair project, because there are design and construction flaws to be navigated. It will probably pay to wait. The same maker improved their C clarinets a lot over a 2 year period. This one is starting out worse.

Tuning holes often involves removing interlinked keywork ... sometimes 2 or 3 times. And, adjacent holes effect each other, AND they may differ between registers.

And those R4 bottom keys! I would be unable to play mine with any satisfaction if I hadn't altered the 4 keys with grinding and epoxy-rebuilding. Unless you are quite tall and have very long fingers (glove-size XL), you will need this work done as well.  I also "moved the hole" for R3 finger upward and outward (within the tonehole insert).

For those who really want one, I suggest to wait for production to evolve. Whoever reads this and buys one – PLEASE report your findings so we can watch the progress.

I have fine-tuned 7 of the C clarinets from the same maker. I sell them for $600. I would do a similar offering for this G but with the work currently involved, I would need a lot more.

Again, refer to Jared De Leon's youtube videos. After seeing my project log, he told me he did a similar over-all tuning job. That means he did a lot more work than he shows in his video.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2019, 09:02:57 AM by windydankoff »
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Offline windydankoff

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Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2019, 02:37:06 PM »
It's time to report my overall satisfaction with my "G Wiz".

The performance fell into place after I fixed a pinhole pad leak in the UJ (located with my cut-off stethoscope). My last ergonomic tweak was to offset the R3 hole upward and toward the hand. My R3 finger now lands comfortably and consistently. I moved the hole well within the bounds of the plastic tonehole insert, by filling and side-cutting, retaining good tuning in 2 registers. I also contoured the rings and risers of both R3 and L3. Now I can play as nimbly as I can on my Bb.

I use a neck strap. I don't need it just to pick it up and blow a note, but eventually I feel the strain around the base of my thumb.

Phil wrote, above:  "I was surprised that the throat tones are so robust on the G clarinet. The G is great, the A and Bb don't really need resonance fingerings."

There is a reason for this. Compared to a Bb, the toneholes are all shifted downward, out of the upper throat, where there is better acoustical behavior. The transition over the break is surprisingly uniform in tone and response. Same with altissimo! I was surprised that the standard fingerings take me to G6 with ease, and better uniformity than a Bb.

Since I fixed that tiny leak, it's been responding well to several classical MPs. I get the best control and expression by using the same MP as I use on my Bb, or one that's nearly identical. I'm favoring barrels with bore enlarged to 15.1mm, but it doesn't seem critical.

The G has its own beautiful tone, less edgy or more mellow than a Bb. The tone and feel is surprisingly consistent from bottom to top! I'm happy with the whole range of intonation, too. I quickly adjusted to reading C music in the low register. Going up, I'm going by ear, but that works for me. I play flute duets with my wife. On some songs I now play my accompanying part on the G Wiz, an octave lower. It's a revelation.

I feel that both the C and the G Wiz are great discoveries for players who are not locked into conventions ... BUT these horns must be fine-tuned mechanically and acousticallly, with great patience and skill.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2019, 08:28:13 AM by windydankoff »
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Offline windydankoff

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Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2019, 05:01:05 PM »
AN ANGLED BARREL SOLVES SEVERAL PROBLEMS for the G clarinet player

I no longer recommend modifying keys to fit the hands! This is a much simpler solution to that, and more.

The G clarinet is 33% longer than a Bb (80 vs. 60cm overall). The hand reach of the right hand becomes difficult if you are not a tall person. My height is 5’8”. I had trouble reaching the bottom keys and my finger R3 didn’t land consistently on the bottom ring key. My L3 finger didn’t reach so well either. I could play it, but not comfortably. An angled barrel or curved neck is the centuries-old solution to these problems. With the optimum rotation, it curves the horn downward AND to the right.

An angled barrel has four advantages over a straight barrel

1. It raises the mouthpiece angle optimally for the lower pitch instrument.
2. It drops the horn downward and to the right, so the shoulders can relax.
3. By correcting the posture, it raises the height of the horn, so the fingers have a closer reach.
4. If a neck strap is used, it allows the strap to take the full weight.

Better mouthpiece angle

A more outward position of the mouthpiece reduces pressure on the reed, allowing a longer portion to vibrate. This improves the tone of the larger horn. Consider the larger clarinets and saxophones, where the mouthpiece points increasingly outward with each increase in horn size. A 15° bend seems optimum, being less than the alto clarinet.

Better arm and finger reach

The angled barrel causes the player to raise the head to a forward-looking position. This raises the entire horn about 1” (2cm).  The right arm ends up in the same position as when playing a Bb clarinet. Body posture is ideal. Finger reach problems are solved for both hands. After some time, one may forget that this is a larger horn.

Barrel bore, enlarged

My angled barrels have an enlarged bore, which enriches and stabilizes the throat tones, especially the thumb-Bb. It improves the consistency of timbre going over the break. And, it makes the horn blow more freely. I discovered this by experimenting with straight barrels. The large bore has a flattening effect, so the barrel is slightly shorter to compensate. It seems to improve the entire horn, and has no negative effects.

Blowing characteristics

The angled barrel with enlarged bore makes a freer blowing horn that fits the body. It sounds wonderful with the right mouthpiece and a reed. It makes this instrument practical for the serious musician.

Regarding the mouthpiece and reed

Players of G clarinets (and basset horns of similar length) generally prefer greater tip opening than for a Bb, to allow more reed to vibrate. This calls for a reed about 1 grade softer than normal. I use an old Conn mouthpiece that was made for large-bore clarinets. Our buddy Phil Pedler uses a Vandoren BD5. After adding my angled barrel, Phil wrote to me:

" I played it this weekend, and my wife liked it. I liked how it played, and I'm getting used to that horn. So, thanks for the barrel. I will miss that horn while in Indonesia for 18 days. On the question of [fingers] R3-4, probably yes, less strain. The barrel is a little freer playing than the original. Intonation about the same, but not sure. The angle is fine. I plan on using it from here on out! "   THANKS Phil!

The neck strap option

The G clarinet weights about 33% more than a Bb. This puts strain on the right arm, hand and thumb. A neck strap is a good optional. I need it to prevent hand pain. A strap doesn’t work well with a straight barrel holding the horn outward (typically 30°). It won’t hold much weight unless you look downward. It constrains the position of the mouthpiece in the mouth. With an angled barrel, the horn falls downward, the strap holds the weight, and the player can swing the mouthpiece in and out. A cheap sax strap works fine. I prefer a simple open hook rather than a snap hook. The angled barrel offers the same advantages, whether or not a strap is used.

I can now supply angled barrels for the G clarinet!
« Last Edit: June 30, 2019, 09:56:10 PM by windydankoff »
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Offline windydankoff

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Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2019, 09:41:42 PM »
Here's pics of the 15° angled barrel with my G clarinet. You can see the black extension work on the bottom R4 (pinkie) keys. But you can see from the curl of my finger that I now have plenty of reach, and no longer need the modifications.

I just listed one on eBay at https://www.ebay.com/itm/113812536468?ul_noapp=true
« Last Edit: July 09, 2019, 10:22:57 AM by windydankoff »
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Offline philpedler

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Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2019, 09:32:25 AM »
Having the original barrel glued on at the very edge wasn't sturdy. One doesn't need fancy materials to make a clarinet bell. I can't tell the difference in how this sounds, but it appears to be better in tune.