Author Topic: identification and advice on clarinet  (Read 96 times)

Offline daytripper

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Newbie!
    • View Profile
identification and advice on clarinet
« on: March 15, 2020, 08:33:04 AM »
Hello,

About a year ago I got hold of an elkhart plastic/composite boehm clarinet and instantly became hooked. I try to play other instruments to varying levels and play mostly keys and vocals in a gypsy/ska/folk/polka band. After trawling Google (which over the years seems to be less helpful) and finding this and a few other forums I've thought I'd to post here for help. I also posted on woodwind.org but no replies yet.

I got hold of another clarinet (the one in question) for £15. I think I have identified:
-> Bb
-> Couesnon & Cie
-> ebonite
->Albert / simple system
-> wooden mouthpiece (which I love and will keep/use with my boehm - you have to put a lot in your mouth but I seem to take to it much easier than the plastic one i got with the elkhart)
-> I researched the difference between simple/boehm (so am partially aware why/ how etc)
-> I researched the maker a bit, learned about the fire etc.

There are a few small issues:
-> the corked joint from the right-hand/lower section that goes into the bell is slightly broken - a wedding ring shaped piece has broken. It still connects snugly and no air escapes
-> the corked joint from the left-hand/upper section that goes into the barrel has fully removed. (so the barrel and left-hand section both have female connections and i've a smaller 'tube' with the cork glued to it).
-> I washed the instrument with warm mild soapy water and it's gone from black to a slight green/brown. I buffed the metalwork with a polishing cloth but there are still lots of black marks and pits on the keys.
-> the barrel has to be pulled out a significant amount (like 1/1.5 cm-ish) to be in tune.
-> the middle joint has become loose since playing. I've kept it out and assembled on a mantle in a stable normal temp room, out direct sunlight.

Regarding the Clarinet - I'd like to know:
-> any more information anyone can give
-> is the above information I have found correct?
-> what metal is the metal work made of?
-> how would I clean said metalwork and ebonite? regarding the ebonite I would like to restore the black.
-> advice on the broken ring and removed 'tube' - can i carefully glue these back together?

regarding the system:
-> The simple system seems to have just clicked with my brain. I can intuitively play it better. Fewer buttons seems to be easier for me. I didn't gel with the Boehm system initially, for contrast. And to be fair, even now. I've just been rattling on (and enjoying) the albert system. Since the middle joint became loose i've been using the wood mouthpiece on the boehm and it's fun but just doesn't feel the same as the albert. Any thoughts?

Apologies for the punctuation, poor explanations and many subjects.

Thanks in advance for any advice and help,

Gavin

i can't seem to attach photo's on here as they are too big - any thoughts?

they are linked at the post here:

http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=482124&t=482124

Offline DaveLeBlanc

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2970
  • Clarinet-ing since 2012
    • View Profile
    • Watson Musical
Re: identification and advice on clarinet
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2020, 04:50:20 PM »
Hi there,

Thanks for your post!

I want to make a point of contention here: I do not agree with the usage of "Simple System" to refer to pure Albert System clarinets.
Generally, Albert System is a bit newer than Simple System; Alberts have rollers on the lower keys. Simple does not.

SO - your clarinet is what I would refer to as a Simple System. This means that the date would be around 1880-1900. Alberts are more of the 1900-1920 range.

Usually There are definitely overlaps and it's not a hard-and-fast dating system, but you can generally assume a clarinet with rollers is newer than a clarinet without.

Anyhow, I would date this clarinet to around 1885 or so. Too bad about the broken tenon. As long as the bell stays on, it doesn't really matter.

There are ways to fix that break, but it's hard to do yourself, or expensive to do at a shop.

Maybe it's just because I learned to play on a Boehm; but I just don't understand the Albert/simple keys. I feel that only two lower pinky keys and only two upper pinky keys is just not enough. I like the flexibility of having multiple fingering options and it feels nicer to have more junk in the trunk.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages

Offline Dibbs

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 93
    • View Profile
Re: identification and advice on clarinet
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2020, 03:56:28 AM »
Maybe it's just because I learned to play on a Boehm; but I just don't understand the Albert/simple keys. I feel that only two lower pinky keys and only two upper pinky keys is just not enough. I like the flexibility of having multiple fingering options and it feels nicer to have more junk in the trunk.

Jack Brymer said something like, where the German clarinet player needs nimble fingers the Boehm player needs a nimble brain.

You really need the patent C#.  It's hard without that.

Offline daytripper

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Newbie!
    • View Profile
Re: identification and advice on clarinet
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2020, 08:50:29 AM »
thanks Dave/Dibbs

I've glued the tenon that has come loose back in and re-corked all the joints. The cork was too thick and i had to shave it down - i think i've created a 'bowed' shape to it as the middle joint now wiggles!

The whole thing plays really sharp as well - any ideas?

It's not a HP

Gav


Offline windydankoff

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 280
  • Put a BLACK ē HOLE in YOUR galaxy!
    • View Profile
    • My solar website ... Find MUSIC tab on top
Re: identification and advice on clarinet
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2020, 12:52:35 PM »
Playing sharp -- wrong barrel? Would be especially true if open notes (top of the horn) are more sharp than closed notes.

The keywork looks like typical German silver, the classic metal for keys. We have some topics in this group that address cleaning. Enter into the search box:  "electric toothbrush" ! You would need to remove the keys, and expect some risk of damaging pads. Best done before padding.

However, I have used buffing wheel on a dremel to do a partial polishing and it helps. White buffing compound seems to work best.

To restore the greenish ebonite, we also have a topic on that! There is no easy solution. It requires adding a dye. Some of us have used Fiebing's leather dye, and others use (probably the ultimate) Pen Potion. You can search those terms too, and find our message threads. I did one with Pen Potion. I had to use my lathe on a slow speed to get even coverage, because it has some body to it. It's hard and durable. I'd like to hear how others have done with the leather dye.
Windy  ~  BLACK ē HOLE Clarinets
C CLARINETS & Pruefer Silver Throat
Refined to concert standards
Thanks to The Clarinet Pages

Offline daytripper

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Newbie!
    • View Profile
Re: identification and advice on clarinet
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2020, 02:56:41 PM »
I donít think Iím confident enough to remove the keys or re-pad yet so Iíll give it a go with the Dremel when the polishing tips come. I didnít know that about the keys, thanks! Iím not sure we can get that ink (which Iíve read about elsewhere) shipped to the uk, so going to deploy the dremel here as well.

Iím fairly confident the barrel is the original, or at least from one that would be made same way/same material as it just looks right and was really snug, before I re-corked it. I have got hold of a longer and shorter barrel (cheap feeling plastic ones) one shorter, one longer, so will see if the longer one makes it flatter. When you say open notes / top of the horn do you mean playing with all holes open / fingers off? Im sure they are indeed sharper that the higher notes (Bb and higher)

I have However been enjoying the boehm more though with the wooden mouthpiece.


Offline windydankoff

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 280
  • Put a BLACK ē HOLE in YOUR galaxy!
    • View Profile
    • My solar website ... Find MUSIC tab on top
Re: identification and advice on clarinet
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2020, 01:41:11 PM »
Yes, "open notes" also called "short tube notes" are the high notes within the first two registers. It's logical: Changing the barrel length (or pulling it out) has a greater proportional change to the length of the short tube than it does on the long tube.

Of course a longer tube will make it sound flatter. You can test by pulling out your barrel. If it's a bit loose, you can wrap electrical tape around the joint, just for a test. Then measure to see what barrel will be the equivalent of that.

The right barrel will have you stay in tune as you make quick jumps up and down the horn. Generally the 2nd register (clarion) is more to be trusted for this test.
Windy  ~  BLACK ē HOLE Clarinets
C CLARINETS & Pruefer Silver Throat
Refined to concert standards
Thanks to The Clarinet Pages