Author Topic: Clarinetist with Conn 448N question  (Read 49 times)

Offline dulcettones

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Clarinetist with Conn 448N question
« on: October 16, 2020, 07:10:51 AM »
This is my first post, so apologies if I'm breaking protocol by posting in the wrong place...I wasn't sure if I'm supposed to introduce myself or not?
So I've been playing clarinet on and off for years, but recently returned to more consistent practice now the kids are a little older.
The clarinet I have played longest is a vintage Conn 448N, which I love—I've also just purchased a vintage Buffet R13 which plays beautifully too—although I have discovered a hairline crack in the upper section of the instrument, where it joins the lower section. This was disappointing given the price of the instrument. I'm taking it to the repair shop today to make sure it's not going to cause me problems going forward.
I also play a vintage Conn 10m saxophone.
But I have a question re. my Conn 448N—the instrument has always played a little sharp. I'm told this is because it doesn't have its original barrel. Does anyone know where I might find the right barrel? (other than eBay of course)
Thanks, Mark

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Clarinetist with Conn 448N question
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2020, 08:46:35 AM »
Good luck finding an original barrel without some very good luck.

Yo can always get a custom made barrel from Backun or Martin Freres, but the cost is pretty high
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages

Offline windydankoff

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Re: Clarinetist with Conn 448N question
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2020, 08:56:40 AM »
It would be useful to know the dimensions of an original 448N barrel (that model, not just any Conn). Perhaps a dear reader has this instrument with original barrel and could take measurements? Obviously length is vital, but the bore diameter is critical to peak performance and it also influences the tuning. So, you would need both numbers to score a replacement to match the original dimensions and performance.

If anyone here has an original barrel, you can measure the bore if you would be so kind. It requires inside calipers or a telescoping (snap) gauge, which is then read by a micrometer. Automotive and machine shops have these tools. Read both ends of the bore to see if there is a taper.

Another approach, until an original comes your way, is to go to an instrument repair or clarinet hoarder, and try a bunch of barrels to see what plays best. Or contact some major well-known barrel and mouthpiece makers. They may have something, or have the data.

I have a bunch of barrels myself, that can be matched up or adjusted. I have an idea what may be best. Feel free to send me a message to inquire. You may also inquire of Jared De Leone, one of our group members.

The dimensions are critical. The material is far less important. Even a plastic barrel that performs optimally by virtue of its dimensions, will get you by very well until such time as you may find an original.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 07:46:48 AM by windydankoff »
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Offline windydankoff

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Re: Clarinetist with Conn 448N question
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2020, 10:03:19 AM »
Dulcet – You aren't the only one ... Look at this post from early this year:
https://clarinetpages.info/smf/index.php/topic,1811.msg12983.html#msg12983

You may want to contact that fellow and see if he learned anything that can be of help.  // Windy
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http://www.windydankoff.com/black-hole-clarinets.html

Offline dulcettones

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Re: Clarinetist with Conn 448N question
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2020, 08:21:28 AM »
This is really useful. Thanks guys.
Fortunately, I can still play the instrument and have been for years—it just plays a little sharp.
But that's a great idea; to reach out to the guy in that link you've provided, to see if he can measure the barrel for me.
I'll let you know what he says.

Offline dulcettones

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Re: Clarinetist with Conn 448N question
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2020, 08:32:13 AM »
This is the exact clarinet I play! And I have reached out to him... but this thread is real old, so a bit of a long shot!
https://clarinetpages.info/smf/index.php/topic,913.0.html