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Clarinet Roadshow => All about Clarinets => Topic started by: DaveLeBlanc on June 10, 2016, 06:22:45 PM

Title: Horst Moennig Low C bass
Post by: DaveLeBlanc on June 10, 2016, 06:22:45 PM
My new pride and joy. This will replace my M Lacroix bass as my concert piece.

This is unique due to the extra long bell. I haven't seen a bell this disproportionately large since the Selmer rosewood contra alto.

Plays amazing right out of the box. Somebody obviously took very good care of it. The metal had an interesting yellowish gold tint to it.

At a little over a grand, it was a decent deal for a low C bass.

First picture is a size comparison with the M Lacroix to show the insane bell length.
Title: Re: Horst Moennig Low C bass
Post by: DaveLeBlanc on June 10, 2016, 06:23:44 PM
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Title: Re: Horst Moennig Low C bass
Post by: Silversorcerer on June 11, 2016, 05:15:03 PM
That is gorgeous. The metal color shows very well in the photos too. The long bell and all of the design features make it very distinctive. I am glad it sounds as good as it looks.
Title: Re: Horst Moennig Low C bass
Post by: andybeals on June 11, 2016, 07:56:56 PM
Only two keys under your right thumb?  That would make for D and C#.  Where's C?
Title: Re: Horst Moennig Low C bass
Post by: DaveLeBlanc on June 11, 2016, 08:19:25 PM
Only two keys under your right thumb?  That would make for D and C#.  Where's C?
You know, that's a good point.  I haven't played with it enough yet, but I think that the fourth left hand pinky key has something to do with it.  Appears that that fourth pinky key = D, the bottom of the back keys = C#, and the top of the back keys = C.
Title: Re: Horst Moennig Low C bass
Post by: BLMonopole on June 17, 2016, 03:19:46 AM
What a cool horn!  Congratulations!
Title: Re: Horst Moennig Low C bass
Post by: DaveLeBlanc on June 23, 2016, 08:25:55 PM
Look at me, I made the logo pretty!  The rest of it... Not so much yet...
Title: Re: Horst Moennig Low C bass
Post by: KenJarczyk on June 24, 2016, 05:18:43 AM
A good start!

When completed, I'm expecting a good "road test" review!
Title: Re: Horst Moennig Low C bass
Post by: windydankoff on April 20, 2021, 03:31:02 PM
So Dave ... been a few years on this one. I found one for sale, not far from me, and want to check it out. But first, your general review? Clarinet Board has reported bad intonation on the Horst bass. What did you find?
Title: Re: Horst Moennig Low C bass
Post by: DaveLeBlanc on April 20, 2021, 06:04:34 PM
So Dave ... been a few years on this one. I found one for sale, not far from me, and want to check it out. But first, your general review? Clarinet Board has reported bad intonation on the Horst bass. What did you find?
Boy, Windy, it's certainly been a while! I haven't touched this guy in several years now. When it came down to it, I never really played this as much as I had hoped, as the band had no need for another bass and put me on Contra alto instead.

I'll dig this guy out of the trenches and see how it works, and post an actual review, hopefully sometime soon!
Title: Re: Horst Moennig Low C bass
Post by: windydankoff on April 20, 2021, 07:16:13 PM
Were you generally pleased with it? Any innate weaknesses?
Title: Re: Horst Moennig Low C bass
Post by: windydankoff on April 20, 2021, 08:05:08 PM
PS. The one I found goes "only" to low Eb.

I may go see it next week, so any encouraging or discouraging word will help me make a choice. The seller says it "needs adjustment" – that means I may not be able to give it a full test.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Horst Moennig Low C bass
Post by: DaveLeBlanc on April 21, 2021, 08:03:10 PM
I was very pleased with the projection - the extended bell and what I think I remember to be a big bore could really knock your socks off! It was awesome.

The main weakness was the extended keys, they felt really flimsy and awkward to use; the fingerings were not very intuitive.
But then again, not like those keys come into play often enough to matter.

Mine still needs adjustment (I never DID get around to messing with it). The altissimo was a tough register, but not sure if thats innate or due to lack of adjustment.

The throat tones were pretty decent; I feel like that mega bell had something to do with it.

I'll be able to get the thing out of storage on Friday, I'll slap a reed on it and, assuming I have any sort of embouchure left in my soul, toot around and report back.
Title: Re: Horst Moennig Low C bass
Post by: windydankoff on April 21, 2021, 08:39:33 PM
Thanks, Dave! When you check it out, please tell me what kind of mouthpiece you are using, and how resistant the blowing is. I can't handle much resistance, and I have been told that BCs in general are very resistant.
Title: Re: Horst Moennig Low C bass
Post by: DaveLeBlanc on May 01, 2021, 10:05:15 AM
whoa, totally dropped the ball here.

In my tests:
1. Responsiveness. With the exception of a few maladjusted keys, the instrument was very free-blowing and required less effort than expected of a large clarinet with a giant bell.

2. Tone. It has a very smooth, pleasing sound all around. The projection is heavily increased by the huge bell, which I found also "rounds out" the sound and gives it a bit more mellow and less growl-y sound.

3. Intonation. This is a very old, 100 year old clarinet and such has the expected intonation issues. Again, the huge bell makes a difference, and can affect the notes when most holes are closed. This will take some practice to find which adjustments need to be make on which notes, but it's not an insurmountable barrier.

4. Strength. Wood is nice and tight-grained, but keys are rather soft and spindly. I suspect they would be easy to bend, especially the 3-foot long extension keys.

5. Overall. One of the most pleasant basses I've ever played. Intonation issues can be fixed with practice, and that smooth sound is to die for. 9/10 for solo playing, 7/10 for modern group playing.
Title: Horst Moennig Low D bass
Post by: windydankoff on May 01, 2021, 02:49:13 PM
Here's a pic of my Horst!  I'm calling it a Low D bass because that's what it does when you stuff a cork in his belly-button.

I got it playing basically, but it needs tone-hole repair to stop some leaks. It already sounds gorgeous in the chalumeau, in spite of weaknesses. Intonation checks out good, though I can barely play anything in the clarion yet.

It has been used a LOT. It shows many signs of amateur repairs (besides mine!). Tone holes are the biggest problem. Some are slightly chipped or worn, and some have been flattened off probably too much. I need a more up-turned neck. My ear tells me it's worth the continuing investment.

The keywork is unplated German silver, and VERY rigid. It is hand-engraved "LA City Schools" next to the Horst Moennig emblem on the bell. It doesn't say Baxter-Northrup like yours, Dave. Logo on the wood is same as yours.

I'd like to know more of its history!

Have a look:
Title: Re: Horst Moennig Low C bass
Post by: DaveLeBlanc on May 02, 2021, 09:16:41 PM
What a lovely instrument! Do you know what that belly button does? I have a bass clarinet somewhere with that thing and I'll be darned if I can tell what it's usage is.

Interesting how yours has unplated German silver keys. Mine appears to have some sort of yellowish, vaguely gold looking plating on it. I feel like German silver is really the way to go. Kudos on the pickup!