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Clarinet Roadshow => All about Clarinets => Topic started by: windydankoff on March 17, 2019, 07:26:47 AM

Title: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: windydankoff on March 17, 2019, 07:26:47 AM
I just got a G clarinet with Boehm system keywork. It’s on eBay, described as "French clarinet G Key Hard rubber”.  (They use the term French to distinguish it from the German system keywork that is normal on G clarinets.) I think it just came out in recent weeks. It appears to be from the same Chinese maker as the C clarinets that I have been fine-tuning. This maker has been selling German (Albert) system G clarinets for some time, so-called Turkish clarinets. They DO have the acoustics worked out. 

Why a G?  As an improvisor and by-ear player (as well as reader), G is a practical key because the low register is in C. It is a wonderful complement to my C clarinet that I play on an equal basis with my Bb.

Mine arrived in just a week, and it played right out of the box. BUT BE WARNED – It's not a mature product. The bell on mine WAY too short.  I pulled the bell out until it nearly fell off, then secured it with electrical tape (for now). Now, it's in tune basically and the 12ths are very good. Thumb Bb was fairly bad. I was able to improve it, much to my relief, but it took a day of experimenting.

It has serious keywork and ergonomic issues, and about 8 holes to retune. It's been a major hacking project, but I got it working with a few days of serious shop work. Simply said, they are dumping their prototypes on eBay. I expect it will be improved over the next couple years, (as the C clarinets did). Being an avid instrument hacker, I took a chance on this one, and I've succeeded in making it play wonderfully.

This G horn is not like an alto clarinet. It sounds closer to a Bb or A. The bore is similar. It takes a standard Bb mouthpiece. I had trouble at first with my favorite Bb mouthpiece. It felt resistant and had trouble with the notes that are typically weak on most clarinets. I switched to my previous favorite MP, a Noblet or Vito FRANCE 2V vintage MP. It improved everything. It's worth trying various ones.

Ergonomic issues are not bad if you are over 6 feet tall with fingers to match. I am 5'8" tall, size-L hands. I reshaped the bottom R-hand keys to move them downward. I did lots of metal trimming and epoxy work to reshape and extend them. I also formed my own thumb rest because it's a heavier horn, lower down. The action of bottom keys needed a lot of refining, but it came out fine good.

I'm very happy now with this new instrument. It has three unusual mechanical features that you can see in the eBay listings. Somebody put serious effort into this design. I think it's on its way to becoming a good product. Meanwhile, I'm the first on my block to play one!

REF:  A German production version of a Boehm G clarinet is shown here:
https://www.thomannmusic.com/martin_foag_g_clarinet_model_85_isa_pini.htm
It's a lot different. Some Italian ones have been offered, but they aren't shown on the web sites.
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: Dibbs on March 18, 2019, 04:59:10 AM
Thanks for the review Windy. 

I've been sort of tempted by those recently.  After your review I don't think I'll bother. 

Here's another non-chinese Boehm G from Ripamonti in Italy.

https://www.ripamusic.com/en/prodotto/315-ebony-g-clarinet-by-l-a-ripamonti/



Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: Airflyte on March 18, 2019, 03:25:55 PM
Yes, thanks Windy. I still like these for the price.
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: windydankoff on April 04, 2019, 01:34:19 PM
Some photos here!  I did a huge amount of work on this. A month-long obsession. The R4 keys (Right pinkie) were hard to reach because of the stretched hand position. I modified and extended them using epoxy putty. The bell I lengthened by 20mm! You can see in the first picture where the joint shows about 1/4 way down from the top ring. The joint is where I spliced a section of another bell to this one, after cutting both off on the lathe.

Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: DaveLeBlanc on April 04, 2019, 03:23:01 PM
Looks great!

Question - what's the third post on the lower joint for? There doesn't seem to be a key in it.
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: jordan.1210 on April 04, 2019, 04:39:22 PM
If you look at the listings on ebay, I think the third post was for a LH pinky Eb key.
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: windydankoff on April 04, 2019, 04:48:54 PM
Correct. I removed it because it was adding friction (needed work) AND I would rather not get accustomed to it because I would reach for it on my other horns that don't have it. I have more to say about unusual keywork in the upper joint ...
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: windydankoff on April 04, 2019, 08:49:31 PM
Notes on mechanism:
The upper joint has a 3rd ring, to actuate Eb/Bb, so-called forked fingering. This is a feature normally found on "Reform Boehm" clarinets.

The little extra pad attached to 3rd ring allows the ring to be placed higher, so there is no stretch-challenge on the L hand.

The double RH F/C key pad cups are to vent (or effectively 'unfork') the G/D, so when playing that note, there isn’t a closed tone hole immediately below the active one. This is an unusual feature on a Boehm clarinet. But, it is inherent on German system clarinets. Illustrated here in this German G clarinet:
http://www.dietz-klarinetten.de/low_g_boehm_eng.html

I think it’s needed because the bore is small and nearly straight in that area, like the German system instruments, and seems to need more venting. To confirm, if I close the extra hole,  the G/D goes half-dead.

These two extra features are well designed and constructed, and work very nicely except the extra spring action is a bit excessive. I loosened springs all over this horn, to make it feel normal.

The left-hand low-Ab/Eb (extra) key is the only part of the keywork that was not well implemented. It was adding friction even to the normal right-hand key. Rather than refine it, I removed it. I don’t want to get accustomed to it and then find it missing on my other clarinets.

Total length with MP originally 78cm.  80cm after I extended the bell.

I use a neck strap because my right thumb was starting to get sore at the first joint, from the weight. I made a deluxe thumb rest, from epoxy putty.

Pads are double-skin, with the two skins bonded together. They seem to be good tough pads. I replaced one leaky one, and found it labeled on the backside:  Lucien Deluxe - same brand as the leather pads on the Chinese C clarinets (they have been flawless).

I was wondering what European importer or designer has made this product possible. I don't know, but I searched and found the same horn sold in Bulgaria. This fellow shows a branded stencil of the Chinese G clarinets in both wood and hard rubber:
http://folkmusic123.com/clarinets-1.html     scroll to bottom

or another source in Bulgaria:
http://gemamusic.net/product/2814/sol-g-klarinet-clemens-schnider-wood.html

The "Clemens-Schnider Germany“ stencil seems to be fictitious – they spelled the name wrong! Google finds no such company, even when Schneider is spelled correctly! So I still have no clue who designed it.

Youtube has music on G clarinets, mostly WILD ethnic stuff!

But first, watch how this wizard Jared De Leon converted the German (Albert) version of this G to a semi-Boehm. Brilliant! and he demonstrates the sound very well, in a classical context. Thank you Jared!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvavGoOsTmg

I’ll note here that it helps to try a variety of mouthpieces. My vintage Vito or Noblet FRANCE 2V MPs work very nicely. Some other MPs I tried have lots of resistance, or other mismatch issues.

I opened the bore slightly in the top half of the barrel. This made the tone beautiful, and improved throat tuning. I enlarged the hole in the register key stem and … more about that later. I shortened the barrel top a bit to eliminate an air gap – all to get a good thumb-Bb.

Even unfinished, I performed several songs in Sabbath service last Friday night, and got several compliments! The contrast with the C clarinet is dramatic and wonderful.
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: jordan.1210 on April 05, 2019, 11:30:50 AM
As a collector of clarinets and other instruments, these Chinese clarinets really interest me because they are affordable, decent quality, and in some harder to find tunings. Thank you for your reviews of this and the others. Thanks to you I got one of the C clarinets and I really do enjoy playing it.

When I found this searching ebay it immediately sparked my interest because it's a G Boehm (prefer Boehm over Albert/Oehler since I know it better), it has some of the features found on my full Boehm (forked Eb/Bb and LH Ab/Eb) that I really enjoy, and it has the double F/C mechanism. I'll probably hold off for a while to see if they iron out some of the issues that you mentioned.
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: DaveLeBlanc on April 05, 2019, 01:49:22 PM
As a collector of clarinets and other instruments, these Chinese clarinets really interest me because they are affordable, decent quality, and in some harder to find tunings. Thank you for your reviews of this and the others. Thanks to you I got one of the C clarinets and I really do enjoy playing it.


Perhaps it's time to rethink the CSO (clarinet-shaped-object) reputation of Chinese makers. It's proven that Chinese-made clarinets CAN be good. The factories absolutely have the capability to produce very decent instruments.

Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: jordan.1210 on April 06, 2019, 02:10:47 AM
I’m starting to agree. While I’m probably not going to be one of the firsts to try these Chinese instruments, I have no issues with getting them if they have good reviews. As of right now, I have a Chinese C clarinet, soprano sax and bari sax and I love playing all of them. They are more than enough for my playing.

Also looking at the keywork on this G clarinet, it looks to me like it uses a system similar to the Reform Boehm that some brands like Wurlitzer have made in the past, minus the rollers typically found on them. Does it look like that to you?
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: windydankoff on April 06, 2019, 10:35:18 AM
Yes. The upper joint has "reform Boehm" keywork.
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: windydankoff on April 15, 2019, 04:59:07 PM
Jared De Leon has posted two more highly informative videos on the Chinese G Boehm. First, to review the instrument BEFORE his improvements:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NA6KhQZ8vnw

Second, to explain some of his tuning and adjusting:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrYU3D-fPjc

Great work – Many thanks, Jared!
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: jordan.1210 on April 15, 2019, 08:37:49 PM
Watched both these videos, glad to see that the major adjustments seem to be pretty easy to do.
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: windydankoff on April 16, 2019, 07:25:41 AM
It was a LOT of work! This is the project log for my G clarinet. Jared said his tuning work was similar.
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: windydankoff 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.
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: philpedler on April 30, 2019, 06:43:31 PM
Can't wait for mine to come in two days!
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: philpedler 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.

Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: Airflyte 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 . . . .
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: jordan.1210 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
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: windydankoff 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.
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: windydankoff 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. I put a section of elastic into the strap so I don't have to fuss with adjustment. It takes about half the weight of the horn, feels transparent. It's a doubled piece of common 3/4" elastic about 3" long.

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.
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: windydankoff 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!
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: windydankoff 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
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: philpedler 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.
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: Airflyte on November 26, 2019, 04:42:58 PM
That's it, I might go for one these "French G's". I don't need anymore clarinets - but the tone just says everything to me. Like a good C Mel sax I guess.
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: windydankoff on November 26, 2019, 08:02:11 PM
Jared DeLeon told me that the grenadilla version he got  few months ago was much better in tune than the ebonite (hard rubber) version he first received, in late 2018. Also, better made. Mine I got in early 2019, and was about the same as his, needing a LOT of re-tuning.

I prefer to avoid wood because I live in a desert/mountain climate of rapid changes in temp and humidity. Prefer HR. And, it's much cheaper than the wood version of the G. Hopefully, the HR ones are getting better and you may luck out. I'm expect that's the trend, as the same-make HR C clarinets improved a lot over a 2-year period. If you order one ... don't forget to write!
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: jdbassplayer on November 29, 2019, 05:19:55 PM
Hope it's still okay to post eBay listings here:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/G-Clarinet-Sol-Boehm-FRENCH-system-Cocobolo-wood-Gold-keys-G-Sol-NEW/163964803388?_trkparms=aid%3D1110001%26algo%3DSPLICE.SIM%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131231084308%26meid%3D50b72b8ecba44b57a1f943e776e7c0fc%26pid%3D100010%26rk%3D4%26rkt%3D12%26sd%3D162778171830%26itm%3D163964803388%26pmt%3D1%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2047675&_trksid=p2047675.c100010.m2109

I just noticed that Hakam Din, the Pakistani manufacturer of clarinets of.... questionable quality, is now also offering a wooden Boehm system G clarinets. One thing interesting to note is that the keys are clearly the same as the Chinese version minus a vent on the LH3 ring key, which doesn't do anything to begin with. It seems they are using metal keys sets from China for their instruments, although they appear to either be gold plated or lacquered. The body, however, is the same Indian rosewood used on their other products. It is certainly a pretty instrument, however given my experience with this manufacturer in the past (I have a barrel and bell set for G clarinet that was unusable due to fit and finish issues) I would pass on this instrument.

BTW, the wooden G clarinet Windy mentioned has proven to be a fantastic instrument. It is true that is was much better in tune that the hard rubber version I previously purchased, however I found that there were still quite a few areas that could be improved. After a lot of small adjustments the clarinet is now dead on across all registers with great response and tone. Everyone who I have let try the instrument has been very impressed with it, and it is quickly becoming one of my favorite clarinets to play. Definitely a lot more expensive than the hard rubber version but worth it IMHO.

-Jared
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: Dibbs on December 02, 2019, 03:01:56 AM
Jared,

Which one did you get?  I see 2 different types of wooden one on ebay.

One has a "Backun-ish" barrel and bell.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/French-Clarinet-With-Case-G-Key-Ebony-Suitable-for-Professionals-Band/184031464780

The other is more traditional looking and is considerably more expensive.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/professional-French-G-key-clarinet-wood-body-Silver-plated-key-good-sound/333137805443

Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: philpedler on December 02, 2019, 06:55:56 AM
jdBassplayer,
I hope you answer, because I am thinking I've got to get a better G clarinet.
I love the tone of the hard rubber one I have. It is perfect for the kind of playing I do.
In spite of lots of work, I would not say that mine is spot on for intonation yet.
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: philpedler on December 02, 2019, 06:58:34 AM
I hate it when a seller gives a low price and then puts the shipping at $300!
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: windydankoff on December 02, 2019, 08:04:32 AM
I'm happy to see Jared (jdbassplayer) chime in here! He is a professional craftsman and extremely creative in this field. Jared's video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrYU3D-fPjc shows just some of the work that he did to improve the HR (ebonite) version of this instrument.

He and I agree that it took us both much more fine tuning than that video shows. As I've already noted, I spent a month working on mine, and ultimately I'm very pleased. So Phil – you might want to contact Jared about fine-tuning yours. I'm sure you'll be pleased. I would do it gladly, but I can't take it on this winter.

To answer Dibbs, your two eBay links show the SAME instrument, from different sellers in China. This is the wood version that Jared says needs very little work and is his favorite. He says it's grenadilla, and he knows.

Jared first got the HR version, then Phil and I did as well. It seems like a proto-design, as if the maker went from there to solve the major problems on the wood version. Eventually, logic would have it, they will take those improvements back to the HR version (as the same maker did with the C clarinet). We won't know that until someone buys one and reports back to the group! ... But meanwhile, I am watching the listings. I should be able to spot some changes in any updated photos, like when they lengthen the bell!

Back to Jared's posting of the Hakam Din version. Yes, it is definately the same Chinese keywork. The only good thing we can say for sure is that it is shipped from USA, and has a 30-day return policy. But, that wood does not look like cocobolo. They say they use synthetic pads and they include a spare set! ... Why?? Doesn't smell right to me.

On the other hand, the pads on my Chinese HR G have been excellent and have held adjustment really well. I replaced 3 pads with leather ones where I needed more resiliency to synchronize them. I dissected one of the originals. It has two layers of bladder skin bonded together, then bonded to the felt. In conclusion, to buy one today, consider the Chinese wood version, and a few hours of shop time to fine tune it.

Also, read my listing on eBay: "angled barrel, improvement for G clarinet". It explains a solution for people who aren't tall and long-fingered, who may have trouble reaching the bottom keys.

We put a lot of effort into gathering and sharing this information. If YOU buy one of these instruments, good or bad, PLEASE share your results! // Windy
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: Dibbs on December 02, 2019, 08:36:02 AM
...
To answer Dibbs, your two eBay links show the SAME instrument, from different sellers in China. This is the wood version that Jared says needs very little work and is his favorite. He says it's grenadilla, and he knows.
...

The bodies may be the same but they clearly have different bells and barrels.  The pictures in the first link actually show 2 different bodies.  The last 3 pictures show a metal ring at the top of the lower joint.  The first 3 show a wooden ring.  So who know what you'd get.
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: jdbassplayer on December 02, 2019, 07:38:05 PM
I purchased the one with the "Backun style" ringless bell and barrel. Even with the insane shipping it was still the cheapest option (and the best looking  ;D). I have a feeling the one with metal rings might be more crack resistant in the long run, however when one of my barrels cracked the seller was happy to send me two replacements.

-Jared
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: Dibbs on December 03, 2019, 03:09:30 AM
Thanks Jared
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: philpedler on December 14, 2019, 02:43:26 PM
To make Windy happy, I made a nicer bell than the PVC version. It is made of the original bell plus half of another.
The old PVC bell is pictured, as well as the part I cut off the second bell.

Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: Airflyte on December 17, 2019, 04:32:39 PM
Looks good Phil!
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: Airflyte on December 17, 2019, 04:38:02 PM
I purchased the one with the "Backun style" ringless bell and barrel. Even with the insane shipping it was still the cheapest option (and the best looking  ;D). I have a feeling the one with metal rings might be more crack resistant in the long run, however when one of my barrels cracked the seller was happy to send me two replacements.

-Jared

Jared, I just want to thank you (and Windy) for the time and effort that both of you have put into these instruments. Your YT vids are great and I have subscribed to your channel.
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: windydankoff on September 08, 2022, 09:47:38 AM
Last entry (Phil's) is from 2019. Since then, has anybody purchase one of these so we can have an update on the intonation problems?

The Chinese C clarinets' intonation improved greatly over a period of 3 years. I expect these have been improved. I have a client who wants one so maybe there is some good news out there? Jared (JD) reported that his wooden version was much better than the hard rubber one. So I am hoping the HR has been improved to match the wood ones.
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: jdbassplayer on September 14, 2022, 06:34:50 AM
The most recent one I purchased in 2021 had the same intonation problems as the original, though I will say the key work is maybe a bit better. The pads are unfortunately cheap skin pads on the hard rubber versions now which means a repad will be needed for these instruments to last more than a year.
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: windydankoff on September 14, 2022, 08:26:22 AM
My original pads from 2019 are holding fine. But I don’t practice extensively on it. I estimate about 10 minutes of play per week. What’s your overall experience with the wood version now?
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: jdbassplayer on September 14, 2022, 10:45:37 AM
The wooden one I got from Moresky on Aliexpress was cheap but not very well made as the tone holes were very poorly finished. The one from eBay was a bit better than the hard rubber version but still had intonation problems that needed to be addressed.
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: windydankoff on September 14, 2022, 05:38:27 PM
Did your 2021 HR one have a proper bell length?  Mine needed a major splice to lengthen the bell.
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: jdbassplayer on September 15, 2022, 10:46:31 AM
All I have received including the one from 2021 have had a bell that is too short. I've needed to make longer bells for all of them to get a perfectly in tune clarion B.
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: windydankoff on September 16, 2022, 08:49:24 AM
JD - I have a client who is interested in the Chinese Albert system G. What's been your experience with those?
Title: Re: G Clarinet Boehm (French) system, new from China (!)
Post by: jdbassplayer on September 18, 2022, 03:51:11 PM
The Alberts have similar tuning issues, however they become much better if the register vent is drilled out to 3/64"