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Clarinet Roadshow => Make and Model lists and research => Topic started by: DaveLeBlanc on April 11, 2014, 10:40:06 PM

Title: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: DaveLeBlanc on April 11, 2014, 10:40:06 PM
Hey folks! This is the new Silver Throat clarinet thread.

First order of business... Who made them?

I believe Pruefer came up with the idea, but did they make it or was it stenciled?

There are other silver throats as well:
1. Pruefer
2. Sherwood
3. Hallmark (hard rubber)
4. Linton (resonite)
5. FE Olds & Son (hard rubber)

Must be a stencil...
Title: RE: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: Airflyte on April 20, 2014, 08:05:54 AM
What? No love from anyone for the Pruefers? My very first clarinet was a Silver Throat model. I still have it and have no desire to get rid of it!
Title: RE: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: clarinetcrazie64 on April 20, 2014, 10:02:21 PM
Quote from: \'TheBlueBeamPolkaProject\' pid=\'2606\' dateline=\'1398006354\'

What? No love from anyone for the Pruefers? My very first clarinet was a Silver Throat model. I still have it and have no desire to get rid of it!

yep,.. i too owned a Pruefer Silver Throat once ..  it was a superb clarinet.. but i ended up selling it..  currently i\'m bidding on an interesting Malerne composite clarinet that supposedly has a nickel silver lining in upper joint..  don\'t know if that qualifies as a \"silver throat\" though .. but it\'s not mine , yet ! have to wait and see what happens .. it would be my 1st Malerne .. never had one before..
Title: RE: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: clarinetcrazie64 on April 26, 2014, 09:12:49 AM
well ... i just got in my Malerne Standard composite clarinet with the fully lined in nickel silver upper joint.. of course i don\'t know for sure what the metal is that lines the upper joint.. just going by what the seller described it as.. he also referred to it as the \"silverstreak\" model.. but there is no such label to be found on the instrument.. just has the typical R.M. R. Malerne Paris Standard markings .. it is all composite/hard rubber ..with the addition of the metal lined upper joint.. condition overall is quite good.. i can see the spacing between a few of the side trill keys isn\'t quite right.. everything else works great though.. i am very impressed with the way this clarinet plays.. it\'s so easy to play too.. all the keys are just set up perfectly.. the ergonomics are excellent.. and intonation, at least within it\'s own scale is excellent too.. or pretty darn good at least.. just a marvelous clarinet.. i\'m so glad i took a chance on this thing.. i love it so much i just might keep it for my permanent collection .. it makes sense, because i don\'t have any composite or \"silver throat\" like clarinets currently in my collection ..
Title: RE: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: philpedler on April 30, 2014, 10:47:19 AM
Would Pruefer been first?
 
Another brand was LaMonte.
http://www.clarinetpages.net/vintage-plastic-composite-clarinets/la-monte (http://www.clarinetpages.net/vintage-plastic-composite-clarinets/la-monte)
Another is Martin Freres Grenetex. This page has lots of print ads with dates:
http://sites.google.com/a/clarinetpages.net/www/vintage-plastic-composite-clarinets/martin-freres-grenatex (http://sites.google.com/a/clarinetpages.net/www/vintage-plastic-composite-clarinets/martin-freres-grenatex)

The above seem to have been popular in the early 1950s.
And Pruefer was active before 1950. So perhaps it is right that Pruefer was first.
Title: RE: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: clarinetcrazie64 on May 01, 2014, 12:17:43 AM
and as my post indicated, don\'t forget Malerne ..:D
Title: RE: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: philpedler on May 01, 2014, 06:49:35 AM
Several jazz players for whom I reconditioned Pruefers have been passionate about them. They like them because of the perception that they give more volume in a band where one is trying to be heard against brass instruments. I am not sure what to think about the tone of these. It has been a while since I tried one.
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: DaveLeBlanc on March 25, 2018, 06:36:26 PM
Another one for the list: BC Cadet

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Embassy-and-Cadet-Wood-Clarinets-For-Parts-or-repair/192492142571?hash=item2cd16cffeb:g:UGwAAOSwnklat8PF
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: Airflyte on March 26, 2018, 06:24:03 PM
I also have a composite Malerne with a metal lined upper joint. I really don't want to quote a nearly 4 year old post so just read reply #3!

Will try to get pics up soon.
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: zigzigy7 on March 26, 2018, 08:00:58 PM
i possess a besson & co bakelite simple system clarinet that belonged to the canadian millitary band seemingly around the time of ww1 with a silver lined tuning barrel that is compatible with only that clarinet and vice versa.
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: DaveLeBlanc on March 26, 2018, 09:45:02 PM
That’s quite interesting. I did not know that they did that so early. I always thought Pruefer pioneered it in the 1930s or something.
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: zigzigy7 on March 27, 2018, 11:34:22 AM
based on the fact that it's the simple system as well as other key-work traits it predates that by at least a decade. this was likely a stencil clarinet, by who i cannot definitively say
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: windydankoff on March 28, 2018, 07:24:54 AM
I've been collecting and restoring Pruefer Silver Throat (PST) clarinets because I LOVE their big expressive and beautiful tone. I've learned a lot that I will share here. FIRST THING is that you don't get the full deep tone OR good intonation unless you use an appropriate mouthpiece. I got two PSTs with original factory MPs that are wonderful (large chamber and bore). They respond best to a soft reed. Results with normal mouthpieces are mediocre. This is a reason that we see such mixed reviews about PSTs. I am still experimenting to find (and modify) a standard MP that will emulate the originals.

The bore is large, thusly: Upper Joint (UJ) 14.95mm straight, lined with nickel silver tube
Lower Joint (LJ) starts same but expands radically to a very large bore. Tone holes are much larger than normal in the LJ, and holes are extremely undercut. Keywork is unplated nickel-silver, very high quality. I found that R5 synthetic pads make a great improvement to the tone (especially in the LJ).

I will share more, as I learn and as my work allows.

Meanwhile, here is a brief  history of the company and the product.
Source: The Clarinet Board plus my own research

1906 Gustav Pruefer started clarinet company.
1914 he merged with Penzel and Mueller to form Penzel Mueller and Pruefer
1920 Penzel had died, Mueller gained control of the company and Pruefer retired
1920 Gustav Pruefer traveled to Markneukirchen, Germany and helped Moennig to modernize his factory
1921 Gus restarted Pruefer clarinet company in Providence, RI, Hans Moennig joined Pruefer
US Patent issued 1931 for a complex metal liner for wood clarinets, allowing for expansion of the wood (Pat. #1801690)
1942 ad showed Pruefer ebonite clarinet with nickel-silver lining in upper joint
1955 ad showed similar instrument with the trade name “Silver Throat”
c. 1960, Silver Throat Deluxe models began to be adapted to the student market, with smaller bore in lower joint, nickel-plated keys, and eventually plastic body.
 1976 Factory in RI burned down … RIP!
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: windydankoff on April 01, 2018, 06:41:01 AM
continuing …   Interesting to note that that the overall length of the PST is about 1/4 inch shorter than a typical clarinet. This compensates for the large bore, which would otherwise lower the pitch.

Pruefer apparently used continuous serial numbers regardless of the model or material (hard rubber or wood). For example, I have a wooden Artist Model with a SN close to that of a PST. Judging from one unusual design aspect (shared post for A/Ab keys), they appear to have been built around the same time (16K, mid-40s). The Artist Model has a smaller bore, but still with a similar expanded lower bore and the resulting short overall length. I look forward to resurrecting it one of these days!

PSTs from the 40’s may say "Carl Fischer Exclusive Distributor”. They do not say “Silver Throat”. However, the lined upper joint is essentially identical to the named ST specimens, so I will refer to them as Silver Throat regardless of the labelling.

All six of the PSTs that I own included a marching band lyre.  Two included red lipstick on a reed. They were “only driven by a little old lady” …when she was in high school! A 1942 ad priced them at the equivalent of $1600 in todays dollars.
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: windydankoff on April 09, 2018, 08:18:43 PM
Continuing now, about the need for a large-bore mouthpiece (from two messages before). I have searched high and low, asked all around, tried this and that, old and new, and turned up NO mouthpieces that sound nearly as good as the two original Pruefer pieces that I was lucky to obtain. I sold one with a PST to a happy client, and have one for myself … but I have four more PST horns that I will want to sell when I restore them, and I want them to have that BIG sound and free-blowing quality. I tried enlarging the bore and chamber of some standard MPs, but that only helped a little and it’s risky. As an alternative to a large-bore MP, I took the next logical approach ... after I made an odd discovery.

With a standard MP, when I left a 2-3mm gap below the MP, it enriched the tone from bottom to part-way up the clarion. This is amazing, because on a normal clarinet, it spoils the tone. It did mess up the highs, so it wasn’t a solution, but it was a CLUE. I decided on a more graceful approach – to enlarge the bore of a BARREL, mostly at the top.

I produced an exaggerated "reverse taper” in a barrel, in two stages, making it extra-open at the top. Voila! With a classical French MP, I am getting strong and rich tone, and feeling powerful vibration very similar to the Pruefer MP. Intonation is good! I can hardly believe my “luck” or blessing, or whatever it is. The new barrel bore enriches the sound of a normal clarinet as well, but I’ll do some intonation studies before reaching any conclusions.

Comments are most welcome. It’s lonely here!
//  Windy // Black Hole Clarinets
     Imperial Wizard, Cult of the Silver Throat (New Mexico Chapter)
...   Only on The Clarinet Pages!
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: Airflyte on April 10, 2018, 07:38:34 AM
Excellent work Windy! You have inspired me to dig out my PST from the bottom of my dresser. It was my first clarinet, maybe it should be my first attempt at a restoration.
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: DaveLeBlanc on April 10, 2018, 03:01:34 PM
Excellent work Windy! You have inspired me to dig out my PST from the bottom of my dresser. It was my first clarinet, maybe it should be my first attempt at a restoration.
Do it! Great way to get into the restoration hobby.
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: windydankoff on April 10, 2018, 08:53:49 PM
Airflyte – Your first clarinet was a Pruefer Silver Throat? It's still in your dresser from ... how long ago? Join the cult! Kindly tell your serial number and (to add to the data base) the year it was new, if you know. The PSTs went through some dimensional changes over the years from c.1940 to 60, but the pad diameters stayed constant, according to my 6 specimens of S/N 15K through 45K. Some of the pads are larger than standard clarinets, due to larger tone holes. I can share pad ordering data with you, to help get you started.

The level of corrosion of the nickel-silver keys will be a big factor in the labor involved. If they are dull gray, it is a labor of love to buff them. I found good advice here on The Clarinet Pages, and can pass along what I learned.

What about the mouthpiece ...  an original Pruefer piece?

The mechanical design and build quality are superb.  BTW, I found a superb book on clarinet repair: Clarinet Manual: How to Buy, Set Up and Maintain a Boehm System Clarinet, by Howard. (Amazon) I wish I had studied it long ago. I hope this message inspires you to work on this project!   // Windy
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: Airflyte on April 11, 2018, 06:21:26 PM
Yes Windy, my very first woodwind. I still remember my first tone production on this one  :o

I think I bought this around 2002 from a local Goodwill for 25 dollars. MP was a Steel Ebonite if I remember correctly.

Serial number is 54564. Barrel looks like plastic while the bell is most likely bakelite. Body is surely HR with the lined upper joint.

Oh and I do have a copy of that book so I guess my excuses for not doing this are few now!


Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: windydankoff on April 11, 2018, 07:40:38 PM
What will it take to get 'er honking?

Some of my oldies played right out of the case after decades of storage ... or after a few minutes of work. I've slipped new pads in with poster putty and gotten 'em to play. You don't have to dive head-first into a restoration unless soft parts are crumbling.
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: DaveLeBlanc on May 02, 2018, 10:43:06 PM
Here's one for a very reasonable price:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pruefer-Silver-Throat-Clarinet-Vintage-Musical-Instrument/123111039691?hash=item1ca9fd62cb:g:mx8AAOSwHdVa6fAv
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: windydankoff on May 03, 2018, 06:48:09 AM
Yup. Dave has you pointed to a fine specimen. I contacted the seller who says it’s S/N 44xxx which dates it roughly early 60’s, just before my 45xxx specimen that has less appealing nickel plated keys. This one is the classic hard rubber with unplated German silver keys. Your ticket to the Cult …  almost. It comes with a cheap Goldentone mouthpiece, not the (rare) original. But have faith!

I had stated previously that the only mouthpieces I’ve found that produce the massive tone and vibration of the Pruefer Silver Throat (PST) were two Pruefer originals that came with two of my PSTs. Anything else would sound ordinary. The bore and chamber of these MPs is larger than normal, in keeping with the rest of the horn. Makes sense, no? But they are hard to find and even then you can miss (a third one I have does not do the job). … What to do?

If you are still reading, here is (big) news from the Black Hole:  I developed a radically enlarged BARREL bore, with a reverse taper and an intentional gap at each end. The modified barrel produces the magnificent PST sound using a standard classical MP, with great intonation (for a large-bore horn).

If YOU, a follower of The Clarinet Pages, want a PST, then buy this horn! I will find a way for you to try a “Hyper-Bore” barrel. The alternative is to buy a restored PST from me with the HB barrel. If you want to do that, tell me and I WILL BUY this eBay offering. It looks like it may even play right out of the box, more or less. But PLEASE report back if you buy it! Let's keep it in the family.

Yours?
Windy // Black Hole Clarinets // Imperial Wizard, Cult of the Silver Throat (Santa Fe Chapter)
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: mechanic on May 04, 2018, 03:12:41 PM
Windy,
Have you looked into Boosey and Hawkes mouthpieces?  I have one where the bore goes from about 14.25mm close to the chamber to 15.3mm at the barrel end.
Another option, NEMC B45.  Came with my sons first Vito, and has a 14.95 bore.  It was his favorite until it collided with a trumpet and took a major chunk out of the tip.
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: windydankoff on May 04, 2018, 04:05:57 PM
I was thinking such thoughts, but I'm much happier with barrel modification. With a reamer and a countersink, I can achieve the desired effect consistently, while sticking with standard MPs. It seems that when the dimensions are optimum, the harmonics line up well. Then we get both a rich tone AND good intonation. In this case, through out the horn! I'm amazed at the result I got.
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: windydankoff on May 11, 2018, 07:45:04 AM
Mechanic - I'm using one of my favorite Riffault FRANCE 2V old MPs, this one labelled Vito Melodia. (others are mostly Noblet or Vito.)

I did some research and found people raving about Selmer C85 for large-bore horns, including extra-large bassethorns I got a couple to try, one being very good, but it was disappointing on the Pruefer Silver Throat. So I have been thrilled with the new barrel bore so I (and others) can use our favorite MPs to get that big rich sound.

I have a few more Pruefer Silver Throat clarinets to restore and improve. I sell my horns with a 2-week trial period. 6 so far (5 C clarinets and a PST) and no returns, only ***** praises. I'll go for a review from Phil when he returns.
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: windydankoff on February 28, 2019, 11:16:24 AM
I have some update to this aging thread, and would like to hear from others who love the PST (or not).

Pruefer PST remains my beloved Bb, but I abandoned the groove I had put in the top of the barrel, described in April 9/18 message. I found that it was making my altissimo range difficult. I think my emboucher has improved such that I don't hear its benefit anymore. However, I still find benefit from an oversize barrel bore. My current barrel is reamed out to 15.1mm, and THAT seems to do the job of adapting a normal MP to the large-bore (15mm) horn. Barrel length is 63mm. It's short to compensate for flattening effect of the large bore (as is the entire horn).

Also, the so-called Silver Throat (metal lining in the upper joint) is not German silver as was advertised. It is brass, plated, resembling the german silver (nickel silver) of the keys. I like to ream a slight taper in the top of the UJ, to avoid a step to my barrel bore. It has revealed brass on 3 PSTs. I'm like ... whatever!
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: bobphoenix on January 12, 2020, 09:00:22 PM
The PSTs went through some dimensional changes over the years from c.1940 to 60, but the pad diameters stayed constant, according to my 6 specimens of S/N 15K through 45K. Some of the pads are larger than standard clarinets, due to larger tone holes. I can share pad ordering data with you, to help get you started.


HI, New guy here, who just picked up a PST from a Craigslist ad for $25. I started to fool around with it, but the adhesive on a couple of the pads has come loose (it looks like shellac flakes that were used very sparingly...) 
I want to refurb it for my Granddaughter... So, I ordered a pad replacement kit from Instrument Clinic and they have emailed me back requesting pad sizes (in MM) for this instrument. Do you have those sizes?

BTW here's a pic of my find and the only number on it is 1933.

(https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipMMmVWSuM-OLXsqadzAeZ67-gpXjT_nyDsXvPbk)
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: DaveLeBlanc on January 12, 2020, 09:44:37 PM
Hey there, your picture is broken so I can't see it!

However, you've got a great price on that. Can't beat a $25 clarinet.

As for pads, you don't always have standardized sizes across all instruments.

I would do your best estimate with a ruler in mm, and then order up and down each size. You'll end up with a bunch of extras, but if you ever get into doing more then you'll have stock to start with.
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: windydankoff on January 13, 2020, 08:42:05 AM
Dear bobphoenix – Welcome to the group! My advice on pad sizing is to measure with a digital caliper (my $20 one from H Freight is perfectly fine). On the PST, the inside diameters of the pad cups are 9, 10, 15 and 17mm. If in doubt, err on the small side and the glue can take up extra space. I used synthetic pads that can squeeze in a bit. For conventional pads, safest bet may be .5mm smaller.

You can search for clarinetpages topics on using an old electric toothbrush for initial cleaning and polishing of the keys. Saved me a lot of labor. They keys are beautiful, worth the effort to buff then to a sheen.

Your S/N 1933 is unexpected. The company used sequential SNs and my oldest one is 15XXX which was early 40's. Could there be a 5th digit in your number that you didn't see?
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: bobphoenix on January 13, 2020, 11:00:24 AM
Hi, and Thanks!
When I started looking around for information on this unit, I noticed everywhere the serial numbers were 5 digits... that has baffled me also... I can find no other number markings on any of the other parts (beside the upper and lower key barrels.)

My photo is in my Google photos folder so that's perhaps why it won't show... Or, maybe I need to be a longer standing member to show photos?

But here's a shareable link...
https://photos.app.goo.gl/UGW6gPYAPAaQZDNB7
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: windydankoff on January 13, 2020, 11:24:22 AM
Saw your picture. You got a later model one with nickel plated keys, and very clean. Forget what I said about polishing!

Wishing you a happy project. Keep us informed of your progress. If you don't get wonderful tone from it, let us know. We will coach you further.

Yours!   Windy • New Mexico Chapter, Cult of the Silver Throat
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: bobphoenix on January 14, 2020, 12:05:30 PM
Thanks Windy,
So, this is a later model with a strange serial number... Okay, that helps a lot.

I went to Instrument Clinic with your numbers for the new pads and I think I gave them fits...
So, went back and pulled a few of the old brittle pads and I measured each pad and the numbers seem odd to me..
All of the upper joint pads measure 10mm, but the inside of the cup part of the pad measured 9mm. Same for the lower joint... 13mm and 17mm but the cup is about a mm smaller...
Here's what I pulled out... Is this normal...?

BTW: The guy at the local music store said this instrument had "Pad Mites" and I should just leave it there, with him, (and buy a newer instrument). The gouge in the pad is from being brittle (dry rot) and a piece breaking off.

(https://www.oldcanterbury.com/images/pruefer/WG2_0340-2.jpg)


(https://www.oldcanterbury.com/images/pruefer/WG2_0346-2.jpg)
 
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: windydankoff on January 14, 2020, 04:28:43 PM
They are measuring the pads by the outside diameter of the cup. I was giving you the inside diameter. I think their website shows how they measure. If you give them both ID and OD, they should serve you right.
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: DaveLeBlanc on January 17, 2020, 01:21:46 PM
Pad mites are a type of small insect that devours the felt interior of the pad.

If you work with enough instruments, you will end up seeing dead bugs, bug shells, and if you're lucky - a real live pad mite!
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: GrumpyMiddleAgedMan on July 21, 2020, 08:10:01 PM
OK my turn.
I picked up a pair of prefers a while ago, they have been sitting in a box while I decide what to do with them. I had bought them as parts and figured I could cobble one together. Poor shape with one set of the serials matching and one mismatch. Both have barrel liners on the upper and Carl fisher bells, everything is stamped.
Matching serials, the upper joint has a piece that is almost cracked off, the cork is holding it in place right now so the liner is over top inside. Lower has some of the material flaking off where the thumb rest was mounted. One key snapped. I am guessing CA can take care of body damage?
I would say the mismatch pair is in a little better shape expect the bottom looks like someone took a saw to move posts or something. Not digging that.
Obviously I'm not worried about resale. By the looks of the problems is it worth fixing one of these up or am I wasting my time?
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: DaveLeBlanc on July 21, 2020, 08:17:04 PM
Well, considering that Silver Throats are generally not the greatest clarinets, you may well be wasting your time.

However, if you got the time, and the interest, then you may enjoy the uniqueness of the silver throat inner sleeve.
Title: Re: Silver Throat clarinets
Post by: windydankoff on July 22, 2020, 06:01:47 AM
Pruefer Silver Throats are NOT the greatest – UNLESS they are treated specially, to reveal their unique qualities.

I just posted my mini-treatise "The User-Friendly Clarinet" at
http://clarinetpages.info/smf/index.php/topic,1864.0.html

It documents my experience with the ebonite metal-lined Pruefer (AKA Silver Throat), and how it fits the desires of some musicians, myself included. It took a couple years to investigate why "some swear by it and some swear at it" and I did my best to present my thoughts on the matter.

Grumpy - You have the classic older (most desirable) versions of the PST. The s/n mismatch doesn't matter because the upper joint never changed significantly through its entire history. I wouldn't hesitate to mix up as you wish to produce one good instrument, if you so desire.