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Messages - Windsong

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That is a nice early HP&Co.  Well worth your time and effort.

Windy--what you have done to provide for fuller, and quite frankly-better sound and projection without sacrificing intonation is extremely clever.  This is a really fun instrument with brand new relevance.

I am excited to see how my technique improves and expands, as a result of being exposed to this hidden 'realm' you've discovered.

Harry Pedler had individual lower joint trill posts on his higher quality metal clarinets, yet never on his highest quality wooden or Hard Rubber horns.   I do not believe assigning all 6 trills a unique post took root until the late 30s.

Good to know whom I can bequeath things to. 😉  I have not gotten started on the gem yet, but I play its younger brother weekly.  I have had all manner of unexpected surprises this season, but I hope to have it buttoned up by year's end.

Many of the Martin Pedlers (MP) were often nickel or silver plated.  Some were also bare nickel silver.  Unless he did a one or two-off for advertising or royalty, HP's horns were always unplated nickel silver.  It tarnished evenly, and was easily brought back to luster.  It was delicate, too.  Martin remedied that, a bit.  It's not that HP couldn't have changed his formula.  He evidently preferred soft keys.  If one is careful, they don't bend, and if one has a mishap, it can quickly be rectified without having to take the horn in.  They were shock absorbent, forgiving.
I have an aversion to silver keywork, as it always looks awful, save for the 1st week after polishing. MBIC charged for, and offered a few plating options.  I have a brochure from January 1935 (using the Harry Pedler & Co moniker, still), listing prices for upgrades and replacements:

Harry had two early LJ sliver B pad cup arms. 

The first design, which covered the full run of the rod, before pitching up and outward, was thinner, more graceful.  It saw use until the wrap-around register key was abandoned in late 1923, or thereabouts.

The second design came directly out, away from the rod, and then pitched up.  You will note it is with these changes that the original Harry Pedler keywork became more robust.  The molecular composition remained little changed, as the keywork was still softer than most competitors.  Some keywork is theoretically interchangeable between posts.

A currently listed Harry Pedler has one very unusual key.  It is the first I have seen (or at least paid attention to, and I have a lot of Harry Pedler clarinets, none so equipped).

Photo #1: Traditional Harry Pedler with canary perch crow's foot.
Photo #2: seller's Harry Pedler.  It's a genuine Harry, and has a low serial #.  The grand departure from his utilitarian convention is frankly baffling.  (Historically, Harry utilized two separate pieces for the key touch actuator and the pad cup arm, and this protocol remained dominant until Martin cleaned up his keywork designs). 

This G#/A RH pinky design is much cleaner.  The key arm is tacked underneath, providing continuity.  I don't prefer it, but only because it looks completely out of place amid all other keys that do not deviate.   

I estimate this odd one to have a manufacture date of c. 1931, and I would place it earlier (1928-1929, since metal and Hard Rubber serialization began before Harry left) if it weren't for this key.  It may have been Martin's first design deviation, making it historically important.  Recall that Martin continued use of Harry's name for several years. 

Are there others of these? 

Make and Model lists and research / Re: Help with Donated Clarinet
« on: April 06, 2024, 09:56:33 AM »
Thank you, Ghoulcaster!  Very cool.  I grew interested in this feature in its different forms, as a result of Harry Pedler's "Appliance", and this patent date of 1904 preceeds Pedler's design.  You're correct about the adjustment at G#/A, so a better guess would be pre 1925. I've not seen an LP designation past the early 1920s, as it became assumed.

Swamplander--I think that is an excellent idea.  This is probably a very sweet horn, and is quite unusual for a number of reasons.  The general condition seems to be good, and the keywork looks fully intact.  I agree it is worth a full restoration.

Make and Model lists and research / Re: Help with Donated Clarinet
« on: April 05, 2024, 05:12:11 PM »
That is a gem!  It's dry as a bone, and desperately needs several treatments of oil, but what a fascinating clarinet.

It appears to be a clarinet of collaborative efforts (as the top joint is stamped R. Verney and Wurlitzer, and the bottom is a JTL, so a brokered import deal).  I cannot make out the word before "Republic", but that is an honest 110-120 year old clarinet, and rather uncommon.
JTL made exceptional quality horns, and I have had a couple that were both excellent, given the time period in which they were made.

The one characteristic that fascinates me about this one, (and that I have never seen before in this configuration), is the Crow's Foot alternative for the pinky cluster on the lower joint.  I would love to see how that works exactly.

What are you looking to do with it? 

Thanks for sharing!

See below link for reference:

All about Clarinets / Re: 19th century Clarinet in C
« on: April 03, 2024, 03:36:06 PM »
Yes--when they are this old, it is difficult finding parts.  There is a fellow online who hails from Texas, and I get a lot of my needed keywork through him, but he does not handle these.  I'd love to see that Eb sometime.

Trading Post / Re: The original CONN job
« on: April 02, 2024, 09:16:02 AM »
On the subject of ancient Conns, I stepped away at $160.00 on this beautiful, vintage model.  The seller does not provide a serial, but based upon length, it is a low pitch clarinet.  If this were a Harry Pedler, it would be called a Model 1554--the one Albert of his I STILL do not have. This would have served nicely, since it appears nearly identical, and is likely Pedler's anyway. 

The full Albert System Conn/Pedler clarinets seem to be very rare.  I only see one every 3 or so years.  Good on the person who was more invested than I was:


Trading Post / Re: The original CONN job
« on: April 02, 2024, 09:03:32 AM »
Indeed, Rocket.  The early years are nicely sorted into round numbers, and only a neurotic manufacturer would control production with that level of accuracy.  Also, the notion that 1st year production would be 2-4 times the following years' production seems improbable.

Good eye, Mechanic!
Yes--it appears that key got squashed and flattened out a bit!

Trading Post / The original CONN job
« on: April 01, 2024, 12:40:33 PM »

All about Clarinets / Re: 19th century Clarinet in C
« on: March 30, 2024, 05:08:15 PM »
I did indeed get it online.

These instruments vary wildly in price, and typically salt spoon boxwoods fetch top dollar among the collectables, easily exceeding $500.00 for one of this age, in a little better condition.  They are surpassed in terms of collectability only by flat key system clarinets of the late 18th-early 19th century.  I would like one of those, too. 
That said, my budget is a bit more modest, and this one was a deal.  Just 8 years ago, the price of these was quite a bit lower--much like classic cars.  The pandemic radically changed priorities and notion of inherant value, and even high pitch clarinets are now appropriately prized.

Where I would walk away from a clarinet with condition issues such as this if it had been made in the 20th century, these same issues have little impact on the value of a horn like this due to their relative scarcity.

This clarinet was not up long, and had the "buy it now" option, so I could not resist.

You may have taken note that it is missing two of its keys--which I will surely never find.  Since I do not plan to play it (though I will try, even if I have to plug the closed position note) the missing keywork was less important than the honor of owning a true arifact.
Should I be able to identify the maker at some point, perhaps 3D printed keys can be fashioned from a complete one someday.

All about Clarinets / Re: 19th century Clarinet in C
« on: March 29, 2024, 01:33:38 PM »

All about Clarinets / 19th century Clarinet in C
« on: March 29, 2024, 12:59:20 PM »
What have I just purchased here?
Clearly, it is a boxwood (or pearwood) 13 key in C,  20 11/32" long, sans mouthpiece, which hosts an integrated barrel.  Outside of that, the keywork speaks to pre-1845 and is solid brass with no plating, and it looks very much like an honest Iwan Müller, comparing photos on-line.  That's all I have.

There is a seriously righteous socket sleeve that is a very good fit,  and two handsome mouthpiece covers, two useless but historically significant wooden mouthpieces, and a repaired crack in the bell.  It is solid, but was repaired with dark filler, so I will file it out and patch it with some pearwood I have at some point.

I would love to hear your thoughts as to what you think this could be. There are no maker's marks of any kind, nor are there any batch marks on the keys that I have yet found.
Presently, I am feeling it must be German.

What great information, folks.  I had no idea.  I got into Conns purely to study old keywork, and have clearly not given the later models their due.

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