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Messages - 350 Rocket

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All about Clarinets / Re: Selmer Signet Special
« on: November 18, 2020, 02:45:43 PM »
I'm fairly confident it's from the early 1960s.

I've never worked on a Signet but the Signet Special is regarded by most as a decent step-up model - something suitable for an advancing student's first wood clarinet. Selmer USA keywork was better in the early '60s than in later production, so this ought to be a good one to work on.

With that serial number, probably 1950 or 1951.

I don't have my notes handy at the moment, but I do recall that serial number 100000 was reached in 1950.

I have recently acquired the metal Pedler American 10728; is this a Martin company or a Harry Pedler compagny instrument and is it considered a student instrument?  It's apparently in it's original case. No idea on the year however. It's got a stuffy lower register but is nice and full in the upper register, still looking for the right mpc to really see what it can do.
Hard to tell for certain, but likely Martin-era.

I believe it's a student instrument, as the left-hand levers are mounted on the same set of posts - which appears to be a common feature of the less-expensive metal Pedler models.

(The American was later been promoted to intermediate-grade, with the levers mounted separately and a little bit of engraving on the bell.)

Almost certainly a U.S. military-issue instrument, and likely from the late 1940s given the serial number. It might be the "professional" model - student-level Pedlers typically had the left hand levers mounted on the same set of posts.

That's a common misconception - Kohlert instruments could be marked "Bohemia" post-1918. Pre-1918 instruments are typically marked "Austria".

The clarinet in question was made in the early 1930s. The best data point for this era is the "Modell 1928" saxophones which I've seen around 215000, which puts 233404 at least a few years after that.

Does the upper joint also have the Holton Collegiate name on it? Holton-branded Vitos of this era had distinctive tenon rings as you can see on the bell, but since the lower joint doesn't have that there's obviously some level of mis-matched components.

That style of trademark was used on those beginning in 1965 or 1966. Not a lot of them were made, but I don't know if that was due to a short production run or just low sales. Holton clarinets were out of production for at least several years before being re-introduced in 1977 without the "Collegiate" name.

The model number for the '60s model is CL-630 (or CL-633 for the lower-priced one with offset trill keys).

All about Clarinets / Re: Age of Kohlert Clarinet
« on: August 31, 2019, 08:41:43 PM »
Kohlert clarinets marked "Bohemia" are pre WW1. After the war these were marked Czecho-Slovakia.

It isn't quite that simple, unfortunately. Kohlert used "Bohemia" and "Czecho-Slovakia" interchangeably for a time. The pre-WWI instruments were usually stamped "Austria" from what I've seen.

"Modell 1928" saxophones appear around 215000, and I've seen a guarantee bond confirming that 267000 fell within 1938. It's hard to extrapolate annual production, but the instrument in the original inquiry was probably built around 1933.

I'd have to surmise that the "why" is a simple matter of cost - bladder pads are (or became) less expensive.

In an August 1921 Selmer Paris price list, both bladder and kid pads are offered - the former at 15/dozen, $1.20/hundred, and $11.00/thousand; the latter at 20, $1.50 and $14.00 for the same quantities.

However, a 1913 Carl Fischer pamphlet offers both and shows the opposite: 17 for kid pads and 20 for bladder. Quite probable that a declining cost of bladder pads would be a major factor.

As far as anecdotal evidence: I have two clarinets with leather pads - A 1927-28 Silva-Bet and a mid-1930s Pedler. It'd be hard to believe that either would still have the originals in them (both were formerly school-owned) but the Silva-Bet has the pads on the lowest four keys retained by screws and washers. I don't feel like flute pads would work properly there, but a saxophone pad likely would, so I'm guessing Bettoney was still using leather pads at that time.

All about Clarinets / Re: Bundy's from the late 60s
« on: August 04, 2019, 07:26:24 PM »
From what I've seen, the keywork was stiffer and better-made on earlier models, but I'm not entirely certain where the cutoff was - sometime in the 1960s.

That said, the plastic is probably a bit more brittle. Bundy sopranos above serial number 500000 (from 1969) had a longer warranty on them, which would ostensibly have correlated to a more advanced and durable material.

All about Clarinets / Re: Case "CHALLENGE"
« on: May 25, 2019, 08:04:03 PM »
And yet there's no pictures of the outside of the case...

The model number for them was 68N, and from what I was able to find when I looked into them previously, they were introduced in 1950.

All about Clarinets / Re: elkhart clarinet s/n 24276
« on: May 04, 2019, 07:23:59 PM »
Assuming that it's a Buescher-built "Elkhart Band Instrument Co." instrument, it was made around 1939.

All about Clarinets / Re: New metal clarinets!
« on: February 12, 2019, 08:48:14 AM »
In what aspect is the "poor quality" of student-level metal clarinets considered to be? Build quality? Tone? Intonation?

Sort of like how modern cheap Chinese plastic clarinets are no good.

Physically they appear to be a perfectly sound clarinet. However, build quality is poor, and quality control is poor. The same is probably the case with the metal clarinets - these were churned out by the hundreds of thousands, and were not made to as near a standard as your typical hand-finished higher-end clarinet.

That puzzles me then... the "cheapest" non-parts-instrument metal clarinet I have is a mid- to late-'50s American Standard, H.N. White's student model. While it's hard to know how "original" something this old is, as it sits now the build quality is generally quite good - superior to most Bundy Resonites. Keywork is plenty sturdy and I can't find any real examples of corner-cutting save for some finishing marks on the keys - which, for a student-level instrument, has no impact on it in my opinion. In terms of playability I'd say you could put it in a school band room amongst Vitos and Bundys and Yamahas and not be at a disadvantage.

However, I once looked at a Cavalier (Conn's budget brand) 92N and found it utterly appalling in terms of quality. It was part of a batch of instruments liquidated by the Minneapolis school district which might've been an indicator of a hard life, but the Silva-Bet and Pedler I bought from that batch had held up respectably over decades of wear.

They built tens of thousands of Cavaliers, so if they really were all that cheaply made then I can see where the reputation comes from given Conn's position at the time.

Conn (via Pan-American) also built bass saxophones for Martin, so it's not surprising.

All about Clarinets / Re: Continental Colonial clarinet identification
« on: February 02, 2019, 06:13:31 PM »
Continental Colonial instruments were Pan-American (Conn) stencils.

What's the serial number?

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