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Topics - andybeals

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All about Clarinets / Best plastic clarinet?
« on: March 19, 2017, 06:22:23 PM »
I have the periodic opportunity to play outside, and while I could play a plastic bass, I'd get lost in the low brass and we rarely have enough (soprano) clarinets playing anyway.  While I could bring a good wooden clarinet, certain persons would have me drawn and quartered.  I've played a Vito 7214 and my current plastic clarinet is a Selmer Signet, which has been nicely repadded and had the thumb rest replaced with an adjustable one that will take a strap and moved up from the small-handed child position to where my thumb naturally falls. 

All about Clarinets / replacement case latch - twist kind
« on: February 22, 2017, 08:40:02 AM »
My eefer's case is missing one of those rectangular latches that simply twists (or swivels) into place - I've seen them on Vito, LeBlanc, and Noblet cases.  I could have thought I saw someone selling replacements on the 'bay, but now I can't find them.  Deep-searching The Google hasn't yielded anything, either - of course, I don't know what it's really called, so maybe I'm just using the wrong search terms.  I can find the round metal ones, buckle-type, and even the snap insert jobbies that will spring up and bruise the thumbnail on your other hand while they make a lot of noise. 

I should probably replace both (and keep the old one I have that's complete), but I'll settle for just one, if I can find it.

Here's one on a Vito and another on a Noblet (Stubbins):

All about Clarinets / Linton Alto
« on: December 10, 2016, 03:18:11 PM »
I got my Linton alto back from the shop a few weeks ago, and I've had it at rehearsal and practiced at home a bit.  It's a nice clarinet, but could use some thin thin nylon or PFTE washers in a couple of spots to take the side-to-side wriggle and clankiness out of the spoon keys.  I can play it in-tune with the ensemble OK.  I did noticed that the socket in its neck was smaller than the LeBlanc's neck socket, as inserting my favored J.B. Hite mouthpiece was proving to be difficult - tenon was ok, but the cork was too thick.  I swapped to the Noblet MP that had come with the LeBlanc and that worked OK in the Linton.

I had noticed some squeakiness and was wondering if I had been too aggressive with flattening my (current) reeds or if the reeds I was using were too soft for the instrument, so I worked on a pair of 2.5 reeds and used one of them during rehearsal on my LeBlanc alto Thursday night.  Other than "new harder reed cheeks" (ow), I declared the reed "good". 

Scanning for a bargain last month, I picked up another Noblet alto clarinet mouthpiece on that auction site.  Trying it tonight (after it had a day  to acclimate to being inside), I noticed that its tenon was simply too large to fit into the socket without a fight.  Odd.  Obviously, I need to break out the micrometer.  I suspect it will fit into the LeBlanc's neck just fine.  What someone was doing with a mouthpiece (no cap or ligature!) and no clarinet, I know not.

So, I broke out the Linton alto again tonight and decided to run through "Nightmare"  (the alto has its own part and brings some nice dissonance to the piece) with the new reed.  It worked fine, but I noticed the squeak again - however, not needing to keep up with the ensemble, I noticed that I thought that I felt my fingers mis-hitting the keys, which would definitely cause a squeak.  Here's a photo of the bottom of the upper joint of the Linton (top) and the LeBlanc (resting in its case).  Note the difference in where the touches are and the apparent size of the pads under them.  The inside diameters (per sticking my thumb in) appear to be approximately the same.  The upper joint of the Linton is already longer because of its shorter neck. 

I think I need to break out a measuring tape and a micrometer.  I don't want to take it apart, so you're not going to get tone-hole measurements at this time, sorry.

All about Clarinets / Magic reeds / reed rituals and reed care
« on: September 06, 2016, 01:10:48 PM »
A topic about your own personal reed preparation, preferences, and, dare I say it, prejudices.

All about Clarinets / Tuner apps
« on: September 04, 2016, 11:54:35 AM »
I've tried a couple of tuners, both on iOS (Apple) and Android.  They worked well enough, but never well enough for me to give up my little Korg.  I've since stumbled across DaTuner and liked it enough to spring for the Pro version, which gives me a kind of strobe tuner (memories of high school!) and lets me do things like transpose so when I play a C on a Bb clarinet, it shows as C on the tuner.


My only complaint about it is that there should be easy pre-sets for Bb/Eb/F transposition.

Has anyone else gone the app route?

All about Clarinets / Good luck, eBay seller
« on: August 28, 2016, 09:00:28 AM »

Brand-spanking-new seller wants $122 for a clarinet but says nothing about it:

Beautiful and refined this Clarinet is perfect to practice and improve with. Comes with everything needed to play besides reeds. Has two mouthpieces but one has slight damage the other is in fine condition. Feel free to message me with any questions. 

The Yamaha pad cleaning paper is an interesting touch.

All about Clarinets / wrong neck
« on: July 11, 2016, 11:36:22 AM »
I have a Noblet alto that appears to have the wrong neck.  With the neck and mouthpiece sunk home, it reads a semitone and 50 cents sharp on my tuners.  Pull the neck and mouthpiece out sufficiently - dangerously far in both cases - and it's within 10 cents of being in tune, which "is very good for an alto" I can hear you all saying.

This thread http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=323118&t=323118 on woodwind.org suggests that I'm not the only person to have the wrong neck and that the correct length is about 103mm, or about 20mm longer than the neck (with a simple bend) that I already have.  This sounds about right, given how far I've had to pull everything out.

Options before me: Hope that someone has a proper-length neck in a drawer / case somewhere, with a project that will probably not get done and is willing to part with it.  Send the instrument (and neck?) out to have someone either lengthen the current neck (I'm thinking of a Selmer (bass) style tuning slide) or fab up a new one.  I'm lucky to have BAC Custom here, locally…they could do it - the question is whether or not I could get it back before rehearsals start in a month's time. 

All about Clarinets / Odd Selmer ligature - how do I get it off?
« on: July 05, 2016, 07:22:17 PM »
This ligature, with reed mounted, came on a one-piece full-Boehm Buffet clarinet in A.  No idea who made the mouthpiece, as I haven't been able to get the lig off yet.  It looks as if it's just a squeeze fit, but to do that would move the reed, so there must be a trick.  Does anyone have an idea?  I haven't broken out the soft-jawed pliers yet, nor the rubber gloves to increase my grip.  Haven't risked the tip by whacking it against the counter, either.  At that point, why bother?  (Links to the photos b/c of the small upload limits)


All about Clarinets / Selmer Series Niner bass actual value?
« on: March 16, 2016, 04:41:59 PM »
[I have a cherished S9 Bb sop, yes I do, so you might imagine that I'd want a "matching" bass.  And alto.]

Those of you who follow that auction site know that there have been a group of Series niner basses going wanting for the past week or so.  The first auctions closed with no sales priced at $2500.  (I've also seen a "fixed up" Series niner go unsold at $3200)  They've been relisted at $2300 and so far, watchers but no bidders.  Hm.  All of them disappeared this evening with a "no longer available" tag.

So, maybe the true price is $2300 or whatever it is the buyer paid for them "at wholesale". 

Moving from Completed to Sold listings, I see that one "excellent player" went for $3200 and the other at $2900 was "best offer accepted".

Any opinions from the peanut gallery?  Dave?  Phil?


Slightly odd, but whoa, more keys than my alto or bass.  Plays okay.  I knew that I needed to replace the barrel.  (Someone drilled a hole in it for a microphone)  What the seller either didn\'t notice or didn\'t disclose was that the bridge key on the upper joint is broken off.  If the seller isn\'t the one who did the work, it\'s possible that the tech didn\'t tell him about it.  

Album: (two photos)

It looks as if the bridge key itself is press-fit onto the end of the shaft of the middle-finger ring key.  (you can\'t see that in my photo)  

What I\'m hoping is that either I can source a replacement key (assembly) from behind the former Iron Curtain or that it\'s actually a DDR knock-off of a (full Boehm) R13.  

It is playable as-is, but I lose the alternate Eb/Bb 1-- 1-- fingering I use sometimes.  I can\'t reliably hit notes above the A above the staff, so I won\'t miss it on those notes.

All about Clarinets / C clarinets?
« on: December 29, 2014, 07:48:13 PM »
I dug through the topics here but didn\'t really find anything.  I was playing for the first time with a guitar-playing friend at a party this weekend (brought my new-to-me and freshly repadded & regulated \'55 B&H Edgware - boy is it heavy - then again, I haven\'t had an extended session on a soprano for a while (I switch between alto and bass - both with footpegs)) and he remarked how difficult it was for him to play in Bb - we discussed the existence of C clarinets for a little bit, played a bit more, then I asked if he could simply capo up - of course, that cost him a fret\'s worth of range.  

So — I know that C clarinets exist.  In fact, there are a handful of them up on evilBay at the moment, but they\'re Albert system and old enough that I\'d wonder if they were A-440, or Low Pitch.  

 (I can play sax, but put it away this year as I was having difficulty switching from alto and bass clarinets to alto sax and back, not to mention my needing to write \"NOT A SAX\" above the staff on my clarinet scores here and there.)

So, what\'s the relative scarcity of these beasties?  Am I going to be able to get myself into one for a reasonable price, and how much is \"reasonable\" to you?  I know that I\'m not about to spend as much on a new clarinet as I would on a cheap car…especially one that would only see occasional use when I happen to be at the same party as my guitarist friend who is a working musician.

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