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Messages - BLMonopole

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All about Clarinets / Re: How many clarinets do you own?
« on: May 16, 2023, 04:07:43 PM »
Okay, so I have been away a while.....and have done some work on my collection

•   Selmer Paris Centered Tone Eb         
•   Marigaux RS Symphonie Bb clarinet       
•   Buffet Bb clarinet (R-13)
•   Ridenour Lyrique Hard Rubber Bb clarinet 
•   Couesnon Monopole Conservatoire Bb clarinet  vintage (after 1952 – and before 1960)
•   Buffet A clarinet (R-13)
•   Forte C clarinet 
•   Selmer Paris Series 9 Eb Alto Clarinet
•   Selmer Paris Basset Horn
•   Selmer Paris Bb Bass Clarinet 
•   Kessler Custom Low C Bass Clarinet - 2nd Gen 
•   Selmer Paris Rosewood contra alto clarinet
•   Leblanc Straight Metal Contrabass
•   Couesnon Monopole Conservatoire Tenor Sax
•   Roland A-10 Aerophone

All about Clarinets / Re: Catchy Music Scored for 7 Clarinets ??
« on: September 21, 2020, 06:35:37 PM »
Can you hum a few bars?  Impossible to narrow it down otherwise....

All about Clarinets / Re: Boehm Eb that comes apart in the middle?
« on: August 15, 2020, 03:26:21 AM »
Happened across a Buffet Eb that comes apart in the middle....so I wasn't remembering wrong....


All about Clarinets / Re: Anyone else having trouble logging in??
« on: August 14, 2020, 01:19:50 PM »
Hmm.  Weird.  Now it seems fine. Probably user error.

All about Clarinets / Re: Boehm Eb that comes apart in the middle?
« on: August 14, 2020, 03:58:57 AM »
Uses smaller/leftover billets of wood?  It's certainly not an advantage for the player, so it's probably an efficient manufacturing thing....

All about Clarinets / Anyone else having trouble logging in??
« on: August 14, 2020, 03:56:43 AM »
I keep getting an error message:

This page isn’t workingclarinetpages.info redirected you too many times.
Try clearing your cookies.

I've cleaned out my cookies, but Google Chrome still won't let me in.  I had to resort to Safari.  I'm wondering if this is a "Me" thing, or if others are having the issue as well. 

All about Clarinets / Re: Boehm Eb that comes apart in the middle?
« on: August 09, 2020, 11:45:23 AM »
I just saw one a while back when I was looking for an eefer...stenciled Martin Busine.  IO did a bit more research to see who stenciled them, and it seemed to be Orsi.  Because I've not been a fan of Orsi instruments, I didn't pursue the purchase even though I thought that the two piece body was interesting.

I've also seen a newer Buffet eefer that has a two-piece body...but that was several years ago and have never done any work to see if that was a standard configuration or just what the situation. 

All about Clarinets / Re: Penzel Mueller Brilliante clarinet advice
« on: July 21, 2020, 02:52:21 PM »
I have owned a few Penzel Muellers and always loved playing them (although I have never played a Brilliante).  They are lovely instruments and nicely built.  I will say that I was disappointed to find that when I played my P-Ms with groups, there were some really out of tune notes. Like, not just a little bit....really horribly and noticeably out of tune.

After much research, I found that (as Dave said) the culprit was the lack of a polycylindrical bore.  They can be played in tune, but it just takes a lot more work.  I'm not sure if the Brilliantes (which are known to be the best clarinets P-M ever built) have an improved bore or overcame these issues. 

Good luck.  I'm a fan of vintage clarinets and always feel like they are worth refurbishing (and are often better built than modern clarinets), but they do come with their own set of challenges. 

I agree with the point on kiln dried grenadilla, definitely.  Give me a vintage horn and that high quality wood every day!

But also this (see below, a post from a respected tech)....

I have two Buffet R-13s (a Bb from 1960 and an A from 1981) that are terrific instruments.  I've never played a better clarinet than these vintage R-13s (but I've played many that are every bit as good).

However, I think Buffet's marketing became far more important than its craftsmanship at some point after the 1980s (maybe someone knows what happened with Buffet back then).  Today, you pay thousands for a new Buffet with the expectation that you'll have to send it to your tech before you can really play it. 

Meanwhile, Selmer Paris has been making incredible instruments for at least as long.  I have several Selmer Paris clarinets (bass, alto, basset horn, contra alto) and have owned an Eb and a Bb Series 9* from them that were spectacular. And yet the brand has lagged (a long way) behind Buffet in the clarinet world for a long time (since the R-13, I understand). Leblanc and Yamaha also make great instruments (though admittedly, I haven't ever played any!)

Also, there are many (now vintage) brands that have produced great instruments over the years that are even more unsung: Couesnon, Noblet, Thibouville, Dolnet, Marigaux, Penzel-Mueller, and so many others.

So, why is Buffet so darn popular?  And overpriced?  I can't think of a reason.  So, I submit: BUFFET IS OVERRATED. 

Thoughts?  (Feel free to disagree....I'm probably overlooking something)


All about Clarinets / Re: Stencil Clarinet
« on: July 11, 2020, 01:36:43 PM »
Agreed!  That's definitely Malerne keywork.  It has all the telltale signs!

Although resale won't be high, some of their instruments were terrific.  It's worth seeing if you can get it to play. 

I played clarinet from 4th grade through the end of high school.  I was pretty good, but hadn't planned on playing in college.  Fate intervened when I found out that I basically needed a scholarship to even afford going to college, and I ended up getting some money at an out-of-state school as part of a music scholarship. My parents later moved to that state during my sophomore year, and therefore the scholarship was no longer needed.  I immediately changed majors, took on a huge course load to try and graduate on time with a more business-focused degree, and never looked back.  I literally didn't play for over 20 years. 

I have had careers in advertising, marketing, agriculture, and I have run a non-profit for the past 4 years.  I've been lucky to have enjoyed each step along the way, and to have made a nice living as I've gone along. 

Once my life, family, and career were in a good place, I started to miss music.  I started back playing with a community band almost 10 years ago now, and have loved it.  I now study with a teacher, play in chamber ensembles, and have built up a stable of great instruments that I enjoy playing.  Continuing to play these awesome vintage instruments is basically my "retirement plan," although retirement is still several years away. 

Wow, Dave....really sorry that it has been a rough time for you.  Hang in there....things are getting better, the economy is opening back up, and I know that you'll be back in a good place with work soon. 

I think this is great, and really the wave of the future.  Maybe someday music stores will be places where they print your desired instrument and then finish them for your with keys and accessories! 

Today you spend thousands buying a new Buffet, which has to be sent immediately to a tech to get it playing well.  They don't sell finished instruments anymore, really, they sell expensive and pretty clarinet "kits."  For this reason, I have stuck with vintage horns -- they are generally well made, more thoroughly finished, and use higher quality materials.  I've had a few "bad surprises," but not that many.  And I have spent countless thousands less than if I had bought new instruments. 

So, I say bring on the 3-D printed horns!  Especially in the case of rarer instruments, it's a true solution. 

So, the Noblet eefer also plays nicely (it took some work to get the setup right).  Nice tone and very good intonation. 

Having tried the Chinese eefer not so long ago, I feel like a vintage horn is the better approach for these pesky instruments.  That said, acquiring and refurbing even a modest Noblet was substantially more expensive than the Chinese option.

The manufacturing in China continues to improve, however, and the Chinese eefer I tested would be fine perhaps for a student or someone who didn't care much about intonation. I have been very positive about the Chinese-made-then-US-finished Kessler low C bass clarinets, and hope to see more instruments which are lower priced and very good quality in the future. 

Just my thoughts.  How do you all feel? 

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