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Messages - DaveLeBlanc

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All about Clarinets / Re: 1917 Buffet Crampon Boehm A LP
« on: March 31, 2022, 01:57:22 PM »
70 bucks is a true steal. Great pickup

All about Clarinets / Re: A very early grenadilla Albert Harry Pedler
« on: March 31, 2022, 01:56:53 PM »
I ain't about to mess with any clarinet with a missing key. Simply not worth the time, effort, money, and stress, in my opinion.

But, like a Christmas tree, you can just rotate the bald spot to the back, right?

Sweet. Always wanted one of these for my mini-museum. One day.

All about Clarinets / Re: I'm leaving for a while
« on: March 31, 2022, 01:55:08 PM »
Back in the sack, my friends!

Make and Model lists and research / Re: Is this legit or a fake(copy)?
« on: March 31, 2022, 01:54:17 PM »
Looks legit. Very unusual to have any type of copy/counterfeit of a clarinet that is NOT a Buffet.

If it's got a metal sleeve, then it is a Silver Throat style clarinet, which was produced most often by Pruefer and Malerne, if I recall.

There's a whole Silver Throat thread here: https://clarinetpages.info/smf/index.php/topic,524.0.html

I love Leblancs. The thing about these is that they almost always are significantly cheaper than any comparable Buffet or Selmer. Brand name goes a long way, and some people lose, while others, such as us, stand to gain.

On any given wooden clarinet, the barrel is the most likely to crack completely through. Can't tell you how many woods I've gone through where the body is relatively decent, but the barrel looks like George Washington got to it with his cleaver.

$1,600 is sky-high for an LL. They are good, yes, but I can't imagine anybody in their right mind paying such top-tier prices for this clarinet.

1/3 that is the average that I've seen.

The Clarinet Cafe / Re: A funny
« on: March 31, 2022, 01:47:04 PM »
Good renaming!

All about Clarinets / Re: Increased condensation with synthetic reeds?
« on: March 31, 2022, 01:46:42 PM »
Same problem here. I can't imagine the porosity of cane vs plastic makes that BIG of a difference considering the very small surface area, but I certainly do see a difference.
It's kind of annoying, but it's a sacrifice I am willing to take.

All about Clarinets / Re: Tarogato Discussion
« on: March 31, 2022, 01:45:36 PM »
If you want a taragota for display purposes, you can find them for nothing being manufactured out of Pakistan out of some real nasty wood.

All about Clarinets / Re: mouthpieces for a beginner
« on: March 31, 2022, 01:44:46 PM »
Bundy 3 is a real quality one that can be found for $20.

If you want something new that's also really good, the Rico Reserve X5 has been my go-to player for the  past 6 or 7 years.

Saltspoons are neat, but I don't see why flat-backs would be better or worse than dome-backs.

Modern clarinets run the gamut from purely flat cups to some real deep ones. I prefer the deeper ones as it gives you more freedom to float things in place.


A year or so ago I restored a really lovely Silver King for a client, selling for a whopping $1,300. Quality metal clarinets are quite popular, even the 100-year old ones. Some of them are truly nice, and the Buescher is a solid one.

Response to your questions:

1. Leather pads. Why do we use leather pads on any clarinet to begin with? In my opinion, there are a couple major benefits:
a) rot and insect resistance. Ever notice that just about every old clarinet with bladder pads is completely infested with pad mites? They love the felt material, and can easily chew through the outer skin layer to reach the felt. Leather is much more resistant to these types of insects.
b) conformance to tone hole defects. Leather pads are often somewhat more soft and pliable than skin pads, and can more easily conform to small chips or other defects in tone holes.

To be fair, all of the above also applies to synthetic pads, which overall is probably the best option for any modern clarinet restoration.

You can get them super expensive from musicmedic.com, or cheaper from China, or medium-price from Instrumentclinic.com

2. Thumb rest. I don't believe that your clarinet has an adjustable thumbrest; it is likely welded onto the body and unable to be moved in any easy fashion.
You can try the Ridenour Thumb Saddle, or a similar style from Kenny Woodwinds.
As for the silver plating - wearing off of the silver plate is an occupational hazard. Unless it's never been touched since manufacturing, some amount of the plating WILL be worn off. Anything over 80% plating for one of these older models is a feat in and of itself. So, I wouldn't worry about it.

I can't imagine anybody managing to damage a tone hole while working on the thumbrest unless they're amateur or just being careless.

3. Tuning mechanism. I assume you mean there is an adjustable barrel/neck? A month seems like a long time. I don't see why an overnight soak wouldn't loosen it right up.

4. Case latch. It's highly unlikely you can find this specific latch. Unless this is a museum piece that demands pure originality, any tech can replace both latches with a modern equivalent.
If you wanted the same one, you would likely have to cannibalize a contemporary case. You can find garbage metal clarinets for like $50, and just grab the latches off that case.

5. Silver finish. If you want to spend a couple G's, MusicMedic can replate entire saxophones, so I imagine they can do the same for clarinets.
The Silver King I worked on was pretty solid with about 95% coverage, so I just did a hand-polish and called it a day.

6. Red rot. Not sure what you refer to, but I will infer that this is a rust/oxidation issue? You might see a few rust spots, but typically this is not a structural issue. The only part of a clarinet that really rusts to the point of damage are the screws and rods. I once had a metal that looked like it'd been in the bottom of the ocean, but the only structural problem was the hardware.

All about Clarinets / I'm leaving for a while
« on: January 20, 2022, 11:26:11 PM »
Hey folks,

Tomorrow I am officially joining the US Navy, and will be starting Officer Candidate School in Rhode Island.

If all goes well, I will be commissioned as an Ensign in the Oceanography field in mid-April.

Until then, I leave things in the capable hands of those better than I.

Godspeed, friends, and see you on the flip side!

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