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Author Topic: Advice - buy & refurb antique for klezmer  (Read 450 times)

Offline lhinelle

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Advice - buy & refurb antique for klezmer
« on: June 13, 2023, 12:21:39 PM »
Hey folks, I'm looking into joining a klezmer band! I still have my old plastic clarinet from my school days, but I'm looking into options for a wood upgrade. On Ebay I can find a couple Noblets and some Selmers that look like they may be worth restoring (I've been poring over ClarinetPages to learn about spotting good antiques!), but one find struck my eye. It's an Albert system wood clarinet with a logo I can't find any info about online, see the listing here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/325583553084 . Anyone know what this is?

Honestly, I'm leaning towards this 1940s Noblet (https://www.ebay.com/itm/185938446719) just because I don't know if I want to dive into a new key system along with all this new-to-me music and playing style. Any advice? Does anyone else here play klezmer? I was also in jazz band in school, along with concert and marching bands.

Thanks so much!

Offline windydankoff

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Re: Advice - buy & refurb antique for klezmer
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2023, 01:57:26 PM »
I don't think anyone here will recommend Albert system. No need to re-wire your nervous system. If your current instrument plays well, you can start by being sure you have a very good mouthpiece. It's far more important than the clarinet itself. The general setup, according to most klez players, is no different than they use for classical or other music. It's the technique.

Get an old "bargain" only if you wish to dive into the repair and restoration universe which is a deep study in itself. Otherwise, there are plenty of good playable oldies out there. I and some others in this group are fond of hard rubber clarinets as an alternative to wood. They sound great, and are forgiving and low-maintenance. Message me off-line if you are interested in one.
Windy at BLACK • HOLE Clarinets
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http://www.windydankoff.com/black-hole-clarinets.html

Offline lhinelle

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Re: Advice - buy & refurb antique for klezmer
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2023, 03:04:30 PM »
Thanks for the quick response! I do have a hard rubber mouthpiece from jazz band that worked well for me. A whole clarinet made of hard rubber? Is the tone comparable to a good quality wood antique?

Offline windydankoff

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Re: Advice - buy & refurb antique for klezmer
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2023, 06:47:15 AM »
Typically yes. You can use our search box at the top of the page to find many mentions and discussions about them.

Also search on the Makes & Models List:
https://clarinetpages.info/smf/index.php/board,9.0.html
Windy at BLACK • HOLE Clarinets
"User-Friendly" clarinets in Bb and C
http://www.windydankoff.com/black-hole-clarinets.html

Offline lhinelle

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Re: Advice - buy & refurb antique for klezmer
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2023, 07:57:22 AM »
Thanks very much! Sounds like I have more learning to do, back down the rabbit hole!

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Advice - buy & refurb antique for klezmer
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2023, 12:43:38 PM »
If you're a sax player, then Albert system fingerings might come a smidge easier. Still, it's a lot to learn for no real gain.

Also, most Alberts are very old and either in High Pitch, or otherwise not up to modern tuning standards. They're generally collector's items.

Noblets are nice. Try to avoid fixer-uppers unless you have the time, skill, and/or money to restore it. I'd spend a few hundred bucks on a nice used wood or hard rubber clarinet that plays right out of the box if I was you.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
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