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Author Topic: Good stuff on ebay  (Read 127315 times)

Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2016, 05:45:19 PM »
Today was an interesting day on ebay. An humble 1952 Conn 444N sold for higher price than a 1974 Buffet Crampon R13. Both were in very good condition for restoration. I think the R13 would have brought more if it had not been listed as a ,buffet champion. I bid on one but not the other, didn't win. Neither one topped $200. Even with only a handful of bidders savvy to the R13, it went very low. The 444N hit about the average for the condition it was in.

It's an interesting comparison between the two that so many regard as radically different clarinets, and usually one so superior to the other. The 444N kept the same model name after undergoing radical revisions during the  late 1930s after Conn invented the Stroboscope or StroboConn, which allowed very precise visualization for frequency matching. Buffet didn't fix their clarinet until 1950, and it is doubtful whether they could have done so without Conn's invention.

As explained in that document that outlines the history of production methods at Buffet Crampon, before the Stroboconn, the fine tuning of pitch on musical instruments had to be done by comparison to the pitches of a standardized harmonium. No matter how good the ear, the process was limited by the stability and accuracy of the auditory pitch references. This was like using an old school guitar pitch pipe and then upgrading to an electronic tuner.

Of course Conn made good use of this stroboscope first because they invented it and immediately put it to work improving the 444N and all the other instruments in tuning. From what I know of these and even the 424N models, this was certainly effective as these are the most equal of the supposedly equal tempered clarinets I have played. Admittedly I have not played an R13, and today's auction didn't raise any new hopes for doing that soon.

In the Buffet history document, there is much attention given to crediting all the fine virtuosi who worked with Buffet doing the final testing and tuning of their clarinets. These were all great ears, names we all recognize as woodwind giants. As good as their ears were at Buffet-Crampon, at the end of the game the tool they used was the stroboconn, the precise visual tuning reference in use by C.G. Conn, Ltd. since 1936.

It's a pretty safe argument that after the stroboconn, one barely needed to be able to hear at all to check the tuning of an instrument. I'd love to get an R13 and put it side by side with a 444N with two good players and have them go up the chromatic scales and see what differences are observable (by ear or eye) in the intonation accuracy.
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Offline mechanic

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2016, 05:47:50 PM »
Haven't seen one of these before.  A hard rubber Evette with a silver throat.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/302048268387?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

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Offline Windsong

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2016, 07:18:16 PM »
I've never seen one of those either.  Many manufacturers made silver lined clarinets at one point or another.  Of course, Pruefer's Silver Throat is the one everyone remembers, though.  Penzel Mueller branded one too.  As a matter of fact, I missed a last minute bid on a silver lined top joint of a Henri Bouche, as I was preoccupied.  A darn shame, too, as it went for 5 bucks with an 8 dollar shipping charge. 
Now, who knows?  Perhaps all were made by the same manufacturer, or perhaps there were a couple of players in that game.
Thanks for sharing.
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Offline Windsong

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2016, 07:57:29 PM »
Here is a Martin Freres LaMonte silver lined clarinet ( it would be nice if there were some photos of the inside of the top joint, though.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/LaMonte-Grenatex-Hard-Rubber-Silver-Throat-Clarinet-1940-1950-/131373656489?hash=item1e967ae9a9:g:tWUAAOSw0vBUhjQA

To my knowledge, I've never played a silver lined clarinet, but reports from several online sources mention that they are better as conversation pieces than as players. 
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2016, 08:07:31 PM »
I own a Pruefer ST as well as a Linton.  I have a feeling they were all stencilled from the same maker, but I have yet to obtain conclusive evidence of this.
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Offline andybeals

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #35 on: August 23, 2016, 06:32:12 AM »
(I couldn't find anyone particularly interested in Pruefers, so I'm posting here:)

This item jumped more than $130 by auction close:

http://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions/Pruefer-Single-Body-Wood-Clarinet-no-mouth-Piece-32322247.html

It's a full-Boehm unibody, about 23" long sans mouthpiece according to GW.  I'm wondering if that would indicate a HP instrument, given that it has a low Eb.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2016, 03:06:38 PM by andybeals »
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Offline andybeals

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #36 on: August 23, 2016, 06:39:09 AM »
And an odd conical metal "clarinet" with a backwards mouthpiece:

http://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions/Vintage-Buffet-Crampon-Clarinet14949-32368415.html

Pricey for a metal clarinet.  "Cheap" for a soprano sax, if it's salvageable. 

The engraving says it's really an Evette & Schaeffer.

More than a little rough.  Case damage indicates that it was stored in a damp basement and is probably better thrown away or cloned with new wood.  Oddly enough, it has white pads on it, which says "modern" to me.  Am I wrong about that?  No close-ups of the LH pinky keys.  RH pinky keys, together, are roughly circular.  Its surface metal is pitted/freckled.

Closed at $327 last night.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2016, 06:54:16 AM by andybeals »
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Offline andybeals

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #37 on: August 23, 2016, 10:12:04 AM »
Now here's a brand that it seems no-one has heard of before:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-ORPHEUS-WOODEN-CLARINET/302047205744

Undoubtedly a stencil.

$22, no bids, 2d19h to go.
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #38 on: August 23, 2016, 10:53:37 AM »
That Buffet is hurting;- if it's a Buffet. Stencil is plausible as well.

The Orpheus is one I've been seeing about 3 or 4 times around;- no bids, re-listed. You'd think a seller might wonder if better photos might get some attention. When you can't see what it is, you certainly have reservations. It's kind of like the recent mystery Italian "Concord Cadet" I took a chance on. It went through 4 cycles off reductions before I finally took the chance on it. Lucky good deal was the result but certainly no guarantees.

The Orpheus might be a great clarinet but you wouldn't know from the photos. Some photos are worth far less than a thousand words.
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Offline andybeals

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #39 on: August 23, 2016, 11:20:20 AM »
When photos won't do (and really, they just won't, except to point out a mold-ridden instrument), origin and ownership help a lot.  "I don't know anything about clarinets" definitely keeps my bidding low.

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #40 on: August 23, 2016, 12:20:08 PM »
What is the information source that the Conn violin finished clarinets are cocobolo?  ???
I am forever skeptical;- please forgive me.

And well you should be.  As much as there's a problem with "tung oil", there's a real problem with wood species identification.  The trade name "cocobolo" itself is given to wood from multiple species of (closely-related) tree.  (Think "oak".  Consider the difference between red oak and white oak.)

What's interesting is that while official sources (e.g. WP) state that it's rare outside of parks, reserves, and plantations, my father said it was everywhere when he visited Costa Rica back in the nineties.  (I do see that the CITES listing was as of the late aughties.)

My wood-working instructor was always on the look-out for pallets from South America as he had found that they were often made of the stuff.  He told a tale of a fellow who imported straw hats that were crated in cocobolo on cocobolo pallets. 

Visual identification only gets us so far, but given an assembled instrument, it's mostly what we can go by.  Given the '50 to '54 advertising, I think that it's safe to assume that they were working with post-War stocks of materials.  Woodwinds didn't appear in Conn's '48 "Temporary Price list" but they did re-appear in '49: http://www.saxophone.org/museum/publications/id/493 (clarinets appear on page 6; click to embiggen any one page image)  The grenadilla was obviously reserved for Conn's more expensive instruments but not in sufficient quantities (how much ended up in the clutches of the Third Reich?) to supply Conn for their Pan-American line, hence the substitution. 

Grenadilla and Cocobolo are both Dalbergia, so trying a substitution is obvious.  You want something that hopefully starts out dimensionally-stable and stays that way, to reduce waste and cracking, respectively.

Similar physical properties with respect to shrinkage: http://www.wood-database.com/african-blackwood/ http://www.wood-database.com/cocobolo/

Cocobolo isn't quite as hard or dense as Grenadilla, but is otherwise quite similar.

Given the examples I've seen, there may very well be some laminated clarinets out there, but I would go with "rapid growth wood" for the ones with the wide striping.
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #41 on: August 23, 2016, 02:02:53 PM »
Andy, you are about to see a rather large chunk of what is generally accepted to be real cocobolo.  ;)  I've always thought it was a rather dark and reddish wood similar to other instrument grade rosewood species and palisander but with more open grain and color in the grain. We've all seen the boutique bells and barrels and the color variations are fairly wide, but to my eye don't look like the Pan American clarinets, which tend toward a more yellow color.

The pallet story is quite revealing of how the natives view those kind of woods;- plentiful and useful for utilitarian purposes. Brazil has gotten smart regarding violin bow wood and has started cultivating that coveted tree and severely limiting exports. The result is that many of the bow makers have moved to Brazil.

There was a story about the Cremona violin makers building basses from the crates the fine violin wood was shipped in (apparently down river from the Alps) because those were the biggest boards. Given the perception of plentitude of ancient forests, it is very plausible that tone wood was used for crates. Many of those old basses have top wood that is cut on the slab instead of quarter sawn, indicating that it was indeed more suited to use as a crate board. The story of the German luthier Hauser buying a tree from a woodsman who he encountered that was sawing up such trees for construction use is also familiar. All of Hauser's fine guitar tops and even the early ones built by his grandson came from a single tree, according to the story.
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #42 on: August 23, 2016, 04:00:12 PM »
  I'm wondering if that would indicate a HP instrument, given that it has a low Eb.
That's interesting.  I figured that HPs sort of went extinct by the time that they started using the Boehm system with the straight-up register key.  If the register key was a wraparound, it would probably be more likely. Weird measurements though.
  In any case, that's really not a bad price for a unibody full boehm!
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Offline Windsong

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #43 on: August 23, 2016, 08:36:37 PM »
Now here's a brand that it seems no-one has heard of before:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-ORPHEUS-WOODEN-CLARINET/302047205744

Undoubtedly a stencil.

$22, no bids, 2d19h to go.

The Orpheus!  Indeed, this must be the clarinet the oracle talked about in the Matrix...
;)
Seriously, though, that price is almost worth it just to score that super cool case.
I love the cases from the late 40s through about 1964.

Have a gander at this crazy green one. 
http://www.ebay.com/itm/282123259100?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Correspondence with the seller indicates no knowledge of the clainet,  and no maker's marks.  The top joint tenon has a nickle cap.  Noblet 45s had this feature, and there were several other manufacturers who implemented this feature, tho.
And just have a look at that super low price for such a find!
« Last Edit: August 24, 2016, 05:50:05 PM by Windsong »
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Offline andybeals

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Re: Good stuff on ebay
« Reply #44 on: August 24, 2016, 08:57:04 AM »
Another alto clarinet which may or may not have the correct neck and only goes down to low E, currently one bid at $75.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/BARBIER-PARIS-WOOD-ALTO-CLARINET-/172314202250?hash=item281eba108a:g:NX8AAOSwU-pXueGl

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