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Author Topic: OK, I really want an alto clarinet . . .  (Read 6772 times)

Offline Airflyte

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OK, I really want an alto clarinet . . .
« on: August 31, 2016, 06:46:54 PM »
 . . . I do have the body section (Bundy)  complete with keywork - I just need a bell section and a neck. Can someone help me find these two items?

I have visions of forgotten instruments sitting in the corners of school band room storage room - waiting to once again see the light of day.

Is a near mint Bundy worth it ? http://www.ebay.com/itm/122071392333?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: OK, I really want an alto clarinet . . .
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2016, 09:23:40 PM »
Oi, that's quite a bit more than I would pay, even for a new instrument.

Your best bet would be, I think, to find a parts instrument on the Bay for no more than $200.  At that price, you might even nab a good player that you could use in lieu of your Bundy!

At one point I had 4 alto clarinets, and would have loved to donate to the cause.  These days, however, I've liquidated so much...

But I'll keep an eye out for good deals!
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Offline andybeals

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Re: OK, I really want an alto clarinet . . .
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2016, 03:06:32 AM »
Well, fully ready to go.  I'd want to be near there so I could hold their feet to the fire.  I am wary of people who try to trade on their fame, especially if it's just reality TV fame.

Necks are one of those things that just go missing.  Where they go, nobody really knows, although occasionally you find someone who has an extra.  (I heard tell once of a bari sax from a school that showed up at a tech's shop with three necks in its case.  One of them was the correct neck.)

If it's just parts you're wanting, this is reasonable, and I trust these guys:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/USED-BUNDY-ALTO-CLARINET-LOW-E-PROJECT-HORN-/162182618447

That said, as someone who has been this route, STOP!  You'll be the butt of jokes and you will find that there are fewer parts for alto clarinet than one would expect.  You'll also end up buying and fixing up a wooden alto later. 

There is a Bundy in my closet.  While it is a decent enough clarinet, it is quiet and a little nasal, but does start to fill out that part.

If you do go the alto route, do yourself a favor and get your hands on a Hite mouthpiece:

https://www.amazon.com/Hite-Alto-Clarinet-Mouthpiece/dp/B00C8FBTPA

The Yamaha 4C is not worth the $20. 

Do you normally play bass or soprano?
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: OK, I really want an alto clarinet . . .
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2016, 05:01:44 AM »
I watch the altos frequently just to see what they look like. Some have been quite tempting but it seems I am either not prepared or someone else wants it worse. No luck so far on an alto.

I have been seeing an alto bell listed for what I would pay for a whole rebuildable alto in wood. That said, today a new alto bell listing from the UK came up. You won't see it unless you include international sellers in your search. Sometimes shipping from the UK is prohibitive, this listing didn't give me a quote to Atlanta. I have gotten some UK items with very reasonable shipping costs, so it is worth checking into if you want to go the route of finding the pieces.

You also need to verify that the bell fits. Ask about specific measurements of the socket diameter for sure, as well as the depth of the socket. If you are going to put it together, you don't want to end up with a Franken-alto in appearance. As long as it all fits it will probably all work better otherwise as well. Personally I think putting an engraved Pedler bell on a Bundy body is lipstick on a pig, but if the lipstick is reasonably priced and the right color, why not? If you did incremental upgrades, you could wait it out for a better body to go with the Pedler bell.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Alto-Clarinet-Bell-/131924035873?hash=item1eb7490921:g:HWYAAOSw-KFXfrtm

The other route?

Assume you score the bell and now all you need is the neck. At the end of the scavenger hunt, you still have a Bundy with borrowed components. The whole is the sum of the parts, and that will be reflected in the future when you might seek a return on your investment.

Right now you have one stray part. You could sell that and wait for a very good alto to come along complete, perhaps just needing new pads or other maintenance. Doing a complete re-pad or any kind of "all keys off" maintenance on one of these is significant in expense when done by a good tech, but a restoration of a good vintage instrument is still my idea of how to get the most bang for the buck.

The condition of the Bundy body with keys is something that needs careful evaluation. If all the springs, pads, and regulation corks are present and functioning, if you can hold all the keys down plug one end and do compression and suction seal tests on it and make sure that it is 100% working, that's different from "maybe it works or not."
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Offline Airflyte

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Re: OK, I really want an alto clarinet . . .
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2016, 05:26:10 AM »


But I'll keep an eye out for good deals!

Thanks Dave, it's greatly appreciated!
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Offline Airflyte

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Offline Airflyte

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Re: OK, I really want an alto clarinet . . .
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2016, 05:44:01 AM »


If it's just parts you're wanting, this is reasonable, and I trust these guys:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/USED-BUNDY-ALTO-CLARINET-LOW-E-PROJECT-HORN-/162182618447

I've added the parts Bundy to my watch list and could very well be worth it, thanks for the link.

That said, as someone who has been this route, STOP!  You'll be the butt of jokes and you will find that there are fewer parts for alto clarinet than one would expect.  You'll also end up buying and fixing up a wooden alto later. 

I can't stop, I have a clarinet problem too - well not really a problem, more like a solution to one!  The problem is that there's too many clarinets 'out there'.


There is a Bundy in my closet.  While it is a decent enough clarinet, it is quiet and a little nasal, but does start to fill out that part.

If you do go the alto route, do yourself a favor and get your hands on a Hite mouthpiece:
I have a Hite for sax and it's a keeper.

https://www.amazon.com/Hite-Alto-Clarinet-Mouthpiece/dp/B00C8FBTPA

The Yamaha 4C is not worth the $20. I tried a Yamaha 4C on a soprano - I'm not a big fan of that one.

Do you normally play bass or soprano? I play soprano or at least try to keep it from getting out of control  :o






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Offline Airflyte

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Re: OK, I really want an alto clarinet . . .
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2016, 05:57:01 AM »
I watch the altos frequently just to see what they look like. Some have been quite tempting but it seems I am either not prepared or someone else wants it worse. No luck so far on an alto.

I seem to get outbid quite frequently too.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Alto-Clarinet-Bell-/131924035873?hash=item1eb7490921:g:HWYAAOSw-KFXfrtm

Thanks for the link.

The other route?

Assume you score the bell and now all you need is the neck. At the end of the scavenger hunt, you still have a Bundy with borrowed components. The whole is the sum of the parts, and that will be reflected in the future when you might seek a return on your investment.

Right now you have one stray part. You could sell that and wait for a very good alto to come along complete, perhaps just needing new pads or other maintenance. Doing a complete re-pad or any kind of "all keys off" maintenance on one of these is significant in expense when done by a good tech, but a restoration of a good vintage instrument is still my idea of how to get the most bang for the buck.

The condition of the Bundy body with keys is something that needs careful evaluation. If all the springs, pads, and regulation corks are present and functioning, if you can hold all the keys down plug one end and do compression and suction seal tests on it and make sure that it is 100% working, that's different from "maybe it works or not."

I would be willing to put money into the restoration of an old alto that was built at a professional level - the search continues . . .
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Offline Airflyte

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Re: OK, I really want an alto clarinet . . .
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2016, 06:09:18 AM »
I hold youtube responsible for my desire of an alto . . .
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4eVFsmx3EM


Is there a way to 'embed' youtube vids to this forum?

« Last Edit: September 01, 2016, 06:11:52 AM by TheBlueBeamPolkaProject »
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: OK, I really want an alto clarinet . . .
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2016, 06:03:17 PM »
I hold youtube responsible for my desire of an alto . . .
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4eVFsmx3EM


Is there a way to 'embed' youtube vids to this forum?
I don't think the software is capable, but if you know your html (I don't), then you might be able to get something to show up with the right code.
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: OK, I really want an alto clarinet . . .
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2016, 08:52:59 AM »
When you post a reply, there is a little symbol above the smilies with # on it. Hovering over it says "insert code". I've not done it so let's see how that works. The problem with embedded anything is that the links expire, are edited, or sometimes removed. It works temporarily if it works.
- Silversorcerer (David Powell) exclusively for Phil's original “The Clarinet Pages" forum

Offline andybeals

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Re: OK, I really want an alto clarinet . . .
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2016, 09:09:27 AM »
Code: [Select]
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/T_IA8K7xK8g" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
"Insert code" is for putting in pre-formatted computer code, to make it display better.
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Offline Airflyte

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Re: OK, I really want an alto clarinet . . .
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2017, 07:51:11 PM »
Ok, I guess I'm reviving this thread again. Truth is, I did find an alto (a Bundy) that I have had for awhile. It's been sitting but I took it out of the case, assembled it and then had some fun with it. The kids just love this thing, "Is that a saxophone?" they ask. I answer their question with my own question, "Does it sound like one?"  They get it!

I do get a very strange buzzing of the reed at the mouth piece - I think the table of the MP is not true. Too bad because it's a nice older LeBlanc HR piece. I'm going to shop for a good alto piece.  Anyway, just an update for y'all.
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Offline andybeals

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Re: OK, I really want an alto clarinet . . .
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2017, 07:56:30 PM »
The Clarinet Pages is where we answer the question: "Am I not a Clarinet and a Woodwind?"