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Author Topic: Pedler Custombuilt bass clarinet.  (Read 4613 times)

Offline Airflyte

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Pedler Custombuilt bass clarinet.
« on: December 13, 2016, 07:00:10 PM »
Just wanted to share this with fellow forum members. I'm quite thrilled by this one - however, it does need a complete overhaul to make it sing again!  I did not see Harry's name on it so I guess it's a 30's or newer horn. Martin Band Instrument Co. may have been in control at the time of manufacture.

Any suggestions on the restoration process? Upper has pinned repair that looks well done.


« Last Edit: December 14, 2016, 10:10:11 AM by Airflyte »
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Pedler Custom Built bass clarinet.
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2016, 07:51:02 PM »
Pretty neat thing you got there.

I'd start with elbow greasing the silver plated bell, a pretty bell makes the whole thing look that much better.
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Offline Windsong

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Re: Pedler Custom Built bass clarinet.
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2016, 02:30:15 AM »
Check out that bell, will yah!
High Mayan revival meets American Empire.
Extremely unusual, and I'm going to go out on a limb and say that was made between 1926 and 1932.
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Pedler Custombuilt bass clarinet.
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2017, 01:24:20 PM »
The "Custom Built" model is the Martin Band Instrument Co. (post 1930) model. There are several distinguishing keywork differences, the most obvious being pivoting throat trills vs. typical levers on the Harry Pedler models, which is what my unmarked "mystery BBb" is. The bells are quite similar, with different elaborate engravings. For some reason mine lacks the engraving, but matches two other examples I've seen with the Harry Pedler engraving in all other details. Mine plays very sweet after restoration. Most of the time put into mine was key regulation;- and one key needed a bearing shim soldered onto it. And there were a few broken springs, couple of missing pads. In my opinion, these are extremely rich tonally. My "Harry" is rosewood.
- Silversorcerer (David Powell) exclusively for Phil's original “The Clarinet Pages" forum

Offline Airflyte

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Re: Pedler Custombuilt bass clarinet.
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2017, 06:01:35 PM »
Thanks for chiming in Silversorcerer. I think the bell on my bass is not silver plated but rather some silver alloy (it has a very different "ting" when I tap on it) - I can't find any brass color inside the bell or in the areas where the surface has been scuffed. I suspect the neck would have been the same material but alas, it is plated brass. In fact, it just might be a Bundy neck.
               
                 If it is a Bundy neck, that changes my plans on restoration unless I can find a proper Pedler neck.

  I suppose I could give it a go on my own with support from the techies here on the forum. I see nothing that would require special tools or repair techniques.
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Offline andybeals

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Re: Pedler Custombuilt bass clarinet.
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2017, 09:51:16 AM »
I agree that you don't have the correct neck.  From what I know, the correct neck has a horizontal brace on it, but doesn't extend the register mechanism onto it.  (See attached photo.)  The Buffet Crampon uses a shallow swan neck like that.  (If you could verify - that might make the neck worth more than the rest of it.)  There's a fellow in Topeka, Kansas who is making new necks (likely certifying CN-manufactured necks) and selling them on that auction site. 

You could easily check the neck (and I think this should be done with any clarinet you get your hands on where you are not 100% sure that it has the correct neck!) by taping over all of the holes above your left-hand index finger, setting up a reed, and blowing a G, which should read F on your tuner.  If you can get that G in tune, then it's a correct-enough neck.

Useful chart: http://mmallory.fcsd.wnyric.org/documents/concertpitchchart.pdf

(What I need is a bass clef chart printed on the back.)  (And yes, I keep one in my band folder.) (Hm, I also have been meaning to write down the intervals of a major scale (2-2-1-2-2-2-1 (in semitones)) as we occasionally get asked to do something other than a Bb major scale during warm-up.)
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Pedler Custombuilt bass clarinet.
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2017, 01:29:51 AM »
There is a very common Selmer neck that works well on these and is also adjustable/tunable. I think it is a Selmer 9 BBb neck, and I almost bought one for My Pedler 201A because the original neck has a very narrow socket. Finally I found a Geo. M. Bundy #3 vintage piece that works fantastic. The fit is still very tight. So if you can't find an original neck, check out the Selmer 9 necks that pop up here.

It sounds to me like your bell is similar to the material of mine, which the catalog states is nickel-silver on the 201 types. There might have been some silver-plated Custom built models. There are certainly a good many soprano Pedlers with silver plate. That's a small matter compared to the wood quality and the key work. The wood on these is superior;- if it is in good shape, you have something special. Mine has a good number of cosmetic defects, filled screw holes from old end-pin hardware and the strap lugs have been re set and the old holes are also filled. Even with a few flaws, the grain and color of the wood is gorgeous;- and so is the sound.

I think the quality of these Pedlers, either the 201 or the Custom-Built is such that either merits restoration if there are no tragic damages. The bell on mine looks to be original with braces that match the neck braces and similar sockets, but for some reason;- no engraving? Such is as it goes with vintage instruments. See if you can snag a Selmer 9 neck before you give up on it.
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Pedler Custombuilt bass clarinet.
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2017, 01:50:41 AM »
Based on a good photo of a Custombuilt Pedler neck on the one currently being sold, I'd say it looks like you have the correct Pedler neck.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/252827371443?ssPageName=STRK:MESINDXX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1436.l2649

The 201A model does have the register key on the neck, as does the Selmer 9 neck, so my mistake. Looking at the tarnish on your bell, I would have guessed that it was silver plate. Cool bell in any case. I'd be tempted to leave the patina alone. Get after the pad regulation with cork shims. If the pads are shot go for the brown leather replacement pads. Best of luck;- looks like a worthwhile instrument.
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Pedler Custombuilt bass clarinet.
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2017, 01:17:37 PM »
The toning on the bell is actually pretty nice, so leaving the bell as is might be a cool option to pursue.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
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Offline Airflyte

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Re: Pedler Custombuilt bass clarinet.
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2017, 07:10:44 PM »
I'm going to leave the patina on the bell - it took years to get that way, why erase that?  The neck is also original to the instrument as it matches the one in Silversorcerer's link.

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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Pedler Custombuilt bass clarinet.
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2017, 10:04:03 AM »
I gave a really tarnished Moses Slater cornet (extremely rare) to a tech to get some soldering and dent work done and I explicitly told him NOT to polish it. It came back polished anyway. Made me madder than a pack of mentally disturbed hornets. I'm glad to see that a good patina gets to remain on this one. It's a rare beauty and I am about 99% certain that is silver tarnish. If you ever want to restore the silver there is a chemical way to do so that does not remove the silver, but converts the tarnish back to silver. It is simple and uses baking soda and aluminum foil;- nothing too caustic or complicated.

I don't know if you have a case for that one or not. I recently purchased a used Pedler bass case thinking I could use it for my 201A model, but it would have to be modified to fit. Currently I am using the one piece case that is a bit clumsy in size but fits the instrument very well. I'd part with this other two section type Pedler case for the shipping if you have the need for it. It's beat up but relatively clean inside, no odors and sturdy and functional. I think it was made for the Custombuilt model. Mine almost fits, but I'd have to get under the lining and modify some of the pieces and it would be very time consuming.
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Offline Airflyte

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Re: Pedler Custombuilt bass clarinet.
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2017, 06:38:20 PM »
I don't know if you have a case for that one or not.  I'd part with this other two section type Pedler case for the shipping if you have the need for it. It's beat up but relatively clean inside, no odors and sturdy and functional. I think it was made for the Custombuilt model.

I did not get a case for the old Pedler. Great offer, thanks. PM has been sent to you.
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