Author Topic: Kessler Custom Low C Bass Clarinet - 2nd Generation  (Read 562 times)

Offline BLMonopole

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Kessler Custom Low C Bass Clarinet - 2nd Generation
« on: December 14, 2018, 04:04:32 AM »
I'm not a paid endorser and I have no relationship with the Kesslers (other than I bought the horn from them), but thought I'd share my experience

I had been looking for a low C bass, and couldn't find one for a price I was willing to pay. After hearing Michael Lowenstern's review of the new Kessler, I decided to order one.

It arrived just two weeks and WOW. It's a terrific instrument. It truly exceeded my expectations in terms of quality (especially keywork, which I was worried would be soft -- but it isn't!), playability (tone, intonation, and it plays right out of the box), and finish (beautiful instrument, nicely thought through and assembled). I'll need to spend some time practicing use of the right thumb keys, but other than that, I'm thrilled.

Mostly, I'm excited that a Chinese-made (and then US-finished) horn could deliver so much quality for the money. It gives me great hope that we will see more and more instruments coming out of China that will be affordable and desirable. Great work Kesslers!

Give this instrument a try! (BTW, I was nervous about ordering it before playing it...but it was a risk very much worth taking)

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Kessler Custom Low C Bass Clarinet - 2nd Generation
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2018, 04:41:40 PM »
Thanks for the review!

How much did  you buy yours for if you don't mind me asking?

I bought my very old Moennig Bros low-C for $1,025. The keywork seems a bit fragile, especially on the super long lower keys.

However, the HUGE extended bell really gives the lower notes a huge foghorn blast.
Unfortunately, I've only played that clarinet once in any real setting, so it's basically a thousand dollar paperweight...
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages

Offline BLMonopole

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Re: Kessler Custom Low C Bass Clarinet - 2nd Generation
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2018, 08:45:52 AM »
Base price was $2,179....and then I selected some extras.  That's a veritable steal for low C bass clarinets which retail new at $13,000+ and used on eBay for the ballpark of $7,500. 

It played nicely right out of the box, and continues to impress me with its build quality, intonation, and level of finish. 

Offline LarryS

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Re: Kessler Custom Low C Bass Clarinet - 2nd Generation
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2019, 03:27:56 PM »
Sounds good, and an amazing low price. Basses are phenomally expensive-lottery win needed.
You don't stop playing when you get old, you get old when you stop playing.
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Offline BLMonopole

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Re: Kessler Custom Low C Bass Clarinet - 2nd Generation
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2020, 03:43:57 PM »
Just an update...

A year later, and the Kessler Low C Bass continues to be a great instrument.  Really fun to play, nicely in tune, well built.

I should note, however, that some things have broken in the past year -- the screw in the peg mechanism, and the neck basically broke into two pieces.  Ahhh, the wonders of Chinese engineering!  Both items were easily replaceable (those necks they sell on eBay for $99 fit perfectly!), but it was annoying to have to do it. 

For the price and quality of everything, I'd still recommend the horn for anyone looking for a Low C bass clarinet on a budget.  But these were the areas that the "OMG, it's still a Chinese instrument and not quite right" came through. 

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Kessler Custom Low C Bass Clarinet - 2nd Generation
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2020, 06:06:42 PM »
Thanks for the update! Sounds like a great option for those who need a Low C, but don't need to take out a second mortgage.

For a new, quality instrument, the price can't be beat!
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages