Author Topic: Chinese C Clarinets / STL reviewed, compared to Ridenour Lyrique C  (Read 6287 times)

Offline windydankoff

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Re: Chinese C Clarinets / STL reviewed, compared to Ridenour Lyrique C
« Reply #30 on: October 04, 2017, 08:27:05 AM »
Yes I can! I just tried mine with the longer barrel and the mid-joint out a bit and it's holding very nicely throughout. I'll fine-tune it to your preference. I expect that with the short barrel and fully-in mid-joint, you would still have a good result for A440. You get the 2-for-1 special.

I would invite you to purchase it directly on eBay from songtielun, and try it yourself (to be sure it's a keeper). Also, to make some intonation tests of your own, so that I can be sure I can tune it compatibly with you. I will do my complete 6-hour refining and quality control routine for the normal $400. You get a 1-year warranty from me on all aspects of the instrument.

If you wish to contact me directly, use windydankoff at mac dot com. or call me at 505 490-0313. Santa Fe, NM USA.
Windy at BLACK • HOLE Clarinets
"User-Friendly" clarinets in Bb and C
http://www.windydankoff.com/black-hole-clarinets.html

Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Chinese C Clarinets / STL reviewed, compared to Ridenour Lyrique C
« Reply #31 on: October 04, 2017, 10:06:21 AM »
Dear Silversorcerer David,

You wrote, above:  "One of the first things I check on a clarinet is how well the alternate fingerings check out below and above the break.”

I would like to check them on my C horns.  Can you specify, or give me a reference to those fingerings?  I have charts showing many alternate fingerings. I want to be sure I check the ones you find important … and I’d like to learn them as well.

Also, if you have any comments regarding the B and C “trill” keys which I commonly find way out of tune ... and I re-tune ‘em quite good. What? Don’t people use them? I find them wonderful to use as primary notes, like on a sax. I’ve seen many clarinets where they are way off (the C too sharp, the B very flat). And, I’ve tried others (a minority) that have them tuned well. I don’t get it. There must be 2 schools of how they are used.

Thanks to the Clarinet Pages!  //  Windy

I go up an down the chromatic from A (throat) to C alternately using the Bb side (trill) and the register key. Those two Bb fingerings should match and any way of going up and down should sound like a true chromatic run.

Then the B (combination) and C (throat) should closely match those (first two) notes above the break (17/6 Boehm). The reason I like the mid 20th C. Conn and Penzel-Mueller clarinets is that on these, those are nearly dead matches if the pad clearances are correctly set. Those are often far better than French clarinets that some presume to be better instruments, IMO. Pedler Woodwinds and Bettoney are also very good in this regard. Unfortunately these companies did not make C Boehm models, or not more than a hand full.

I recently learned that most of the scores calling for C clarinet are 19th C. or earlier, so I am using a Mueller type C LP to learn with. Those are not common, and the system is different (only one option for Bb, B, and C throat tones). I use a similar tuning strategy for the side keys. The top side key should simultaneously open the lower side key, and clearances be carefully set to balance the tuning of the B and Bb.

The pad shape on the register port is as critical as the clearance. Ideally, a domed cork pad for the register key should be used if the C is flat.

Regarding the use of the combination of Bb and C trills to get C, that is what I do. The pad clearances can be pretty tight. I usually have the register and A key open also for C. The notes I am most fussy about are the open G and the top C. The G can be adjusted slightly by the pad height of the vent under the A touch that connects to the thumb ring. This should tuned at 20 Celsius, or the tail is wagging the dog.
- Silversorcerer (David Powell) exclusively for Phil's original “The Clarinet Pages" forum

Offline windydankoff

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Re: Chinese C Clarinets / STL reviewed, compared to Ridenour Lyrique C
« Reply #32 on: October 04, 2017, 11:57:07 AM »
Thanks Silver, thanks for clarification, advice and confirmation. I helps me to hear on The Clarinet Pages how you and others set priorities and do the tuning dance. Now I'm revisiting C-1 (my first STL C) to dial it in a bit more. Then, on to the next one, on my bench now.

Anyone interested in it? Let me know.
Windy at BLACK • HOLE Clarinets
"User-Friendly" clarinets in Bb and C
http://www.windydankoff.com/black-hole-clarinets.html

Offline windydankoff

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Re: Chinese C Clarinets / STL reviewed, compared to Ridenour Lyrique C
« Reply #33 on: October 12, 2017, 01:27:16 PM »
Forgive me for "tooting my own horn", but I can't resist. Here is a review from the buyer of my second fine-tuned BLACK HOLE C clarinet:

“Your results with the clarinet are very solid. … I (with my Vandoren B48 dot 88 mouthpiece and Vandoren 2.5 reed) stay squarely in tune through most of the horn with only minimal sharpness in the throat keys (within my ability to "lip down"... an issue with all my clarinets). ...  I look to use your C when Beethoven (or Dvorak or Prokofiev or the others) and I next meet. Thank you very much for your work! I readily recommend it to others reading this note.  –– Mark M., Connecticut, eBay buyer
Windy at BLACK • HOLE Clarinets
"User-Friendly" clarinets in Bb and C
http://www.windydankoff.com/black-hole-clarinets.html

Offline windydankoff

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Re: Chinese C Clarinets / STL reviewed, compared to Ridenour Lyrique C
« Reply #34 on: November 21, 2017, 07:57:38 AM »
I'm preparing two more Black Hole C clarinets for sale. Quality from the factory remains high except where defects and mis-tunings continue to beg for attention. The work goes smoothly now based on accumulated experience, recorded data, and some new tools.

One is nearly complete, and very pleasing. I'll list one on eBay soon for BIN $600, but if disciples of The Clarinet Pages wish to get one for $500, please reply here or send me a message. Warranty from me is 1 year / trial period 14 days / postage $25. Specify if player has Small or XL hands.
Windy at BLACK • HOLE Clarinets
"User-Friendly" clarinets in Bb and C
http://www.windydankoff.com/black-hole-clarinets.html

Offline windydankoff

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Re: Chinese C Clarinets / STL reviewed, compared to Ridenour Lyrique C
« Reply #35 on: September 18, 2020, 02:04:46 PM »
Almost 3 years have passed, but this message thread remains full of good information so I continue .... Silversorcerer David's post just above helped me to set up trill keys to be "real" notes. I took it a step further. I enlarge the B trill tone hole, then glue a bump of material near the center of the pad. That way it keeps its full travel but acts like it opens less. It balances the factors nicely, which is not easy because that key effects 3 notes. Also, I can sand the bump to final-adjust it, without removing the key. I do this as routine on my Black • Hole C clarinets to dial in the B trill without de-tuning the side-key Bb.

I sell C clarinets often with a select vintage mouthpiece that matches with it especially well. The old STL name turned out to be a seller, not the maker, and is no longer relevant. To date, the quality remains high and a bit more consistent. But it still needs fine-tuning etc. to meet "concert standards". Then, I love the instrument and so does everyone I now who has one.
Windy at BLACK • HOLE Clarinets
"User-Friendly" clarinets in Bb and C
http://www.windydankoff.com/black-hole-clarinets.html

Offline Windsong

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Re: Chinese C Clarinets / STL reviewed, compared to Ridenour Lyrique C
« Reply #36 on: October 07, 2020, 08:24:16 PM »
Windy,
I remain impressed as to what you have managed to do with the STL.  I still play my Kolar LP C weekly, and have found, despite its charm and fantastic sound, it is not scientifically tuned, like yours are, (but blues don't mind  ;)). 

You are a true champion of tonal perfection. 
Expert bubblegum welder, and Pedler Pedler.

Offline windydankoff

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Re: Chinese C Clarinets / STL reviewed, compared to Ridenour Lyrique C
« Reply #37 on: October 08, 2020, 01:34:19 AM »
Windsong – Funny you mention using C clarinet for the blues. Years ago I played blues and jazz with a C-melody saxophone. It was often much easier than using Eb or Bb sax. That was one stimulus to explore C clarinet. To study the situation, I evaluated various clarinets playing by ear with recorded blues backing tracks in various keys. I made this chart for the most common keys used by guitarists, and by horn-based jazz.

CLARINET KEY PLAYABILITY SCORE FOR COMMON BLUES & JAZZ KEYS

Score of 1-5 indicates general ease of fingering
      1=difficult  5=easy

                                          KEY of the MUSIC      
                   guitar blues & jazz keys     plus horn-based jazz keys
                    E      A     G     C      D                F     Bb
C clarinet       1      5      5     4      5                5      5   
Bb clarinet     1      2      5     5      5                5     5   
A clarinet       5      4      1     2      4                1     1

I eliminated A clarinet. I have since found G clarinet fits well. Eb Alto is wonderful when it fits, but not so often. (I never finished the chart for G and Eb)
                           
Windy at BLACK • HOLE Clarinets
"User-Friendly" clarinets in Bb and C
http://www.windydankoff.com/black-hole-clarinets.html

Offline LarryS

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Re: Chinese C Clarinets / STL reviewed, compared to Ridenour Lyrique C
« Reply #38 on: October 26, 2020, 08:03:20 AM »
Does hard rubber look and feel similar to plastic, or is there a distinct difference? I'm just wondering if my Windsor clarinet is plastic or hard rubber...
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Offline windydankoff

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Re: Chinese C Clarinets / STL reviewed, compared to Ridenour Lyrique C
« Reply #39 on: October 26, 2020, 08:15:08 AM »
Larry - Hard rubber (HR / ebonite) looks practically the same as ABS plastic when a clarinet (or mouthpiece) is relatively new.

HR is very dark brown, not black. Age, sun exposure and water staining tends to reveal the brown color. Warming the material may reveal a slight rubbery smell. These are sure evidence of HR material.

You can test with a little cotton swab dipped in acetone (nail polish remover). HR is impervious to acetone. Plastic is not. Wipe it on the bottom of the bell or the end of lower joint, some place where a slight dulling of glossy finish won't be noticed. If black shows on the swab, it is plastic. If it's HR, no black will be removed.
Windy at BLACK • HOLE Clarinets
"User-Friendly" clarinets in Bb and C
http://www.windydankoff.com/black-hole-clarinets.html

Offline LarryS

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Re: Chinese C Clarinets / STL reviewed, compared to Ridenour Lyrique C
« Reply #40 on: October 26, 2020, 09:13:35 AM »
Interesting Windy, I'll have to try that, though I suspect mine, being a cheap chinese instrument is plastic. (Windsor has no website so I can't check. They also make flutes, saxes and trumpets)
 
The finish on mine roughed to look like wood.
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