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Author Topic: Intonation problems  (Read 395 times)

Offline brigaltman

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Intonation problems
« on: January 02, 2024, 07:00:31 PM »
I just refurbished an Albert System Eb Clarinet. It plays wonderfully and quite well in tune, HOWEVER, the upper register is extremely flat compared to the lower register. Anyone have any suggestions?
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Intonation problems
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2024, 10:26:06 PM »
Besides a shorter barrel, sometimes these old boys are just not that well in tune.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Offline Windsong

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Re: Intonation problems
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2024, 06:13:20 PM »
Indeed. 
Perhaps the best way to remedy this would be to speak with someone with the skills to map the pitch and "adjust" the location or size of the register key, since that appears to be the culprit.
Expert bubblegum welder, and Pedler Pedler.

Offline brigaltman

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Re: Intonation problems
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2024, 06:25:48 PM »
Thanks for the ideas. I'll keep you posted on any progress.
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Intonation problems
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2024, 01:51:13 AM »
Long ago I saw an old clarinet with a janky looking register vent extension. At the time I thought it was odd, I suppose it would help intonation somewhat though.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Offline windydankoff

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Re: Intonation problems
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2024, 08:33:24 AM »
If the flatness is worst on the bottom 2nd register, it may be the register vent is under-venting.

I would try removing the register key and looking through the stem hole for debris or any damage that may reduce air flow. Clean with water and/or alcohol on a pipe cleaner. And check the pad, of course, for excessive indentation.

If it still needs help, you can heat a metal rod and insert it into the stem to warm up the shellac glue that's probably holding it in. Then insert a wedge of wood  into the main bore to push it out with leverage. Now you'll have a big hole to play in. You can fill it with poster putty or beeswax etc. then insert some sort of tube.
I've used cocktail straws or metal tubes to experiment. You can then play only the 2nd register etc. but if you place some putty in the thumb hole, you can use your thumb to reach up to the reg. hole for testing.

If you find that a larger vent hole fixes the problem, then you can enlarge the hole in the stem. I use a round jeweler's file.  Or you can make it smaller just by using nail polish, which is durable but removable.

I had similar experiences with my Chinese G Boehm clarinet and had to do lots of experimenting like this to get it good.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2024, 08:19:32 AM by windydankoff »
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