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Clarinets Clarinet GAS (or CAS) - Anyone ? I`m losing it

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I seem to have contracted a case of the DaveUKs off this forum . not for Saxes but for Clarinets .....

My new Besson
Besson-55-Clarinet-1.JPG

In the last week I received a rarer Hard Rubber version of the TJ Artemis for a Steal of a price (great nick including pads but needs the keywork straightening - off to Connollys I think) , today a lovely 1960s Besson "55" arrived , this is Grenadilla horn with plastic bell and barrel , the main parts are B&H Emperor I think , all made in the UK and in a nice Kinsman case... and I`ve just bought a Buffet E13 for a really good price but it may need a service (I like the B12 and fancied a wooden one) it`ll be here next week...

Playing wise I`m not a beginner chronologically but very much so in performance, I just can`t resist a good buy and love old vintage clarinets and before these I`ve got my Buffet B12 (main player) , Hanson SE , Buescher Aristocrat Resonite and of course the weird but wonderful Lyons-C ..

Weird thing is that I`ve no inclanation to gain more saxes unless a 10M wanders along at a silly price or I win the lottery , same for guitars (one Folk jumbo, one Classical, one Naff Strat copy) but Clarinets ....... Hmmmmmmmm Anyone else ? ..
 
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I take it I`m alone on this one ........ LOL .
 

Chris J

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Just getting time in the day to reply!

I collude with myself by calling it a collection rather than GAS. It started with picking up clarinets to repair and restore and sell on - whcih has been really successful, right up to (but not including) the selling on bit.

To give a taster:

I have 2 clarinets I play all the time

Leblanc Opus
Couesnon Monopole Conservatoire (approx 1960's)

But also in the armoury there are many more - the more intertesting being

Leblanc LL
Normandy plateau keyed
Selmer Centered Tone pair A and Bb (both full Boehm)
Selmer Silver plated metal pair A and Bb (A is full Boehm)
Buffet R13 (1974) pair A and Bb
HN White Silver King (silver plated body, solid silver bell)
Couesnon Monopole Conservatoire (rollers on R little finger Eb - approx 1950s)
Evette and Schaeffer (E13 forerunner but good quality, comparable to R13)
Leblanc L400 bass clarinet
Evette and Schaeffer alto clarinet
Couesnon Monopole Eb soprano
Couesnon Monopole C soprano
Couesnon double walled metal clarinet (currently under repair by Stephen Howard, beyond my skills as needed key made)

Chris
 
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Whoa .. that makes me Feel a LOT better ....
so my list is as follows in Chronologiocal order

Buffet B12 (Schreiber made in Germany version, better than the thin body shiny ones)
Hanson SE5 (soon to be upgraded to a large bore version hopefully)
Buescher Aristocrat (60s Resonite, same as a Bundy)
Lyons C (weird "Sinclair" alike thing utterly waterproof, user repairable)
TJ Artemis Hard Rubber (Never seen HR before, possibly made by Hanson except keywork ? )
Besson "55" (1960s Grenadilla but with plastic Bell and barrel as standard, sounds awesome)
Buffet E13 on its way (Basically a wooden B12 like the E11 and E12 but better in some way or other)

I`ve had a Yamaha 250 which I really didn`t like the keywork and finger holes on, sounded ok when it wasn`t squeakijng its head off , definatly prefer the B12 . I picked up a shiny B12 as well cuz it was cheap and wanted to try an older non schreiber one out of curisity, it had thinner tubes and the pillars didn`t have locking tabs, they look like they were just melted into the plastic , haen`t a clue where it was made..

I still would like a Bass Clarinet, I`ve been put off altos in general by reports.
 

Hallelujahal

Member
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80
Nope I don't think I've got the bug. I just have my trusty B12 nowadays and am happy as long as it keeps playing. Although I'm interested in getting another clarinet, possibly the LeBlanc 7124 as a well built knock around that can use for outside...mind you I do like the idea of a wooden one as well, hmmm this maybe more serious than I thought :)
 

Chris J

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204
If you have a clarinet or two, then I would certainly recommend Stephen Howard's Haynes manual for clarinet maintenance. And as you leaf through the pages you will see quite a few photos of my clarinets in there!

Chris
 
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I`d class the B12 as the ideal knockabout for outdoors , I wanted a wooden clarinet for ages and the Besson is my first real one as the Hanson SE5 is "Reinforced Grenadilla" which is like Buffet's "Greenline" stuff and is about as close to real wood as glassfibre is to glass crystal . the Besson despite the plastic bell and barrel (which were as much for toughness as cash saving) is a lovely horn and has a lovely complex sound which is lacking in the plastic/resonite ones . if you`re going to get wood, get Rosewood , it looks stunning . sadly the E13 I`m getting is buffets usual stained grenadilla but it`s a step up from the B12 whilst still being much the same ..

Chris I have the sax book , I don`t fancy pulling clarinets apart, I think I`d rather send them to Connollys if they need structural work or Steve howard himself for just a tuneup .
 

baritonesax

Member
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256
Ads, I sympathise completely. I'm all done with buying more saxes. Except if a very punchily-priced Selmer bass comes my way - but clarinets don't take up much room, and are rather fascinating. They can also be, as you've found, startlingly cheap for a good instrument. Chris' list will be tough to beat, but I own and play:

Selmer Series 9 Full Boehm
Boosey 1010 Symphony Bb (with Acton Vent)
Boosey 926 Imperial Matched pair
Boosey 2-20 Emperor
Bundy (Mazzeo System) - platic, for outdoors
and I've got a Lafleur Bb Full Boehm that needs restoration

I've owned

Buffet R13 Full Boehm
Boosey Regent (wood)
Boosey Edgware (ebonite)
Vito Resotone (Plastic)

I'd like to try a Couesnon Monopole - an old friend used to swear by them, and he was a serious collector.

Bill
 
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You`ve got some Classics there Bill !!. that 1010 is like the MkVI of British Clarinets (Probably of all vintage Clarinets) , my intermediate Besson is a poor relation . I feel my Besson maybe full Boehm too as it has extra levers which are missing from the Buffets and other clarinets I`ve owned or played but the layout otherwise is the same.. I`m sure they put the Besson name on the 1010 too (as it was their top Brass instrument brand) but don`t know what it was called..

I can`t see these few I`ve acquired being the end of it .. LOL !! . I`d really like a Metal clarinet ..

BTW My one and only Flute arrived today (no, not interested in getting more unless I actually gain the ability to play it) , I gave it a go a few years back with a chinese Mirage and gave up (Embouchure) though it could just have been the flute being rubbish which didn`t help, as many here seem to have them and have grasped playing them I thought I`d give it another go .
the one I`ve just got is an Emerson, pretty old by the looks of it, doesn`t have a split E key though it seems to have more sax-like keys than I remember the Mirage having both on top and underneath, the plating is very thick and not worn (needed a good cleaning) pads are white and look OK it`s Stamped Emerson Elkhart Indiana USA and the serial number .. Case is very thick plastic and well made inside and out Unlike the cheapie Selmer Bundy / Beuscher aristocrat 60s/70s vacuum formed clarinet cases which are typical of the USA .
 

Chris J

Member
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204
Re. Full Boehm

They have five left hand little finger keys and are longer, as they have an extra note - Eb.

If your Besson is the same size and same number of tone holes as the other clarinets, then it is not full Boehm. There are other keys possible on standard clarinets, such as a right hand Eb, and articulated G#:

Here is a pic of a pair of full Boehm clarinets



And here you can see the difference between the standard clarinet above the full Boehm (FB) clarinet



Chris
 
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Thanks Chris - I guess it`s not Full Boehm then .. I thought it was odd in a standard UK one

Those Metal ones are awesome
 

jthole

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My clarinet is a 1972 Buffet Continentale.

Since wooden clarinets like to be played, and I only have limited time, I have no desire to acquire additional clarinets. The Continentale is very much like a Buffet R13, but then tuned at 442.
 
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So can the Continentale be used at proper tuning by using a standard Barrel as some high end ones came with barrels for 440 and 442 . Wonder why they created a new name for it ?

Well my E13 arrived - guestimating early 90s by the serial number which is also a K prefix. lovely wood all the way through, it has a similar bright-ish complex sound as the Besson which I like very much, I`ve found the plastic horns can be shouty or stuffy (Or both), the B12 is one of the better ones . I`m sure it`s more to do with the quality level than the material of the body parts of course . so it appears to be more than a wooden B12 , yeah the keywork is much the same (B12 keywork is legendary amongst budget clarinets) though the plating seems thicker and the action better setup (servicing can change this of course) ..
The Bell had an off purple sheen to some of it which looked not unlike marker pen but too even than that (though not the original stain surely) , I used Meths & Bogroll to clean it off which resulted in the lovely grain being visible but without going too un-black. I wish they wouldn`t put bell rings on wooden clarinets .. every piece has Made in France on it and there doesn`t appear to be any of the famous Buffet tenon binding ..
It comes in a very nice well made case which is a massive improvement on the B12 case which is shamed even by most Chinese ones , came with a nearly full pack of Vandoren reeds , a clarinet Lyre with the tightening screw missing and looks like it was never fitted to this horn (Lyres to me are like Ashtrays on motorbikes anyway) and a fantastic Buffet pullthrough cloth in very French Patriotic colours ..

Buffet-E13-Clarinet-L.JPG


I expected a slicker handling B12 made from wood . I fear the E13 is quite a bit more than that :)
 

jthole

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231
I have an E13 at home as well, and it is a very fine clarinet. You feel the quality when playing it, and it is much much more than a "wooden B12" indeed. My only objection would be that it's natural tone color is a bit darker than I like. Player, reed, and mouthpiece can make a large difference there, of course.
 

kevgermany

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you don't need a different barrel to play a 442 at 440. Just tune in mid scale, barrel will come out slightly and correct as you play.
 
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I didn`t know if there`d be enough tenon to do that hence why they supply two barrels with some ..

I went through the Xmas Carol set with the E13 last night (which was played on Sax at the weekend do) and yup, it is far from being a wooden B12 even in my inept hands, I`m wondering how the R13 differs (out of curiosity of course) . I`m going to send it in for a service anyway , the Besson too in the new year . my Bore-oil has arrived so will do that anyway .

The weird thing about Clarinet for me is that my ineptitude isn`t in the sound I`m getting (I`m more than pleased with that aspect) but the handling of the keywork and making use of the upper register , at the moment I`m using it as two clarinets in different keys and still having problems with keeping the thumb hole covered and holding down the register shift key .. I really need to get lessons
 

Colin the Bear

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The problems you describe are probably why the saxophone was invented. lol. Eat more cakes and get flabby fingers. You can't play with boney mitts. Hand cream helps too. Rubbed in not ingested that is.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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I didn`t know if there`d be enough tenon to do that hence why they supply two barrels with some ..
more than enough. Tune your clarinet to 438 and then see how big the difference is... Then try playing in tune at 438, I don't think you'll struggle.
 
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The Eat more cakes and get flabby fingers. You can't play with boney mitts. Hand cream helps too.
Great idea but I don`t like the 9 months pregnant look which accompanies the flabby fingers, I`m stayin' lean and mean . I`ll try the hand cream though - Hanson T series have a Sax shaped lever on theirs which goes around the thumb hole more , great idea
 
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