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Clarinets One piece clarinets

ilovebech

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142
The reason woodwind instruments in general,and clarinets particular are made in sections,is because of the difficulty of maintaining dimensional stability in timber,and getting the stuff in big enough lengths in the first place.The larger the piece of timber the more likely it is to split.Now that some very good clarinets are made in various plastics,and of course ebonite,the makers continue to make the horn in bits,You must have a separate barrel for tuning,but the rest of a clarinet would be better made in one piece.The horn would be better made in a substance other than wood,now that the debate over the body material in woodwind instruments is over.I see that Yamaha is claiming in an advert that the material of the KEYS on a clarinet influence tone,or maybe it is just copy writer that has lost the plot.
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
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1,113
Even moulding a one piece clarinet would result in poor intonation. Anyhow it's nice to a have compact instrument like a clarinet especialy if you doubling with a Tenor ;} Sales hype is another thing and manufactures come up with an abunace of phrases to try and set the product apart from the competition. At the end of the day try out many instruments and settle on one you like and don't worry about whether the keys are solid silver or plated. Just make sure it's robust and will last for years! If it sounds good to your ears and all that matters so don't care what others think :D
 
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ilovebech

Member
Messages
142
Even moulding a one piece clarinet would result in poor intonation. Anyhow it's nice to a have compact instrument like a clarinet especialy if you doubling with a Tenor ;} Sales hype is another thing and manufactures come up with an abunace of phrases to try and set the product apart from the competition. At the end of the day try out many instruments and settle on one you like and don't worry about whether the keys are solid silver or plated. Just make sure it's robust and will last for years! If it sounds good to your ears and all that matters so don't care what others think :D
Who said anything about moulding ???.The vast majority of ebonite and plastic clarinets are machined as if they were wood,from a solid block,and ALL the good ones are made like that.You tube has plenty of vids. of clarinet manufacture showing just what I describe.
 

rhysonsax

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I also have a one-piece metal clarinet that's nice. The keywork has obvious parentage from wooden clarinets, as one of the long connecting rods/keys is in two halves, with a split just where the body join would be.

Rhys

PS I know about wood and plastic/resin bodies but are clarinets really made of ebonite (i.e. hard rubber) ?
 
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Two Voices

Senior Member
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1,113
Who said anything about moulding ???.The vast majority of ebonite and plastic clarinets are machined as if they were wood,from a solid block,and ALL the good ones are made like that.You tube has plenty of vids. of clarinet manufacture showing just what I describe.

Most student clarinets are made of ABS which is Injection Moulded not machined from solid bar. This way they can keep their prices down and minimise waste.

Ebonite is another material that is used to make clarinet bodies. In this case the body has to be machined from a solid material in much the same way as making a body from wood. This of course takes longer than injection moulding an ABS body hence the increase in price but the end result are far better
 

griff136

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1,048
The reason woodwind instruments in general,and clarinets particular are made in sections,is because of the difficulty of maintaining dimensional stability in timber,and getting the stuff in big enough lengths in the first place.The larger the piece of timber the more likely it is to split.

Its not necessarily getting the wood in large enough lengths, its more due to getting the maximum use and minimum waste from the wood. This is the main reason why clarinet barrels are made separately. Regarding cracks, in my experience its the opposite I see far more smaller pieces - oboes, clarinets and wooden flutes with cracks than I do cracked bass clarinets.


Now that some very good clarinets are made in various plastics,and of course ebonite,
Whilst I agree you can get some good clarinets made that are not wooden, as a professional repairer I have never come accross a professional player using anything other than a wooden clarinet as his/her main instrument.

the makers continue to make the horn in bits,You must have a separate barrel for tuning,but the rest of a clarinet would be better made in one piece.
May I ask how you come to this conclusion? I would imagine its mostly down to cost
 

ilovebech

Member
Messages
142
Two points,the reason pro. clarinettists play wooden clarinets is simple,these instruments have more attention paid to construction in general,it may be musicians still cling to the delusion that body material can influence tone.A one piece body does away with the link,and several corked tenons.
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Two points,the reason pro. clarinettists play wooden clarinets is simple,these instruments have more attention paid to construction in general,it may be musicians still cling to the delusion that body material can influence tone.A one piece body does away with the link,and several corked tenons.

So you don’t think that the material of the instrument plays any part in the resonate qualities of an instrument?

From my own experiences I find a subtle difference between a Bronze and Brass Saxophone as I do between a wooden and ebonite clarinet.

I find that a brass saxophone has superb projection, full-bodied tone and a lively response whereas a bronze sax has a certain subtlety and warmth to the sound with a better balance of immediate tonal production with extra warmth not found in a brass sax. However, I find the extra warmth is at the expense of projection.

Now I’m going to grab my tin hat and run for cover ;}
 

aldevis

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I am quite a clarinet enthusiast, and I try as many instruments as I can.

A B&H 1010 ebonite (?) from the army is one of the best instruments I ever tried. They used to do professional instruments in that material. And yes, it was machined.

Few one piece wooden instruments I tried were incredible: If you use a whole block of expensive wood, you don't do mistakes. (all of them were from the 30s)

About cracks, the receiver of the lower joint is probably the most delicate part. One piece solves those problem, and the positioning of C#/G# hole.

One piece instruments are a pain to carry around if you double.

My 1930 selmer has a better wood and sounds better than my 1961 selmer. (I also own a 1946 and a 1959 selmer).
The 1961 has a better design.
 
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