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Clarinets Unusual quality unmarked clarinet

C

cromerblues

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98
Can anyone help me with a recently arrived clarinet. It is made from a really good quality wood, is totally unmarked, no serials or logos, and has maillechort key work. Standing at about 30mm longer than a Bb it would seem to be an "A",( supported by tuner playing a "C"). So, from research very few used maillechort metalwork and much points to Buffet for a very small amount of upper end models. It cleans to a high shine and is clearly quality. What is it? A prototype? If so from whom? I suspect Buffet because of the high quality and it plays beautifully, great tone and an easy blower. Research appears to line up with a 17 key Buffet, but unless there is a hidden mark anywhere I am at a loss. Any experience of such an instrument would be gratefully received. Can probably arrange photo if required. Yet to clean it up fully, it has been neglected and needs keys cleaned and likely tear down to clean/oil body and adjust a few springs. Otherwise surprisingly good and a massive steal from that dodgy auction place!
 
rhysonsax

rhysonsax

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I had to look up "maillechort" which seems to be Nickel Silver.

Pictures would probably help. Any other information from the seller at "that dodgy auction place" ?

Rhys
 
C

cromerblues

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98
IMG 20201008 161010
IMG 20201008 161030
 
C

cromerblues

Member
Messages
98
Photos above. Seller sold a Leblanc recently and was not The Player. So I am thinking this was part of an unmatched pair, one Bb one A, and he had not realised. With the Leblanc being a decent instrument it reinforces my thinking that this is too, though where from.......Leblanc? Buffet.....? Bore after barrel = 0.575"
 
kevgermany

kevgermany

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Looks as if the keys were silver plated at one stage.
This nickel silver/German silver keywork is very common on German/Czech made clarinets.
I know you've looked, but try checking the underside of the body joints for a very faint maker stamping.

This could easily be a mass produced model from Germany/CZ. Looks as if it could have come from the same factory as one of my son's clarinets. FA Übel.
 
C

cromerblues

Member
Messages
98
No writing on keywork......the keys shine to high silver shine, they are just dulled by lack of cleaning. If you look closely at the F/C pinky key you will see I have cleaned it and it shows a marked shine. As I understand maillechort were a good quality and would remain shiny if cleaned. They are extremely sturdy and have retained shape throughout. There would likely be no marking surely if a prototype, so that anonymity remained if they decided to ditch it. The overall quality and finish is far too high to be East German or Czech, I feel. Also the wood is excellent. Of course age is nigh on impossible to guess as there are no clear markers. Although it feels 50s to 70's max. Springs are blue steel and clean, pads are mix of leather and fishskin (clean replacements I think). ).575 bore falls into Leblanc and Buffet and is Symphony bore too? Def not B&H, too small. Tenons are steel capped.
 
Colin the Bear

Colin the Bear

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Have you tried asking on a clarinet players site?
 
Stephen Howard

Stephen Howard

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No particular thoughts, I'm afraid.
It just looks like one of those A.N.Other clarinets that were produced for any number of retailers back in the day.
It's probably an OK instrument, but not exceptional. The wood, however, is likely to be very good.
 
C

cromerblues

Member
Messages
98
No particular thoughts, I'm afraid.
It just looks like one of those A.N.Other clarinets that were produced for any number of retailers back in the day.
It's probably an OK instrument, but not exceptional. The wood, however, is likely to be very good.
Thanks Stephen, the thing that confuses me is the maillechort keys, or is that a red herring? It is definitely an "A", as you say the wood is excellent, tone is very nice...........it is simply denuded of a single identifying mark.......frustrating because it plays so well..... when cleaned up and polished it will look very decent....may be one of those keepers, difficult to move on, but not worth giving away.....
 
Stephen Howard

Stephen Howard

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It's a red herring.
 
C

cromerblues

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I assume if correct Stephen, this would have sat with a selling/distributing company awaiting it's own id's etc and maybe just got forgotten over time then released into the world where it has remained? So we will never know it is an orphan!!
 
Stephen Howard

Stephen Howard

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Yep - or it may never have been intended for badging. It costs money, and some smaller shops might not have wanted to run to the extra expense.
A 'not very scientific' guide to the quality of an unmarked clarinet is the neatness of the serial number. The cheaper ones tend to have very scruffy numbers...barely a step up from being scratched in.
 
C

cromerblues

Member
Messages
98
Yep - or it may never have been intended for badging. It costs money, and some smaller shops might not have wanted to run to the extra expense.
A 'not very scientific' guide to the quality of an unmarked clarinet is the neatness of the serial number. The cheaper ones tend to have very scruffy numbers...barely a step up from being scratched in.

Mmmm, always frightens me off when things are crooked. A fair few saxes appear with crooked serials and that worries, why would they go to all that trouble and cost then put a messy number on it, especially the copy cats?! You would think the clarinet originator would have something hidden away on the instrument, but presumably they would know it in an instant! Sort of a waste of what may be a very good clarinet........you dont subscribe to the prototype theory? Like a sample put out to test the reaction etc? Not marked in case it never manufactures?
 
Stephen Howard

Stephen Howard

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I'd be more inclined to think along prototype lines if it wasn't for the fact that I've seen so many unmarked clarinets over the years.
 
R

Rojaros

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Germany
Something in the Bb lever plate looks very much like Amati. But I would have too see a closer pic. The characteristic form of that plate is quite unique, never saw it with other clarinets.
 

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