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Eefer Madness!

Discussion in 'Eb Soprano Clarinet' started by Merlin, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    aka "What's your eefer setup?"

    Buffet E11 Eb clarinet with Vandoren B40 m/p, Vandoren Blue Box #3.5 Eb reeds, Bonade lig.

  2. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    I played a 1960-ish plastic Bundy with a stock Bundy mouthpiece. Vandoren reeds. Stock lig.

    Fun horn. I never played any gigs with it; just fooled around with it.
  3. SuzyJo

    SuzyJo Gandalfe's Wife

    Lebanc Concerto II, Vandoren B44, Optimum silver lig, Rigotti gold 3.5 reed. It seems to have better intonation than the flute parts that I usually double. :cool:
  4. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Admin and all around good guy. Staff Member Administrator

    What a squeeker. I've long suspected Suzy's playing the eefer is why she sounds better on the sopranino and soprillo saxes than I do. :cool:
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Playing eefer certainly helps with those wee beasties.
  6. tictactux

    tictactux Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    WWBW's house brand, an "yeah okay" horn but it doesn't invoke a lot of confidence in Taiwanese craftsmanship.

    I'd prefer having a Bundy or a Vito, but just these days I got a dentist bill over 3K $... :cry:
  7. Dave Dolson

    Dave Dolson Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    I had a Conn Albert eefer for a while. I played the mouthpiece that came with it and I don't recall the reeds - must have been Vandoren somethings. Was I glad when I sold it! Of course I felt the same when I sold my R&C 'nino saxophone, too. Too high-pitched even for my soprano-attuned ear. DAVE
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    I'm looking to add a Fobes Eb extension to my Eefer sometime soon. I'm hearing really good things about the pitch stability with those.
  9. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    I've got one on order now...so soon!
  10. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Admin and all around good guy. Staff Member Administrator

    SuzyJo will be interested in that. She mostly plays eefer because the flutes are so weak, the weakest section in the band actually. I think she plays a Leblanc Concerto II and the intonation is really good although she sez her music rarely goes above the clarion G (first G above the staff).
  11. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    I'm still waiting for it to arrive. It's currently sitting in Canada Customs. I'll be lucky if I get it within two weeks of the ship date.
  12. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Admin and all around good guy. Staff Member Administrator

    From Clark on our sister Clarinet BBoard:

    The idea for my Eb extension came from my work with bass clarinets extended to low C and the very occasional full Boehm system clarinet. In both cases it was evident that the sound of the long B natural was much improved when it was produced from a tone hole rather than the bell. I had never seen or heard of this in conjunction with a clarinet, but I was aware that it had been used for English horn. I have some prototypes for Bb clarinet that I made some time in the 1990s, but they did not work well.

    My first successful extension was made for David Niethammer who was the Principal Clarinet with the Richmond Symphony. I don't recall the exact date, but I believe he contacted me in the year 2000. He needed a longer bell for his early 1900s Buffet C clarinet, but I suggested that I try making an extension instead. It worked beautifully, but I did not make another extension until Jan of 2002. This was made for my R-13 Eb clarinet and I was amazed at how well it worked. In addition to the improved B natural my clarinet had a much more even and warmer sound throughout the registers.
    It gets better...
  13. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Nothing new here to this old man...

    All that I can say is "Duh!" to this one.

    I've been raving on about the long B on my Selmer Series 9 "full Boehm" clarinets since at least the early 1960's, pointing out just this very thing. And, like Mr. Fobes, I too noticed the same thing about the bass clarinet. (How can you miss it, to be completely fair?).

    I noticed the inconsistencies in the timbre of older Bb sopranos as a wee tad, and noticed (in particular) that Buffet instruments (of whatever model) had the wide difference between the C and the B throughout the universe of horns that I was exposed to. However, my protests (coming from a young welp) were brushed aside with "That's the way it is!" comments from the college students and the few pros willing to deign to note my existence.

    True, modern Buffet sopranos have improved on this; true, some of it may be in the eye (or ear) of the player alone due to the different direction in which the sound is emitted; and true, my old Buffet range to low E bass clarinet in the Albert system most certainly did not have this problem. But, only I had enough confidence in what I was hearing to admit that it was true.

    (This one was never tested in the "behind the screen" trials in which I participated in Springfield MO in the 1960's (we were mostly concerned with the infamous "A clarinet mellow, Bb clarinet more shrill" question), mostly because we had too few "full Boehm" horns to make a valid universe.)

    Nowadays, the consistency between my B in the staff and the adjacent C (and for that matter, the A below) is occasionally cause for comment, but the improvements in recent horns (over the last twenty years or so) has erased much of the gap.

    The ring of Play-Doh in the bell is a new one, however...
  14. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Well, on the BC, one could argue that there's a lot more metal to deal with, thus it's a lot more obvious. (I've never had a low C bass, but that's even more metal to deal with.)

    I'd be interested in seeing this "extension". It's $175 (http://www.clarkwfobes.com/Barrels.html). I've mentioned before that there is no real way to make a high pitch open pipe instrument (clarinet, flute, sax, etc.) into a low pitch one, but the descriptions sound a little like it. One would think that you'd be replacing the bell and some keywork on the lower joint.

    However, I do agree that "break" "long notes" like B or C are stuffy and somewhat difficult to play.
  15. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Got my Fobes extension today, and it's great!

    Really clears up the long B and low E, and helps greatly with the resonance and ring of the lower chalumeau and clarion notes.

    Definitely worth the money.
  16. Tammi

    Tammi Private woodwind instructor

    I'm almost embarrassed to say that I have an ancient Normandy(?) with a one piece body. I use an old VITO V2, generic 2 screw lig, and Rico orange box 5's on it.
    It's a retired school horn according to the Morton H.S.4 engraved on the body.

    I've also got a J.W. Pepper HP in Albert sys. I has it's original wood mpc.
    I don't play that one. I can't find a tech willing to solder a pot metal C# lever.
  17. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Admin and all around good guy. Staff Member Administrator

  18. Tammi

    Tammi Private woodwind instructor

    Not too bad for a one piecer and concidering it was one I referbished myself. I usually need to pull the barrel out a hair.
    It has a few funky spots typical of a vintage clarinet, but I'd play it in public.

    The wood mpc that came with the Pepper HP gives it a whole different color. If an eefer can sound rich this is the piece that can do it.
  19. Eefer Madness

    My first Eb was an ex-school Noblet 40 with a refaced B44 MP and Mitchel Lurie inverted ligature. It had been nicely overhauled using cork pads and it plays well. It has amazingly low resistance. It wants 3 ½ and 4 reeds normally, when my Bb setup is 2 ¾ Gonzalas. On the minus side, it's a half pitch flat pretty much everywhere in altissimo. It has a nice but plain tone. Any dynamic less than MP doesn't really get out, and if if I push it up, it sounds like I'm pushing. This one is my backup now.

    Since the Noblet, I've tried several Eefers. My current instrument is a Carl Fischer with a wrap-around register key from e-bay. It's marked “Made in France” and is probably a Buffet. It was in bad shape, with a broken bell tenon and several chipped tone holes. So it became a long term rebuild project. Was it ever worth the effort! This clarinet has a ring to its tone that is completely missing from any other eefer that I could afford. It came with an ancient Conn MP and an ebonite barrel. With these it sounded good, but intonation was beyond bad, way beyond. The mouthpiece I've settled on is a refaced (probably several times) Steel Ebonite Woodwind Co. I made a barrel to go with it, which helped the twelfths. My community band stand mate, a former Navy Bandsman, comments on its sound and surprisingly good intonation. I really like this clarinet.
  20. I have just acquired an H Freeman e flat clarinet... It is a Buffet in H Freeman clothing. No serial number. But unmistakable Buffet key work and sound. Played it on my first gig last night, and eeked out the G4 3 times last night in Crazy for You reed 2 book. This first time I did, the guy playing reed 3 next to me remarked, "Holy S***!":emoji_relaxed:

    I play a Fobes 42 barrel and a Fobes San Francisco mouthpiece with Van Doren 3.5's and a Vandoren Optimum soprano saxophone ligature and this little beast sings (or screams)!
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