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help please selmer soloist

Discussion in 'Selmer USA' started by learner, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. learner

    learner

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    I was trying to replace a selmer signet soloist I had years ago...

    Today I picked up a "rent/with posiblity of owning" Selmer USA Soloist, wood clarinet. Tag says CLSOL300W. Clarinet body has Soloist in script then Selmer USA. Serial no on body says P0110415. Total price was $1200 This clarinet was from the largest instrument store around (reputable).

    After doing some research online, I'm a bit nervous. I can not find a Soloist that is not a Signet?? Can anyone clear this up for me? Are they making new soloists? Also I couldn't find any serial numbers that even came close to that.

    I can back out of this deal, but I want to do it sooner rather than later if things aren't up to snuff. That's a lot of money.
     
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  2. tictactux

    tictactux Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    Check out Clarinuts; they have two soloists at roughly half the price. (Or at least you got two pictures to compare with yours)
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    My Selmer USA knowledge is a little iffy right now I believe the Selmer Soloist is possible a much newer instrument. I believe they were making the "Soloist" at least up to 2006 if not more recent.

    The Signet Soloist is labeled as such and is an older version of the instrument. They started the Selmer Signet "Soloist" model back in the 1950s.
    http://www.clarinetperfection.com/clsnSelmerUSA.htm
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2009
  4. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    I did a brief Google search.

    * The Signet Soloist and Selmer Soloist are definitely two different horns. I checked on that model number and was rewarded with a couple pics. The Soloist is a plastic horn and is a student model. Other RECENT horns labeled "Soloist" and have "SOL" in their model name are also student horns (other woodwinds, it appears, saxophones being the most common), but the line was discontinued around 2006. (The CL600 Aristocrat is the current model, FWIW.)
    * The Selmer Signet Soloists average under $600 US in "great shape". There's one on eBay, right now, under $50 US. Of course, it's not a closed auction.

    This is another example of where confusion helps Selmer: they have a professional line of saxophone mouthpieces called "Selmer Soloist" and Selmer USA had a professional clarinet called a "Signet Soloist", so they introduce a student line called "Selmer Soloist". You then just assume that this line is professional because it has the "Soloist" name ....

    In any event, that dealer is overcharging by a lot, learner, even if it was a Signet Soloist. I'd recommend:
    a) buying a Signet Soloist from Clarinuts, as mentioned by TTT (who has a beautiful Margiaux Symphonie clarinet, btb).
    b) hitting up SteveSklar at his website and seeing if he has something inexpensive there.
    c) buying an overhauled, used Yamaha YCL-32/4 (wooden) or even a lower model plastic student horn, like the YCL-20. These are all really inexpensive horns and play very, very well.
     
  5. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Pete - I can't make anything out in that picture. But it doesn't look like the Soloists that I have seen (wood, metal tenons, throat keys on separate posts versus and "L" like that one has, etc), or any other of the Selmer USA clarinets. Granted, I do not keep up with what is offered in the last couple years. They could be using the name to sell plastic clarinets now.

    Be careful of clarinets labels "solist" and not "soloist" I have seen some Solist clarinets (excluding Kesslers line). And the name on that is fairly high on the UJ and barely legible in the picture. I've seen pics of, for instance Selmer Paris Centered Tones where someone etched the word "Centered Tone" on it to try and sell it for more. This one could be a CSO in disguise in your picture. But then the 300 line is a plastic student model (see below at bottom for a few pics)


    The Selmer USA Soloist and the Selmer USA Signet Soloist are student / intermediate clarinet (ignoring the sax line etc) .. most put the Soloist as the high-end Intermediate level clarinet offered by Selmer USA. I tend to agree with that.

    The Selmer USA Signet Soloist was started back in the 1950s.
    The insignia has changed over the years.

    I reference "Selmer USA" as this is an offering from Selmer U.S. and has no reference to Selmer Paris which only makes professional Clarinets. Thus Selmer USA making student and intermediate clarinets.

    But the model lineup is:
    Selmer (signet) Resonite - plastic student
    Selmer (signet) 100 - wood student
    Selmer (signet) special - wood intermediate
    Selmer (signet) soloist - wood high end intermediate

    The Soloist is a great playing clarinet. At one point they were offered with gold keywork. on eBay the Soloist in general used condition will get $200. More if overhauled by a reputable place.

    The Soloist is on my list of the only Selmer USA clarinet that I would go out and buy for reselling (excluding tradeins, etc). Though I've had Specials & 100s which have been easy and very good sounding too .. it all depends if they are setup properly. Of course they are sold for less too.

    There is a distinct difference in method of obtaining a clarinet as to the price it is sold for. eBay will always be the cheapest (it seems for clarinets). Next is your onling stores, then retail stores. One must also differentiate between Insurable value too. here's a link with more info and a little research into prices (it's a work in progress but you'll get the idea)
    http://www.clarinetperfection.com/ClarinetValue.htm

    So don't expect a retail store to sell a Soloist for the same price you can get it on eBay. nor from a strictly online store/clarinet shop.

    Since Pete mentioned me .... I usually get questions on my inventory and stuff usually never ends up on my website. I do not have a Soloist presently but in my "inventory" to be worked on is a Signet 100 (full wood) and a Yamaha 34 (full wood) , Buffet B12 (plastic).
    I just sold a professional Leblanc L7 for less than that retail Soloist. I have a few others but they are professional Buffets. But I do get Soloists from time to time and I do obtain them if I am requested to.

    On Clarinuts they have a model 300 .. which is plastic
    http://www.clarinuts.com/clarinuts/pages/C263.asp

    wwbw. model 301, which is plastic and only $925 ?
    http://www.wwbw.com/Selmer-USA-CL301-Student-Clarinet-464674-i1441043.wwbw

    so I'm going to guess the OP is looking at a modern named Soloist ... which has nothing to do with the vintage Selmer Signet Soloist at the Retail price. On ebay, used they would sell for pennies on the dollar.

    btw, there are 2 vintage Signet Soloists on ebay .. i tend to watch them looking for a good deal =-)
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009
  6. tictactux

    tictactux Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    Hmm....
    In my ears, years ago sounds like something that predates a modern name Soloist, especially at that price the shop is selling it for. Sounds like good ole vintage Signet Soloist to me.
     
  7. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    It is just difficult to us to guess without pictures or some equivalent pricing.

    lerner - can you post some pictures ?

    If you can't how about you call that store and ask them how much a Buffet B12 costs. That will gie us an idea of how their pricing is since to me that is a known product that I'm sure they have in stock.
     
  8. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Things have changed in the world of clarinets. I purchased a Buffet B12 for my grandson brand new for $400. It was an excellent instrument. My wife played a Signet Soloist (she still has it). When I convinced her to start playing again, I purchased her a used Buffet R13 'festival'. She asked me why she wouldn't just play her Signet Soloist.

    So I had her play a scale on the Signet and we watched the intonation on a meter. Then I had her play the R13 using the same scale. Two things made the deal a slam dunk; the intonation was significantly better immediately and the key works were butter smooth. We kept the better instrument and never looked back.

    The Buffet R13 is recognized as one of the premier professional clarinets in the world. Here's the kicker, this used instrument, which I'm still using 7 years later (I bought Suzy a new Leblanc Symphonie II) cost *less* than the instrument you have purchased.

    I hope this doesn't discourage you from continuing your quest for the right instrument. I would suggest that you see if a local instructor would help you find a great instrument at a decent price.
     
  9. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    C'mon it's a decent picture :).

    On the top joint, you can see the "Soloist" stamp.

    I don't think Selmer uses the "Soloist" name anymore; as I said, research I've done agrees with your 2006 end date.

    I think the Soloist alto sax is pretty, but it's obviously student model.

    IIRC, Selmer USA saxophone models were 100 (later, 110), 200 (later, 210) and 300 for awhile, with the 100/110 (originally called "Omega", back in 1981) being the high-end model. That's another reason why, when I saw the model number for this clarinet, I thought, "That's a student model."

    However, the CL300W Soloist seems to be a bit hard to find. The Soloist saxophones (ASOL200, for instance) are fairly common.

    Further research says that they're all made in Taiwan and that the "Soloist"-branded horns were just available to "select" dealerships.

    I love Google.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2009
  10. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Professional, intermediate and student instruments differ in every way imaginable.

    They look the same but that's about it to the discerning player.
    True student clarinets have smaller toneholes for smaller fingers this of course affects the tonal quality for those that have a good ear.

    Fit, Finish, intonation, fullness up and down the entire scale, quality of wood (if wood), quality of the bore finish, smooth finish of the keywork on top and bottom, plating, et all including PRICE varies between student and professional.

    Though Yamaha does a great job top to bottom in their clarinet line.

    But price as mentioned varies greatly depending upon where you buy it from.

    But the above does not apply all the time. I normally think most professional clarinets should have smooth keywork finish even in the places you don't see. This is not always the case.
     
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