Leblanc Reviews (LL, L7, Concerto, LL/L7 "A")

Discussion in 'The Leblanc Family' started by Steve, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Sometimes I feel like a frog playing a saxophone
    The vintage Symphonie and Classic are small bore. I've had them and even though they are very well balanced and easy to play I found that they limited my expressionism (ease of more extreme dynamics). I'd definitely pick a LL or Dynamique/Dynamic above them especially if you are going to need the extra oomph in jazz.

    Mouthpiece-wise. it doesn't take much to get more power from them.
    For instance if you used a Vandoren M13, a M13Lyre would definitely work much better. But then so would a 5JB jazz (which is much more open).

    I've found I use different mpcs for different genres.
    If I was going to play chamber music I'd use a M13
    Concert band - M13lyre.
    then for more omph I have some vintage Woodwind K9 pieces that I use a lot.

    As for more modern mpcs, it all depends on what you currently like, and what other options are available for the brand/model.

    But the most important thing is learning how to play that new mpc. If you use the same embouchure/technique with a new mpc you'll end up just sounding the same with other technical issues.

    I should also mention that I'm not a fan of Long Facing mpcs. I tend to stay in the Medium facing range for mpcs as it allows the reed to give a nice crisp response.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
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  2. Chris Henry

    Chris Henry

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    So 5JB??? or M13....so many choices...I do like to play both.....I previously used 5RV....ready to move on....
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Sometimes I feel like a frog playing a saxophone
    M13 is too closed for ease of dynamic flexibility. I think more closed than your 5RV.
    I prefer my M13 Lyre (a little more open than the M13).

    5RV .... maybe try a 5RV Lyre if you like it. A little more open and about the same.

    the 5JB is the extreme of openness (next to the really open 7JB).

    I don't have my mpc charts handy otherwise I might have a better recommendation.
     
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  4. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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  5. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Chris the most important aspect of your sound is you. The size of your lungs, throat shape, tongue, lips, teeth. So it would be disingenuous for any of us to recommend only one instrument to you. But with those clarinets, any one of them will probably be fine to excellent for your specific physicals. In the best of worlds you could sit with each and give them a blow. A good teacher can help you in this endeavor. Good luck.
     
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  6. Chris Henry

    Chris Henry

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    Hi, Well I do know how to play a clarinet, it's just been a while...I was first chair practically from the time I started playing in junior high all the way through high school...I thought it would be cooler to switch to alto sax which is what I've been playing...When I hit 50 I started missing my clarinet and have decided to finally buy one. My 7 year old has taken an interest in the sax but it's just too big for him so I thought I would be the good role model dad and go back to playing an instrument he can handle......So, here's the dilemma, I have the choice of a Dynamique (sn# 6**) probably circa 1955 or a Dynamic (sn67** circa 1970's. Both look to be in good shape - haven't played them yet..What do you think...is there something in the older build (quality of craftsmanship, etc.) that should have me leaning toward it???? Thanks for your help. Big purchase - I just want to get it right....
     
  7. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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  8. Chris Henry

    Chris Henry

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    Unfortunately no but both look to be OK....just a question of whether the vintage was a better quality instrument....
     
  9. Chris Henry

    Chris Henry

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    I have the choice of a Dynamique (sn# 6**) probably circa 1955 or a Dynamic (sn67** circa 1970's. Both look to be in good shape - haven't played them yet..What do you think...is there something in the older build (quality of craftsmanship, etc.) that should have me leaning toward it???? Thanks for your help. Big purchase - I just want to get it right....
     
  10. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Sometimes I feel like a frog playing a saxophone
    I tend to favor the newer instruments just from tweaks in keywork etc that may be there. Plus (hopefully) less over all wear.

    The 1970s instruments were before companies started pushing automation and starting to take short cuts in wood selection/aging, etc.
    So I'd go with the Dynamic just from it's younger age which will puts it at 40+yrs old.

    Leblanc keywork even for older Leblancs is normally very solid. They were probably the best designer of keywork from the 1950's to their demise.
    In other brands the keywork is normally vastly improved in newer instruments.

    In older (pre 1950s) wood clarinets I've noticed some deterioration of the wood in some examples. So I now tend for newer instruments. You'll also come across air penetration through tonehole chimneys which need to be sealed, etc so you'll need a very knowledgeable tech to go over older clarinets.
     
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  11. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Having purchased both vintage and modern instruments, like my bass saxes, I always end up with the modern mostly because the pitch seems to be inherently better on the modern horns. But that's me. There are some folk who prefer vintage.
     
  12. TrueTone

    TrueTone Clarinet, Sax, Oboe, History

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    Well I bought one of these for $250 earlier today at an antique store. (that also had a nice Yamaha trumpet that I need to go back and get when I have money, as they want less for it than it's worth...) It needs a few new pads, but sounds extremely nice as is.
    And maybe it's just how leaky it is, but it's currently giving me a bit of a headache to play for a long time as it's rather resistant as of right now.
    Its UJ bore measured out to 14.78ish mm so it's definitely not been bored out to 15mm.
    I'll get some pads replaced on it soon (hopefully tomorrow after a rehearsal) and then report back on how it plays then.
    edit: oh, and it's from 1974, serial#407xx, and also came with a Vandoren 2RV, a screwdriver, Conn key oil, used reeds,(yuck...) and a very dirty swab which I threw away as soon as I had the chance.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
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  13. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Most of that depends upon you Chris. There is no one instrument that makes you great. It's all about you. Here's a secret: Mouthpieces make more difference than the instrument. It's a hard lesson to learn ... I should know.
     
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