Looking for a Leblanc Paperclip contrabass...

Discussion in 'Bb Contrabass Clarinet' started by corsirs, May 4, 2014.

  1. corsirs

    corsirs

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    Hello all,
    I'm a band mom - my daughter is a sophomore and has been playing the school's paperclip contra for the last two years. She loves it! She takes it to all the honors bands in the area and is already lamenting when she leaves for college that she won't be able to take it with her. I have been looking for over a year now on the web for an affordable paperclip to buy her. I'd LOVE to be able to give her one for graduation so she has one to take to college with her, which gives me two years to find one. From the luck I've been having - it may take all of that and more to find one, let alone one that would be affordable for me to buy for her. She has tried the straight contrabass and doesn't care for it - she is much more comfortable with the paperclip. I thought this might be a great place to post so that all of you clarinet masters could keep your collective eye out if you see one come up for sale that is affordable. Any help would truly be appreciated, thank you!
    Becky
     
  2. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    You should post a price range that you're looking at. Also, the Leblanc Bb contra comes in (at least) two flavors: low Eb and low C, so you should specify. The low C versions are considerably more expensive than the low Eb ones -- even though that notes below low E aren't used that often.

    Most colleges and universities will not care if the student plays an "odd" pitch: for example, when I attended Fredonia State, I played baritone saxophone. Some colleges and universities will require you to play on the more common instrument in the family. In this instance, it wouldn't be contrabass clarinet, it'd be Bb soprano clarinet. A few colleges and universities will require the student to have a specific make and model clarinet. Some colleges and universities will have their own stash of contrabass clarinets. You or your daughter should contact the college and find out all these things before even starting to shop: it'd be bad to spend a few thousand on a horn that you're not going to be able to use or don't need.

    Any particular reason for a Leblanc? The one I used, although it was pretty old, wasn't outstanding.
     
  3. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    Quick eBay and Google says that these sell in the $2400 to $4500 range. (One's for sale near me, oddly enough, for $2400.) Our sponsor, Quinn the Eskimo Vintage Horns, recently sold one for $2500. If Gandalfe doesn't see this thread, send him a Private Message and ask him to ask Quinn if he has any more for sale.
     
  4. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    As the daughter didn't meld well with the straight contra that she had played earlier, it's probably because she was not comfortable with the balance and length of the straight horns.

    If I was into the lower clarinets, I would definitely prefer a Hovenagel horn. Even a straight contra-alto horn is a handful to maneuver around -- a younger girl would have even more problems. And, the ergometric layout of the straight horns is not all that easy on the player, especially in the Bb version.

    Even with the added expense, the "paperclip" Hovenagel contras are preferable to the straight body horns -- at least in my experience.

    Finally, although the lower notes on a Bb contra horn to low C don't get as much work (since few arrangers/ composers write for them), the low E/Eb is still a bit lower than the corresponding notes on the Eb horn. I don't know that much about concert band music these days, but I would imagine that Eb parts are much more common than Bb parts (this based upon past experience).
     
  5. corsirs

    corsirs

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    Thank you everyone for your comments. Yes I've been looking on EBAY - I found that you have to be careful because there is a man out there that is posting an add in different places for a beautiful paperclip contra for $2400. Pete, it's actually the VERY AD YOU LINKED in your response. This is a complete SCAM. When you inquire about the horn - the person responds and says that he has just moved to the UK to work for "Save the Children"...so beware of that. I spent about 2 weeks going back and forth before I just came out, accused him of the scam and said "do you have it to sell or not". I never heard from him again.
    I actually contacted the Quinn the Eskimo and he said basically just to keep checking back - which I do on a regular basis. I can try and contact Galdalfe - I'm assuming just through this website? - and see if he can touch base.

    I'm looking in that range - under $2000 would be ideal, although I'm willing to stretch a little bit. Honestly, I am not the music person to probably answer all of your questions. I'm not sure whether the paperclip she plays is an Eb or low C contra. I know she mentions that there are notes that her paperclip won't hit because they are too low. It's a school instrument that she tells me wasn't used very much because not many kids liked to play it. I know she has a lot of trouble keeping it in tune. For the honors band parts, I do see a lot of the music does say contra Eb and some says contra Bb, so I think right now she's playing whatever she's given to be able to play on the contra.

    I guess that I didn't even realize that other manufacturers besides LeBlanc made the paperclip version. I know there is a place in Germany? that currently makes them new, but I'm not even in the same universe to be able to consider spending $19,000.

    Thanks again for your helpful comments!!
    Becky
     
  6. corsirs

    corsirs

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    Also - just a quick note. The one that she plays now must be the LOW C paperclip. I saw a picture of an Eb paperclip that Gandalfe was holding and it's much smaller than the one she plays. Maybe the smaller one would be an option?
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2014
  7. saxhound

    saxhound Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Be careful. If you are looking at the pictures in this thread, that is an EEb contralto, not a BBb contrabass. That's a totally different instrument.

    http://www.woodwindforum.com/forum/...blanc-EEb-(paperclip)-CAC&highlight=paperclip

    The Eb vs. C reference is to the actual range of the horn at the low end, which just means the body tube is a bit longer with a few more keys to play those extra couple of notes.
     
  8. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    If you've had problems with a seller on eBay, definitely report it to them. eBay goes out of their way to make sure buyers are taken care of ... although the ad I linked to isn't on eBay.

    Gandalfe (Jim) is one of our forum Administrators and he's a partner with Quinn. You can send him a Private Message or send an e-mail through the forum.

    You might be right. I was thinking I had seen some made around WWII, but I can't find any pics. There are other metal contrabass clarinets out there, but I haven't found another paperclip. Sorry 'bout that.
     
  9. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Hi band mom! I had a contrabass and contra alto paperclip clarinet. I loved the sound but rarely got to play them. I ended up selling the paperclips because I never really used them. The instruments I gig with the most (read, make money with) are:

    • bari sax
    • alto sax
    • tenor sax
    • bass clarinet
    • sop clarinet
    Make sure the college bound music student has a quality pro-level clarinet (assuming that's her major) and if she is going to be in performance, I'd recommend a bass clarinet too. If she is going to major in education, she most likely will want to have an alto or tenor sax and a flute in addition to the clarinet. But I would consider trying to get some quality time with a music professor at the college your daughter will be going to so that you get at least the minimum required instrumentation.

    BTW, I did see a contrabass paperclip clarinet in Quinn's shop. I always bought from Quinn because he could find me exotic instruments and I could haggle with him on price. In the ten years before I started working for him, I never paid more for an instrument than I got back on resale AND I usually got the instrument in better condition and for a better price than a brick and mortar shop. I have been sending family, friends, and students to him for years. So when I retired from the corporate world, I decided I'd go work for him. :)
     
  10. corsirs

    corsirs

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    Thanks Gandalfe! Yes she is college bound - but I'm not exactly what direction she's headed in with music, she's only a sophomore and still thinking about what she wants to do. Although she's visited a handful of colleges by going to honor band weekends this past year - I think right now, she's just content playing. She's played Bb clarinet, bass clarinet, the contrabass paperclip, tenor sax and euphonium. I'm so proud of her. To a non-instrument player like myself, I'm so amazed that she can go from one instrument to another as easily as she does. The contrabass paperclip is by far her favorite. I know that she'll probably need a better Bb clarinet - but honestly I can find all kinds of Bb clarinets - it's the paperclip that's becoming a unicorn.
    I'm curious about the contra you said that Quinn has in the shop. You said that you work for him now? I don't see a contra on his ebay site. Any chance you could let me know about it?
    Tell you what - I'm about ready to leave the corporate world behind too. Sounds like you've found a great spot!
    :)
     
  11. corsirs

    corsirs

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    Thanks Pete, yes that man's ad wasn't on Ebay - it was on a Pennsylvania site a little like Craigslist. And Gandalfe responded - I actually responded to him before I saw your post. Thank you!
     
  12. saxhound

    saxhound Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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  13. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    I guess that you are supposed to figure out from the size relative to the case as to whether it is an Eb (EEb) or Bb (BBb) instrument. It looks like the smaller of the two to me, but I've not dealt with a Hovenagel for many a year, so buyer beware.
     
  14. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    Yah. I'd probably skip it without a guarantee that it's Bb. 30 min to go and $2800.
     
  15. localworld

    localworld

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    Becky, Are you still looking? I have a playable paperclip contrabass that I have played occasionally for 30 years or so. A few years ago I had it worked on by North Woodwinds in Chico CA. http://northwoodwinds.com/ The instrument is a bit tarnished but all the pads are set nicely and the mechanics are fine. I am willing to sell this clarinet for $1000 plus shipping. IMG_1145.JPG IMG_1150.JPG Let me know if you want more info. I'll try to send a video I just made on a smart phone. 530 521 4880
     
  16. localworld

    localworld

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    [video=youtube;EcvuVyU_5Ho]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcvuVyU_5Ho&feature=youtu.be[/video]
    Becky, here is the video. It has been a while since I blew a note on the instrument. I imagine your daughter will make it sound sweeter.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2016
  17. jazzkiwi

    jazzkiwi

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    Hi
    Is this still forsale, Im from NZ looking for a Paperclip when I head to Phoenix in November 10th-20th, I want to bring one home for a new project.
    If anyone has one forsale then im interested especially if its in phoenix,
    Cheers
    Andrew
     
  18. localworld

    localworld

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    Hi Andrew,
    Yes I still have the paperclip clarinet. I live in Chico Calif. jrbrobeck@outlook.com. Let's communicate via email.
    Jim
     

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