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OMG!!! What have I done?

Discussion in 'A, C and D Clarinets' started by wanabe, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. I have two clarinets. They are Preufers, but I cannot read any clear model numbers on them. The writing pessed into the wood is barely legible. I mean really just barely legible. I can make out G.Preufer, L.P. which I assume is low pitch A-440, and the letter A which I assume indicates that it is in the key of A. It came in a double case with another Preufer soprano clarinet in Bb marked similarly only it is G. Preufer, L.P, B and 211 which I am told is the serial number. I am also told that the A clarinet is serial number 1371, but I cannot find this number on the clarinet anywhere. The case was in such bad shape that my wife would not allow it in the house and I don't blame her. It looked and smelled like the clarinetist that owned it died and was burried with it and then the clarinets were recently exumed and sold. Also in the deal were three barrels in three different lengths. The longest is a Preufer. the middle sized one is a Buffet and the third, the shortest is the one, also a Preufer has a crack in it. The crack goes all the way through and is full length and suprisinly does not leak air. I am quite sure that I can steam it completely closed and seal it with cyanoacrylate. A number of the rings on the joints and mouthpoeces have fallen off. I think that it was probably due to the wood shrinking. There are no cracks or checks in the wodd with the exception of the one barrel. The keys all work, but will need adjusting and there may be one or two that are a bit oit of alignment. So here is the deal. I know that I probably paid too much for them, $150.00 delivered and 45.00 for a new double case. I have found two shops that will put them back into playing condition, complete disassembly, all new pads and corks, clean and oil the wood, remove any corrosion and clean the keywork, straighten any bent keywork, polish the keys and play test them for $200.00. $400 to me doesn't seem like too much to pay for a pair of working wood clarinets with fresh pads and corks etc. So how did I do? Should I write off the $200.00 or spend the other $200 anad go for it?

    The clarinets are Albert system, not Boehm system. This from another shop that I sent photos to with a request for a quote. It's not that I am dishonest, it's just that I am pretty much ignorant about the various keying systems. The A clarinet has three trill keys on the lower jont, the Bb has four. Are all A clarinets made this way?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2013
  2. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Just to make sure, don't confuse low pitch, A=440hz with "Clarinet in A." I don't think you have, but it bears mentioning.

    I did a very quick eBay search and found a couple of Pruefer Albert System A clarinets in sad shape. One went for $475 and the other $440 (with a Bb clarinet, too). One is even close to your serial number, too. In other words, it sounds like you got a decent deal.

    The second thing is should you restore them. I'm looking at that $200 you mentioned for getting two horns into playing condition. That's an awfully good price for that. If the repairman is good -- ask around -- I'd say to go for it. If you're planning on flipping the horns on eBay, if I was going to pay $475 for a horn with cracks and pins, it's probable I'd pay you a lot more for a horn in good playing shape.

    (Of course, that's provided the eBay closed auctions this month are indicative of Pruefer A clarinet value.)

    EDIT: Durrr. I missed this.
    If you are planning on keeping and playing the horns yourself, that "playing condition" fee of $200 is still excellent. I'd ask about how much it'd cost to get the horns in perfect condition. Maybe replating the keywork 'n' stuff. Again, make sure it's a good tech.

    As far as the "trill keys" are concerned, you might want to post a couple pics of that. I'm not quite sure what you're looking at.

  3. Here are the culprits. I'm getting conflicting opinions of just what they are, so I would appreciate someone of knowldge telling me just what genus and species these are. Again, my very heartfelt thanks to the forum for having patience with the newbie.

    IMG_20131111_160314.jpg IMG_20131111_160215.jpg IMG_20131111_160337.jpg IMG_20131111_160241.jpg
  4. tictactux

    tictactux Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    Yup, these are Alberts.
    Looking at the instruments, $200 for reconditioning them is a fantastic price.
    I wouldn't know where to start when "doing" a beast like these. Probably begin with a deep sigh. :emoji_rolling_eyes:
  5. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    I don't see any significantly unusual trill keys.

    IIRC -- and I'm not the expert on fingering systems, so it's just by memory -- there are a couple of "versions" of the Albert System. You may have seen another one that had a bit different look. IMO, unless I see keys and/or posts broken off, it's all good :).
  6. Full disclosure, the $200.00 was not for a complete renovation of two Albert system clarinets. It was for a cleanup and repad and replacement of the tenon and key corks and a little additional attention to cleaning up the keys of two Boehm system horns. I was, of course, more than just a little confused about what type of clarinets these were. I have corrected that mistake and am waiting on a new quote from the shop. In talks with him so far we are expecting it to run about $350.00. I still think that this will put them in the pretty good deal catagory for a pair of playable clarinets that I will keep for my own personal use and pleasaure. The full monty is definitely out of my price range with replating of the keys at $15.00 per key on top of the $350.00 and afew more charges here and there. $800.00 to $900.00 may not be a lot of money for some folks, but to an old guy trying to live on a Social Security check, it's a lot.
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