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What is your Clarinet setup ?

Discussion in 'Bb (Soprano) Clarinet' started by Steve, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. Thanks for the kind welcome. It is a "Vito "Dazzler", model number 7312. I get more comments on it than on any of my other instrments (including my saxes (Yanigasawa 991s), oboes ( Gordet, Loree, Kohlert), English horn (Howarth), trumpet (copper "Conn Director"), trombone (King), violin (Gliga), flutes ( rose gold Pearl, Artley "Wilkins", silver Pearl alto, Yamaha 225, Yamaha picc) and my beautiful boxwood Moeck recorders. My next acquisition will be a Hubbard harpsichord (after Ruckers).

    I have always been fascinated with sound and musical instruments. I started my collection at age nine with a Franklin player piano. It has ivory and ebony keys and I still have it to this day. And these instruments don't sit around either. I play all of them and keep them in top-notch condition, doing most of the work myself.

  2. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Welcome Nancy. I was just looking at the Baltimore Flute Choir last night and wondering why they don't have any sound bites? Oh, and your picture isn't there either. (I know, I'm very nosey.)
  3. saxhound

    saxhound Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    I would say they are pretty close - or were. I haven't played the E&S in about five years. I suspect it needs a good overhaul. My parents bought the Buffet for my brother in the early 60's. When it came time to buy me a horn in the mid 60's, the Buffet prices had gone up considerably, so the local shop owner recommended the E&S. I played it till the late 80's, when I finally convinced my brother to sell me his R-13. I haven't done a side by side for a long time, but I always thought the R-13 had a slightly smoother action. Tone-wise they were indistinguishable to my ear.
  4. ya only have one as well... I have a buffet E11 and the mouth peice is a vandoren B40, just got it last year
  5. I have a buffet E-11 with a Vandoren B45 ... Optimum or Reverse Bonade Liggy with Legere 4 1/4 usually.

    I'll upgrade to the R13 one day (but first I need a soprano and a bari)
  6. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Hi, Robin! Nice to have you visit us!
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator


    Thats a hard clarinet setup. I only use a #3 Quebec on mine, and the tip opening on the B40 I have is the same as the B45.
  8. Ya I seem to really like hard set-ups for some reason .... I'm playing 3 1/2 hards-4s on my tenor with a Vandoren v16 8 ... and bari I like La Voz Hards. LOL
  9. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Well, you've heard me play bari...and I certainly don't use a really hard setup.
  10. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Sarah gets to work with you; now I'm really jealous! :cool:
  11. Ebay has been the undoing of me!.....

    I really enjoy picking up every one of my clarinets

    Leblanc Opus
    Evette and Schaeffer (E13)
    Couesnon Monopole 1952
    Couesnon Monopole early 1960s
    Couesnon ? model
    Silver King metal
    Bb Selmer Paris metal 1930
    A Selmer Paris metal 1930 (full Boehm)

    RM15, currently Alexander sup #3, EDII

  12. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Welcome Chris. Some people think really highly of the Couesnon Monopole. How does it compare with your Opus? Are the Selmer instruments just metal or silver plated? I've taken to calling mine Selmer Paris silver clarinet.

  13. Hi Gandalfe

    I assume the Selmers are silver plated. By the way they look, I can't imagine them to be anything else, unless you know otherwise. Hopefully photos below:



    As for comparing the clarinets, it is difficult as I am so very familiar with the Leblanc Opus as I have had it for so long. My interest in the Couesnon make has stemmed from the saxophone family. I first got a Monopole II tenor and was just amazed with the sound - so I tried my luck with a Monopole II alto and was not disappointed. In fact Steve Howard ,who set both up, was so impressed (and I think surprised) with what they are capable of - he reviewed both of them on his website. And now I have a Monopole II soprano too. My bari is a much older Monopole, though - around 1930s - whereas the other three are all late 50s / early 60s vintage.

    So I thought I would try the clarinets - it seemed I had nothing to loose, particularly as they can be picked up for very, very reasonable prices. The 1960s instrument (I assume from various searches, as there are no serial charts) has been through the good care of Steve Howard, who decided it deserved his hand-made white leather pads. The bottom is not quite as rich as the Leblanc, but the top notes are sweet and clear - it is very easy blowing, but that may be more down to how well Steve has set it up. The 1952 instrument (I know this date as its serial is very close to someone I have contact with who has a confirmed purchase date) I got from Ebay more recently, and one of those rare finds of a well cared for instrument that was oiled, airtight and ready to play (and still did not cost much!). It actually has a wonderful tone and once I have played it enough to justify it getting to Steve to work his magic on it, I suspect it may chase the Opus out of pole position. An odd thought, seeing as it cost less than a tenth of the Opus.......

    The 1952 one has a roller on the RH Eb spatula.

    It is interesting that another regular poster, Roger, has 2 Monopole instruments, and I believe he favours the younger of his 2, from 1970s.

  14. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Chris was the one that bought that pair of Selmers from ebay UK last month. Nice catch he got
  15. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Yes, as soon as I saw the pictures I realized, ah ha! It's that Chris. I knew he was a player. I guess I didn't realize what collector he was too. :cool:
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  16. tictactux

    tictactux Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    • Marigaux "RS" Symponie (default)
    • Amati 211 (outdoors, my old student instrument)
    • Amati 201 (yucky outdoors, vacation)
    • Amati 251 (in C, to accompany daughter #1 on piano)
    • Selmer-Rauber Swiss Army Clarinet (chromed, and ironically a Leblanc stencil, used for birthdays and other showy occasions)
    • Bundy Alto (workout for lungs and arms)
    • Bundy Mazzeo (just finished restoring)
    • Amati Special (Full Boehm, awaiting an overhaul)
    The mouthpieces are rotated in random order - Behn Ouverture, Fobes Debut, Hite Premiere, Mitchell Lurie.
    I gravitate around a 3...4 Mitchell Lurie reed, with Legere Ontario as the backup for unpredictable situations.

    Occasionally, when I open a closet, some others magically appear. Much to the dismay of Dah Missus. I then always have to resort to comparing "shoes" or "handbags" to "instruments".
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  17. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    I'll have to remember that :D
  18. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    It's been my experience over the past forty years of clarinet and sax playing that most players are playing a reed strength that's a bit high, given their mouthpiece facing and all. While I might go as high as a Vandorn #3 when my chops are up to snuff, normally I stay around #2 1/2 or so, with perhaps a little tweaking of the tip.

    Every time that I see a restored Selmer vintage metal clarinet like those, I am tempted to spend the money needed to bring mine up to standard. It plays well enough, but the finish is in bad shape and there's some minor (cosmetic only) damage to the barrel where some mooyuk took a pipe wrench or something similar to it to free up a "stuck" barrel). I've played other "restored" Selmer horns from the golden age of metal clarinets, and know that they are well worth the money, despite what some nay-sayers might otherwise state.

    The way to buy a quality metal clarinet is to look for a Selmer with at least some of the "extra" keys on them. These were only produced in "pro quality" (with the "fluted" barrel), and are readily found on eBay on any given day or week. It's probably the best way to avoid the "junk" clarinet trap when purchasing a metal horn. Unfortunately, the one key that is most useful out of the extras is the extra Eb lever, and it is normally missing on all but the relatively rare "full Boehm" horns.

    (I'd really like to find a "good" Selmer bass in metal, but I've never seen one outside of an old photo of the two brothers testing horns, so I imagine that my search will be a long one.)

    Regarding the Amati full Boehm listed above, I own a high end Amati horn (a Oehler system "pro" level) and, based on that instrument, I'd not bother getting yours restored to "pristine" condition. Mine is there right now, and (aside from the efforts needed to make a "pro" instrument basically playable in the first place), and there's just too much wrong with it to merit the "pro" designation. Chipped tone holes, a poor (and originally unplayable) pad installation, and a generally "cheesy" level of fit and finish make this horn one of my few disappointments in the "music room".
  19. tictactux

    tictactux Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    I always restore them myself, the way I want them, so that it feels and sounds right for me. I usually spend some 5$ on the big four or five pads, the rest is made in-house.
    That's quite disappointing indeed.
    I've always been lucky with them - my student instrument was a 211 and I still used it for outdoors gigs; I refurbished a handful of them (2xx and 3xx series (including their stencilled sisters (Corton et al) and pre-Republic models), and none of them was in a worse shape than the ubiquitous Bundies and Vitos I laid my hands on. But how do we say here - the dumbest farmer has the biggest potatoes... ;)
    And besides, I'm a mere amateur player, so my expectations quite probably aren't as high as yours.
  20. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Well, I dunno about that. I expect a horn to come to me out of the box in at least operable condition. The Amati was cosmetically perfect, but otherwise not ready for prime time. (It was also shipped with a non-German mouthpiece which didn't even fit the barrel correctly...)

    Every other one that I have bought fit that definition, even if they need tweaking down the road to get them just right. Not so the Amati monster. The kidskin pads did not close the toneholes correctly in at least three cases, and the rings were just impossibly high above the chimneys to get a good seal. We (the local technician and I) had to fabricate custom cork pads for the vent keys attached to the rings just to get the thickness down to where a ring could be depressed far enough to get a fingertip close enough to seal the chimney.

    No way to ship an instrument, in my eyes, at least. If I had been able to land a pro Yamaha Oehler, al of this would be moot. But, no - the damn'd firm would not sell one outside of Germany, and contacts with Germany were ignored.
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