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Thread: Wow! Best $26 I have ever spent!

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    Talking Wow! Best $26 I have ever spent!

    Finally have my first woodwind operational. It's a late 70's Buescher aristocrat. Basically a Selmer Signet in Buescher clothes. It really sounds GOOD! I am amazed that I was able to get it to sound sweet at all, as I have not attended my first lesson yet. But I was able to hold and sustain decent tones throughout much of the range, though I have forgotten how to read music after all my tablature guitar years. But I am really encouraged to find that I have a natural vibrato! I wasn't trying for that, it must be genetic as my Father(somewhat astranged) was a clarinet player.

    Sorry for the self brag rant, I just had no idea that I was going to be able to play the clarinet easily. I only bought it in order to take lessons, eventually to learn sax. Best $26 I have EVER.

    *eBay is nice*

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    There were actually several levels of Signet clarinets. The Specials, I've been told, are the best. I think that's what my wife has ....

    Anyhow, you might want to do some searches here regarding bore oil and oiling in general. I, myself, oiled my first clarinet I got when I was, oh, eight or nine, and never did it again on any of the dozen-ish clarinets I had since then.

    Yes, I'm the Artist Formerly Known as Saxpics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    There were actually several levels of Signet clarinets. The Specials, I've been told, are the best. I think that's what my wife has ....

    Anyhow, you might want to do some searches here regarding bore oil and oiling in general. I, myself, oiled my first clarinet I got when I was, oh, eight or nine, and never did it again on any of the dozen-ish clarinets I had since then.
    No bore oil required, it's a composite model, though I wouldn't know it from the tone. I have heard far too many plasticy sounding student models of Bb clarinets over the years. This is not one of them. It does have a half decent Brilhart plastic MPC on it, that might be part of it's tone quality. I definately am interested in a wood clarinet. I've seen several go cheaply on eBay. Problem there is that it is far too easy to take pictures that hide fatal flaws.

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    http://www.woodwindforum.com/forums/...ead.php?t=2547. Places that sell used student/intermediate quality instruments -- with warranty -- for cheap.

    All the Signets I've played were wooden. I've not played a bazillion, tho.

    There's nothing inherently bad with a metal, plastic or hard rubber clarinet. The metal ones have a somewhat bad rep because of all the student-quality ones made in the 1940s, but there are quite a few pro-level metal horns out there -- and the silver Haynes Thermocouple is one of the most valuable clarinets from the last century. Plastic? Someone here mentioned that one of the plastic Buffets happens to have a bore rather similar to an R13 pro horn and I'm of the opinion that the biggest thing to affect tone, other than you, is the bore. I've also liked some of the plastic horns I've had. Rubber? There are pro models out there made with it. Oh. We've also got the Buffet Greenline horns. They're composite, but the "composite" happens to have grenadilla wood.

    Yes, I'm the Artist Formerly Known as Saxpics.

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    Yea, this Buescher is a Plastic composite. More than likely bakelite, which I have read is perfered by some players. Assuming, as you say, the bore is properly made. All in all I am very happy with this horn. Granted, it was a gamble, as it was listed as a "Flute". lol I new the picture was a Clarinet, and the sellers feedback and return policy is good. Did some research before the auction, found it to be most likely a late seventies to early eighties Selmer-Buescher Aristocrat. I think if I had corrected the seller as to what the horn was(not a flute), it may have sold for much more. I see the same Clarinet as mine sell for +$50 every week. Must be popular among teachers as solid student horns.

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    Default Look for a Selmer metal horn with the "fluted" barrel joint...

    ...and your opinions of metal clarinets will change forever. I've played them in the past and own a restored one now, and the first noodle up and down the horn convinced me toute suite.

    The trick is to find one that hasn't been knocked all to smash over the years, as (being metal) they have been relegated to the musical trash heap by those not fully in tune with their worth. (I assembled mine from parts - the bell and long joints from one horn, a barrel from another.) No advice there other than to be careful when you buy.

    My overhauler "assumed" that I didn't want the horn completely rebuilt, so when it was dropped off last spring, all he did was to set it up and replace pads with cork and new pads - no new, gleaming silver plate to delight the eyes. When I picked it up in the fall, it was in perfect working order but not re-plated as I desired. Bummer...

    Marvin's comment was "You know, that's not a bad horn!" Another person disabused of the myth of the faulty metal clarinet. It is my mission, one person at a time. However, I wish he had done the whole shebang - a well set up and maintained metal Selmer is a work of art, and a marvel to all who try it. Chris over in Blighty owns a matched pair of A and Bb "full Boehm" Selmers, and I had hoped that mine would turn out as well. Perhaps next year...

    As for the Thermocouple, good luck with finding one in any condition...

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    I have been looking at metal horns, and heard of the ribbed selmers before. I'll have to keep on looking. Any other metal clarinets worth looking at?

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    I've mentioned that I had a Conn Pan-American clarinet and I really liked the tone, even if it was student-quality. I would probably like the metal Selmers a lot. Or if I could get one of those Haynes ....

    Actually, what would more likely happen is that I'd play 8va and my head would asplode. Hey, that's why I'm again looking into wind controllers.

    Yes, I'm the Artist Formerly Known as Saxpics.

    Check out my photoblog! Updated on September 7, 2014: Yanagisawa (a work in progress).

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    Actually, what would more likely happen is that I'd play 8va and my head would asplode. Hey, that's why I'm again looking into wind controllers.
    +1 You & me both. (But then by now we've already determined that we were twins separated at birth. ) That's why my neurologist put me on blood pressure medication. Not because I have because I have high BP, but because she postulated that I'm having vascular spasms in the vessels that service my head. These vascular spasms were, she further postulated, what was causing the extreme pressure and pain in my head when I played alto & soprano sax (or an instrument with a lot of back pressure). After a trial month on the Rx. the pain and pressure was mostly gone. In my case it has really helped having a neurologist who was a sax player before studying medicine.
    One day the bass saxophone will make a comeback and rule the world.
    Bassic Sax (The Website) The Bassic Sax Blog (The Weblog: part of website, but updated daily) Bassic Sax Pix (Lots and lots of pretty sax pics)

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    All the Signets I've played were wooden. I've not played a bazillion, tho.
    My mistake, I got confused by the lack of info on post Selmer-Buescher buyout Aristocrats(very little info). Some are suggesting it to be a Bundy Selmer. Whis is still a great deal in this condition for $26 shipped. At any rate, I'm happy, and that is what is most important.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helen View Post
    +1 You & me both. (But then by now we've already determined that we were twins separated at birth. )
    [true] My mom was told she was going to have triplets. They had everything prepared for #3. She was also knocked out and my father wasn't in the delivery room. I've also mentioned that my grandmother was native-Canadian and I have lotsa Canadian relatives. [/true]

    Yes, I'm the Artist Formerly Known as Saxpics.

    Check out my photoblog! Updated on September 7, 2014: Yanagisawa (a work in progress).

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    Oh. Forgot something.

    [true] Allegedly, most of my baby/infant pictures were destroyed, too. [/true]

    Yes, I'm the Artist Formerly Known as Saxpics.

    Check out my photoblog! Updated on September 7, 2014: Yanagisawa (a work in progress).

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    All the Signets I've played were wooden. I've not played a bazillion, tho.
    Well, some of the Signets are resonite apparently. So maybe the source that said the resin Buescher Aristocrats are Signets was correct. *Shrug* No way to know, I just know it sounds sweeter than most student clarinets I have heard.

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    Default I've always wondered why Signets are so thin on the ground...

    ...but I have to confess that I've never seen them marketed as much as I have the other "student" brands and the professional models.

    It's almost as if they were included as a "Step Up" line to be brought up when someone balked at the price of a Buffet or Selmer (Paris) instrument.

    The few that I have encountered over the years all seemed like Series 9 instruments, so much so that I wondered if they were just factory rejects from the Series 9 production line, stamped with the Signet logo instead.

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    Quite a few signets available currently on the 'bay. If I wasn't so please with my Buescher for a student horn, I would probably get one. Most are running @ a 'C' note or less(Pun somewhat intended lol).

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    of the Signets I've seen they are only student or intermediate.
    I've never seen one that I would confuse with a Selmer Paris horn even without emblems on them.

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    My experience with them was "back in the day" (1970, no later), so things may have changed since that time. I also felt that the Noblet line from Leblanc was equal to their pro horns.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SOTSDO View Post
    . I also felt that the Noblet line from Leblanc was equal to their pro horns.
    Thanks, I was just going to ask about that. I've seen several Noblet go for @$50 on eBay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    I've mentioned that I had a Conn Pan-American clarinet and I really liked the tone, even if it was student-quality. I would probably like the metal Selmers a lot. Or if I could get one of those Haynes ....

    Actually, what would more likely happen is that I'd play 8va and my head would asplode. Hey, that's why I'm again looking into wind controllers.

    Is this similar to the Pan Am you are talking about?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LowThudd View Post
    Is this similar to the Pan Am you are talking about?
    Looks identical to me. My case was older and more beat-up.

    One thing to note on metal clarinets: there are "skeletal" horns like this one, and "fat" ones that look like normal clarinets, but just happen to be made out of metal, instead of wood. There are specific terms for these, but they escape me at the moment. Single-wall and double-wall? Steve ...?

    There's also the Conn Armored clarinet. It's a rubber clarinet with silver plate. Those look kewl.

    Yes, I'm the Artist Formerly Known as Saxpics.

    Check out my photoblog! Updated on September 7, 2014: Yanagisawa (a work in progress).

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    I've mentioned that I had a Conn Pan-American clarinet and I really liked the tone, even if it was student-quality. I would probably like the metal Selmers a lot. Or if I could get one of those Haynes ....

    Actually, what would more likely happen is that I'd play 8va and my head would asplode. Hey, that's why I'm again looking into wind controllers.

    Another Pan Am metal clarinet going for a song. I need to save some cash to get my Noblet working. If they used the same barrel type, I'd go for it. Unfortunately the Noblet is an "Outie" and this Pan Am is an "Innie", meaning that the barrel goes into rather than onto the horn. If there is a better way to describe that difference than Innie and Outie, please let me know. I tend to make my own phrases when I can't find refference to a proper word. lol

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    I'm not planning on buying another clarinet for me, well, ever. Medical issues. I might buy my wife another one, but she's got a pretty decent SML.

    If I was going to buy another metal clarinet, I'd go fairly high-end, like Selmer or Haynes. It's one of those, "Get a really good horn, take care of it and it'll take care of you."

    Yes, I'm the Artist Formerly Known as Saxpics.

    Check out my photoblog! Updated on September 7, 2014: Yanagisawa (a work in progress).

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