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A Rare Noblet "A" clarinet .... or is it ?

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#1
Recently I obtained a Noblet 45 "A" clarinet. Every so often I'll see a Noblet 40 on ebay but have never had one in my hands.

When I got this Noblet A I noticed alot of oddities. First of all the trill key guide is an older version. And then the lower joint Eb spatula mechanism is on it's own posts (ala Leblanc).

Then when I pulled out my Leblanc LL ... well, they were identical. I've blueprinted alot of clarinets - the diameter and location of toneholes. So I pay particular attention to all the little details about everything.

The Noblet "A" is fairly unplayable, so I cannot compare the playing characteristics. Just looking at the dimensions they look nearly identical but I'll be using the calipers soon to see how close. Of course the Noblet has specific Noblet trill keys and not the Leblanc type.













 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#2
One of the oddities that I have noticed over the years with Noblet is an instrument that is simply out of place.

Such as recently someone emailed me pictures of their extremely early Noblet. It had all the identifiers of one of the earliest modern Noblets. Except for the emblem which was a more modern emblem.
I review it here http://www.clarinetperfection.com/clsnLeblancNoblet.htm#SharedThroat

So either Noblet does unofficial throwback instruments, or which seems more plausible, is that they pull out some unsold old stock from time to time and sell it as new. In this case of the Noblet 45 "A" I would think it's old stock of Leblanc A clarinets.

This makes it "rare" in a sense, but doesn't really have any affect on it's value. It's still marketed as a high intermediate "A" clarinet, not a professional model.
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#4
I have often wondered what instrument companies do with unsold stock say for eefiers or alto clarinets.
I'm pretty confident that Terry buys all unused stock of alto clarinets the world over, for his wood stove.

There have been numerous times someone has sent me a pic of in particular, Noblet clarinets and then I gave them an approximate age and they countered that who ever bought it new quite a while later or earlier. It's always perplexed me and I've never put 1 and 1 together until this Noblet 45 A. It's clearly a Leblanc by the lower joint keywork design. The bore is slightly tapered which makes me think it's not a LL but like a L200, L7 / 70 or something like that. Now that I think of it I have design specs for a L7 A in my notes.
 

SOTSDO

Old King Log
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#5
We fire the boiler that runs the refrigeration plant for our hockey rink with all of the alto clarinet bodies that are sent my way. The people who send them actually pay me to take them off of their hands.

I had a post all written up on this, but it got ate by a power failure. What I wanted to say was that I have often heard that both Leblanc and Selmer did this with their Noblet and Signet instruments. I never saw anything in writing, but I have played Noblet horns (both Bb and A) that were every bit as responsive as their Leblanc counterparts.

(I can't say that about the Signets of my acquaintance - all were stuffy and rough over the break.)

In the end, some things just aren't worth the trouble to investigate. I've always been of the opinion that if it plays well and in tune, it doesn't matter what's stamped on the top. For me, the Selmer line has always been the go to one. But, I've played Leblanc instruments and even some Buffet horns that suited me just fine as well.

But, not Buffet sopranos (I don't like the keywork), or Leblanc horns from the "clunky" keywork era (the same), or any Yamaha clarinet (bass or soprano) - they just don't "work" for me.
 

tictactux

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#6
> I had a post all written up on this, but it got ate by a power failure.

Of all people, Terry must suffer an AC (sic) failure... :cool:
 
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