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Anyone ever try the Kessler&Sons Second Gen Low C Bass Clarinet?

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#2
Well, I know they're out-of-stock, just looking at the page, so you can research from now to October!

I've played wooden and plastic basses. For me, the question was more, "Which one's in better condition?" rather than, "Which one has better tonal quality." In this case, I'd also say that you're unlikely to find a new wood, low C bass.

If you need a low C for college or whatever, I can understand it. In the bazillion years I played bass, I needed a low C exactly once. That low C doubles the price of the horn.
 
#3
I have a 1st gen Kessler. Modern college level wind ensemble pieces use the low D a lot. I occasionally see a low C. Never a low C# so far.

You can also "fix" old arrangements where there is a descending line that jumps up an octave because the arranger did not know BCs could play below an Eb.
 
#4
I know Low C models coat significantly more, it's just that Kessler doesn't have an Low Eb model quite yet (or never will). Plus the rubber plastic body of their Bass should be lighter than the heavier wooden bodies of other Basses.

Would it be possible to stand with a Low C with a neck strap or harness? How much heavier could it be than my Selmer?
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#5
Would it be possible to stand with a Low C with a neck strap or harness?
You're ... not planning on marching with it, are you?

How much heavier could it be than my Selmer?
Considering I've been doing woodwind forum stuff for years, I'll ask the question before other folks do: "A Selmer what?" Which is then generally followed by, "It's definitely heavier than a Selmer Series 9 Eb sopranino."
 
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pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#6
evinjaq, I actually did do a bit of reading on the Kessler basses. A lot of folks immediately put them into the category of, "Cheap Chinese or Taiwanese junk." Most of the folks saying that haven't played one. I would *assume* that the "rev. 2" basses are better than their predecessor. Taiwanese instrument quality has been steadily going up.

Anyhow, QuinnTheEskimo -- forum sponsor, Gandalfe's boss -- does have a few basses on ebay that are in your price range, but are only low Eb horns.

Have you called up Dave Kessler? They may very well allow you to try a horn for X days and you return it if you don't like it. Just a sec. Checking. Yup. 3 day trial.
 
#8
I have friends with rev 1 Kessler bass clarinet keyed to low C. I have played them. They are *very* close to the quality of my Selmer Privilege low C. I was impressed.
Now that's good to hear, I'll call Dave up.
Thanks a lot guys. Just needed some opinions and past experiences with those Kessler Basses.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
#10
I have a low Eb, hard rubber bass clarinet. Since I was buying a used bass, I made a point of not getting a wooden one, but purposely bought a hard rubber one instead. Why? Because I only double on the instrument, and being a sax player I know I would be situations where my instrument would end up sitting "wet" for hours at a time b/c I'm playing it along with saxes in a doubles setting--most likely a pit orchestra.

Had I had a chance to get a low C instrument, I likely would have. Why? B/C pit orchestra work is one place that you are regularly called upon to go down to low C on a bass clarinet. That said, I don't do enough of it to warrant spending the thousands of $ extra necessary to get me into a new instrument. B/C I'm on the north side of the US/Canada border, and our currency is currently not at par, Dave's lovely bass would have cost me at least a 1/3 more.

As for the question how hard rubber sounds compared to wood, I am not a "real" clarinet player, so I am not able to comment with any authority. However, when I first got it, I had the former 1st chair clarinet player, bass clarinet player, and band conductor of one of Canada's military bands play it to get his opinion. His thoughts were that it sounded rich, warm, yet had really, really good projection. I had asked Jack prior to buying a horn if wood or hard rubber should factor into my decision from a sound perspective. He said no. He has heard and played some amazing hard rubber bass clarinets, and some really bad wooden ones.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#11
Helen, if you ever want to buy something in the US, ship it to me and I'll ship it to you ... eventually.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
#12
Helen, if you ever want to buy something in the US, ship it to me and I'll ship it to you ... eventually.
You're a great friend Pete. I know I can always count on you. itd_3d_ani_w60_smiles_022.gif
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#13
Just tryin' to help!
 
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