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Anyone familiar with this brand bass clarinet?

#1
Hello,
Since a few months I have a bass clarinet.
After a replacing some it is playing nice and as a tenor sax player I am able to let the lower register sound well and still struggling with the upper half of the higher register.


I am curious what brand this clarinet is. There is really not any marking at all on the instrument. Not even a serial number.
Characteristics:
- brown to black plactic body
- body is in one peace
- Geo Bundy mouth piece 3
- the case is from a Conn bass clarinet. The body fits well, but the bell does not.
- the Low F# key has two parallel cups

bass klarinet 002.JPG bass klarinet 003.JPG bass klarinet 005.JPG bass klarinet 006.JPG

Someone suggesteed it could be a Malerne Bass Clarinet.
How does that brand compare to Bundy or Vito?

kind regards Johan
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Gandalfe

Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
Administrator
#2
Not sure what you have there and not sure it matters. Bass clarinets really need a nice mouthpiece. Playing in the clarion range can be really tough on instruments with mechanical problems too. If you really want an expert opinion, take it to a pro you respect--it can save you money, time, and anguish. Guessing about this online might be a fool's errand. I have Monday free if you are in Seattle next week. ;)
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#3
How does that brand compare to Bundy or Vito?
Malerne allegedly had two lines of clarinet: Standard and Professional. Some buzz I read said that you could consider the "Standard" model to be student/intermediate grade and the "Professional" ... well, that's obvious. Malerne was a clarinet-only manufacturer and they made good clarinets, from what I've read from folks that own them.

However, I'm not saying you have a Malerne bass clarinet :).

I see no grain in the horn's body, so I doubt the horn you have is wood. That means it's rubber or plastic (yes, I know rubber could be considered a kind of plastic). That generally = student model.

I'm not quote sure what you're referring to by, "The Low F# key has two parallel cups."

In any event, unless you're buying or selling the horn, it really doesn't matter who the manufacturer is. It matters how well the horn plays. If you've just picked up the horn, I definitely will echo Gandalfe's comment and say that you should have a tech look over it to see if there are any mechanical problems.

Regarding the mouthpiece, unless it says JUST "Bundy" on it and provided it's not cracked or otherwise damaged, it'll range from an "OK" mouthpiece to a "pretty decent" mouthpiece. IIRC, Geo. M. Bundy has been a brand name since 1917 or so.

Oh. Regarding a serial number, sometimes you'll find it between key cups, on the bottom of a key, or even scratched inside the neck. A few serial numbers can be quickly traced to a manufacturer. A lot can't. However, it is possible that one of our members has seen a bc like yours before.
 

SOTSDO

Old King Log
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#4
The first step with any bass, even one straight from the arms of Mother Buffet, is to take the thing to a reputable repair person and have them "de-leak" the instrument. Minor leaks due to impacts on key cups (even just in the case during shipment) can play havoc with your efforts to play down low or in the second register.

Once you've had that done, treat the horn like your newborn child. Buy a stand and use it - don't drop the thing on a chair, even a padded one. This is especially true of those lower "key cups" (more properly know as keys), but much of the keywork on a bass can be displaced ever so slightly through the horn's weight alone. Once a pad is moved, the problem will torment you until it is corrected.
 
#5
The first step with any bass, even one straight from the arms of Mother Buffet, is to take the thing to a reputable repair person and have them "de-leak" the instrument. Minor leaks due to impacts on key cups (even just in the case during shipment) can play havoc with your efforts to play down low or in the second register.

Once you've had that done, treat the horn like your newborn child. Buy a stand and use it - don't drop the thing on a chair, even a padded one. This is especially true of those lower "key cups" (more properly know as keys), but much of the keywork on a bass can be displaced ever so slightly through the horn's weight alone. Once a pad is moved, the problem will torment you until it is corrected.
Thanks for these comments.
I was a little suprised playing the bass clarinet. As a sax player I was used to not being able to play the low notes when there is a single leak somewhere.
I was able to play the complete lower register without any problem, but the lower part of the higher register was a problem. The lower register sounded great!
The highest part of the higher register was difficult to play, but my teacher (not a bass clarinet players) told me that was a matter of practicing.

I already replaced half of the pads (I have some experience with repadding saxes), especially the lower ones and the playability is much better. I wonder how it behaves when I've done the rest.

Interesting the caution you advice me. I was a bit worried myself of the way to mount the bell without firmly grasp the body and rotate it and not displace a key... How do you do that?

@Gandalfe, i am sorry monday is a working day and I guess seattle is too great a distance to make within a day from the Netherlands;-).
 
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