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bass clarinet bell

OK... newbie question here, so go easy. I'm refurbishing an old wood Martin-Freres bass clarinet and it's in great shape mechanically except the bell had a bad dent and the floor peg holder had snapped off and was missing. So I found a good deal on a Kessler bell with floor peg. Just tried it out and the tenon is a perfect fit but... the tone hole is a good deal smaller. Yup... I should have asked for dimensions. So... how bad do you think it would be to implement a smaller size tone hole in the bell? Will the pitch be sharp by a few cents or worse on open tones or could it almost be insignificant? It needs new pads something fierce but yeah, I might be able to get enough notes out and do a test, though in it's present condition, it would not be very "scientific." Like I said, go easy...
I have a 20's Pedler BC with cool Art Deco Engraving on the bell. It was riddled with dents, though. I had great crack repairs done by John Butler JB winds in Sugarland TX. JBWinds.com - Instrument Restoration

I sent him the bell and he had a friend take out the dings, it looks perfect, I am amazed. I think it was $25.00. The shipping cost more than the repair. Not sure if he can repair the peg, you can ask. Mojo Bari was kind enough to refer me to John.
My bass clarinet is actually a Thibouville Freres. I'm linking to some photos just in case anyone is interested in the discussion or if it helps clarify the difference in bells. I suppose I just need to get it in playing condition first and then find out how the tuning compares wth the different bells.


Gary Phillips
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Not sure if the forum is going to allow my photos since I'm new to the forum, but anyway... I've learned my bass clarinet is an Eb and I'm attempting to replace the bell with one for a C. So tuning would be thrown off for all the open fingerings. I just need to repair my old bell. Cheers.
If sharp, you can add putty or cork to the top of the hole. The B/E tone might get small though.
Right... but the new bell I was attempting to replace the older one with has a smaller tone hole which is going to pull all the open notes flat, I do believe. I think I need to repair my older bell... or find a low C bass clarinet to fit the new bell. :cool:
It depends more on the hole location than hole size. You need to also pay attension to the distance of the hole to the end of the bell. On a low C bell this distance is longer than on a low Eb designed bell. The distance from the hole to the top of the socket will vary from brand to brand.
Thanks Mojo. I looked back at my digital receipts for the Kessler bell I purchased and it did say it was for a low C bass clarinet. I'm not sure that was mentioned in the sales posting, but regardless, it's not designed for my bass clarinet which is a low Eb. I found a floor peg bracket and peg at ferreestoolsinc.com which I have ordered and will solder onto the old bell. I may keep the low C bell for experiments... :cool:
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