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Linton Contra

This is the best example I can find of the Linton being played;
Fooling around in a bar with a bunch of drunks singing "play that funky music..."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLzP9iLHguM
The guy (from the U.K.) says it plays great in the lower register but that the middle D and D# are very hard to play.
He has a contrabass mouthpiece modified to fit the horn. I wonder if the original mouthpiece were used and a reed could be found how it would play?
The designer must have thought it was crucial to have such a big mouthpiece and I'm assuming the bore is larger then other contras.

Here's what the tuba player from Pete's link says;
.....it's a Linton. Not really made by Linton (the oboe and bassoon folks)... but made by ORSI (Italian) for Linton probably sometime in the 70's.... during period when instrument makers were all searching for the 'bigger and better' instruments to sell to school band directors. This one was a dreadful failure. Partly because no one ever bothered to make reeds for them on a production basis. The reed needs to be 15/16" wide to cover the rails... a full 1/8" wider than the widest commercially available reeds made for bari saxes and bass clarinets. According to Mr. Linton, there were only about 40 of these things made. .......Below are a couple of pictures of the mouthpiece. It's compared with a bari sax mouthpiece and a bari sax reed. Note that the tenon that fits into the horn is over 2" diameter. There have been some unsuccessful experiments to adapt a regular bass clarinet or contra bass clarinet mouthpieces to this horn. I've been experimenting with making a plastic reed for the horn. ....
Pete's link again if you want to see the pics;
http://thevillagetinker.com/Misc stuff.htm
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
I've seen some of the mouthpiece adapters for these beasties. They're almost comical.

I'd definitely think that a Linton mouthpiece would work much better than one of the kludge-jobs.
 
I've seen some of the mouthpiece adapters for these beasties. They're almost comical.

I'd definitely think that a Linton mouthpiece would work much better than one of the kludge-jobs.
This is from an email from Benedikt
The bore of our contrabass clarinet is 36 mm as opposed to 30 mm (Leblanc)
or 34 mm (Selmer)- the wider bore makes for the fuller sound.
Benedikt Eppelsheim

The tuba player says the mouthpiece for the linton is 2" in diameter.
Thats 50.8 MM ! Almost twice the Leblanc !! :emoji_astonished:
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
Depends on how you look at it, SOTSDO. In this instance, Quinn has priced it about the average price the other ones sold for. Musically speaking, it might not be worth it, but as a rare-ish instrument, it's not bad. And, as you mention, it's in really good shape. Heck, I'd like to know what kind of finish the horn has.

Yo, Jim! I know you know Quinn. While he mentions that the horn in this ad is a Bb contra, he mentions "it appears to have a saxophone fingering system, although I'd assume it overblows a 12th like other clarinets do," which might mean he's never actually played it. Can you please, please please ask him what the keyed range is? I'd like to know if it's a "pedal" C or if it's an Eb. I'd also like to know (other than finish, as mentioned above) if it does overblow a 12th.

EDIT: sorry. I also saw http://www.quinntheeskimo.net/Pics/lintoncontra031611a/lintoncontra031611a47.jpg, just as I was leaving. Is it missing a key?
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
"Was." No bids. Admittedly, the horn didn't look that great. Could have benefited greatly from a good photographer.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
Mmmm. Ones that look nice do sell in that $3K range.

"Manual" doesn't immediately = bad. I just did a quick trip around the Intarwebs and some people would pay not to have an automatic octave key on their bass clarinets.
 
I know I've already recently covered this in another thread, but just in case someone happens across this thread in a google search I figure I should put the relevant info...

The range is to low E. It is in the key of B♭. It does not have 'saxophone fingerings' it just has a keywork layout and feel very similar to a saxophone. It is a Boehm system but without fully automatic pinky keys- you need to hold down F/C in order to play E/B or F♯/C♯ (also like a saxophone). It does not have an automatic register system- 2 separate keys. The bore is 40mm. The mouthpiece is ridiculous and an entire normal contrabass mouthpiece can fit inside of it. The table is the width of a normal contra reed, but it needs to be twice as long in order for the ligature to get a decent grip on it.
 
As for the discussion of naming conventions, contra clarinets were first made in the keys of C, B♭, E♭, and F. Instruments in E♭ and F were originally called either contrabasset-horns or contrabass clarinets. Selmer Paris was the first to make an E♭ contra on a larger scale starting in 1931 with their rosewood instrument (although initially it was actually made of grenadilla) and they named the instrument an E♭ contrabass clarinet. The name contra-alto clarinet did not exist until 1959 when Leblanc first made their E♭ paperclip contra and invented the term, and they were the only ones to use it. The E♭ contras made by Bundy and Buescher (also subsidiaries of Selmer USA) were also called E♭ contrabasses. Selmer finally changed the name of their instrument somewhere in the '90s to an E♭ contralto clarinet.

Leblanc's ad campaigns often used wording like "true contrabass clarinet" when referring to their B♭ contras. This was targeting Selmer's E♭ contra. Selmer didn't have a B♭ instrument yet, until 1978. I would be sure that Leblanc invented the term contra-alto clarinet so as to not create confusion about their "true" B♭ contra which they had been making for the previous 20 years.
 
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