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What's your Bass Clarinet Setup

Roger Aldridge

Composer in Residence
Distinguished Member
#3
Yamaha 221 II bass clarinet, Walter Grabner LB mouthpiece, #3 Legere bass clarinet reeds, Vandoren Masters ligature. When I have some free time I want to learn how to tie a string ligature to use on BC.....since Vandoren does not make a BC version of the Klassik string ligature (which I love on clarinet and tenor).
 

Merlin

Content Expert/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#4
Looks like my bass setup is in flux.

Seems that the Selmer HS** tunes better on my horn than the B40 does. Intonation in the pit at Stratford is crucial, so anything that makes life easier is the way to go.

Just switched to an Optimum lig too. Much more responsive than my old Rovner, and it cleaned up the sound of the clarion G# a bit.
 

tictactux

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#5
Just bought an Artley. Nothing to compare with the big $$$ Selmers and Buffets, but at least within reach. I have a Bundy Alto and roughly know what to expect...
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#6
Hey! The first post from a regular user on the new forum! You should get something for that!
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#7
I played a couple of different bass clarinets in high school. I've never owned one.

* Plastic Bundy one-piece. Stock mouthpiece. Probably 1960's vintage.
* Wooden Selmer student two-piece. HS* mouthpiece. Probably 1970's vintage.
* Wooden Buffet two-piece. Stock mouthpiece. Probably 1950's or 1940's vintage.

All to low Eb. I always tried to get standard Vandoren 3.5 reeds.

I haven't played a bass clarinet since, oh, 1993.

The nicest one of these was probably the wooden Selmer. Not to say that the plastic Bundys weren't decent: they were fine horns.

The Buffet needed work, but I never really liked it. Very difficult to play.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#9
Actually, it just came upon me that I haven't got any bass reeds yet. ;)
I think the shipping would be prohibitively expensive ....

Let's see. What's Ed's petty cash balance, again?
 

Gandalfe

Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
Administrator
#11
Just bought an Artley. Nothing to compare with the big $$$ Selmers and Buffets, but at least within reach. I have a Bundy Alto and roughly know what to expect...
So (affecting a Jewish mother's accent) how does it sound? Can you get it to voice the notes through the whole range of the instrument?
 

tictactux

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#12
So (affecting a Jewish mother's accent) how does it sound? Can you get it to voice the notes through the whole range of the instrument?
The problem is that the instrument is still somewhere in the midwest, and I am in Zurich. Ask me again in a month. :)
But <looks at hands> I'm confident I can make it behave. I overhauled my Bundy Alto, and it doesn't speak, it sings.
 

tictactux

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#13
The problem is that the instrument is still somewhere in the midwest, and I am in Zurich. Ask me again in a month. :)
But <looks at hands> I'm confident I can make it behave. I overhauled my Bundy Alto, and it doesn't speak, it sings.
Update: Got my "stock mouthpiece" along with a ligature today. The horn arrived last Friday. I always order a Yamaha 4C along with a Rovner Dark ligature because this combination is very dependable and performed well with every instrument so far. Maybe not exciting, but a safe bet.

Well, what can I say? I didn't overhaul the horn yet, so some adjusting is still required. But I couldn't wait and gave it a test honk. The B..C above the staff requires some getting used to (and maybe a new pad on the register key), as does the Low Eb (crow's foot's cork fell off). But the rest (including altissimo up to G) sounds fine. No notes are noticeably out of whack.
I stopped giving it full throttle when the plaster started coming down the ceiling. :cool:
All in all, I'm pleasantly surprised. Considering this is my first time behind a bass beak, not bad. (I have some Alto training, though, so that might have helped).
 

tictactux

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#15
If you get a chance you should try a bass mouthpiece by Walter Grabner.
They're amazing.
I'm having one made by another master in this business, David Spiegelthal. I use one of his with my Alto and couldn't be happier. A third - tempting - possibility would be a Behn Ouverture. Heck, 50-odd dollars, and his soprano beaks are really good.
 

Ed

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
#16
Brad Behn makes really great stuff. I've talked to him a time or two on the phone about mouthpieces and he's quite knowledgeable. I saw some of his stuff recently and the work looks very nice.
 
#17
I have a Buffet 19,xxx low E flat Bass Clarinet from the early 1950's. . I play on either a 40 year old C** bass mouthpiece or a Morgan D. I use Vandoren Tenor Saxophone Reeds and a Vandoren Optimum ligature.

Dark rich sound with plenty of bite when called for especially with the Morgan D.
 

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#18
Pre-1960s Selmer to low Eb with left Eb-Ab key. I've played better horns by Selmer and Buffet, but mine is OK and it's loud!

I use a Selmer D mouthpiece-an old one. Again, I've played better mouthpieces, but I'm used to this one.

I remember my first gig with Liza Minnelli 25 years ago - heavy bass clarinet and they wanted it LOUD! I actually refaced my bass clarinet mouthpiece between the 1st and 2nd rehearsals, just to give Liza's musical director what he wanted.

Back in those days I had very long hair - to the middle of my back. Third night on the gig, as Liza walked onstage, she stopped by my chair, leaned over, messed up my hair, and whispered into my ear, "I've wanted to do that for three days!" Thanks, Liza! I'll never forget that gig - great band, great charts, and a hair raising encounter with Liza.
 

Ed

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
#19
Pre-1960s Selmer to low Eb with left Eb-Ab key. I've played better horns by Selmer and Buffet, but mine is OK and it's loud!

I use a Selmer D mouthpiece-an old one. Again, I've played better mouthpieces, but I'm used to this one.

I remember my first gig with Liza Minnelli 25 years ago - heavy bass clarinet and they wanted it LOUD! I actually refaced my bass clarinet mouthpiece between the 1st and 2nd rehearsals, just to give Liza's musical director what he wanted.

Back in those days I had very long hair - to the middle of my back. Third night on the gig, as Liza walked onstage, she stopped by my chair, leaned over, messed up my hair, and whispered into my ear, "I've wanted to do that for three days!" Thanks, Liza! I'll never forget that gig - great band, great charts, and a hair raising encounter with Liza.
Great story. Hair . . . I remember it foundly. :emoji_smile:
 
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