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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001248.txt from 1997/09

From: Bill Hausmann <>
Subj: Re: A Plastic Clarinet Question
Date: Sun, 28 Sep 1997 15:26:07 -0400

At 09:33 PM 9/27/97 -0400, Ralph Thiers wrote:
>Dear Matt:
> There is, or has been, a high quality plastic clarinet out there.
> About 5 years ago a music store owned by a friend of mine aquired two
>Buffet clarinets made entirely of a plastic that is as clear as glass. The
>keys are bright copper plated and in the eye of this beholder they were and
>are the most spectacularly beautiful clarinet imaginable. My friend kept one
>and sold me the other. We both march them. They are rugged and insensitive to
>weather conditions, except that the plastic temporarily becomes slightly hazy
>at high temperatures. At every parade they draw oohs and aahs especially from
>members of other bands.
> I have seen only one other of these (which I promptly bought) and although
>I think they were advertised for a while by the Woodwinds and Brasswinds of
>South Bend they did not have one to sell me.
> But the impressive part is that when subjected to the Fobes intonation test
>the two I have are FAR superior in their tuning than either my Buffet R13 or
>my Selmer G10.
> That's all I know about these clear clarinets. I wish I knew their story.
>Why were they made -- was it an experiment? Why are they so good -- is
>plastic easier to work with? Why were they discontinued -- am I the only
>person who sees them as beautiful?

As someone recently pointed out on the List, clarinetists are so resistant
to change that even rosewood clarinets are frowned upon. The clear Lucite
clarinets are even more bizarre than the Vito Dazzlers, and just as likely
to meet with scorn from serious players, regardless of their playing
qualities. I think they are cool looking. But don't they fog up when you
play them? I'm sure they were created for looks only, and are very unique,
but usually if an item like that is dropped, it is because of poor sales.

Bill Hausmann
451 Old Orchard Drive
Essexville, MI 48732

If you have to mic a saxophone, the rest of the band is too loud.

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