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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000293.txt from 1999/01

From: "Kevin Fay (LCA)" <kevinfay@-----.com>
Subj: [kl] Selmer Signature--Report
Date: Fri, 8 Jan 1999 19:33:44 -0500

I play in a band run by a sadist, who happens to own a chain of music
stores. To torment me last night, he brought a Selmer Signature to
rehearsal for me to try out (most likely in the hope that I would want to
buy one, of course). This particular horn was a "demonstrator" that Selmer
apparently lends to one dealer after another to drum up interest; the case
was a little beat up, and the horn showed more than a little "shop
wear"--the RH Eb/Bb lever had obviously been bent at one point. Other than
that, it was basically a spiffy new horn, and I thought I'd share my
impressions.

I spent the rehearsal switching between the Signature and my Buffet. I use
a Chadash barrel on the Buffet, but used the stock barrel w/ the Selmer. My
impressions:

--Workmanship (workpeopleship?) in general was superb, but for the thumb
rest (see below). The tone holes are raised chimneys, like the Buffet
Elite; looked expensive to produce.

--Intonation on the Selmer was very, very even. 12ths slotted very well.
The normal cheat fingerings that I'm used to didn't work; I would have to
spend some time with a tuner. An example--the long high F was not nearly as
good a note as the traditional 2+3+side key fingering, which was right on.

--The Selmer was *considerably* more resistant than the Buffet. Not having
a micrometer handy, I was not able to see what quirks in the bore caused
this. In order to get through the rehearsal, however, I had to switch to a
softer reed. The softer reed worked fine--the tone was nice--the same reed
used on the Buffet was too bright.

--The LH Eb/Ab lever (completing the circuit of pinky keys for both hands)
was a tad too close--I kept bumping in to it inadvertently. Of course, I
don't have this key on my Buffet R-13, so could probably get used to it in
time.

--The adjustable thumb rest--which is constructed was a disaster. The set
screw simply would not hold, and I couldn't get a constant thumb position.
This is really quite sad, because the adjustable rest that Selmer has
marketed for the last few years is so good that I had a repair person put
one on my A. This one is like the one Buffet puts on their Prestige, which
I don't like. It slips.

All in all, a pretty great horn. If I was in the market today for a
super-premium horn, I would want to compare it side-by-side with the Buffet
Prestige or Festival (both of which I prefer over the Opus). List price is
about $4,200; at least that's what the tag said.

Of course, I'm not in the market. I have 2 kids (one a daughter only 3
weeks old). My budget for reeds consists of trying the old ones. ;-(

kjf

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