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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000345.txt from 1999/04

From: "Dee D. Hays" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Wood/plastic, etc...
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 1999 06:29:20 -0400

-----Original Message-----
From: Hiroshi Nagatsuma <>
Date: Monday, April 05, 1999 10:53 PM
Subject: RE: [kl] Wood/plastic, etc...

Gary Van Cott wrote:
>But there ARE at least two "plastic" professional instruments. The >Buffet
Greenline which is made of a composition of woodchips and >carbon fiber.....

They are made of 95% grenadilla chips and 5% bondage material.If 'plastic'
means thermoplastic it may be,but ordinarily plastic material is made of
inorganic material.It seems to me inappropriate to call them 'plastic'.
One thing I do not like about them.Their prices do not differ from ordinary
R13! Strange.



This has been discussed extensively on the list before. You might want to
review the archives. But basically the wood chips are what is referred to
as a filler in the manufacture of plastics. Even though the filler adds
bulk to the plastic, the characteristics of the material are determined not
by the filler but by the binder. So even though the filler is organic, it
makes little difference. For the binder to actually work, the particles
must be completely coated or you won't get a good product. Thus the
characteristics of the sawdust are irrelevant. Thus using grenadilla wood
sawdust as a filler instead of some other material is simply a marketing
ploy to get people to accept plastic. Actually I hope it works to change
peoples' minds about the materials and that high quality plastic horns
become available from all the makers. Dryness is a severe problem here.

Why shouldn't a professional grade plastic cost just as much as a
professional grade wood? It is not the cost of the wood that drives the
price of the instrument (I believe Mark Charette had uncovered and posted
the information that there is only about $20 worth of wood in the
professional grade horns). What you are paying for is the more accurate
manufacture and higher quality key mechanisms found on these professional
instruments. You are paying for more hand finishing work on the pro
clarinets as opposed to the intermediate and beginner level instruments.

Dee Hays
Canton, SD

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