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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000440.txt from 1999/04

From: "Dr. David McClune" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] re: Materials
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 1999 21:02:05 -0400

Ahh, a friendly response to my missive on audio. Thanks! A better
clarinet 'might' sound a little better, and that might be important. Yes a
pro could make a plastic horn sound pretty good, but it might not be
effortless. Same thing in audio, the better the equipment, the larger the
differences. Although not all differences are better.

What does "all things being equal" mean? If you have a beginner player
with a regular beginner mouthpiece, soft reed, normal bunched up
embouchure, lack of pressure, etc., the great professional clarinet might
not make much of an audible difference.

In audio, the differences are sometimes large and sometimes small depending
on the combination of equipment used. Take my QUAD ESL 63's; driven by a
20 watt NAD integrated amp, they sound pretty great. However when played
with my tube amp, they truly sing. Using higher grade of electronics make
other differences more important. An anology would be to take a great
custom Pyne mouthpiece (a favorite of mine) and play an R-13 with a #2
beginner reed! If you just replace the $1.50 piece of cane with a #4
Vandoren V-12...

Musicians are often the hardest to sell great audio to. Listening to a
recording through a great audio system allows one to hear deeply into the
recording, picking out timbre differences and micro-dynamic differences
which greatly enhance the listening experience. Visit a 'high end' audio
shop and enjoy!

Happy listening,


At 02:40 PM 4/7/99 -0400, you wrote:
>Dr. McLune wrote:
> Would a beginner 6th grade clarinet player sound much different
>on an OPUS or R-13 than a plastic horn, all things being equal? Probably
>not. However a professional could tell a performing difference as would
>the audience.
>To me, a better Clarinet would sound better, even for a 6th grader
>starting out (though it probably will sound pretty bad). I would argue that
>a Professional player could make a plastic student clarinet sound to the
>audience as good an Opus or R-13, but would have to work a lot harder to do
>it. We adjust, and work to sound the same regardless of the setup.
>I'll bite - what does all things being equal mean?
>David Blumberg

Dr. David McClune
Professor of Woodwinds/Director of Bands
Union University, Jackson, TN 38305

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