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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000965.txt from 1999/04

Subj: Re: [kl] Moennig reg. vents and Barrels(INCORRECT)
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 01:36:33 -0400

In a message dated 4/21/99 5:08:35 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

<< The topic of Moennig register tubes came up last week on this list.
Moennig apparently made special vents with an hour glass taper, similar
to his barrels. On page 90 of the current (March 1999) issue of The
Clarinet, there is an ad for "The Vent", a product sold by Andy
Crisanti, principal Clarinet in the Fort Worth Symphony. Andy says has
had a set of Moennig vents that he owns duplicated and is offering them
for sale at $40 per vent. They are the same for Bb and A clarinet. In
the ad he states that they "provide for improved throat Bb, long B
natural, and a more centered and focused sound for A, B and C above the
staff." Sounds good to me!

The information regarding Moennig barrels is not correct! The Moennig
barrel does not have an hour glass bore design but the register tube does.
The Moennig barrel is made with a three staged reverse cone bore. As Hans
Moennig's last apprentice, I watched him finish the bore in hundreds of his
Famous barrels. The technique involved 3 separate reamers. The first step
was to set the general diameter of the barrel. The second step was to set
the bottom choke. And the third step was to set the reverse cone. This
third step was always the most critical as It was based on the players "Set
up", i.e. mouthpiece, reed and clarinet bore size.
Mr. Moennig would often say, "The secret to my barrel is not in a
certain set of dimensions but the barrels proportions in relationship to the
mouthpiece and upper joint. Unlike commercially produced "Moennig barrels"
Mr. Moennig bought his barrels unfinished and matched them to the musician's
individual needs. Although the diameters fluctuated from one style of
playing to another, The Moennig's barrel taper remained the same and provided
a consistent result. No one barrel bore profile is going to work on every
mouthpiece made!
Whenever a clarinetist would come to the shop to try barrels, The first
thing that Mr. Moennig would do is analyze the player's "set up." He had the
blue prints to Ralph McLane's mouthpiece and barrel as it was at McLane's
request that the Original Moennig Barrel was invented. After measuring the
players mouthpiece, barrel, and clarinet bore, Mr. Moennig would then do a
comparative study, based on the McLane standards, to find overall volume
deviations which might result in pitch and timbre problems. Mr. Moennig
considered the area from the tip of the mouthpiece to the throat A tone hole
as an acoustical entity. This area functions as a conduit and its total
volume will determine the pitch level of the clarinet. The various bore
perturbations i.e. tapers, cones, chokes flairs,ect., in this area will
determine if the instrument will play in tune from one register to another.
An authentic Moennig-made barrel will make the throat tones more focused,
correct bad 12ths, enhance response, and improve slurs over the break.
Regarding the Moennig register tubes! Upon Mr. Moennig's death I
inherited the contents of his repair shop which included reamers,
instruments, tools, tone hole and bore gauges, undercutting tools, old music
books, receipt ledgers, ect. But the most important find in his entire
estate was the detailed blueprints of Buffet R-13 clarinets belonging to
great players of the twentieth century. The intricate file documented A and
B flat clarinet measurements for Ralph McLane , Robert McGinness, Harold
Wright, and Robert Marcellus. Mr. Moennig often referred to these famous
clarinetist as his personal testers and made sure that every clarinet that he
sold would meet there criteria for excellence!
According to Mr. Moennig's records as well as my personal observations,
the Moennig A and Bb tubes are totally different in design. This difference
is necessary for acoustical reasons. The A tube should be longer than the Bb
in order to lower the High A,B,and C. The 12th are too wide on most new
clarinet such as D-A, E-B and F-C. The Moennig tube will correct this problem
without destroying the Timbre of the throat Bb. The Moennig tube will also
eliminate the undertones on pianissimo High A,B, and C. Many repairmen will
try to remedy this problem by substituting a Bb tube on the A clarinet but it
just doesn't work very well with most "set ups". The hour glass bore of the
Moennig tube will keep the upper register notes in tune without jeopardizing
the response of the middle register or slurs over the break.
I have a detailed sheet on the Hans Moennig Barrel, Register tubes and
many other innovations. If anyone is interested in a copy, please feel free
to contact me.

Thank you,

Alvin Swiney

Affordable Music Co.

P.O. Box 4245

Virginia Beach, VA 23454

757-412-2160, fax 412-2158


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