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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000326.txt from 1999/06

From: arehow <>
Subj: [kl] Heckelphone--the true facts
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 1999 07:08:15 -0400

Many thanks to all who provided me with information on a Heckelphone.
As it turns out, I bought the instrument (from a dealer) for much less
than the asking price of $18K. I was able to do so in large part due to
information obtained directly from Heckel, regarding a new Heckelphone.

Heckelphones are made to order, Heckel quotes a 12 month wait. The base
price of 39,950 German Marks includes case, three bocals, two reeds, and
your choice of German or French systems. Case covers, taxes and
trans-Atlantic shipping are additional. Mine is German, by the way,
oboe-like in the right hand and Saxophone-like in the left.

The keywork is not like any other instrument I own, there are no
plateaus but rather tiny buttons enclosed in rings, to allow the
simultaneous activation of two levers by one key. The keywork is very
beautiful. Curiously, a patient who saw the Heckelphonne on display in
my office asked if it was a bassoon, rather than if it was an English
horn or Saxophone, the maple is so intensely red and bassoon-like.

Given the Mark is recently running 1.95 to the dollar the new price
comes to about $20,500, not the $40K or $30K prices that I have heard in
various postings. But it still is a pile of money, so I was pleased to
buy the used instrument and save enough for a Loree oboe or some other
such thing.

Serial numbers for Heckelphones are unique, serial 4000 was 1929 and the
numbers increase by about 60 per annum. So these are unusual but
certainly not rare instruments; counting my own, there are now four that
I am aware of in the Northeast US, but the other three are all near New
York City. Another lives in Ottawa, and one each in LA and Seattle.

Again, many thanks.

Robert Howe

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