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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000579.txt from 1999/06

From: "David B. Niethamer" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Tuning problems
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1999 09:48:28 -0400

on 6/17/99 5:03 PM, J. Thole wrote:

>I think the mechanism is better.
When I switched to Yamaha clarinets in 1985, it was for precisely this
reason. My understanding is that the keywork is modeled on the Buffet R13
keywork of that time. I certainly had no adjustment problems going from
Buffet to Yamaha in terms of the feel of the keys. But somehow, at least
then, the Yamaha keywork seemed more "solid" and less likely to go out of
adjustment. In my line of work, that is a real advantage! One of my Bb
clarinets I played "out of the box" without adjustment for about 18
months before I had it serviced. I have 2 CS instruments that I play,
alternating from time to time.

>A problem of the Yamaha is that it is tuned at A=440, while the average
>pitch used in Europe is higher (442 and up). The Buffet's don't have that
>problem. However the Yamaha is much more in tune with itself.
Interesting - I've been told (here in the US) that the CS is made to play
at 442! In any case, the difference from 440 to 442 is quite small.

>Would a shorter barrel for the Yamaha be a solution? I am afraid that this
>will influence the intonation, because the upper region of the instrument
>would be more affected than the lower region.

I would think you could find a shorter barrel which, with your mouthpiece
of choice, would play a reliable scale at 442. We play at 440 in the
Richmond Symphony, so I have to play a 67 mm barrel and a mpc designed to
play at 440. my mouthpiece is a Vandoren M13Lyre.

Among the tuning characteristics that I like on the Yamaha are the better
twelfths from the lowest E and F (E and F are not as flat as on some
Buffets, esp. from that time (late 1970's - early '80's) and better
twelfths from 1st line E and 1st space F (the high B and C are not so

Hope this helps.


David Niethamer
Principal Clarinet, Richmond Symphony

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