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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000623.txt from 1999/06

From: Mark Bradley <>
Subj: [kl] Kohlert clarinets
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 1999 18:14:53 -0400

> I don't know much about abut old instruments like this, but the odd bits
> of mechanism extending from the R.H. keywork could be part of an automatic
> speaker-key changeover facility. Maybe some of it is missing....
> Rogr S.

The rod which is on the back of the instrument and runs nearly the
entire length of the wooden body connects to a lever which operates the
speaker hole on the back of the bocal, I am curious to see what its
function is and I hope someone knows more about it. I will take a few
pictures, scan them, and post them but they prob. won't be ready until
about Friday, and I leave for music camp on the 27th.

Also on the bass there is a rod or two (i didn't get a good look) that
connects to the A or Ab key and goes to the back, which i found curious
but noticed it is part of a few other single action speaker vent
mechanisms that I have seen in the past.

As for the quality of the bass clarinet, I have no idea and prob. won't
ever really know, it is really in awful condition. If i did play it, it
would be better than nothing and for $25 that's not half bad (note, i
haven't bought it yet, my director says until I graduate they are at my
disposal because he doesn't need them). More so I am curious about some
of the mechanisms on it that I haven't seen before. I just had someone
on swear by their Kohler bass clarinet, so who
knows. Still, I have a better chance of golfing a 72 than getting this
bass clarinet to like-new condition (but I will certainly try, on both

If it is as good as the alto clarinet, then I am more than happy. The
Kohlert alto is really wonderful especially compared to the plateau
Leblanc I had also tried. Hopefully when I reassemble all the keys
after cleaning and oiling it will play even better.

Now, I am still wondering about the value of the alto, any information
on Kohler, and the questions in my original post. In any case, both
instruments will occupy my summer nicely.

Oh any places where I can order complete pad sets for bass clarinet
and/or alto clarinet? Prices? I'll eventually need replacement screws
for the bass clarinet but have yet to take a look at it and see the
extent of the incompleteness.

Mark A. Bradley
Chazy, New York

> We were doing end of the year cleaning at my school, and my band
> director mentioned that he had an alto clarinet and a bass clarinet that
> his father bought at a tag sale.
> The alto was in playable condition, besides being quite old it also
> hasn't been used in a few years. I played it a little while, it will
> take a little getting used to because they were open holes, not
> plateau. Comparing it to a LeBlanc alto i thought it was nicer, in
> fact. Today I took it entirely apart, we'll be cleaning out the tone
> holes, keys, and will replace a few pads and corks (I kept sticking
> myself on the needle springs, but the resulting jaw harp sound is worth
> it, haha). The only real flaw in the instrument is that there was a
> crack in the upper joint around what looks similar to an S.K. mechanism
> although it seemed a litle different from what you usually see on altos
> and basses. It was filled in though, it is not pretty but it does the
> job. Oh and it only goes to low E.
> The bass clarinet is not nearly as good. All of the keys *appear* to be
> there, on or off the instrument, but there are several screws missing.
> It only goes to low E also. While looking at it, pads and corks (and a
> few keys) were falling into my lap so it would need a lot of work. It
> seems to be rather old. The wood is very light in color (although dried
> out) and looks like rosewood, a lot like barrels of cocobolo that I have
> seen (and will hopefully buy soon!) Also, this I found rather curious,
> connecting to the resonance hole which is operated by I think the third
> RH finger key (?)--i think this is on every bass clarinet, there is a
> lever which extends up the instrument and mirrors the usual bridge a few
> centimeters over. This rod continues up the side of the upper joint and
> connects somewhere in the register vent mechanism. What is the purpose
> of this? The instrument is unplayable so i can't really try it myself.
> Both clarinets are made by Kohlert. The alto clarinet says:
> Kohlert & Co. Winnenden
> Made in Germany
> The bass says:
> V. Kohlerts
> Sons
> Graslitz
> Chechoslovakia
> Bb, LP, and a neat little star
> The serial number for the alto is 21333, the bass is 261765, if they
> have been stolen we would not mind returning it, his father paid $50
> total for both.
> Now, other than the questions contained above, I am wondering a few
> things. Can someone tell me about Kohlert? Generally did they make
> good instruments (the alto certainly seems nice)? Also, what is the
> value of the alto (once we put it back together) and maybe the bass,
> although this seems almost a lost cause.
> My teacher said he'd trade the alto for an old plastic soprano Signet I
> have and would give the bass for $25, I want to make sure I wouldn't be
> ripping him off or him me.
> In any case today was my first time playing an alto clarinet, it was
> very interesting and the open holes were a challenge. Not to mention it
> was really fun taking the keys apart, the alto had some interesting
> mechanisms I haven't seen before.
> Also, we may be putting a *little* bore oil for the alto, all the pads
> and keys are off and it seems like a better time than later. I have
> forgotten the procedure since I never do this on any of my other
> clarinets. We'd also like to oil the keys and screws, he has a little
> vial of key oil with a dropper cap, is this okay? We read in a repair
> book something about a hypodermic needle, but the pictures showed it
> being applied with the keys on the instrument.
> Thanks for any help or information.
> Mark
> --
> Mark A. Bradley
> Chazy, New York

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