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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000508.txt from 2000/09

Subj: Re: [kl] Re: old is not as good as new
Date: Sat, 16 Sep 2000 13:13:20 -0400

Leeson said:
<<Bottom line is that there is very little evidence that establishes in any objective way that old is not as good as new, either in the broadest possible sense (which is what your first posting suggested), or even at
the level of detail that you attempted to achieve in your most recent posting.

And while you did not give any anecdotes about how this one or that one hears things that were not there in the past and thus your hypothesis must be true, such stories do not constitute evidence. >>

Grabner says:

Let me throw in some "evidence". I have a Selmer 10-G Bb, which is a very fine instrument. David Shifrin helped me pick out both my Bb and A Selmers (circa 1978 or 1979, memory fails).

I also have a Buffet R-13, that I bought as a high school student in 1966. This instrument received VERY hard use all during college, grad school, and my first years teaching and playing. By '78 I felt it had really worn out, and I replaced it (and my Buffet R-13 A, which I never really liked) with the Selmers.

About a year ago, I was at International Music Suppliers and noticed they had a whole BOX of Buffet Moennig barrels. Since the bore of the 10-G is so similar to the Buffet, I decided to try them.

After trying 17 barrels, I picked one that really improved both the tone AND the pitch of my Selmer Bb. I currently use this barrel - and some others - more on this later.

Well, being the experimenter that I am. I eventually tried the Buffet Moennig barrel on my old R-13.


The instrument came back to life, played as well as it ever did.....maybe better!

I carefully matched a Angled Wall Zinner based mouthpiece to the barrel and the clarinet.

The net result?

I almost always play on the Buffet now. It has a livelier response, and a more even scale than the Selmer. It.....plays like it's alive! I work with a tuner nearly every day, and I can stop most pitches dead center on the tuner.

What does this prove, other than I am happy?

My Buffet was used hard...but never abused. I cared for it well, and stored it well for the 15 years I did not play it. Does it play as well as it did in 1966? Who can tell? It feels great to me now, and that's what matters to me. Could a new horn be better? Maybe, but I'd have to risk it cracking, and possibly learn a whole new pattern of subtle intonation tendencies.

So, I can partially dispute the assertation that an old instrument is not worth "bringing back".

Walter Grabner

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