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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000271.txt from 2001/04

From: "Carol Swann" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Pads: Single versus Double Bladder (It does not matter)
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 17:05:12 -0400

Cork pads are great on the top joint. Some prefer a regular pad on the pad
under middle finger of the left hand. My clarinet has the original cork
pads put in by Brannon(Evanston,IL) for almost 15 years.

Musically yours,

>From: "Kevin Fay (LCA)" <>
>To: <>
>Subject: RE: [kl] Pads: Single versus Double Bladder (It does not matter)
>Date: Thu, Apr 12, 2001, 11:55 AM

> Eric Mumpower asked:
> <<<I've encountered repair craftsmen (who sponsor, even) who
> recommend old (pre-Rico-buyout Valentino) foam pads. And cork pads seem
> to be popular with some people. . . .Would anyone like to share their
> opinions on why/when one might or might not want to use these
> alternatives?>>>
> I do not like bladder pads. Part of this comes from my late father, an
> aerospace/mechanical engineer -- when I described to him the
> construction of bladder pads he was horrified. "Fishskin" isn't from
> fish; it's sheep intestine. Felt is the compressed hair of dead
> animals. Neither material would be certified by the FAA as safe to use
> in the construction of an aircraft.
> I've had the same cork pads on my 1977 Buffet R-13 Bb since 1980. None
> of them -- not one -- has needed replacement, and all of them -- every
> one -- seals like the day it was put on. This is good.
> All of the bladder pads on the instrument have had to be replaced at
> least twice. The usual worst culprit is the right hand Ab/Eb key.
> Fortunately for me, in 1988 Albert Alphin replaced that pad with one of
> the early black Valentinos. None of the repair techs who have since
> tweaked up the horn have bothered to replace it -- it seals as good
> today as the day it was put on. This too is good.
> I suspect that part of the reason more repair people don't use cork pads
> is that you have to be relatively skillful to make and install ones that
> work. Others' disdain is philosophical, perhaps; I'm told Bill Brannen
> makes his own bladder pads because the bought ones aren't good enough --
> his choice of bladder pads certainly isn't because it's less effort.
> Since he does cork pads, too, I'm sure he has his reasons.
> I was unaware that Rico bought out Valentino. From the tone of Eric's
> post, I gather that there has been a deterioration in quality? (This
> makes me sad.) Perhaps this is the reason that more repair techs don't
> use them. Maybe others are just resistant to anything invented after
> the turn of the *last* century -- who knows?
> There is no reason other than lack of resources and focus that Dow or
> Dupont couldn't come up with a fantastic material that's easy to
> install, seals every time regardless of "seating" and makes no noise.
> After all, NASA is pretty good at stopping air leaks.
> Now for my problem -- I have a fairly new Yamaha A. Between the time
> that I bought it (6 mos. ago) and when I get the first repad (this
> summer), I'm suffering with the factory pads. They seal up fine, but
> make that horrible lip-smacking/sucking/sticking sound. It's driving me
> nuts. Other than replace the pad (which is scheduled), what can I do to
> make it stop? I have to play Tchaikovsky's 6th in two weeks, and you
> can hear that awful noise in the quite bits. Help!
> kjf
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