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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000329.txt from 2001/05

From: "Kevin Fay (LCA)" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] buffet clarinets (materials)
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 14:53:24 -0400

Kelly posted:

<<<I have had great luck with extreme temperature and moisture changes
over the 15 years of owning prestiges. I have heard of a couple of cases
of prestige instruments cracking, but have heard many more of the R13
crack stories. Come to think of it, I have heard very few Leblanc,
Selmer, or Yamaha crack stories, and none from the Rossis, Patricolas,
Eatons, Howarths. Does anyone have cracks on those instruments, whether
they were fixed by the manufacturer or not?>>>

It shouldn't be surprising that most cracking stories are of the R-13;
it is far and away the most popular artist-level horn used in the U.S.
(where most of the list resides). I'd bet a tall latte that more R-13s
are played by the listmates than all other brands and models combined,
so you're going to hear more about them.

Wood is wood. Just in the last week there have been multiple posts on
Selmer Series 9s and Signatures cracking up. It's not a defect of the
manufacturing, it's the wood. Wood has grain. Weak spot in the grain
@-----. You can help the crack along by playing it when it's cold,
bonking it on a stand etc., but chances are that if the grain has a
fissure, the horn's gonna crack. You can try really hard to be careful,
but the wood's still weak.

Center-cut wood may crack less because of the denser grain (sounds
reasonable to me). OTOH, if you don't want the risk, play a horn that
won't crack. The Buffet Greenline is supposed to be pretty durable that
way. Howarth makes an artist-level horn out of ABS, just like the top
joint of my wife's Loree oboe. =20

If the perceived sound/feel/cosmic energy difference between wood and
these other materials bothers you, you're pretty much stuck taking the
risk with wood. Buy it with a warranty, avoid the grey market.


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