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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000139.txt from 2002/05

From: (William Wright)
Subj: Re: [kl] Too many barrel choices!
Date: Sun, 5 May 2002 21:24:29 -0400

<><> RobZrob wrote:
I'm wondering about the objective differences in sound that are attained
with each barrel.

Rob, in most people's experience, there is no "objective" answer. By
now, you've probably read my other post today (regarding reeds and
mouthpieces) about "it's different for everyone" and "try different
combinations and listen to the results when _you_ play them" and so

It happens that I have a new barrel on order, and I have no idea what it
will sound like. There's no way to know except to try it out. I've
ordered from a respected supplier, and I've discussed with him in very
general terms what my goal is. His policy is to send me his best guess
and to allow exchanges and/or minor refinements (within reason) .

One of the important reasons for attending festivals and travelling to
large dealers is to try different equipment before you buy. Mail order
houses have exchange policies which reduce the cost of a 'trial' to
$5-$15 if you don't like the results.


One of the repetitive topics on this list is: If I told you that a
such-and-such barrel has a brighter sound (or a rounder sound or a more
focused sound or .....), what would "brighter" mean to you?

To some people, "bright" means "shrill". To others, it means
"sparkling". Or "bell-like". Or..... If I contrived to play a
certain recipe of partials, could you choose the particular word that
described them? And what if my hearing (or yours) responds differently
to the 7th partial in the altissimo register?

Words such as "stable" have a bit more meaning because they imply
something that is at least partially measurable --- "stable" usually
means that your reed won't go out of control so easily. But I've
played on my teacher's mouthpiece, and for me, it isn't stable at all.
The fact is: she has skills that I don't have, and so it behaves
differently for her than it does for me.



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