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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000806.txt from 2002/05

From: Sean Osborn <>
Subj: [kl] selmer intonation
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 16:58:29 -0400

Forest and everyone else,

>Selmer's manufacturing standard has always been excellent but the one area
>that they have suffered in building clarinets has been intonation.

Now wait just a cotten-pickin' minute here!

I cannot speak to the history of Selmer clarinets over the lifetime of
their company, but I can speak to the last few years, and I have to say
you're DEAD WRONG.

I play Selmer Signature clarinets, and one of the reasons I switched from
quite excellent Buffet Festival clarinets was because of the superior
intonation. The new design of the Signature clarinet is, I believe, the
most significant advancement in clarinet design in the last 100 years. The
tone holes are longer, chimneys raised, and they are NOT undercut.
Consequently, every 12th is perfectly in tune. Gone are the days of having
to play flat in one register and sharp in another (such as many r-13s do
between a flat F and a sharp high C).
That alone is reason to give them a try, but the superior sound and
projection are what drew me to them in the first place.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I'm sorry you have only known
out of tune Selmer clarinets, but I could not let such a statement pass

I urge you all to try a Signature whenever you get the chance. Like all
clarinets, the quality of sound varies from instrument to instrument, and
you need several to choose from to find one you like. However, when I
tried the 15 from which I chose my set, the intonation on all of them was
rock solid. I adjust far less than I ever have in my life, and if I work
on a tone hole, it stays well in tune.


Sean Osborn, clarinetist, Metropolitan Opera - retired.


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