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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000808.txt from 2002/05

From: Bill Hausmann <>
Subj: Re: [kl] selmer intonation
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 20:33:36 -0400

At 06:04 PM 5/30/2002 -0500, Forest Aten wrote:
>I have not played the Signature line of clarinet by Selmer and so have no
>opinion. I do have experience with Selmer clarinets and have a clear
>understanding of why Buffet developed into the clarinet manufacturer of
>choice for most of the professional clarinet performers in North America
>during the second half of the last century.
>My brief reference to Selmer was related to a post describing problems
>typical of the 10G model. I know these intonation problems well, as I owned
>a 10G at one time. I also own a 9 N series and a 9*. (history) All with
>severe intonation problems compared to more contemporary instruments. These
>intonation problems were/are typical of these models and are the result of
>choices/compromises by Selmer's acoustical and engineering staff at the time
>of development. While Selmer made these choices (history)....Buffet was
>making other choices; better choices, especially if you look at both the
>market place and to the overwhelming domination Buffet has with numbers of
>top orchestral and teaching professionals in North America. Things change
>and perhaps the current line of professional instruments offered by Selmer
>have greatly improved intonation. Competition is good for everyone.
>I will say that your statement that the 12th are "perfect" is suspect. Are
>you saying that Selmer has found the "perfect" compromise? You have no
>intonation issues with your Selmer clarinets? (you mention "working on tone
>holes") Can anyone buy a Selmer clarinet that plays as well (in-tune) as
>yours? Or do you have your clarinets adjusted by Selmer's top bench
>techs...or perhaps whoever you had work on your clarinets while you were in
>NY? and what did you mean when you said, "when I work and a tone hole, it
>stays well in tune"?

I play a Selmer Series 10 and, with the proper mouthpiece, its intonation
is quite excellent. The only clarinet I can ever recall playing that was
better was a Selmer Signature, which was positively effortless. My
clarinet has not been tweaked by anyone other than myself, with some minor
adjustments to key opening heights, mostly to clear up any fuzziness of
tone. I will admit that my old Balanced Tone has some "intonation issues,"
but I have them reduced now to a curiously SHARP lower chalumeau, primarily
by choosing a different barrel (closer to the missing original) and
mouthpiece setup.

The R-13 is well known to have intonation discrepancies, too, particularly
a sharp altissimo register. Players have learned to adjust to that over
time, sometimes even to the point that non-Buffet clarinets seem out of
tune to them. When Leblanc's advertising blurbs talk about "traditional
higher tuning" they mean to say that they have copied the R-13's misplaced
register vent to please Buffet players. This is not to denigrate Buffet
clarinets. The last one I played was most excellent and, if I were in the
market, it would be on my short list for sure. But as you pointed out
yourself, Buffet has ALSO made compromises.

Bill Hausmann
451 Old Orchard Drive
Essexville, MI 48732 ICQ UIN 4862265

If you have to mic a saxophone, the rest of the band is TOO LOUD!


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