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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000705.txt from 2002/06

From: (William Wright)
Subj: Re: [kl] Modern Basset Horn designs
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2002 00:08:27 -0400

<><> Dan Leeson wrote:
Bill, I don't think that Joe Wakeling was asking about the issue on
which you commented. He specifically citing a source saying that there
were metal bells and flared wooded bells and which one is said to be in
greater use in contemporary instruments.

Yes, I understood. This is why I posted "...I can't resist...." I
knew that I was broadening his question rather than answering it.


<><> (And by the way, Stadler's basset horn bell is not accurately
described as "spherical" but rather an "ellipseoid" or a three
dimensional ellipse.

Yes. Just for the record, my bell *is* a true sphere (inside). I
didn't specify 'spherical' when I ordered it. I merely asked for
"bulbous." Afterwards, when discussing various issues, I was told that
it is spherical.


<><> I have played on basset horns with a metal bell and now have one
with a wooden bell. I will also mention that Steve Trier of London once
told me that, in his opinion, a metal bell on a basset horn reinforced
all the overtones that one does not want, so he replaced his with a
wooden bell and did the same for his bass clarinet.

Without wanting to start up the old debate again, I agree that material
makes a difference, perhaps more significant in one part of the
instrument than another. I just wish someone would prove it, perhaps
with the "lead tape" experiment.


<><> but Steve Fox put a bunch of holes (called lattice holes) around
the circumference and pointed me to a technical paper that discussed the
physics of the matter.

When I discussed the results of my bell with Steve, he made the same
suggestion. But he warned me that his work load wouldn't allow him to
build me another bell (if I drilled holes and then didn't like the
result). The fact is, I play with my spherical bell almost exclusively
nowadays, and I'd be really sad if I lost it. Thus I've dismissed the
idea of drilling lattice holes.


<><> though the only note that it can affect is the low C, the others
never getting the air column down that low. [snip] There is an
issue that I don't understand relative to Stadler's ellipsoid bell
because it does not seem to play a role in the low C.

I have the same unresolved question about my bell! I haven't been able
to wrap my mind around it, even though I've tried. It smacks of
"action at a distance", which some quantum physicists accept, but many

Benade talks about the bell influencing a clarinet's sound above the
"bell notes." That is, influencing notes whose air column does not
reach the bell on the basis of wavelength alone. My hearing (and other
people's hearing) corroborates this *unquestionably*. My bell affects
notes as high as clarion G (on my Bb), although the effect is much more
dramatic at low E. Maybe some day I'll come to understand it.....



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