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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000437.txt from 2003/06

From: Barbara Reimer <>
Subj: [kl] the tone of a selmer....
Date: Sat, 14 Jun 2003 17:27:34 -0400

> Is the Selmer, ah, ok, "darker?" than the Buffets? I played with a
> local
> group at wedding the other night; the bandleader is a fine swing
> clarinetist
> who plays a Selmer. He had a heavy sound, somewhat overbearing at
> times,
> whereas mine has a smidgen of the filigree -- a lighter, brighter, but
> still
> full sound.
> Please, let's not get into the dark/bright debate here. I am trying to
> figure out sonic differences without asking for MP3 files.

I really tried to stay away from using comparative terms during my
testing process i.e. this one is 'darker' than that one, this one is
more of this than that one. Yes, my whole process was to compare and
select the best clarinet for me, but let's face it, we are dealing with
near top of the line clarinets here; there is a certain standard that I
should be able to expect at this level otherwise, what exactly are we
paying for? And one must remember there are other factors to consider
that may or may not be related directly to the actual playing of the
clarinet; such as the needs of the individual player and/or group.

The Selmer Signature, I found, takes more air to play. I found I was
more comfortable playing on a slightly softer reed than with other
clarinets. Don't get me wrong, this is not an unresponsive clarinet.
It is a joy to play and the tuning across the instrument and dynamic
levels is magnificent! I barely had to move a muscle to play in tune
jumping octaves or large intervals, or going from low to high, loud to
soft; it was great. (now if only my eefer would play so in tune!)

The tone/timbre itself? I could say the tone was warm, rich, mellow,
full, as my playing was described to me, but that would be qualitative
analysis and not to terribly helpful. And I'm not to sure of how to
fix that as I am not a technician by any sorts and I admittedly don't
have a firm grasp of the technical language. I think the bores of the
Signature and the r-13 differ quite significantly and that could be the
difference in tone I heard. The Buffet does have an easy response but
I found it a bit more work on my part to keep tuning in check and to
get the tone I was after.

What it finally came down to was which clarinet came closest, when I
played it, to that sound I hear in my head when i think of the ideal
tone or what I should sound like? For me that was the Selmer. Just to
note, my mother, who has played for only five years now, sounded way
better on the r-13s I was trying than the Selmer. So it really is an
individual process.

I don't know if this is what you were after, Bill, but it's my two

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