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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000384.txt from 2003/10

From: "Keith" <>
Subj: [kl] What wood is used for bass clarinets grenadilla or cocobolo
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2003 21:17:01 -0400


I have a bass clarinet made of grenadilla and a basset horn made of
cocobolo. The former is black and the latter brown - no confusion! It =
be possible to stain cocobolo to look like grenadilla but I doubt if it
would be done. I've never seen a cocobolo bass clarinet. The cocobolo is
lacquered because yes, it is more permeable; but the permeability is to
water not to air, and the risk is that dimensions can change. I've only =
a couple of Hammerschmidt instruments but they were grenadilla. However,
Hammerschmidt are one of the world's great makers and I would not fiddle
about. There are two effects of lacquer. One is to reduce permeability =
water, and yes, even a bass clarinet is susceptible; my Boston-bought =
seized up completely on the lower notes after a few weeks in Colorado =
everything had to be eased off. (Now, back in damp England, it =
Hammerschmidt may lacquer in order to reduce this effect. The other =
is skin friction. The nature of the material surface affects the =
layer of the air against the wall, and changes the air column vibration. =
you remove the lacquer and do something else (oil, polish) you will make
small changes in the air vibration behaviour. This might affect tuning =
tone quality. Unless there is something evidently wrong with the bore, I
would leave well alone. Why do you want to remove it?



Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2003 16:53:32 +0200
From: (Georg =
Subject: What wood is used for bass clarinets grenadilla or cocobolo
Message-ID: <>

Hello list,

I ha a little discussion with a clarinet technician who told me that =
clarinets are mostly build out of cocobolo and not of grenadilla. This =
the effect that the clarinets have to be lacquered inside because =
let the air go through the wood. I had this discussion with him because =
wanted to take out the lacquer in my old Hammerschmidt bass clarinet. He
told me that he has never personally seen a grenadilla bass clarinet =
made by
Hammerschmidt. I made a test - it is made of grenadilla. Any opinions if =
should leave the lacquer inside or not and what about the wood?

Best Georg=20

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