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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000472.txt from 2003/10

From: "Karl Krelove" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] "Grade" frustrations, et al.
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2003 20:22:09 -0400

I'm interested to know where this information comes from. In what ways is
the treatment of the wood different between intermediate instruments and pro
models? Who are the "others" who say the wood is "young," and what exactly
does that mean? Are the trees younger (and therefore of smaller diameter)
that are used for intermediate instruments, or is the wood aged differently
after it's cut? These are all ideas I don't think I've ever heard before.

There are a couple of other reasons for going directly to a pro model if
it's within a student's financial means. In the first place, the
intermediate (high-end student) models have traditionally gotten much less
hand finishing on the inside (less or no undercutting, less or no buffing
and polishing). In the second, their resale value isn't as high if down the
line the player finds another instrument he/she likes more. Tuning is
sometimes not as good, although that can be true or not on an instrument by
instrument basis - some pro horns are not very well in tune off the shelf
either. From brand to brand there *may* be other mechanical differences
between the top lines and the same company's intermediates as well - key
design or finish, types and location of certain springs, etc....

For what it's worth, I have a Selmer 10G from the early 1970's that I play
on regularly and a Buffet pre-R13 from the very early 1950's (or possibly
very late '40's) - both very much "pro" clarinets. Barrels are to an extent
interchangeable, but barrels that fit well on the Buffet are VERY tight (to
the point of getting stuck) on the Selmer. Barrels I use regularly on the
10G wobble on the Buffet. This *may* be a brand-to-brand difference, or it
could be because I play the 10G all the time and the Buffet only in fits and
starts every few months.

Some general advice, though. Never force a tenon into a socket (barrel or
any other joint). If it needs to forced in, it will probably be hard to get
out. Whatever the reason in any individual case, the size difference needs
to be fixed in one way or another. It may be wood has swollen and is
binding, two different brands' dimensions are slightly (or grossly)
incompatible, the tenon cork is too thick (or too thin if it's wobbly) or
some other explanation is at work. You can stay with barrels of the same
brand, have the socket reamed on the barrel you want to use or have the
tenon reduced on the clarinet (my least favorite option - in fact, I
wouldn't ever do it). But I don't think misfitting barrels are necessarily
(if at all) a result of differences between professional and intermediate

My $.02 worth.

Karl Krelove

> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Hansken []
> Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2003 6:02 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: [kl] "Grade" frustrations, et al.
> From what I know of intermediate horns... if your serious...
> don't buy one.
> Yeah, they may sound the same and function the same but the
> quality is what
> really is lacking. The wood for an intermediate horn does not get the same
> treatment as a professional model. I've heard others even say
> that the wood
> is "young". My experience with this "young" wood is that it is extremely
> susceptible to weather. The wood expands and then dries much more than a
> professional model, which can lead to problems like tenons not fitting or
> even the clarinet developing cracks or checks fairly easily. Now how one
> cares for the horn is related to how long it will be before some
> tragic even
> occurs to the clarinet.
> John
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Ken Wolman" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2003 10:34 AM
> Subject: [kl] "Grade" frustrations, et al.
> > A seemingly innocuous question: what is the difference between (or
> > among) a student, intermediate, and professional horn? I really have no
> > idea. I DO know that what I own now--a so-called intermediate
> > instrument--is not only more difficult to play than the pro horn I used
> > to own, but it also has some nasty and potentially expensive quirks that
> > make me wonder if it's even worthwhile to get it fixed.
> >
> > The instrument is, of course, a Noblet 40. I don't know how old it is
> > because the serial numbers are not available and Leblanc is too
> > discourteous to reply and say so. Now, recall that this is the same
> > instrument that late last winter had the barrel stuck to the tenon. I
> > was told to keep it regularly greased. I did so and have continued to
> > do so.
> >
> > I received a new barrel yesterday: an Accubore Standard C-series
> > (ostensibly for Leblanc instruments), 66 mm, Bb clarinet. The barrel
> > had to be forced onto the tenon. Uh-oh. The barrel had to be gotten
> > off with one of those round rubber jar openers. Even recorkgreasing the
> > beast didn't help. Uh-oh again.
> >
> > I called the dealer who sold me the barrel, Weiner Music. The
> > technician, Mark, told me that I really should have ordered a
> > Buffet-style barrel. I go almost incoherent: Buffet doesn't make
> > Noblets, why would I have done that? Then he told me to send him the
> > whole instrument so he could fit the barrel to the clarinet. I have two
> > barrels, the original wood one too. "Well, wood swells in changes of
> > weather." That much? So is he going to file down the tenon and recork
> > it? That is not free work: yet I was told it won't cost me more than
> > about $25, the cost of postage and insurance. So I get to live without
> > a clarinet for however long this takes--I must be unique in that I own
> > only one.
> >
> > I case you haven't noticed, yet this is plainly infuriating. I am
> > sending Mark the clarinet, barrel, and purchase paperwork. I'll either
> > get my horn back and working or I'll get a refund. I'm sorry, but my
> > trust level today is sort of low: behind all this I smell Total Overhaul
> > for probably as much--$275--as I paid on eBay for this benighted
> > instrument. If that's the case they can keep it and sell it to someone
> > else who got burned my Musiqueweb.
> >
> > I want an instrument that WORKS. Is that a remarkable request? I used
> > to have one that worked, a professional instrument, and changes of
> > temperature didn't lock the barrel to the joint. I don't want to rehash
> > why I had to sell it but I did, and this "intermediate" horn makes a
> > cruddy substitute.
> >
> > Are they all like this? Did I get a dog or are Noblet 40s like this or
> > are intermediates like this, regardless of brand? If I were to buy a
> > Buffet E11 or even E13, would I be inviting someone to turn me into a
> > piece of wood so I could really get screwed? Can you buy ANYTHING on
> > eBay (except for what I've sold:-) where you aren't guaranteed a
> > hose-job? Can you tell I'm as fed up as I've ever been with any musical
> > instrument I've ever seen?
> >
> > Ken
> > --
> > Kenneth Wolman
> > Proposal Development Department
> > Room SW334
> > Sarnoff Corporation
> > 609-734-2538
> >
> >
> >
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> > Klarinet is a service of Woodwind.Org, Inc.
> >
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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