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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000497.txt from 2003/10

From: "Dee D. Flint" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] "Grade" frustrations, et al.
Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2003 17:02:14 -0400

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ken Wolman" <>
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?

The problems you describe have been reported for instruments of all levels
including the pro and premium pro horns.

Any time you buy a used instrument, you should consider the fact that it may
need a complete overhaul whether you buy it privately, via a local store or
over the internet especially if you are bidding in an auction situation like

Keep in mind that on eBay you are bidding in an auction. It is always buyer
beware, items are as is, and don't overbid.

$275 is not unreasonable for a complete overhaul and the normal quality of a
Noblet 40 is quite high and it is worthwhile to do such an overhaul on it.

You expected too much when you bought a used instrument.

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