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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000248.txt from 2004/08

From: "Chuck Currie" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] morrie backun pricing and services
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2004 17:42:48 -0400

Dear Ken,

I have dealt with Morrie since he opened his shop, and known him for 20
years before that. I've witnessed many dealings with his other clients,
too. =20

In person, Morrie will give you a quote on a complete overhaul and =
taking the instrument to an artist level, and personalizing it to your =
for tuning, voicing and mechanics. He will also give a quote that will =
it most of the way there, which is usually better than any instrument =
have ever played, but costs about 50% of the "whole meal deal." He will
also work to a person's personal budget, doing the most important things
that can be done with the money available. His warrantee on the work =
his bells and barrels is ironclad, he NEVER goes over the quote, and the
instrument is ALWAYS back on schedule.

The really impressive thing is that he can pick up any instrument (not =
clarinets) and give you a detailed assessment of it and firm quote in =
seems like seconds, just by running his fingers over the horn. It is =

His work is so personalized and flexible that it does not make sense for =
to list standard pricing. He has so many options for musicians, that no
customer or instrument is treated as "standard;" everyone and every horn =
individual. In addition, he treats beginners and world class players =
the same respect, friendliness and wit.

If you call him and talk over your instruments and then send them to him
with a typed list of issues you have discussed, you can get this same
service without being there in person. If you are lucky enough to work =
him in person, you will have a clarinet that becomes "part of you," =
you to execute better than you thought possible, and will learn more =
you can pick up from any other source about the acoustics of the =

You don't have to depend on my word....just ask Ricardo Morales, Eli =
James Campbell, Howard Klug, Michael Lowenstern, David Schifrin, Wes =
Bil Jackson, Kimbal Sykes, Larry Combs.....the list just grows and =

Chuck Currie
Sax Noir Studio
604 254-9625
604 970-2694
2105 E 3rd Avenue
Vancouver, BC
V5N 1H9

-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Wolman []=20
Sent: Monday, August 09, 2004 11:52 AM
Subject: Re: [kl] Ligature preferences

Speaking of music perhaps I should modify the tone a bit. Nancy,=20
nothing is directed AT you.

Ken Wolman wrote:

> How do you make a clarinet lighter? Ream the bore? I'm serious. The =

> heaviest clarinet I ever heard was a Selmer Recital. It also had the=20
> lightest touch.

What I meant to write was "clarinet I ever HELD." Of course I heard it=20
when I played it, but I wasn't just a passive audience member. In fact=20
the Recital weighed quite a bit but the tone was extraordarily sweet.=20
Now we can all argue about "tonality" words: sweet, dark,
sounds like chocolate:-).

> Now, hearing about savings is nice but knowing up-front costs is even=20
> better. I have never heard a semi-critical word about Morrie Backun's =

> work, and his client list reads like all the winners of Clarinet Star=20
> Search. That said, I'm sorry, don't tell me about "estimates," tell =
> what you charge. Morrie's website omits prices. What's his bargain =
> an overhaul? I'm thinking Selmer Series 9: another horn with the =
> of a baseball bat. I was told the prices of his barrels and bells,=20
> thank you. Remember, I don't make money playing so this is not a=20
> self-sustaining operation for me.

Neither is this an attack on Morrie Backun. It simply expresses my=20
disturbance at an industry where the best people seem unwilling to=20
commit themselves. They must've learned this from guys on a date:-).=20
How many repairpeople will tell you up front what it's going to cost?=20
Are they the ones screwing themselves or you if they set a price that is =

too low for their costs and too high for you? Professional=20
clarinet?--$XXX dollars. Repadding only?--XXX. If Morrie works on a=20
horn-by-horn basis and sets prices based on the condition of YOUR=20
instrument, all the same I would like a possible range based on his=20
experience, which I gather is by now rather extensive.

What I suppose I'm asking is how Morrie works: no promo material, not=20
just how much money it will cost me assuming I can ever do this, but=20
comments from a customer who has at least dealt with him up front.

Kenneth Wolman
Proposal Development Department
Room SW334
Sarnoff Corporation

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