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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000781.txt from 2004/08

From: "Karl Krelove" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Selecting a clarinet
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2004 22:55:03 -0400

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Curtis Bennett []
> I just recently got a new mouthpiece for my Bb, and the sales lady (a
> clarinetist herself) said that 90% of the sound is you, 10% is
> the equipment. I
> don't know if I completely agree with that, since I got a 50%
> improvement by
> switching from my Gigliotti mpc to a Vandoren B45.

Where do numbers like these percentages come from? What is a 50%

> She also seemed to believe
> that a barrel was only used for intonation (keeping it in tune),
> which I also
> don't know that I completely agree with, but this was her
> opinion, so I didn't
> argue with it.
Many players on this list would have. After she told you this, why would you
have listened to anything else?

> I've never really figured out where professionals get all their
> knowledge about
> different clarinets, mouthpieces, barrels, combinations, etc,
> etc. Unless they
> work in a used clarinet factory and can try out all those
> combinations.

What is a "used clarinet factory?" Is that really a factory where they make
used clarinets?

> At best, someone can tell you how great *their* combination is,

or not. Most of us who play professionally to any degree have done enough
experimenting, mostly because we aren't completely satisfied with "our"
current combinations of equipment, to have reached *some* conclusions...

> but only a few
> people here will be able to give you a broad representation of
> everything that
> is available.

but maybe not quite as universally global as all that!

> It's staggeringly complex, IMHO.

Which is why John apparently feels a little overwhelmed and decided to ask
the list.

By the way, on the subject of "combinations," I think you can confuse
yourself terribly and probably needlessly by worrying too much about
anything beyond the part of the "setup" you're trying. If you're shopping
for a clarinet, don't obsess on how some other mouthpiece/barrel combination
might react with it. In my opinion, offered for what it's worth, you pick
the instrument that you are most comfortable with using your own current
mouthpiece. You can try both the barrel supplied with the instrument and any
specialty/custom barrel you may already be currently using, but speculating
on what improvement some other barrel or mouthpiece *might* contribute is
likely to escalate confusion into stark madness. Most people who buy barrels
or are shopping constantly for mouthpieces are looking for a way to
compensate for something that isn't gratifying in what they already have.
Better to start from scratch and try to find the instrument that comes
closest to what you really want on its own.

Karl Krelove

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