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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000814.txt from 2004/10

From: Michele Kaeder <>
Subj: [kl] Question about middle Bb (or: I think I'm in love)
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 22:53:24 -0400

Long-time reader, this is my second or third post.

I've been searching for the right clarinet for myself for quite some
time now. Since I am in a rock band, I had been thinking 'anything but a
Buffet' (since that is the 'proper choice' for classical and I am
anything but 'proper'). Then I played one today and realized the error
in my thinking. My local shop has one, serial number 84xxx which puts it
in the 1964-1966 range (by the charts I could find on the net). It plays
like a dream and has near-perfect intonation - no note was off by more
than 2-3 cents (even with my sloppy rock-n-roll chops). It's had a tiny
crack pinned, but the repair was so good that I didn't notice it until
it was pointed out to me. Pads and corks are new and perfect and it
comes with a sweet Selmer mouthpiece that I also tried and liked. It
even has that lovely dark reddish tone to the wood that I like so much.
In short, it's a dream clarinet, in my hometown, for $900.

Except for middle Bb. The standard fingering gives a thin, pasty, airy,
sad little tone. The alternate fingering sounded superb, so with the
parts that I have to play, I can easily work around it and will probably
buy it tomorrow morning.

My question is, do all clarinets have really stuffy, sub-par tones on
the wide-open Bb, or is it just every clarinet I have ever played? Are
there adjustments that can be done to improve that tone, or should I go
ahead and get used to that alternate fingering? The tech at the store
seemed to think there was nothing he could do about it, but he's also
not a high-end tech, so I thought I'd get a wider opinion.

Thanks for any feedback you can give. Also a big Thank You to the whole
list for keeping on my case (albeit passively) about the wisdom of
getting an R-13. I know I will not regret it.

Michele Kaeder
[ Note, no clarinet on tracks on website, just my saxes. I couldn't
stand to track clarinet parts until I have the above-mentioned horn. ]

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