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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000369.txt from 2004/12

From: "Jim & Joyce (>
Subj: [kl] Re: metal clarinets
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2004 23:19:41 -0500

Double wall vs single wall.

There is no reason to believe that having a single wall makes a clarinet
sound any different than having a double wall. Search the archive and you
will see that the consensus is that metal vs wood vs plastic isn't
important, either. However, I believe that it took a lot more work to make
a double walled instrument and therefore, you couldn't afford to make a
student quality double walled model. My current favorite metal clarinet is a
double walled model made by Penzel Muller. There are several single walled
models I like nearly as much. Part of why I like the Penzel Muller is
because I like the way it looks.

I think that double walled models were rare and mostly made between 1895 and
1930. I am willing to bet that more than 10,000 pro single walled metal
clarinets were made, mostly between 1927 and 1952. I started keeping notes
on eBay auctions in September 2002. Since then, there have been 280 auctions
for metal clarinets that I guessed were pro quality. Of these, 18 were for
double walled models.

To my knowledge, the following firms offered double walled models:

Conn (Wonder model. Maybe 'Delux' model. Note that most of the Conn double
walled clarinets were high pitch. Conn also made a 'clad' model that was
metal on the outside and hard rubber on the inside.)


Haynes (The Langwell index reports that Wm, Haynes' son also offered a
double-walled metal clarinet. The son went into competition with his father,
changed his name to William Haynes and used that name in competition with
his father until his father won an infringement suit.)

Penzel Muller


Treibert (Owned by Couesnon -- don't know if it was produced in the same
workshop as the Couesnon.)

[I did not see the Selmer double walled model on eBay. Dang.]

To my knowledge, the following firms offered professional quality
single-walled models (note that most offered vast numbers of student metal
clarinets, too)

Buescher (Truetone 730 and 740 series; both Boehm & Albert)


Conn (Model 524)

Cundy Bettoney (Silva Bet, both Boehm and Albert)

H.N. White (Silver King, MicroSonic & Silver Sonic; both Boehm & Albert)

Holton (adj barrel, solid silver keys)

Pedler (Harry Pedler; both Boehm & Albert)

Penzel Muller (Clari-met)

Selmer (Master Model; both Boehm & Albert)

There are a couple more I am not sure about including: Moennig (no model
name), Paul Dupree Conservatoir, and the Hawkes & Son XXth Century

The Orsi may be really good. Or maybe it plays like the student models that
sell for $40 to $80 on eBay. I have never played an Orsi anything. The
company seems to have a mixed reputation.

Large bore vs small bore:

Supposedly a large bore clarinet is easier to slide with and less likely to
be hit the right pitch. I don't know if this is true. I play blues, which is
closer to Jazz than to classical music. I love the Silva Bet models, which
have large bores. However, I also like the Conns, which have very narrow

The mouthpiece makes more difference in sound than any other equipment
decision. If I sat behind a screen, I don't think you could tell whether I
switched from my Penzel Muller to my Buffet R13, if I used the same
mouthpiece. If I used different mouthpieces, switching mouthpieces would
make you think that I switched horns.

So, by 'Jazz' do you mean playing in a section or being the only horn in a
jam? If the former, it may be more important to have a sound that blends
well - and that will depend on the rest of the horn section. If the latter,
then you want something that suits your personality, that helps you say what
you want to say.

Jim Lande

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