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Author: Claire 
Date:   1999-09-15 00:52

I am a former all-state high school clarinetist that is eight years out of practice. Recently, I was asked to join a community wind ensemble, composed of some professionals, some "old" players like myself, and some students. My Buffet was stolen out of my car and I had to replace it on a very tight budget-- I got barely half the value of it on the insurance claim.

I bought a used Selmer, a Series 9. When I finally took it to rehearsal, people actually asked me "Is THAT a Series 9?" One other clarinetist, who was just FULL of unsolicited advice, told me that I had made a terrible mistake. I also bought a Selmer mouthpiece, I tried several out and like the HS the best. He thought that was the worst too. Will there be a bore differential problem? I know that it will take some practice to get used to the new horn and the new mouthpiece. Have I really made a mistake?

I really liked this instrument when I bought it-- the tone is really nice and the wood is perfectly beautiful. Everything is in very good shape and I got a very good price on it. But, the same player who gave me the horrible news of my terrible mistake also plays very sharp and all through rehearsal, I felt I was so out of tune-- it was impossible for me to judge to my own intonation.

Does anyone know anything about the Series 9?

Thanks for all of your help!

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Author: Dee 
Date:   1999-09-15 01:04

Selmer Series 9 is a professional level instrument and the HS mouthpiece should go well with it. If you like it, don't worry about what some one else thinks. There are a lot of people in this world who are silly enough to think that their way is the only way.

To check your intonation, buy an inexpensive electronic tuner. They are only about $25. That way you can see where you stand right now.

I think the Series 9 was a larger bore than is popular right now. The big bore instruments do have a luscious sound but tend to have some tuning discrepancies. Everything is a trade off. There is no such thing as a perfect clarinet because it can't be done. It is the *person* who plays in tune. By listening to the pitch center of the group (not necessarily the people you sit next to) and matching it, you should be fine.

Good players can match no matter what they play. One season I was stuck with a terribly old student grade Pan American (my good horn was out for a pro level overhaul and my second horn was on vacation with my daughter). Talk about intonation idiosyncracies, gad, it was a nightmare. But I listened to the group and played in tune and blended the sound. Yes, it required work and attention on my part but it worked out.

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Author: Kontragirl 
Date:   1999-09-15 02:56

He was just trying to make you feel bad, don't let it get you down. I was at a friends house showing off (so I'm a little conceited) and she told me "I sucked" she wouldn't know a good clarinetist if it bit her in the...I should add she "plays" clarinet too.

Well, don't get to upset about it, I'm sure you're a wonderful player and he was just trying to make you feel dumb and inferior. Tell him to stick a reed in it and leave you alone...hope this helps!!!


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Author: ron 
Date:   1999-09-15 04:13

Claire, that's too bad - for him. Sounds like he isn't having much fun playing. I'd just like to second the comments of Dee and Kontragirl. It sounds like the fellow you mention is a lonely soul. With an immature attitude like that I'm not surprised. Something pretty bad must have happened to him somewhere along the way. Not much you can do about it though except, hard as it may be, try to be nice to him. Maybe he's jealous that you got such a great deal on your instrument, which you did.
You're okay, your instrument is fine... you don't have the problem.

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Author: Chris Hill 
Date:   1999-09-15 04:22

If it works for you, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, especially someone who can't play themselves. I've noticed that the people who shoot their mouths off the most usually know the least, especially in community ensembles.
As for the HS*, again, if you sound good and can play it in tune, it's a good mouthpiece. If there are problems with the pitch, then you could look into some others. Oval-stamped Selmers tend to tune well with Selmer 9's, since the bores are a little bigger. I think that Gigliotti mpcs would probably also work well with these, although I haven't actually tried this combination.

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Author: Daniel 
Date:   1999-09-15 05:29

Series 9 clarinets aren't the greatest in intonation, but they aren't so far out that they are bad horns. I play a Series 9 Eb and, whilc i have to do more adjustment than i would with a new Patricola or something, it's not so out there that i can't play with an ensemble. If it works for you, then play it.

I also second Chris' comment about people who shoot their mouth off. Man times people talk like they know everything there is to know, but know very little. Or they perhaps study with someone who is very devote Buffet or Leblanc or Selmer and detests anything that's not their prefered brand.

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Author: Willie 
Date:   1999-09-15 06:30

Phoowie on this guy! One of our best players uses a plastic Bundy mainly because when rehearsal is over she has to slap it in the case and go to work quickly and doesn't have the time to swab it and clean it as you would a good wooden one. Lastnight I had to use my old Jeffrey for reheasal 'cuz my buffet developed an upper end leak. It ain't the best but it did the job for the night. If starts whining again just show up with an old brass laquered Holton, he'll BEG you to play the other one.

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Author: bigcage 
Date:   1999-09-15 12:01

Claire; If the 9 was good enough for Goodman, it is good enough for all of us. I played one for 10 years and had many compliments on the tone and intonation. My niece plays it in hs band and her teacher, a "clarinetist" wants to buy it to play in a chamber orch. Some people play an instrument, some just own one. This guy reads like an owner.

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Author: paul 
Date:   1999-09-15 17:32

Tell the bozo to take "his" brand x horn and stuff it.

Okay, I'll tone it down a bit.

Even though I am more an owner than a player (reference the posting immediately above) and I happen to be very happy with my Buffet pro grade horn and set up, that doesn't mean that you would like it or anyone else would like it. The thing is I like it and I try to practice and learn music on it as much as my wife can stand.

Personally, I'd love to hear you play your Selmer 9 clarinet. There is nothing like a big bore Selmer for many types of music, especially jazz. I'm sure your Selmer horn and you make a great team in your community band. Practice keeping it in tune for all situations, and let the chips fall where they may on everything else. Remember, you are in the community band for fun first and competition last. Remind the other clarinet player of this fact and tell him that you will show up and play a cheap kazoo the next time he tries to put you and your horn down.

As for your insurance company paying only half for your stolen horn, something sounds a bit off key here. Many insurance companies will try to talk a person out of as much money as possible when it comes to a claim, yet stick it to them for the highest premiums. Check your terms and conditions of your policy as it was in effect at the time of your loss. Do your homework to make sure the insurance company honors its part of the contract for your loss. Many insurers have personal articles policies with full replacement price coverage for selected high value items, such as pro grade musical instruments. Typically, the insurance coverage for a good horn with an amateur player is fairly reasonable in price. I have my horn insured against any and all losses at full retail replacement price. Even if the dog chews on it, I will get a brand new horn. I believe that this kind of insurance is well worth checking out, especially if you have a significant investment in musical instruments as an amateur player.

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Author: Daniel 
Date:   1999-09-15 21:56

I thought Benny played a CT.

bigcage wrote:
Claire; If the 9 was good enough for Goodman, it is good enough for all of us. I played one for 10 years and had many compliments on the tone and intonation. My niece plays it in hs band and her teacher, a "clarinetist" wants to buy it to play in a chamber orch. Some people play an instrument, some just own one. This guy reads like an owner.

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Author: Evan Weigel 
Date:   1999-09-16 01:41

I heard BG played most of the old selmers.

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Author: Claire 
Date:   1999-09-16 04:02

Thanks everybody! I know you're right, I just allowed myself to be intimidated.
The insurance company, and I won't mention names unless someone asks me to, took a huge chunk of the settlement out for depreciation. I probably should have fought harder, but it's done now. I can't go back and re-do it. I did not have a separate personal articles policy but will consider one now. Although, considering my recent loss, I think the company may not issue one to me. That's the way it usually goes.
As for the horn, every day I'm feeling more and more confident as my lip and embouchure are getting back in shape so we'll see.
Thanks again!

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