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 selmer signet soloist
Author: Connie 
Date:   1999-02-22 05:48

I am currently playing a wooden Normandy Bb clarinet in my church orchestra. I have been told this is a good student horn. I would like to upgrade to an intermediate or professional horn but need to keep the cost down. I have the opportunity to purchase a Selmer Signet Soloist (#27824)for $500. It has been reconditioned, had no cracks and plays nice. Is this a good choice?

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 RE: selmer signet soloist
Author: Dee 
Date:   1999-02-23 00:24

This may be a bit high. You can get a new Buffet E-11 or Leblanc Noblet 40 for around $600. If you have patience and are not stuck on a particular brand or model, you can find used pro horns for under $900.

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 RE: selmer signet soloist
Author: Connie 
Date:   1999-02-23 14:35

Dee, Thanks for your help!
Do you have any suggestions as to where to purchase a new horn. Are the Buffet E-11 and Leblanc Noblet 40 intermediate horns? What professional horns would you recommend?
Connie


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 RE: selmer signet soloist
Author: Fred McKenzie 
Date:   1999-02-23 19:45


Connie wrote:
-------------------------------
I am currently playing a wooden Normandy Bb clarinet in my church orchestra. I have been told this is a good student horn. I would like to upgrade to an intermediate or professional horn

Connie-

If you didn't have the Normandy, I'd say a Signet Soloist was a good choice. However, I'm not sure it is much of an improvement over the Normandy. I thought both were intermediate instruments. I vote with Dee on getting a used Pro model, although finding a good one for $500 may be difficult.

Fred


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 RE: selmer signet soloist
Author: Connie 
Date:   1999-02-23 21:28

I have played both and did not find that the Soloist was really any better than my Normandy. Do you think a Noblet 40 is any better or should I bite the bullet and try to find a used professional horn? If so, what models would you suggest?

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 RE: selmer signet soloist
Author: Ken Shaw 
Date:   1999-02-23 22:39

Connie wrote:
I am currently playing a wooden Normandy Bb clarinet in my church orchestra. I have been told this is a good student horn. I would like to upgrade to an intermediate or professional horn but need to keep the cost down. I have the opportunity to purchase a Selmer Signet Soloist (#27824)for $500. It has been reconditioned, had no cracks and plays nice. Is this a good choice?


Connie -

As Dee and Fred say, the two instruments are not that different from one another in retail price or in their position in the manufacturers' model lines. Nevertheless, if the Selmer plays better for you, it might be worthwhile to switch, at least if you can't find a used pro-level instrument in your price range.

An alternative, which I would recommend, is to get a top quality hand made mouthpiece and matching hand made barrel, which will be in the neighborhood of $300. Look in the Equipment section on Sneezy, read the mouthpiece threads here and on the Klarinet list. Ask your teacher or the best clarinetist in town where to go. (Don't worry about a "cold call" - they'll be flattered. I've called up New York Philharmonic people out of the blue, and I've never been turned down or gotten less than excellent advice.)

There was a quote from the great Eastman professor Stanley Hastey on the Klarinet board recently: The further something is from your head, the less important it is. The most important part of clarinet playing is your brain. The next most important parts are your mouth, tongue and lips. Then come the reed, the ligature, the mouthpiece and the barrel, followed by the rest of the instrument.

A year or so ago, I put my mouthpiece and barrel on a Bundy, and even I was surprised how close it sounded to my extensively tweaked R-13. With a good mouthpiece and barrel, nearly any instrument can sound good. Your Normandy won't feel as good to play as a more expensive instrument, and you'll probably have to work harder, but given the choice of playing on a great clarinet and an inferior mouthpiece, or a great mouthpiece and a student level clarinet, I'd go with the second alternative.

Best regards.

Ken Shaw

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 RE: selmer signet soloist
Author: Dee 
Date:   1999-02-23 23:56

Basically I agree with Ken. Before investing in a different clarinet, try a top notch mouthpiece. You can mail order several from the dealers (of course they require a credit card to secure the trial mouthpieces). Test them out and return what you don't want.

Leblanc's Normandy model kind of falls between classifications. It is a step up from the student plastic horns but doesn't quite fit into the category of intermediate. I have played in bands where several people had them (including my stand partner in one band) and they are a very good sounding instrument.

It is very difficult to recommend brands of models of clarinets as each person likes different things. Generally I would simply recommend staying with the four major makers (Buffet, Leblanc, Selmer, and Yamaha) and just play on different ones to test them out. These are all quality manufacturers but the characteristics that I love may be ones that you hate and vice versa. Both my daughters disliked my Leblanc simply because they could tell the weight difference between it and the one that they were playing. Newer Leblancs are lighter I believe but mine is noticeably heavier than Buffet's R13. In general, Leblancs have lighter, more delicate (but still sturdy) keywork. Some people like this because they think it is more responsive while others prefer keys that feel more substantial. The main thing is to do the research as to what models fall into what category. For current models, just get a catalog from any of the major mail order outfits shown under the Retail section of the menu on the bulletin board. For older models, you will need to ask people such as those who frequent this board.



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 RE: selmer signet soloist
Author: mozart 
Date:   2006-08-16 20:29

I have to agree with Mr. Shaw. I think you should invest in a great mouthpiece, ligature, barrel and reed set up. I play professional as well as teach and i always tell my students that if they can't afford it all, then start with the set up first being the mouthpiece, ligature, barrel and reed.

When selecting a mouthpiece make sure that it is free blowing, articulates cleanly with little effort, has good intonation, and plays dynamics well at all levels. You will also want to try different reeds to see which reed brand plays best with your mouthpiece. Your ligature is going to make huge difference too. Personally I play with a inverted Bonade ligature. However, I also like the Optimum Vandoren Ligature. I do not like the Rovner ligatures because it deadens the sound.

If you want a standard good mouthpiece that blows freely, allows for crisp articulation and stable dynamic contrast as well as having a stable altissimo register try the Vandoren 5RV Lyre clarinet mouthpiece. This mouthpiece plays nicely with the Vandoren V12 reed. And costs about $70.

I personally have a Gigliotti P facing mouthpiece however, i have not found another one in the Gigliotti family of mouthpieces that I have personally liked. I also use the John Thomas barrel. They cost around $50 and are very good. You can purchase one from him at woodwind@bellsouth.net

All this to say, that I agree 100% with Mr. Shaw. I can play on a plastic horn and get a good sound because I have a good set up and a great embrouchre.

As far as the Selmer Signet Soloist clarinet, I played on on throughout Jr. High and High School. What I remember of it was that it had a nice warm sound and was free blowing. I now have a Buffet R-13 which I really like. One of my students plays on a Leblanc Opus II and i really like hers also.

If you are going to go all out for a horn, I would skip the intermediate ones and go straight to the pros. However, if money is an issue, start with the top and work your way to the bottom.

Kemp

Mozart

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 Re: selmer signet soloist
Author: John O'Janpa 
Date:   2006-08-16 22:15

This thread is seven years old, so Connie has probably made a decision by now. Also prices have changed some over those seven years.

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 Re: selmer signet soloist
Author: BobD 
Date:   2006-08-16 23:02

How do these ancient threads get revived?

Bob Draznik

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 Re: selmer signet soloist
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2006-08-16 23:26

BobD wrote:

> How do these ancient threads get revived?
>

Just post to them ...

Most don't deserve revival, though.

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 Re: selmer signet soloist
Author: mozart 
Date:   2006-08-18 01:48

Since I am new to the website, I did not realize it had a date on it. If I had realized the topic was that many years old, I would not have replied. Will check the date for future. sorry.

Mozart

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