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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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 Topics Author  Date
 selmer signet soloist  new
Connie 1999-02-22 05:48 
 RE: selmer signet soloist  new
Dee 1999-02-23 00:24 
 RE: selmer signet soloist  new
Connie 1999-02-23 14:35 
 RE: selmer signet soloist  new
Fred McKenzie 1999-02-23 19:45 
 RE: selmer signet soloist  new
Connie 1999-02-23 21:28 
 RE: selmer signet soloist  new
Ken Shaw 1999-02-23 22:39 
 RE: selmer signet soloist  new
mozart 2006-08-16 20:29 
 RE: selmer signet soloist  new
Dee 1999-02-23 23:56 
 Re: selmer signet soloist  new
John O'Janpa 2006-08-16 22:15 
 Re: selmer signet soloist  new
BobD 2006-08-16 23:02 
 Re: selmer signet soloist  new
Mark Charette 2006-08-16 23:26 
 Re: selmer signet soloist  new
mozart 2006-08-18 01:48 

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