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 LeBlanc Models & Levels
Author: jglover 
Date:   2005-12-28 19:19

Assuming there are three basic levels for the many models produced by LeBlanc and other clarinet mfgrs.; i.e., beginner, intermediate, and professional, at what level is the LL 1176? And the rapsodie?

I have found no reference for these models.
Thank you for your help.

jglover

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 Re: LeBlanc Models & Levels
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2005-12-28 19:46

The Leblanc LL (1176) is a pro-level instrument (not in the Prestige league), and definitely an instrument worth having which will last, and they were made in a variety of key systems from 17 keys 6 rings up to 20 keys 7 rings - which I am a proud owner of, and to be honest - this was my first choice clarinet when I was at college, though out of my price range (I found a pair of old Selmers for a good price but they needed rebuilding). But I found an excellent one for sale recently and snapped it up.

I'd like a matching full Boehm A to go with it.

But I don't know anything about the Rhapsodie.

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 Re: LeBlanc Models & Levels
Author: DressedToKill 
Date:   2005-12-28 19:55

The Rapsodie is sort of a composite of the VSP France/Sonata...it's the bottom rung of the new LeBlanc wood-clarinet hierarchy, meant for students who want to move on from plastic, but it plays *very* well, and I can see it being popular with doublers who don't play clarinet exclusively, or good players who just don't have the buck to lay out for a super great horn.

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 Re: LeBlanc Models & Levels
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2005-12-28 20:00

Oh right - it's a modern day wooden Normandy. Not knocking wooden Normandys - they were very good for the price (but we only saw used ones here in the UK that were bought in bulk from pawn shops in the US and shipped over to our shores).

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 Re: LeBlanc Models & Levels
Author: Brenda Siewert 
Date:   2005-12-28 20:01

The old VSP and Sonata were excellent student/move-up models and lots of doublers got them because of the easy intonation. However, flexibility of tone and other things made them unpopular with advanced, serious-minded clarinetists. The Rapsodie, as mentioned by DressedToKill, is the replacement for these. I've bought many VSPs and Sonatas for students in the past because they were a good buy and a very nice instrument for the money (used). I've also owned several LLs. They have a terrific big band sound and are a great find.

My personal set-up is a new Opus II with Backun bell and barrels. Very nice. A good used Opus that has been properly set-up is a great thing.



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 Re: LeBlanc Models & Levels
Author: BobD 
Date:   2005-12-28 22:41

I was thinking the 1176 was also called the Infinite'. If I'm wrong ignore me. The Infinite' is, in my opinion, a respectable horn at least as good as a Buffet R13....I own and play both.....as well as a Concerto.

Bob Draznik

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 Re: LeBlanc Models & Levels
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2005-12-28 22:50

If my memory serves me, wasn't the Infinite the one just below the Concerto in lineup terms, but still built with the classic Leblanc-style keywork (inline side/trill keys, seperate pillars for Ab/Eb and C#/G#) - am I right?

If so, that would probably have been my choice of all the new Leblancs when they went all out G. Leblanc Corp. with all the big and brash logos if I was to buy a new one, but I think they've been discontinued as the lineup was rationalised.

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 Re: LeBlanc Models & Levels
Author: jglover 
Date:   2005-12-28 23:54

Chris P:
Thank you for the comments re the LL 1176. I have an opportunity
to buy one for $500 and didn't want to unwittingly buy a beginner's
model. By the way, what is the "Prestige League" to which you referred.

JGlover

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 Re: LeBlanc Models & Levels
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2005-12-29 00:04

That'd be the Leblanc Opus or Opus II which are Leblanc's top models - but for $500 the LL is definitely worth it, and I prefer the keywork on the LL to the current Leblancs (top models included) - the top joint side keys are set above the bore centre line so there's less chance of condensation getting into the toneholes.

The other aspect of the LL series (from the initials Leon Leblanc) is that it probably had the most extensive lineup of pitches of any make or series - from the standard orchestral set of A and Bb with all the various key systems (17/6 - 20/6), and also clarinets pitched in C, D, Eb and also the sopranino in Ab - the smallest clarinet that only a few makers offer.

What condition is it in?

Chris.

Post Edited (2005-12-29 00:13)

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 Re: LeBlanc Models & Levels
Author: Brenda Siewert 
Date:   2005-12-29 15:38

It took me a few days to get used to the newly designed keywork on my Opus II, but now that I am used to it I really like it. I like it better than the LL.



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 Re: LeBlanc Models & Levels
Author: ghuba 
Date:   2005-12-29 17:33

Is there a comprehensive web site somewhere that lists the LeBlanc models, the years they were manufactured, and where each model fits into the LeBlanc product line of the time? I do not see threads here that are clear about how all of these LeBlanc model fits together which is different from the way that the Selmer hierarchy of models is fairly comprehensively laid out in various threads over the years and you can pretty clearly trace the progression from Ks to BTs to M/Ns to CTs and Omegas to Series 9, 9 star, 10, etc. This just does not seem to be as clear for LeBlanc, at least as captured in the threads here. I have "googled" around the Internet looking for such a list and hierarchy of models, but I have yet to find one clearly laid out. If somebody out there is a "LeBlanc historian" can she or he lay this history out, or point us to an online compendium somewhere?

George

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 Re: LeBlanc Models & Levels
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2005-12-29 17:54

The problem with Leblanc is that various models came in and went while others were still in production, but in the UK for instance, the Noblet Artist (diamond logo) was the student model of the Leblanc lineup, and the LL was still being produced while other models came and went.

The only Leblanc literature I have is from the time they went all corporate and started slapping on the big (and garish) logos on their clarinets, whereas in the 80s I considered them to be a fairly exclusive company, and I liked the design and mechanical features that seperated their soprano models from all the other makes that were by far more popular at the time.

I had a catalogue from the early 80s which had the entire Leblanc lineup from contrabass to Ab sopranino and all the various LL special mechanisms(even though the BBBb octocontrabass was pictured on the front page, it was never a production model as far as I know). But this was only pro Leblanc branded instruments (with the lyre logo) - Noblet (and Vito) weren't included.


[ Portions deleted; Chris P. is an employee of Howarth's and did not disclose such until much later. My apologies for missing this and letting Chris P. misuse this BBoard. Mark Charette ]

Chris.

Post Edited (2005-12-29 23:59)

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 Re: LeBlanc Models & Levels
Author: Dee 
Date:   2005-12-31 16:40

If I remember correctly, the Infinite was intended to be the direct competitor to Buffet's R13 and thus was a "standard" professional model. Models such as the Concerto and Opus were "higher" on the chain, and thus what one might call "premium professional" models.

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 Re: LeBlanc Models & Levels
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2005-12-31 16:50

That's right, the Infinite was the first of the affordable pro series, then going upwards was the Concerto, Ambiance, Opus and Symphonie VII.

Below the Infinite was the Esprit and Sonata.

Now the pro Leblanc lineup is only the Concerto II and Opus II at the top - with a considerable price difference between them.

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 Re: LeBlanc Models & Levels
Author: Brenda Siewert 
Date:   2005-12-31 22:09

They dropped the Symphonie VII. It was the rosewood model. Very pricey and not too great an instrument (I also owned a couple of them and sold them).



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 Re: LeBlanc Models & Levels
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2005-12-31 22:11

That's a shame they didn't get them right, even though Ricardo Morales endorsed them.

I never even got to see any of them, what was the problem anyway? Were they a bit wooly sounding or too bright?

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 Re: LeBlanc Models & Levels
Author: Barton62 
Date:   2006-01-01 04:04

Jglover,

I have been playing on a Leblanc L7 since I started playing in 1975. I had no idea that this was a professional model until recently. The more I find out about the L series the more I understand why I prefer it. I just had my L7 completely overhauled, and it is great! It is easy to play and frankly I have no real desire to have another clarinet. I had looked into Leblanc's Opus II and then found out that, while it is a great instrument, it is not equivalent to what I have. Leblanc makes an excellent instrument and don't think you'd go wrong with them.

LT

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 Re: LeBlanc Models & Levels
Author: Bill G 
Date:   2006-01-02 21:02

Let's pool our knowledge and try to come up with some help for dating various L7 and LL Leblancs. I own an L7 which I purchased new in about 1966. It is #29xxx. I own two LL's, but purchased both of them used, within the past two years, and have no info as to their vintage.

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 Re: LeBlanc Models & Levels
Author: jglover 
Date:   2006-01-03 00:31

Does anyone know anything about the Leblanc Classic II model. I understand it is an old model but I can't find any references to dates of production, etc.

Thanks for you help.

JGlover

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 Re: LeBlanc Models & Levels
Author: Mike Blinn 
Date:   2006-01-03 05:47

My pride and joy is a Leblanc LX, model 1185S, purchased new in June '02 from a charity in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The Leblanc Corporation had donated it, and my bid, at $800, was the highest on eBay.

I am not sure when it was made, but the Feb/Mar 1990 issue of 'The Clarinet' has a review of it, as well as a full-page, inside-rear cover ad. At the time, it may have been near the top of the line, perhaps a precursor to the Concerto.

It is a wonderfull horn. easy to play, great sounding with a Walter Grabner mouthpiece, inverted Bonade, and Gonzos 3 1/4 FOFs.

Mike Blinn



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 Re: LeBlanc Models & Levels
Author: Don Berger 
Date:   2006-01-03 13:48

Having bot my L7 [slightly used] from a small music store owner in Tulsa about 1985, I have always dated it to 1980 +/-. I looked thru a number of Leblanc brochures, finding one [with a date !!] of 1958 advertising my [and others?] Dynamic 2 and the Symphonie 3. I provided a used Classic to a grandson, and believe it to be about 1950, with my son's cl [no name other than L's] of the ?1940's, shown in their {LL's} US patent 1,926,xxx of ?1936. I will look further, and search our archives for more dates. Don

Thanx, Mark, Don

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 Re: LeBlanc Models & Levels
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2018-09-04 23:44

A lot of information in this 'not so long' thread, so I thought that I would post my related question here.

I'm a latecomer to clarinet (although a longterm sax player); 10 years ago when I started in earnest, I struggled on clarinet with a 70s-vintage R13 that I had bought some years previous at the guidance of my children's clarinet teacher...at some point I bought an old Selmer CT and realized that I had been struggling with resistance and ergonomics on the Buffet, and my clarinet playing improved more rapidly; I collected a couple more pre-polycylindical Selmers since. Lately, I've been using a Vito 7214 for outdoor gigs and find it to be a satisfactory player...particularly the keywork, which feels superior to the Selmers.

I've been tempted again to try some version of polycylindrical intermediate clarinet to access some of the tuning improvements, but want to limit my financial outlay. The Leblanc keywork feels nice to me compared to the Yamaha/Buffet setups. Two attractive options (financially and on spec) seem to be the Leblanc Sonata and VSP. Both get good kudos generally as 'value' clarinets, and I have been watching the ubiquitous auction site for options. These can be had generally for $300-500 in good condition and I am easily capable of putting modern clarinets into tip-top shape.

Finally...my question: Are the Sonata and VSP basically the same instrument? All the descriptive literature indicates that and they are often referred to as the VSP/Sonata "class" of Leblanc.



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 Re: LeBlanc Models & Levels
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-09-06 01:04

Based on a quick look at the tuning tests I've done with two VSPs and several more Sonatas, I wouldn't rule it out. I don't have any measurements of VSPs to tell dimensional differences.

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