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 New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: clarinetmc 
Date:   2006-08-09 12:41

Hi all:
I am incredibley anxious to hear about/try the new Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet. I am aware that Leblanc will debut the new instrument at Clarinetfest in Atlanta the 9th-13th. Could anyone who went to the festival update us on this new instrument?

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: Brenda Siewert 
Date:   2006-08-09 18:57

Well, since that's today through the 13th, it'll probably take a few days for someone to respond unless they are there with their laptop or pda.

I want to know the bottom line...How much?

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: DressedToKill 
Date:   2006-08-09 19:13

Amen, sister.

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2006-08-10 06:02

Although it might not be so easy to find the exact number, I think the logic behind the prices of clarinets is very simple. I think they decide the price that would overall make them the most money.

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: David Peacham 
Date:   2006-08-10 08:20

David S wrote: "And more importantly, why are new clarinets so expensive?"

Are they? As has been commented many times, they are a very great deal cheaper than oboes, let alone bassoons and flutes.

It is clear that economies of scale play a significant part: Eb and C clarinets cost more than Bb, even though they use less material and therefore might be expected to be slightly cheaper. What is more curious is that A clarinets are not priced higher, being sold in much smaller numbers than Bb.

clarnibass - yes, that's what all businesses do. The only decision to be made is whether to go for short-term profit maximisation, or to make less money now and build market share in the hope of making a killing later.

-----------

If there are so many people on this board unwilling or unable to have a civil and balanced discussion about important issues, then I shan't bother to post here any more.

To the great relief of many of you, no doubt.


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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: Cosmicjello 
Date:   2006-08-10 08:40

I was in the music retail industry not to long ago and we were told by Conn-Selmer, Buffet, Jupiter and Yamaha that the increase in price was primarily due to the decreasing numbers of mpingo (african blackwood), however, they also have to cover production costs, research and development and marketing.

The actual dealers can sell the instruments for whatever cost they want, as long as it's not below the manufacturers suggested retail price. So, depending on the instrument, we were paying 1/2 to 2/3rds of the selling price. Dealers have costs too you know.

But I've seen manufacturers that have literal warehouses of mpingo, so I wasn't convinced with the whole "we're out of wood" excuse. However, that's a possibility.

What I'm interested in is, how does this affect Morrie's own clarinet production. Or his recent relationship with Ricardo Morales, since he isn't endorsing anyone yet. (I just checked yamaha, selmer, leblanc and buffet).



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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: Ben 
Date:   2006-08-14 03:34

I just wanted to second clarinetmc's original post. I have a lot of respect for Morrie's work and products and am curious what people thought of his instruments (if they were at the Clarinetfest)... also, was there any mention of specific price and availability?

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: dgclarinet 
Date:   2006-08-14 12:10

I was lucky enough to be at the conference and got to play the new Backun clarinet. There are actually three clarinets that he worked on...at three levels. I forget the names that they used, but the top clarinet's "MSRP" was $7500. That's a lot of money, but to feel that clarinet made it awfully tempting. The keywork and the mechanics of it were just perfect. Going back to my buffet after playing that for a few minutes was like going back to a bundy.
One of the really fun parts of the conference for me was having Morrie come over and talk to my wife and I for at least 5 minutes...explaining all that he had done while coming up with the horn. He also had the clarinet guy from WWBW give us a walk-out price, which was still a lot of money, but a lot less than $7500.
I'd want to play the horns again in a quieter environment if I was serious about buying a new horn, just to make sure it got the sound I was looking for. For me, spending that much money probably doesn't make sense, but for a person that really wants a lifetime clarinet, it might just be the way to go.

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: L. Omar Henderson 
Date:   2006-08-14 12:20

I will let someone at Conn-Selmer comment on the price and total package of features but my impression is that it is at the Tosca level or above. Production instruments were not for sale. I inspected the new clarinet at ClarinetFest. It has a number of adjustment points not found on other clarinets. The adjusment points are hex-head nylon screws and include (and I will probably miss some) the register key, bridge key, A/G#, low F, and others. Some keywork has been altered. It has a strengthened B-E rod feature which I believe acts as a counterweight. It has the smooth Backun barrel design and unmistakable bell design both in Cocobolo natural wood finish. This was just a cursory look and testing so not worth my impressions on the instrument.
L. Omar Henderson

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2006-08-14 12:21

"He also had the clarinet guy from WWBW give us a walk-out price, which was still a lot of money, but a lot less than $7500."

and what is stopping you from posting that price?

"my impression is that it is at the Tosca level or above."

So what about someone who don't like the Tosca better than other (Buffet) models, and actually think the keywork of it is very uncomfortable (for example, me). Tosca level doesn't automatically = good.



Post Edited (2006-08-14 12:27)

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: L. Omar Henderson 
Date:   2006-08-14 12:27

I will not comment on the price because it is not my instrument and Conn-Selmer has to structure their own pricing arrangements with dealers, wholesalers, and mail order houses and the street demand - which may change when full production models are available.
L. Omar Henderson

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: clarinetmc 
Date:   2006-08-14 16:59

But, how did the new instrument sound? I am eager to try this new piece of equipment! $7,500?...yikes.

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: DressedToKill 
Date:   2006-08-14 17:03

I actually find $7,500 to be less than I expected...the clarinet I currently play was valued at a scoche under $7,000 retail when LeBlanc was producing them (I play a rosewood Opus), and that was several years ago, so this seems almost reasonable in comparison. (Have I lost my mind?) I would imagine the street price would be comparable to the Opus II/Symphonie VII (when it was still around), so I would imagine it will hover near the $4,200-4,500 mark.

Yes, it's steep, but it's all relative...it's a steal if you consider what a platinum Brannen flute will set you back :-) (as has been mentioned to death...)



Post Edited (2006-08-14 17:04)

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: J. J. 
Date:   2006-08-14 19:08

I will admit at the outset of this post that I've never been taken with Backun products to begin with, but I was very excited to try these models, since it would be the first time any Backun products would be combined with an instrument designed for them.

The main impression I will go away with is one of confusion. I liked the fact that there were three models of instruments, both for pricing possibilities and because you could get an insight into what they view as a progression of better quality or options. I thought all of the models were very well in tune, which I expected and liked. I liked the fact that different models came with different combinations of barrels and bells, giving the clarinets at least the impression of greater versatility. The keywork and mechanism were good, but didn't in any way blow me away.

I was confused why there was no alternate Eb key for the left hand. I would consider this an obvious need for any new professional models these days. There was an interesting trill key added, one that extended downward from the C#/G# key that would facilitate right hand trilling on these notes, aleviating some of the difficulty of trilling with the pinky in the left hand. I can see that it would be useful in some situations, but you have to change the angle of your right hand so much to use it, even if you have large hands, that I would imagine it doesn't offer much advantage over just using your left pinky (or having an alternate Eb key).

As far as sound goes, it's difficult to tell in an exhibit room, but the quality was okay. By and large, it sounds and feels like a Leblanc. It's very even over the registers and note-to-note, which is great, but I think that anyone who likes current Leblancs will like it and those who don't will not.

I have no doubt they will update this model and/or come out with a new model within the next year and a half, but I was left wondering why this clarinet was introduced now. For me personally, it offered no tangible advantages over current models from other companys or even current Leblanc models.

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: dgclarinet 
Date:   2006-08-14 19:25

J.J., you and I must have played different horns. I'll agree that the sound (in the exhibit hall) wasn't what I was hoping for, but the feel of the horn was just amazing to me. It's like there were no keys...nothing between you and the sound....it was so smooth. Maybe I've been playing on a 25 year old Buffet that needs work for too long, but comparing the Backun to the new Buffets I tried at the conference...I still would say the difference is night and day.

And I would advise anybody who wants to know the street price to email WWBW. The MSRP was printed on the literature available..that's why I posted it.

Doctor...I think that metal piece on the B/E rod was to prevent that rod from being bent when putting the horn together.

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2006-08-15 05:45

"J.J., you and I must have played different horns."

The difference between people is huge in comparison with the difference between two clarinets. It is very likely that one person thoguht like you and another like J.J. about the exact same clarinet, since it is very likely they had all clarinets in top condition for the conference. I'm not surprised at all about the different opinion to say you must have played different clarinets.
Especially about the keywork, one example is many think the Tosca is Buffets best designed clarinet yet, while I think it is their most uncomfrotable model.

"I would advise anybody who wants to know the street price to email WWBW."

Can you please explain why you can't/don't post the price? More than the price itself, I'm interested to know why you don't post it. Are there some laws involved that stop you from posting it? Did WW&BW said it was a special price which you are not allowed to tell anyone? What is the reason?

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: kev182 
Date:   2006-08-15 09:06

I really think Backun's products are overated and way too hyped. Ultimately its the player that makes the difference and to a certain point money can never make you sound better or play better. Its your work with the clarinet and the time spent with the instrument that makes the difference.



Post Edited (2006-08-15 09:09)

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: L. Omar Henderson 
Date:   2006-08-15 10:30

(I have no connection with Conn-Selmer)
I'll take a stab about why many of us will not quote street prices. Since the clarinet is just coming to market the price to dealers has not been set in stone as yet. Different dealers will receive different pricing from the manufacturer based on their sales volume, volume ordered per quarter, and special promotional pricing on a particular model. The street price depends on demand by the public i.e. the higher the demand the higher the price (or premium) charged by the dealer, the profit margin set by the dealer for covering their overhead and profit needed to sustain their business model. Large mail order houses have a different business model than brick and mortar stores and sell for less but depend on volume of sales to generate their profit margin. There are a bunch of subtle nuances involved in pricing such as the lines carried by a particular store. Some manufacturers will give greater discounts to stores (used generically for both virtual and real stores) if they handle a complete line of instruments - woodwinds, brass, strings from one manufacturer or they will take on slow moving models along with more popular and desired models. The pricing from the manufacturer also depends on the sales volume of a particular model and may change over time depending on sales volume and impending replacement of a particular model with a newer model. Manufacturers may also institute MAP (minimum advertised price) or some variation to try and even the playing field of large and small dealers but the selling price may be different than this MAP pricing. These are but a few of the conditions which determine street price.
L. Omar Henderson

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: Danny Boy 
Date:   2006-08-15 11:00

K182...I agree completely, seeing as you won't be needing that Moenig barrell anymore, I'm sure I could find a home for it...

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: dgclarinet 
Date:   2006-08-15 12:18

Thank you Dr Henderson...I could not have answered that question as well as you did, but that's my answer.

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2006-08-15 12:54

WWBW has the right to sell it for more or less than the price they gave at the conference. Dgclarinet made it clear they told him the price they would sell it at the conference. I really don't see the problem of posting that price. I don't see how Omar Henderson's post has anything to do with this case where they already gave a specific price. Are we the dealers' lawyers?

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: L. Omar Henderson 
Date:   2006-08-15 13:35

I do not know what price WWBW was quoting at the show but since there are no clarinets at the moment to be sold that price is meaningless. The WWBW representative may have talked with Conn-Selmer about what price they may sell them to WWBW and he may have made a quick calculation based on experience as to what their profit margin should be and the resulting street price -- but, the price from Conn-Selmer may change by the time the clarinets are delivered and therefore the street price. I was not privy to this conversation so I too am just guessing. My post was meant to be an cursory explanation of how street prices come about. In this case there is no street price as yet because there are no clarinets and any price quoted is a gross "guesstimate". People have the right to give or not give information for their own reasons. You would probably be in the price "ball park" at 50%- 65% of MSRP which is traditional for other clarinets.
L. Omar Henderson

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2006-08-15 14:54

"In this case there is no street price as yet because there are no clarinets and any price quoted is a gross "guesstimate"."

Omar Henderson - I understand you don't know the price.

Dgclarinet - Unless I understood incorrectly, WWBW gave a price and were willing to sell the clarinet at that price. I don't know what "street price" is, and I'm not asking for anyone to "guesstimate" it. I'm asking what the specific price that WWBW were selling this clarinet for at the conference is. I still don't see a good reason not to post this price here. This scenario that someone knows this price, and imho for no good reason refuses to post it does bother me a little, simply because others on this board were interested in knowing that price. Posting it will hurt absolutely no one so I just don't understand.

"People have the right to give or not give information for their own reasons."

Please don't misinterpret me, I'm not questioning that right. I simply want to know why. I see no logical reason. What am I missing here?



Post Edited (2006-08-15 15:02)

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: Brenda Siewert 
Date:   2006-08-15 16:50

When I bought my Symphonie VII (one of two I bought) back whenever that was it had a MSRP of around $6,700.00. I paid Lisa Argiris $3,798.00 each for them. So, I'm guessing WWBW is offering it for somewhere just over the $4,300.00 mark. Maybe that's totally wrong...but that's a guess. We know they don't sell at full MSRP.

So sorry I couldn't be in Atlanta. I'm stuck here in Texas having dozens of medical tests. Bummer being mid fifties.

Glad to hear the report. I would love to test one of those. I really love the way my Opus II feels in my hand. Very nice key action. The Backun bell and barrel I have give it a wonderful tone. So, I've probably got as good as I'll get for a long time.

If anyone decides they want to share WWBW's price, that would be great!

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: kev182 
Date:   2006-08-16 09:00

"K182...I agree completely, seeing as you won't be needing that Moenig barrell anymore, I'm sure I could find a home for it..."

hah, not a chance. The only reason i bought one was because my original RC barrel was 64MM as they play higher in belgium (where i bought) then in the US.. so i was forced to buy a 66MM. I also said spending money to a "certain point" in my post =D

standard barrel is 117USD moenig 129USD soo..for a few bucks i can get the much needed focus an RC needs... I'm guessing a moenig is MUCH more expensive in England knowing how much a snickers bar is =D



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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: Alseg 
Date:   2006-08-16 13:16

Ah, but you can EAT a snickers bar.
I have always had trouble eating Moennig barrels.
In fact, come to think of it, I never saw Hans Moennig eat anything in his shop. I think he photosynthesized his food.

Downstairs from the shop was a high end Kenwood audio dealer with fancy tube analog receivers for over 500 bucks in the 1960s. Moennig, however, had a beat up old Philco or similar radio, no cover on it, that was always tuned to the now defunct WFLN classical station.


Former creator of CUSTOM CLARINET TUNING BARRELS by DR. ALLAN SEGAL
-Where the Sound Matters Most(tm)-





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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: kev182 
Date:   2006-08-16 16:10

The trick with eating moenig barrels is boil them for 4 hours then add a bit of hot sauce! goes well with any salad =D

did you know Hans Moenig? i would be really interested knowing his history and the history behind his barrels/ deal with buffet!

EDIT: NVM!! you grew up beside him =D you must know tons! *checked out your site* BTW looks like you have some very interesting work =)



Post Edited (2006-08-16 16:13)

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: Alseg 
Date:   2006-08-16 17:14

There are many good articles about him. Search spellings Moennig and Moenig and Moenning....many typos prevail. Loads of stuff on this url also.

No...I am NOT that old. I did not grow up beside him but I watched him and Cassimir work. I was in my early teens and would take the bus and subway to the shop. It was like a trip back in time. Think openning sequence of the movie Red Violin (in Cremona-esque era). I caught a few tricks....never enough. If only I had known what was avail. to me at the time.......oh well.


Former creator of CUSTOM CLARINET TUNING BARRELS by DR. ALLAN SEGAL
-Where the Sound Matters Most(tm)-





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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: Julian 
Date:   2006-08-16 21:05

Although I was not at the Atlanta clarinetfest; I have first-hand knowledge of the Leblanc/ Backun clarinet.
I have played Backun products exclusively since last Summer; and this new instrument made in conjunction with Leblanc certainly lives up to expectation.

My own personal thoughts on the Leblanc/ Backun; the intonation is quite incredible, I love the flexibility and beauty of tone, superb mechanical adjustments....the alternative keywork; the feel of the instrument; it just feels so good!

I am the first European Leblanc/ Backun artist; and on my travels I have had many admiring comments about the equipment I play.

Leblanc/ Backun artist.

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: Alseg 
Date:   2006-08-16 22:07

Julian, do you know the general bore dimensions?
Did he choose a narrower bore than prior Leblancs, or change the conical schema? Any venting of the covered notes (like the Selmer Recital A clar option) or relocations of the register tube?
Are you using the M-B mouthpiece with it?
Obviously there is a feeding frenzy whenever a new horn appears.
Thanks for the information.
Great K622 at Proms, BTW...we got the BBC feed here (streaming), but only for one week.


Former creator of CUSTOM CLARINET TUNING BARRELS by DR. ALLAN SEGAL
-Where the Sound Matters Most(tm)-





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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: frank 
Date:   2006-08-16 23:11

Is the Backun clarinet a great horn worth the money, or is it's greatness dictated by the price? Manasse, Carbonare, Ricardo sound wonderful on their "cheap" clarinets. Save your money and wait out the fad. Here is a great example: I own a 2005 Lotus Elise sportscar. The oil change is $300 every 4k miles. Why? Because it's a Lotus! The point is, people will pay whetever you tell them it's worth. It is very simple to convince a flock if you market the right way. Changing the oil in the Lotus is just as easy, and takes no more special work or attention than a Honda Civic. The connection? The less expensive Buffet/Selmer/Leblanc clarinets in able hands sound amazing. I assume the Backun clarinet is made top notch. Let's be real here, top of the line is top of the line. Intonation and a great sound doesn't magically happen from ANY horn. My Chadash clarinet is nice, but so are my R13's, Signature, oh... and my Rossi. All different, all great. No horn is "better" than the other, just different. My two bits.

BTW, I change my own oil.  :)

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: Julian 
Date:   2006-08-17 14:38

Gosh, Alseg... I have no idea of the technical specs, of the bore etc. Yes, I do play a Backun Mouthpiece, a 'T'.

I use the same mouthpiece on my basset clarinet, a 'fat boy' barrel which really gives substance to the sound; and an especially tuned Backun bell, to allow lowest register notes not to be flat.
Thanks for your very kind comments about the Mozart; 19th July in UK was the hottest day ever recorded; and we all were wearing coats! (And now it's nearly winter again here.....)

Leblanc/ Backun artist.

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: Rivers 
Date:   2006-08-18 13:50

Julian

I am very much looking forward to your performance of the Mozart with the Baltimore Symphony on this coming Nov 6...I just got my tickets yesterday!

Rivers

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: kev182 
Date:   2006-08-18 13:59

Julian your a star/ prodigy! googled you... never never knew of you for some reason though...

wow, just wow.. you remind me of Johnathon Cohen, guy that graduated from interlochen.

Amazing =D good luck with the concert!



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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: Julian 
Date:   2006-08-18 14:49

Rivers;

Looking forawrd to Baltimore concert...please do come back and introduce yourself afterwards, if you have time!

Leblanc/ Backun artist.

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: Rivers 
Date:   2006-08-18 16:31

Julian

I'll see you there!!!!!

Rivers

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 Re: New Morrie Backun Leblanc Clarinet
Author: Alseg 
Date:   2006-08-18 16:39

Julian, I guess I am a techno geek when it comes to measuring.
It is truly amazing what a 0.005 inch change in diameter can do anywhere along the tonal pathway.
Where else will you be performing?
(I have some another inquiery which might bore the Bulletin Board. Feel free to contact me offline)


Former creator of CUSTOM CLARINET TUNING BARRELS by DR. ALLAN SEGAL
-Where the Sound Matters Most(tm)-





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