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 Selmer Series 9 intonation
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2006-09-29 15:26

Hello All,

I have two students who play the Selmer Series 9. All of my horns are Buffet's, and I am unfamiliar with the pitch tendencies of this instrument. More specifically:

The first student is a strong player with good fundamentals and an ever improving focus to her sound. She plays sharp throughout the horn as much as 20-25 cents. I am inclined to suggest tuning rings to solve this problem. (There is no evidence of biting).

The second is improving but not as strong. Maintaining a flat/pointed chin is an issue for this student. Her Selmer was recently overhauled and has really benefitted in this respect.

This student was 25-30 cents sharp in the chalumeau AFTER we had pulled every joint 1-2mm. Her clarion and altissimo were in tune however.

Any thoughts on how I can help them?

General information on the Series 9 and/or specific advice for each student greatly appreciated!

James Tobin

Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: Selmer Series 9 intonation
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-09-29 15:48

What length barrel and mouthpiece is she using?

When I used a 5RV Lyre with the 67mm and 68mm barrels I was consistantly sharp across the entire range (around 442Hz, but I could easily get 444-445Hz even with the 68mm barrel), but now I'm using a Vandoren M15 the tuning is more solid to the point where I have to work much harder to keep the pitch up, and a firm embouchure is important (plus it gives me the sound I like).

The bottom register on both my Centered Tone and Series 9 sets IS sharp in comparison to the upper and altissimo registers.

Chris.

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 Re: Selmer Series 9 intonation
Author: Synonymous Botch 
Date:   2006-09-29 18:23

CP is on the right track... the Series 9 was a genuine "Big Bore" or Jazz instrument designed to be HEARD. Much like the Boosey 1010, it won't play well in tune with the current chamber size mouthpiece.

Boosey even sold a reamer designed to retrofit mouthpieces for use with 1010
horns, becuase they played so sharp together.

Even with tuning rings, this will remain a challenge for most players, particularly those just beginning.

The Eaton company makes mouthpieces for this type of design...

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 Re: Selmer Series 9 intonation
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2006-09-29 18:25

Hello Chris,

I am 98% certain that the first student uses a 65mm barrel that came with her horn. It was just a bit shorter than my 66.

Her mouthpiece was given to her by a previous teacher. I am uncertain exactly what it is...however I am pretty sure that it was finished by my original teacher Larry Greenspan. This would be an almost Kaspar quality and design mouthpiece.


The second student uses an HS* with the original barrel from her horn. I flaked and didn't think to measure it before she left.

You mentioned 67 and 68 barrels you used previously...are these the standard lengths provided for the Series 9? If so, a 65 would explain the first student's pitch entirely.

James



SB...I have played both of these instruments and didn't notice them to project any more easily or greatly than my R13. However the better of the two students comes tomorrow, so I will measure the barrel and give the horn another try!

Gnothi Seauton

Post Edited (2006-09-29 18:28)

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 Re: Selmer Series 9 intonation
Author: GoatTnder 
Date:   2006-09-29 18:25

I briefly had a Series 9, and decided not to keep it for the reason the second student you mentioned deals with. The lower register was consistently 20 to 30 cents sharper than the middle and upper. I'm assuming there are some ways to compensate for this with alternate mouthpieces and barrels, etc. But I went with a different clarinet instead.

-Andy Cabrera
a.l.cabrera@gmail.com

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 Re: Selmer Series 9 intonation
Author: C2thew 
Date:   2006-09-29 18:38

The lower register was consistently 20 to 30 cents sharper than the middle and upper. I'm assuming there are some ways to compensate for this with alternate mouthpieces and barrels, etc. But I went with a different clarinet instead.

thats weird... i've tried another friends clarinet, and i experienced the same issue with the super sharp lower register. i've been suggesting to put some electrical tape in the tone holes, but hes just lazy.

Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. they are but improved means to an unimproved end, an end which was already but too easy to arrive as railroads lead to Boston to New York
-Walden; Henry Thoreau

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 Re: Selmer Series 9 intonation
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-09-29 22:35

Tobin,

With both my Centered Tones and Series 9 clarinets, the 67mm barrel is the best one tuning wise - anything shorter than that will make them play very sharp. I have a 65mm and 63mm that came with my old Centered Tones, the 65mm is alright for playing in cold conditions, and also helps to keep in tune with the saxes and trumpets when they inevitably go sharp! But the 63mm is completely unsuitable for me.

My (A series) Series 9 Bb came with a 67mm barrel which I was pleased with as it hadn't been shortened (which usually happens to most older Selmer barrels I see, as 67mm replacements are hard to come by), but the (S series) A clarinet came with a 65.5mm Prologue barrel - I found a 68mm Series 9 barrel on the famous auction site which was of the same era as my A, just to complete it, though it was listed as being 67mm - not a problem, better being 68mm than 66mm.

I use the 67mm barrel on both clarinets, and the 68mm in the summer so I don't have to pull the barrel out at all.

Chris.

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 Re: Selmer Series 9 intonation
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2006-09-30 04:21

Hi,

I have a 9* (actually a totally different instrument) with the original barrel that is almost perfectly intune thoughout the entire range; this is my #2 behind my LeBlanc L200 which is also almost perfectly intune. I'm a lucky man!

I use either a Portnoy BP02 or SWS B2 but an old Buffet C Crown is great also.
I'll measure the barrels if anyone is interested.

HRL

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 Re: Selmer Series 9 intonation
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2006-09-30 15:28

The student who came today (the first, better of two)...

Her previous barrel had cracked...and been replaced with a Buffet 65.5 mm barrel.

If I were searching for a Selmer Series 9 barrel, where do I even look? Does Selmer produce them any longer?

Does anyone successfully use a Buffet barrel on a selmer horn?

James

Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: Selmer Series 9 intonation
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-09-30 15:36

Maybe a wooden Selmer Signet barrel might work.

The only place to look for any Series 9 barrels is either a large woodwind specialist or supply centre, or on the famous online auction site. But make sure it's a 67mm one.

But there are several barrel makers on here that I'm sure offer a suitable replacement.

Chris.

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 Re: Selmer Series 9 intonation
Author: ghuba 
Date:   2006-09-30 23:54

Chris P wrote:

>
> But there are several barrel makers on here that I'm sure offer
> a suitable replacement.
>

Chris, I have actually wondered why some of the custom makers of barrels who post to this board do not offer "model specific" barrels for vintage clarinet bores. Looking at eBay sales, it appears that there are sufficient vintage clarinets of different Selmer and Leblanc models (I do not not follow Buffets) sold in a year to justify an aftermarket specifically for barrels and mouthpieces that would tend to be a very good match to the bigger bores of Selmer Ks, BTs, CTs, 9s and Leblanc LLs. My impression is that some of the intonation problems that people report with older big bore clarinets may, in part, be due to the fact that the original barrels cracked and the auction seller thought that they could simply find any other old Selmer (or Leblanc) barrel and toss it in the case without paying attention to the length or the bore (so long as the logo matched!). Of course, even if the original barrel(s) are in the case, they may have deteriorated more in terms of bore warp (becoming oval) than did the top joint of the clarinet.

As an owner of several Selmer K-BT-CT-9 and Leblanc big bore clarinets, I would probably order a number of these barrels, at least to try, if I could find a custom maker who specialized in the production of new barrels to the bore of older clarinets and also researched the length of the barrels originally supplied with these instruments. [And then maybe we could have a big thread on this BB about how the Selmer CT everybody seems to have in the closet suddenly seems to play better.] It would also be great if some custom makers produced stock barrels that would be optimally matched to the bores of the older vintage clarinets AND the modern mouthpieces many would prfer to use. Yes, I understand that I could probably send in my clarinets and mouthpieces to a custom maker and have him or her fit a barrel to that specific instrument and mouthpiece combination, but it would be easier if someone were to do the research on what the barrel dimensions should be on specific older vintage models (perhaps with certain typical modern mouthpieces based on Zinner blanks) and then could make a few variations on these barrels available for testing and purchasing.

George



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 Re: Selmer Series 9 intonation
Author: Ralph 
Date:   2006-10-08 02:03

You don't have to limit yourself to purchasing a Series 9 barrel. If there is a good instrument tech in your area, you may want to consider purchasing a barrel from almost any of the smaller bore Selmer instruments, generally from the Series 10 moving forward in time, and have the barrel reamed out to the Series 9 dimensions. I did this for my Series 9*. I purchased a Series 10S barrel from the famous auction website and then had it custom reamed to the dimensions I specified. Good Luck !!

Ralph

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 Re: Selmer Series 9 intonation
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2017-02-24 02:14

Reawakening this thread...as I'm curious about the last post from Ralph. I, too would spend some money on barrels if I knew what diameter to specify. In fact, I have a lathe and know how to use reamers, etc (ex-machinist), so I could play around with some hard rubber rod to make test barrels IF I had some sense of what diameters/tapers/length tradeoffs were interesting.

I have measured lots of barrel, mouthpiece and LH joint diameters on 'all stock' vintage clarinets and not found any pattern that makes sense. Certainly there does not appear to be any attempt to match the diameters at the interfaces, which I find surprising, as my knowledge of acoustics would suggest that bore discontinuities would create all sorts of 'interesting' intonation and timbre issues. The discontinuities are, presumably, a node of sorts.

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 Re: Selmer Series 9 intonation
Author: Clarinetart 
Date:   2018-03-21 01:28

The sharp right hand in lowest register is pretty nearly unavoidable if you retain best tuning in other registers. That said...it isn't all that hard to bring down in pitch by holding fingers closer to open tone holes. Because the tone holes are so large you can feel the air venting through them. Sort of "floating" on that air cushion is what I do if I need better tuning on held notes.
Last but by far not least...mouthpiece choice is critical. Currently using a Sumner acousticut..large exit bore conical. Std pieces won't work well...stock old ones will work well.

Owner
Horns Reborn
Toronto Ontario Canada

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 Re: Selmer Series 9 intonation
Author: Clarinetart 
Date:   2018-03-21 01:37

The sharp right hand in lowest register is pretty nearly unavoidable if you retain best tuning in other registers. That said...it isn't all that hard to bring down in pitch by holding fingers closer to open tone holes. Because the tone holes are so large you can feel the air venting through them. Sort of "floating" on that air cushion is what I do if I need better tuning on held notes.
Last but by far not least...mouthpiece choice is critical. Currently using a Sumner acousticut..large exit bore conical. Std pieces won't work well...stock old ones will work well.

The barrel on this one is 65mm
Top bore measurement .600"...exit bore .593"
Exit bore of Sumner mouthpiece bang on .600"

Owner
Horns Reborn
Toronto Ontario Canada

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