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 Leblanc symphonie clarinets REVIEWED!
Author: C2thew 
Date:   2006-09-22 19:29

Question 1: I have already tried looking in the search section in the clarinet forum, but i would like to know how the symphony models progressed starting from time periods.

Symphonie
Symphonie II
Symphonie III
Symphonie IV
Symphonie V
Symphonie VI = modern day opus?
symphonie VII = modern day opus II?

Does anyone have any info about what seperate each model from the other except the modern symphonnies? I couldn't find any information between the symphony I-IV other than they just were dwarfed by the popular LL series clarinets.

I've tried a leblanc c.b., but i noticed that the projection tended to be pretty quiet. the intonation was fairly accurate.

Question 2:Essentially, was the progression of the symphonie class series a growing trend for leblanc clarinets to have a greater projection as opuses today?

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

Post Edited (2006-11-22 22:13)

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: DressedToKill 
Date:   2006-09-22 19:45

I'll let others chime in about the older Symponies; but the Symphonie VII was a short-lived rosewood version of the original Opus.

I have an early version of it which still has the Opus branding, but is in rosewood. (Which is currently up on...you know, That Site.)

The earlier Symphonies were all, to the best of my knowledge, very good professional horns with a lovely dark sound, and very solid keywork. I believe the decision to call one of the newest LeBlanc/Backun clarinets the "Symphonie" was a tribute to this old standby of the LeBlanc professional lineup.

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: Vytas 
Date:   2006-09-22 21:11

Older Symphonies:

Symphonie Model
Symphonie
Symphonie II
Symphonie 3 (not III)
Symphonie IV

My favorite from this bunch is Symphonie 3

Vytas Krass
Professional clarinet technician
Custom clarinet mouthpiece maker
Former professional clarinet player




Post Edited (2006-09-22 21:15)

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: jmberch 
Date:   2006-09-22 21:45

i am about to buy a symphony 3 from my friend. he quit music, and he never new much about it anyways. he got the horn from his great grand father or something like that....it is in better condition then my current clarinet and i only have to pay $50 for it. anyone know the real price?it's in almost mint condition.

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: robertgh 
Date:   2006-09-22 22:32

DressedToKill wrote:

"The earlier Symphonies were all, to the best of my knowledge, very good professional horns with a lovely dark sound, and very solid keywork."

If the pair I own are any indication, that comment is quite accurate. My original Bb (serial #3894) is a "Symphonie" which was purchased in the 50s when I was a little wheezer. The A (serial #1184) — which I obtained this year on "that auction website" — is a "Symphonie Model" which of course was the earliest model in the series (Vytas has the lineage logos right).

Both have the distinctive in-line jump keys which were a feature of the Leblanc line in the decades prior to the Opus designs. Both are relatively heavy in weight between the keywork and dense wood.

Funny thing about that keywork: when I first showed up at school with my new pride and joy, some of the other kids looked at the keywork and pronounced it "ugly" and "clunky looking." I didn't care—it played like a dream! Besides the whole "mine's prettier than yours" thing seemed so . . . well . . . juvenile. [wink]



Post Edited (2006-09-22 22:33)

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: Dee 
Date:   2006-09-22 23:05

I contacted Leblanc about my Symphonie II with s/n 6xxx. I was told that it was made in the early to mid 1950s.

It has a very clear, sweet sound. People are always complementing me on the tone.

Instead of being plated, the keys on mine appear to be made of "German silver" (a nickel alloy that contains no silver and is not German).

It also has the in-line jump trill keys.

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: Vytas 
Date:   2006-09-23 00:51

Dee,

Leblanc introduced the Symphonie Model in 1950. Your 'Symphonie II' was made in 1955-1956. Until about 1955 the letter "G" in the G. Leblanc logo appeared with the "G." on the same line as Leblanc and after about 1955 the "G" is centered above the Leblanc. So it gives you a pretty good clue when your clarinet was actually made.

Below is the pic. of "Symphonie 3". I always regret selling it.
http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/download.html/1,72/LeBlanc_Symphonie_3.jpg

Vytas Krass
Professional clarinet technician
Custom clarinet mouthpiece maker
Former professional clarinet player




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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: C2thew 
Date:   2006-09-23 01:09

HOly smokes you sold that beautiful clarinet?

in any case

vytas, leblanc never made a symphonie V or VI model?

Symphonie Model
Symphonie

are those the same two models?

so basically the vibe i'm getting from the research and knowledge of the symphonie clarinets is that they are typical leblanc noteworthy clarinets that have accurate intonation, however do not project too loud? So a clarinet player has control, but the sacrifice is projection? i'm not saying that its not loud, but in general it is quiet.

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: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: Dee 
Date:   2006-09-23 22:57

Well I never had any trouble with projection. The band director has asked me to back off a couple of times. Reed/mouthpiece combo have a very direct impact on the projection.

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: Bill 
Date:   2006-09-24 13:14

I have a Symphonie (no "model") serial number 4971. I bought it because, like a bozo, I sold a beautiful L7 that I had purchased from the original owner - no less than Jack Silver. Talk about regrets!!!!!

I am forever hot and cold about older (pre-1970s) Leblancs. Now, Vytas is working on a "Dynamique" for me right now that may just change my mind, but I find these instruments (and yes, even that L7) even, responsive, and in tune but somehow lacking "guts" in the lower tones. A crystal mpc. goes a long way in correcting that, but when I switch back to my Symphonie after playing something else for a few weeks, there's this period of adjustment ... like, "Where's the beef?" But then, after a few days, the wondrous evenness amazes me. The altissimo "belongs" to the rest of the scale ... there is no pronounced change in the sound or feeling when playing between registers. In that sense, my Symphonie did recover for me the qualities I loved about my L7.

I look forward to having "the twins": a Symphonie and a Dynamique from the same period.

Bill.

Bill Fogle
Ellsworth, Maine
(formerly Washington, DC)


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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: super20dan 
Date:   2006-09-26 00:07

i too have a symphonie 1 that i got for 200$ and love. almost the = to my r13 . these are better than given credit for. i agree about the altisimo.best on any clar i have played

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: Nathaniel 
Date:   2006-10-09 01:28

If I might jump in, in the middle of this thread... I have on old Symphonie III I purchased in about 1959 and haven't played in years. Could anyone give me some advice as to about how much it might be worth and where I might consider selling it? I live in the Los Angeles area. While I haven't played it in years, there are no cracks I can see, and I have oiled it occasionally. The pads are all stick and I'm sure need replacing, as well as a general overhaul, i.e. cleaning, polishing. BTW, they keys appear to be sterling silver. Are they on this model?

Much thanks for any helpful advice.

Nathaniel

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: Vytas 
Date:   2006-10-09 01:39

The marking "III" is a part of every older Leblanc logo. It's not a model number. There was Symphonie 3 not Symphonie III.

http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/download.html/1,72/LeBlanc_Symphonie_3.jpg

Vytas Krass
ClarinetHeaven@aol.com
Professional clarinet technician
Custom clarinet mouthpiece maker
Former professional clarinet player




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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: Bill 
Date:   2006-10-09 02:15

I've gained a renewed appreciation for my Leblanc "Symphonie." I like Leblanc clarinets in the same way I like fried calamri. Not a dish for every day, but a delightful departure from the norm. Flute-like, pretty, sweet-sounding clarinets. They are keepers.

Bill Fogle
Ellsworth, Maine
(formerly Washington, DC)


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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: C2thew 
Date:   2006-10-09 06:09

@nathaniel you can let me take a look at it. i'm in los angeles too =)

@dee "It has a very clear, sweet sound. People are always complementing me on the tone."
I can understand the tone, but the sound doesn't come off as "colorful" as an r13. i'll need some more time to comment though.

"Instead of being plated, the keys on mine appear to be made of "German silver" (a nickel alloy that contains no silver and is not German)."

Hey vytas can you comment on the plating of the keys? they are definitely not pure silver as the selmer balanced tones, but do carry the shine of a selmer 10g, but not the feel of silver. Is the symphonie a german silver (nickel)? alloy? Is this why the symphonies didn't take flight against the thick silver plated selmers?

Was there an actual difference in symphonie releases in the 2, 3, and 4 series? or was this just a "new/old design model" marketed to keep leblanc's symphonie line going?

Lastly, was there ever a symphonie 5?

Also @dee, do you have any noticable notes pop out when you play in the chaleameau register?

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

Post Edited (2006-10-09 06:33)

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: C2thew 
Date:   2006-10-09 07:00

"Author: bill28099 (---.ipt.aol.com)
Date: 2005-03-05 14:37

I have both a Symphonie #8XXX and a Dynamique #5XX. I was playing the Symphonie full time about a year ago but sometime last fall started playing the Dynamique for a change. In my opinion the Dynamique is a much nicer playing horn and has better intonation. The keying on the two is identical. My Symphonie II A #4XXX is an acceptable horn and again the keying matches the other two.


Author: Bill (---.esr.east.verizon.net)
Date: 2005-03-07 00:18

The Symphonie, like all Leblancs of this time period, is well made and attention to detail is evident. Luxurious instruments, but with an intimate and relatively "superficial" sound (a tone that is more "surface" than depth). The wood is excellent and the lay of the keywork is very nice."

I did some forum digging, and turned up with a very good answer to what the leblanc symphonies represent. I think Bill says it best about the symphonie, and i'm now grasping where the symphonie falls in line with other clarinets. Basically the symphonie plays with light tones, whereas the buffet r13 is more of an all around hitter, and lastly, the conn 424n is truly the color of all colors, blatantly wacky in tune, but colorful in it's respects. THATS why buffet r 13 clarinets are valued so much. i understand the blue for selmer, and red for buffet analogy, and why leblanc's latest release of it's backun/symphonie clarinet falls into the purple zone. Leblanc finally got it right.....

phew. thats enough research for tonight. until tomorrow

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: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: robertgh 
Date:   2006-10-09 15:41

Has anybody out there tried Backun barrels or bells with any of the vintage Leblanc Symphonies? If so, what were your impressions? For that matter, I'd be interested in any setups that seem to enhance the quality of these instruments.



Post Edited (2006-10-09 15:47)

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: Nathaniel 
Date:   2006-10-09 20:37

Mr. Krass, thank you for pointing this out. Indeed my clarinet, upon further inspection, does look like yours, i.e. it has both the "3" as well as the "III" as part of the logo. As mine is over 40 years old, I'm afraid the markings don't show up nearly as well as the one in your jpg file. I assume, maybe like fountain pen markings, the "filler" can be redone when a clarinet is overhauled?

Thanks,
Nathaniel Hummel


===========================================
Author: Vytas (---.ipt.aol.com - ISP in United States)
Date: 2006-10-09 01:39

The marking "III" is a part of every older Leblanc logo. It's not a model number. There was Symphonie 3 not Symphonie III.

http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/download.html/1,72/LeBlanc_Symphonie_3.jpg
=======================================

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: Nathaniel 
Date:   2006-10-09 20:41

As soon as I get the time, I'll be more than happy to do that. FWIW, the s/n is 11355 and I don't recall all the details, but the man who owned the music store in Highland Park, CA at the time was a professional clarinet/woodwind musician (played at Disneyland on the weekends) and seemed to know his stuff. He recommended a VanDoren 2RV mouthpiece which I still have. Any thoughts on this, i.e. good/bad?

I'm not familiar with this board, but if I can find a way to IM you I'll send you my e-mail address.

Best,
Nathaniel Hummel

===============================
Author: C2thew (---.dsl.irvnca.pacbell.net - ISP in Los Angeles, CA United States)
Date: 2006-10-09 06:09

@nathaniel you can let me take a look at it. i'm in los angeles too =)
===========================================

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: J B Lansing 
Date:   2006-10-09 22:03

I have a full Bohem Symphonie Model serial number 9746, that has a clear tone that projects well. I bought it in 1957 used. I was told it was made in 1953. My Sonata has darker rounder sound (I hate useing those words but don't know how else to discribe the tone)
J B

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: C2thew 
Date:   2006-10-10 00:03

"My Sonata has darker rounder sound (I hate useing those words but don't know how else to discribe the tone)"

Instead, try using fuller and deeper with a tone similar to "asdf"

Why isn't there a clarinet review section? this forum has so much to offer, but there are limited sections where one can post updates or reviews, or setups and what not. all of it gets pummeled into this main section, which is good for publicity, but creates a sense of chaos.

i belong to a kite forum, and there are 12 different categories of discussion. it helps organize things better, but the downside is that you have to jump in and out of pages.

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: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: Vytas 
Date:   2006-10-10 01:18

I've worked on many older Leblanc 'Symphonies'. None of them had sterling silver keys. "Symphonie Model", "Symphonie", "Symphonie II" had unplated nickel-silver keys. "Symphonie 3", "Symphonie IV" had nickel plated keys. Until about 1960 all French WOODEN clarinets had unplated nickel-silver keys. After 1960-63 basically all French clarinets had plated keys. It's very unlikely that you find sterling silver keys on any of French clarinet. If they exist, it must be a special order or some very limited special addition.

Not many repair shops restore the logos and these that do usually leave a lot of yellow mess around the logo. It's not that easy cleanly redo the logo. On new clarinets the wood grain is filled so apply the logo is easy but on any older clarinet the filler is gone and gilding process becomes very messy. The logo on "Symphonie 3" (pictured above) was redone by me several years ago. I do not use any crayons or fountain pen markings etc.

BTW Selmer BT have nickel-silver keys.

Vytas Krass
Professional clarinet technician
Custom clarinet mouthpiece maker
Former professional clarinet player


ClarinetHeaven@aol.com



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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: Dee 
Date:   2006-10-13 22:31

I have always found my Symphonie II to have the fullness and tonal flexibility that I wanted or needed. I really believe it is in knowing how to get the best out of it.

I've tried Buffets and they are stuffy overall and seem to be a bit slow in response on the altissimo notes. But then I've played my Symphonie II since the late 1960s and am quite accustomed to what it takes to make it sing.

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: bill28099 
Date:   2006-10-14 15:28

Since I was quoted by C2thew I would like to add a few more comments on the old Leblanc clarinets that I use. First, the Symphonie is gone from my collection(neither my teacher nor I liked it) as a trade to my technition for a complete overhaul and replating of a 19XXX LL which I play every day. However, both my teacher and I seem to think the 5XX Dynamique is a marginally better horn. I also own a full Boehm LL serial 19XXX to low Eb which is not a good instrument and weights a tonne. The more I play on the serial 4XXX Symphonie II in A the more I like it. The performance of the Symphonie II has definitely improved since I switched to the Backun mouthpiece.

When I was a kid I played on a Bb Buffet serial 43XXX and a Leblanc ???? in A. I always loved the Leblancs of that era (Buffet was actually #3 at the time) but could not afford one. When I started my quest 3 years ago to play as well at 65 as I did at 18 I went to the famous auction site and purchased a number of old Leblancs to satisfy my teenage dreams. The symphony orchestra that I played in as a youth purchased and still owns my Leblanc A and I mean to go look at it and play it one of these days to see what it's like. I must also add that I love the way these old Leblancs fit my hands, they are so comfortable.

Finally, I have talked to Morrie Backun about barrels for these horns but have yet to have time to go into his shop and try some out.

A great teacher gives you answers to questions
you don't even know you should ask.

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: chazman 
Date:   2006-10-14 20:38

C2thew,
Is the subtext here for information about a horn you recently aquired off of one of those auction sites?

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: packrat 
Date:   2006-10-14 20:39

I would really be interested in knowing what you find out about the barrel. I use my A barrel from my LL on my S-1 and would like to find another that would work as well. I think it must be because the S-1 was a larger bore horn like the LL.

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: EuGeneSee 
Date:   2006-10-24 02:49

John:

You might examine the first digit very carefully if your clarinet says Symphonie Model above the Leblanc logo as the 9xxx numbers didn't come out until around the time of the transition between the Symphonies II and 3. For some reason some of the Symphonie Model horns in the late 3xxx series were stambed with what appeared to be a worn out dye that printed only the top and bottom curves of the 3 making it appear to be a 9.

Compare the curve on the bottom of the fist digit with the upper curve of the 6 at the end . . . the numbers 6 and 9 are made with the same dies turned different ways. The number 3, on the other hand has a different shape to the lower curve from that of the 9 (and 6).

I've seen two Symphonie Models (one was a picture on "that" auction) that had those incompletely stamped 3's that looked like 9's

Eu

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: C2thew 
Date:   2006-10-24 03:16

Just trying to find a feel of the symphonie clarinets. i will post a review soon.

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: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: Brenda Siewert 
Date:   2006-10-24 03:52

As some of you may remember, I've owned 2 Symphonie VIIs. One of the two was an exceptional instrument and I really wish I had kept it. I'm intrigued by the Backun version and hope to try it one day soon. My Symphonie VII was identical to my Opus except for the rosewood body of the Symphonie. The tone was a bit on the bright side for my taste and I eventually sold it because I could never attain a nice rich tone with it.

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: BobD 
Date:   2006-10-25 09:24

"and is not German" Actually, the alloy could have been made in Germany. This alloy in its various specific formulations has been marketed under many different names. My first clarinet...in 1939...had unplated "German silver" keywork. There's nothing "wrong' with unplated key work of this alloy and some people...both players and repairers....prefer it. There's probably even a bit of silver in some of the formulations.

Bob Draznik

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: Tony Beck 
Date:   2006-10-25 12:31

EuGeneSee, were the instruments in A numbered in their own range? I have an A Symphonie 3 numbered 6302, well below the 9000 transition range you mention.

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: EuGeneSee 
Date:   2006-10-25 12:54

I've noticed several instances on this BB and "that auction" of non-Bb Symphonies with much lower numbers than their Bb contemporaries. That would indicate separate number series - the Bb instruments would have serial numbers which increased much more rapidly inasmuch as many more of them were produced than A, Eb, C, etc. instruments.

Golly, it sure would be nice to have a Leblanc serial number list. Someone (I forget who just now - oldtimers disease?) on this BB is currently working on compiling a Leblanc list of all models, distinguishing features of each, dates of manufacture, serial numbers, etc. A long-term project to be sure, but much needed. Eu

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: J B Lansing 
Date:   2006-10-25 15:07

EuGenSee,
Well I went back and looked. "Symphonie" and "Model" on two lines. The "G." is on the same line as "LeBlanc" and the serial number is definately 9746 on both sections. The "9" is nice and clear with the right hand curve very crisp and clean it could not possibly be a "3". Perhaps it is because it is a full boehm instrument that it is number differently.
J B

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: EuGeneSee 
Date:   2006-10-25 15:34

Good point regarding the numbers on a full boehm instrument . . . it appears to have been numbered quite differently from most early symphonies. Maybe the expertise of the techs on the BB holds the answer. Eu

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: C2thew 
Date:   2006-11-22 21:44

Review of the leblanc symphonie clarinet Series IV

What was said about older leblanc clarinets rings true. In relation to the c.b., classic, dynamic, and symphonie series, leblanc's clarinets were aimed for intonation purposes and are very different in relation to modern clarinets today. Modern clarinets have achieved an easier and free-er sound with less resistance which has been the case between older and newer (specifically) leblanc clarinets. That said, here's the review of the leblanc symphonie

disclaimer: i'm a semi-pro clarinet player with half a years worth of private lessons.

-Key plating: nickle silver
-The springs are gold as a tribute to leblancs professional clarinet line.
-Seperate posts for the Eb key, instead of having one long screw for the C and Eb/G# its seperately mounted to avoid post bending.
-bore size 14.81
-66 mm barrel
-Inline jump key system (in my opinion, this was the best jump trill key system design due to the fact that the trill keys are lower then modern keywork)

What does it need to improve????
A crystal mouthpiece to remedy its resistant nature
A reverse taper barrel to enhance projection

The clarinet plays remarkably in tune. The barrel supplied is a good length, but in my opinion, should have be supplied with a 67mm barrel as the symphonie did run a tad sharp after it was warmed up. barrel spacers solved that problem. Keywork does not feel "cozy" as a selmer clarinet, but it holds its own with its intonation.

The tuning on this instrument is excellent, and can blend very well. The clarinet is very in tune in the clarion and altimisso register, and as others have noted before, thrives in this upper range. It does run a hair sharp in the lower clarion register most notably A and G, but low E is in tune. Who woulda thought?

This clarinet is by no means as loud as modern clarinets. Using reeds as an analogy, this clarinet feels like a vandoren 4 to the degree of resistance or listening to a clarinet with a thin curtain in front of it. The curtain analogy best fits the projection quality of the clarinet as you really cannot overblow this clarinet. The dense wood dampens the sound so it sounds smooth instead of robust and offending.

Stock mouthpiece plays ok, probably could be refaced to better match the intonation, but it feels like a selmer B* The rubber in the mouthpiece is of good quality.

Someone once said that the symphonie is almost the = to the r 13. I too will agree with them, however buffet simply made better clarinets at the time in regards to color, and ease of projection.

I've heard statements of the symphonie being comparable to a modern day opus, where upon i will claim that it is definitely NOT, as Leblanc finally put the color of a buffet r 13 into the opus, thus making the opus the crowning achievement of leblanc's line and probably the most desirable clarinet to own/perform classical studies.

Symphonie = intonation buffet = warmth and color opus = combination of color and intonation

In conclusion, the symphonie does have a superficial tone in a sense that the inherent resistance reduces the projection in the clarinet. My clarinet teacher constantly presses me to fill the sound, but the resistance is tough to overcome. The probable solution is to replace the barrel with a reverse taper. All in all, for a clarinet that sells between 250-650, this is a very good deal. Granted there are other professional clarinets out there, the leblanc symphonie will teach a clarinet player control and accuracy.






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

Post Edited (2006-11-22 21:49)

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets REVIEWED!
Author: Vytas 
Date:   2006-11-22 23:44

> *** "In conclusion, the symphonie does have a superficial tone in a sense that the inherent resistance reduces the projection in the clarinet". *** <

I've overhauled many Symphonies. None of them was resistant. I think your clarinet has slight leak somewhere on the top of UJ (throat G# or one of the top thrill keys) or some other problems.

Vytas Krass
Clarinet Repair
Professional clarinet technician
Custom clarinet mouthpiece maker
Former professional clarinet player




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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets REVIEWED!
Author: C2thew 
Date:   2006-11-23 00:29

well i'm not saying i'm fighting my clarinet. i'm just saying it doesn't blow as free as an r 13. When my teacher larry hughes took a stab at my clarinet and then compared it to his r 13, both of us noticed that the "sound" seemed fluid and easier to hear as opposed to my symphonie. i should have said that this was a Subtle discrepency, like tasting two different wines.

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: Leblanc symphonie clarinets REVIEWED!
Author: Gwyn Grayson 
Date:   2009-02-01 18:46

I have a Leblanc "Symphonie Model", #XXXA, purchased in the early 1950's when I was in my high school band, and am just curious about it. Any input would be appreciated.

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets REVIEWED!
Author: Ken Mills 
Date:   2009-02-02 17:04

Doesn't anybody know that Daniel Bonade endorsed these for a while but later gave his up. The clarion long pipe B and C notes did not emit so good for me; try a different barrel? What about turbulence in bore as related to this problem?

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets REVIEWED!
Author: Wes 
Date:   2009-02-02 17:33

There was a Leblanc Symphony model that had the name Robert Lowery engraved on the register key, which had a special shape. A student of mine had one which played quite well.

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets REVIEWED!
Author: Brenda Siewert 
Date:   2009-02-02 20:59

I like pictures. Thanks for those.

As some of you may know, or you may not, I rebought one of the Symphonie VIIs I've owned in the past. I remembered in about an hour of play why I had sold it. I had it overhauled by Tom Ridenour (the designer) and still didn't like the bright sound. Also, it didn't play as well in tune as my Buffet R-13...yes, surprise!!! So, I sold it again and don't ever intend to get another Symphonie VII again. Although, when you open the case you will be stricken by the beauty of the rosewood. Absolutely gorgeous instrument. VERY different from the other Symphonies by Leblanc and certainly different from the new version by Backun.

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: Koo Young Chung 
Date:   2009-06-19 23:31

Anyone knows when Leblanc started nickel/silver platings on its keys?

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets REVIEWED!
Author: Chris2787 
Date:   2013-02-26 09:21

What does everyone think about the new Leblanc by backun Symphonie Bb Clarinet? I am thinking about getting one so bad. It would be an upgrade from a Buffet E11 Bb Clarinet.

Thanks,

Chris L.

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets REVIEWED!
Author: jbunnin 
Date:   2013-03-09 02:01

I can't speak for everyone, but I can tell you that my new Leblanc by Backun Symphonie is a superb instrument: lovely tone, great intonation, sweet and projecting. I've had a number of fine instruments through the years (Buffet Festival, for example, Ridenour Lyrique G1, and clarinets of similar quality), and none has been as personally pleasing to play as the Symphonie. If you want one, I wouldn't delay. There aren't many left for sale.

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets REVIEWED!
Author: Chris2787 
Date:   2013-03-10 19:39

I played 2 Leblanc By Backun Symphonies and some others including the Buffet RC Prestige and I fell in love with the Buffet RC Prestige. I loved the Symphonie but the RC Prestige really had a better sound to me. If I had the money I would buy both!! haha.

Cheers,

Chris L.

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets REVIEWED!
Author: mcaswell 
Date:   2013-03-13 18:26
Attachment:  080_1683.jpg (155k)

Loving my new Backun Symphonie as well. It's much more horn than a player of my level right now needs, but it's a wonderful instrument that is a joy to play, and I "stole" it from Taylor Music at an unbelievable price (think I got their last one, though).

--Michael

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: Larian 
Date:   2013-06-11 20:01

I have played my Symphonie 3, SN 155B, since it was purchased in 1959. At one time, the owner of the music shop where it originated asked if he could buy it back from me. I wisely refused the offer. I did play a LL which had a brighter sound, and although I liked it, I decided to stick with the richness of the 3.
What is the current price of this model? I saw someone else ask the question but saw no answer.



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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets
Author: NOLA Ken 
Date:   2019-12-03 07:46

For the record to answer a question posed quite a few years ago in this thread but that apparently went unanswered: I have a Leblanc Symphonie 3 beautifully restored by Vytas a couple of years ago that I regularly play with a Backun Fatboy barrel and a Backun Traditional bell with voicing groove. I find that setup plays with a much fuller and somewhat "darker" sound with more projection than the stock barrel and bell yields. I play it with a vintage Bonade mouthpiece refaced by Brad Behn (a mouthpiece I believe was designed with the Symphonie 3 in mind), and blend wonderfully with the R13s and one Tosca in the band I play in.

I've tried Backun Moba barrels and Moba bells with voicing groove on the Symphonie 3, and they don't play as well as the Fatboy barrel and the Traditional bell. The Moba equipment seems to yield a more muddled sound on this instrument.

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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets REVIEWED!
Author: Bill 
Date:   2019-12-04 04:02

Interesting. I've always ***instinctively*** used a Bonade mpc with my Leblanc Symphony (early 1950s). I always assumed that it was a subconscious thing -- Bonade helped advertise the Leblanc clarinets.

Bill Fogle
Ellsworth, Maine
(formerly Washington, DC)


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 Re: Leblanc symphonie clarinets REVIEWED!
Author: Mojo 
Date:   2019-12-04 18:19

I play on a Symphonie II. I had John Butler overhaul it a year or so ago. I use a Selmer C85 120 on it that measures more like 1.12 mm. I just evened up the facing a little. Legere reg cut 3.5 reeds. I’m using a Fobes plastic reverse taper barrel on it I picked up used for $50. Tone projects better and the intonation is more even with it.

MojoMP.com
Mojo Mouthpiece Work LLC
MojoMouthpieceWork@yahoo.com

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