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 Bass Clarinet repair help
Author: Blake Arrington 
Date:   2008-03-18 11:03

Howdy Folks,

I have a bass clarinet repair question that hopefully some of you can answer (maybe Walter Grabner!). When playing a 3rd line B natural on a Buffet 1193 Bass Clarinet, the pad on the neck comes open. The mechanism is being pushed open by the rubber coated rod at the top of the upper joint. I have tried using the adjustment screws to regulate this, but to no avail.
Any suggestions on how to adjust this? Next stop is bending that rubber coated rod to see if that helps.

Thanks,

Blake

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 Re: Bass Clarinet repair help
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2008-03-18 11:27

My bass is in the shop but isn't that supposed to happen?? Isn't this the advantage of the double venting mechanism?

James

Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: Bass Clarinet repair help
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2008-03-18 11:51

The crook key should be closed from upper register B to Eb (while the lower vent is open), then opens automatically when you release RH 3 (and the lower vent closes automatically) so it's open from E upwards.

The connecting lever at the top (with the plastic tubing) may have got bent while in the case, so you should be able to bend it back carefully without it breaking.

The gap between the connecting lever and the crook key should be a minimum of 0.5mm to a maximum of 1mm.

Chris.

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 Re: Bass Clarinet repair help
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2008-03-18 13:47

James, maybe you confused the two reigster keys, or misread his post. Chris is right this pad definitely shouldn't open.

Blake, maybe you can check a few things.

- When the clarinet is assembled but the neck isn't, and you finger low E, then press the register key, how much does the top lever (the one that opens the nek key) move? A lot? Only very little?

- Finger low E and press register key again but this time with the neck assembled. Does the neck key start to open imediately when you start to press the register key, or does it open near the end when the register key is almost all the way down?

- When the neck is assembled, what is the distance between the neck key and the lever?

I'm guessing the problem is either something bent like Chris said or some adjustment problem that possibly because of adjusting screws. If it's one of these possibilities then a (good!) repairer can probably fix it very fast and it shouldn't cost much if at all. You can do it yourself if you examine the mechanism and figure out what doesn't work like it should. If you can't figure that out then it's best to let a (good!!) repairer do it.



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 Re: Bass Clarinet repair help
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2008-03-18 13:53

Also make sure the crook key doesn't open when you play throat Bb with the standard 'pinch' fingering.

Chris.

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 Re: Bass Clarinet repair help
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2008-03-18 14:15

Clarnibass,

You are right. I should have waited to see my instrument or had my coffee before I answered that one.

Sorry for my confusion!

James

Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: Bass Clarinet repair help
Author: DAVE 
Date:   2008-03-18 16:55

This one's easy. I have a bass just like yours and the trick is to get the adjustment correct at two points. First check beneath the octave key linkage at the top of the horn; there will be a small screw that you can turn. Turn it 1/4 a turn either way and see what that does. Too much either way will close the key you are shooting for and open the other octave key.

If that won't fix it then next move to the linkage at the middle of the clarinet, the bridge key. There will be a screw there also and fiddle with it and the other one to get the adjustment correct. You'll notice that when you depress the RH ring finger that this key is activated and therefore the octave key adjustment should be made there. Good luck. Just be careful; on a bass clarinet it seems one correction can make three mistakes. Take your time; it's very easy once you get a hold of how it works.

David

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 Re: Bass Clarinet repair help
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2008-03-19 00:06

If the crook key remains closed when playing throat Bb, but opens slightly for B, then the mechanism is out of adjustment at the middle tenon.

The silencing material on either the adjusting screw (artificial cork insert with a Teflon disc) or on the linkage (with a piece of Teflon sheet stuck to it) may be compressed, broken or missing, or the screw is out of adjustment, either through being loose or the linkage (connected directly to RH 3) having got bent during assembly/disassembly.

If the crook key is open for both throat Bb and B, then it's either out of adjustment at the top end (with the small adjusting screw) or the connecting lever is bent. The crook key itself is pretty sturdy and not easy to bend. Check the pad on the crook key hasn't compressed too much as this can reduce the amount of double action between the connecting lever and the crook key.

Check the curved part of the crook key to see if it's absolutely concentric with the crook tenon flange when viewed from the tenon end straight on.

Chris.

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 Re: Bass Clarinet repair help
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2008-03-19 04:43

It can also be the small adjusting screw of the G/D key itself which was actually the problem on mine once.

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 Re: Bass Clarinet repair help
Author: Blake Arrington 
Date:   2008-03-19 11:00

Thanks for all of the help. I left it at work last night, so I will try the above suggestions today to fix it. As of yesterday, it was only opening on the long B. I tried many of the suggested adjustments. It seems that the pad on the neck opens only when the register key is depressed past a certain point. I might just solve the problem by placing some padding under the register key so that it does not open too far.

Thanks!

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 Re: Bass Clarinet repair help
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2008-03-19 11:39

That sounds more of a regulation issue at the middle tenon area of the mechanism.

Possibly the link from RH 3 is under adjusted so it's not closing the crook key when RH 3 is closed (in that there's not enough travel), so check the silencing material on the linkage between the joints isn't damaged or missing, and that the adjusting screw on the pad cup for RH 3 (the large pad cup on the side of the lower joint) isn't protruding too far from the underside which will reduce the travel needed to switch over the mechanism.

Though it's easier done than said.

Chris.

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 Re: Bass Clarinet repair help
Author: Gordon (NZ) 
Date:   2008-03-19 22:11

I guess somebody has to say it...

" As of yesterday, it was only opening on the long B. I tried many of the suggested adjustments."

My mind boggles! It sounds as if you have already gone down the road of making the problem a lot more complicated by adjusting things that probably did not need adjusting.

When something is not working correctly in an intricate mechanism, it is vital to diagnose and understand the EXACT cause before dealing with it.

This probably would take a good technician a few seconds. If that initial diagnosis was beyond you, then IMO it is highly likely that you should not be working on it.

If you have made a variety of adjustments, then you have probably well and truly disguised the original cause, making diagnosis and correction a lot more difficult. You will finish up bandaiding a bandaided bandaided bandaid.

This brings to mind that poster that some technicians have on the wall, explaining how the charge will be much greater if you have worked on it yourself.

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 Re: Bass Clarinet repair help
Author: Blake Arrington 
Date:   2008-03-20 00:41

The solution was to make a turn to the left on the right hand ring finger adjustment screw. The screw that controls the closing of the pad associated with that finger.
Works great now!

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 Re: Bass Clarinet repair help
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2008-03-20 05:44

Blake yes this solution makes sense since from what you described it was the exact same problem mine had, this screw is too screwed in not allowing the bridge lift enough. But it is impossible it only happened when playing B because for example when moving from C to B there is absolutely nothing that affects the register key. I think it probably opened for all notes from B to Eb and you didn't notice.

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 Re: Bass Clarinet repair help
Author: tarynone 
Date:   2008-03-20 06:55

I have the same bass clarinet, and that key that always seems to go out of adjustment for me as well. By 'always,' I mean once every couple of months. I have had the same problem resulting in the same problem when playing middle B.

Even more commonly, though, that key (G/D right ring finger key) ends up with a significant clicking noise. For ex. when moving from low A to low G. Sometimes I can fix it by experimenting with the alignment/bridge between the top & bottom joints, but sometimes I have to adjust the key's screw. (the allen-wrench screw) I've heard of people using blue Loc-Tite to keep screws from moving on their own. Would it be smart to use it here?

I've only used loc-tite on my thumb-rest screws, so I don't really know if it's used IN keywork. Thanks everyone



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 Re: Bass Clarinet repair help
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2008-03-20 07:39

I'm glad I held out by around a year before getting a Buffet Prestige bass - from 2000 onwards they were fitted with slotted adjusting screw heads (in the smaller adjusting screws) instead of allen key heads. The one I tried back in early 1999 had the allen key adjusters. But then after I bought mine, they changed the linkage at the middle joint slightly.

Though I did replace the smaller adjusting screws (the ones with the 2.4mm domed head) with stainless steel ones which were a much better fit.

Chris.

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 Re: Bass Clarinet repair help
Author: Gordon (NZ) 
Date:   2008-03-21 12:26

Tarynone, if you are having repeated problems, it could be that you have a sloppy pivot involved.

"I've heard of people using blue Loc-Tite to keep screws from moving on their own."

Loctite 222 is excellent for adjusting screws. Be careful of going by colour. There are many Loctites. My Loctite 601 is blue, and if you used it you would never turn that screw again.

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 Re: Bass Clarinet repair help
Author: tarynone 
Date:   2008-03-21 21:15

Thanks Gordon. One question though..

"if you are having repeated problems, it could be that you have a sloppy pivot involved."

What do you mean specifically by sloppy pivot? Are you saying that there may be something wrong with the pivot-point of the tubing that the G/D key is fixed to, or are you referring to just to a bad allen-head screw?

Thanks for the help!

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 Re: Bass Clarinet repair help
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2008-03-22 04:49

Tarnyone, a sloppy pivot is when a key is not tight enough around a rod screw or between the posts. Especially the latter could be noisy sometimes. But I actully doubt that's the problem of your bass clarinet because you say it's solved with the adjusting screws. On mine there is the most tiny bit of free play on the G/D pad key, and more than that on the G/D finger key, and it's not noisy at all.

About the noise when playing the G/D key - Eventhough the small screw of the G/D key will always touch its lever, check if possibly that the screw is unscrewed all the way which could cause the noise. Another possibility is for example a gap between the bridge keys, maybe with missing silencing material.

Try to find where the noise is coming from by moving only specific parts like the G/D key with the joints disassembled, or when you notice the problem hold the upper joint part of the bridge key up with your hand, and then play the G/D key to see if you still have the problem (if not the bridge is the problem), etc.

You can use the weakest Loctite (or equivilent) for adjusting screws or put something in the threads maybe paper (I used candle wax a few times and one time heat melting glue).

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 Re: Bass Clarinet repair help
Author: bookworm 
Date:   2019-07-03 03:26

I bought a Buffet BC low C 3 years ago, and I've had a few choice words to say to the company's quality assurance. As a starter, the bell would not go on the bottom joint; it had to be taken to a repairman (I was in AZ at the time) who had to sand down the metal rims around the cork. It was obvious that the company had not put the instrument together before sending it out. The repairman also made a few other adjustments, which I do expect from an instrument that's new and shipped out.

The Buffet BC has a lovely tone, but it is certainly a finicky instrument; I have it adjusted on a regular basis, about every 2 to 3 months, depending on use.

Nor is the company helpful. I would like to have some extra screws on hand, but you have to go through one of their registered people; you can't write the company nor can you get them from the US reps. There is one place in the Duluth area that is on their list, and it's not my repair person, with whom I am very happy. I managed to get some pivot screws through them, but I could never get any other screws from them, nor through any other source. When you live out in the country it's nice to be able to get parts through the mail to have on hand.

sdefbookworm@live.com

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 Re: Bass Clarinet repair help
Author: DAVE 
Date:   2019-07-03 04:27

Blake,

Come over to the TUSAB band hall and I can fix this for you. It's an easy fix.

David

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 Re: Bass Clarinet repair help
Author: donald 
Date:   2019-07-04 02:08

Blake posted this in 2008, I'd sure like to get that 10 years back, but I'll wager Blake has moved on from then ;-)

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