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 NEED HELP--- Unique Contra Alto Clarinet
Author: Kontra 
Date:   2009-11-18 00:41

I finally got my Straight Metal Leblanc Contra Alto, and I tried to fit my old Selmer C star mouth piece on it, and it was WAY to small. It wasnt even a cork problem it was like putting a Bass Clarinet mouthpiece into a Contra Alto neck. I took it to Sam Ash Music and they out a Selmer BBb Contra Bass Clarinet mouthpiece in it and it was tight but it fit. A BBb Contra Bass Clarinet mouthpiece fit into a Contra Alto neck. Is this a model difference or has the neck been altered? And if I did buy the BBb Contra Bass mouthpiece and played it with Contra Bass reeds, would it sound right? Thanks.

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 Re: NEED HELP--- Unique Contra Alto Clarinet
Author: LCL 
Date:   2009-11-18 01:22

Kontra,

Ken Shaw, who post here regularly, is in my opinion an experts on this one, although I know the answer too, since I own a Leblanc Paperclip contrabass myself. But hopefully he will see this and give us the absolute correct answer! But, don't panic, there is a solution.

Regards,

LCL

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 Re: NEED HELP--- Unique Contra Alto Clarinet
Author: Kontra 
Date:   2009-11-18 01:24

Thanks, I hope he sees this too. But mine is a Straight model, not a paperclip. But it is metal.

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 Re: NEED HELP--- Unique Contra Alto Clarinet
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2009-11-18 06:57

Leblanc EEb contra-altos and BBb contrabasses both have the same bore(30.02mm) and both use the same mouthpiece - the Vandoren contra mouthpiece fits the Leblancs.

The Selmer (both Paris and USA) contra-altos both have a narrower bore than the Leblanc (the Selmers are 25.10mm) and the Selmer Paris BBb contrabass has a 33.90mm bore - both use a different mouthpiece as you've already found out with your C* contra-alto mouthpiece as it's too small for the Leblanc.

Have you tried using bari sax reeds with this mouthpiece? If they fit the facing well in terms of width (although they might need the heel shortened), then you're far more likely to get a better choice and selection of bari sax reeds than if you were to get contrabass specific reeds.

Chris.

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 Re: NEED HELP--- Unique Contra Alto Clarinet
Author: Ken Shaw 2017
Date:   2009-11-18 11:32

Kontra -

I've played a Leblanc Eb contra briefly but never looked at the mouthpiece tenon. My Eb contra is a Selmer, and a BBb mouthpiece wouldn't fit it. Certainly Eb and BBb contras have different bore sizes, and even though Selmer Eb and BBb mouthpieces have the same outside dimensions, the inside and tenon dimensions are quite different.

I doubt that a Leblanc BBb neck would fit into a Leblanc Eb body, so I have no idea why your Eb contra neck socket doesn't fit an Eb mouthpiece. I suppose it's possible that the previous owner had the socket enlarged to fit a BBb mouthpiece, to make the low notes stronger, but I think the bore difference would throw the intonation out.

Check the intonation and response with the BBb mouthpiece. If it works, there's no reason not to use it.

Ken Shaw

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 Re: NEED HELP--- Unique Contra Alto Clarinet
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2009-11-18 14:58

You can interchange crooks between Leblanc contra-altos and contrabasses as both use the same diameter tubing and have the same diameter mouthpiece socket (and use the same mouthpiece), though using a crook from the BBb on an EEb (or vice versa) will cause tuning problems.

Interchanging body joints or joining up a contra-alto with a contrabass (or two contras of the same pitch) to make an extra long contra can also be done with Leblancs, though do expect tuning problems if you choose to experiment.

Chris.

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 Re: NEED HELP--- Unique Contra Alto Clarinet
Author: Kontra 
Date:   2009-11-19 01:43

Would a Clark Fobes BBb Contra mouthpiece fit my Leblanc?

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 Re: NEED HELP--- Unique Contra Alto Clarinet
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2009-11-19 07:24

The best thing is to measure the inside diameter of the socket and check with the mouthpiece manufacturers what diameter their mouthpiece tenons are - the mouthpiece tenon should be around 0.5-1mm narrower than the socket.

If there's someone here with this info, please don't hesitate to share it.

Chris.

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 Re: NEED HELP--- Unique Contra Alto Clarinet
Author: LCL 
Date:   2009-11-19 13:58

I have a Fobes BBb Contrabass mpc. that I use on my Leblanc Paperclip, which should have the same tenon dimensions as the straight version. I'll measure those tonight after rehearsal and post the dimensions tomorrow or over the week end at the latest!

Regards,

LCL

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 Re: NEED HELP--- Unique Contra Alto Clarinet
Author: nahoj 
Date:   2009-11-21 11:55

I own bot an EEb and BBb paperclip contra, and own an old Selmer C* and a Clark Fobes Debut Bb mpc.

The instruments have the exact same tubing so for example both necks can be interchanged, but indeed, as Chris said, this will give tuning problems as the lengths are not the same.

Both mpcs fit both instruments and sound very nice with it.

I have also successfully tried one (the one I had with me) on any other BBb contra model I had the opportunity to try, which are the Leblanc straight metal ones (which feel and sound to me exactly the same as the paperclips), the Leblanc/Vito plastic ones, the Ripamonti and the Eppelsheim. The combination Selmer C* and Selmer Paris ironically needed a piece of paper around the cork, but I think the cork of that mpc has worn out a bit.

They never fitted any other EEb contra than the Leblanc metal models.

I hope this makes it clear. The rule is, I think, that you should use an Eb on Eb and Bb on Bb, except for Leblanc metal contra's, where you should always use a Bb mpc.

Oh, there exists another exception, I heard. The metal Linton contra, which is very rare and would have a much bigger bore than any other contra...

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 Re: NEED HELP--- Unique Contra Alto Clarinet
Author: Gandalfe 
Date:   2009-11-22 02:12

Yes, the Leblanc Paris contra alto mouthpiece tenon is bigger than the Selmer. If you order a mouthpiece from Walter Grabner, my fav btw, you have to specify who makes your instrument.

Jim and Suzy

Quinn the Eskimo Vintage Horns
Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra
Seattle, Washington

Post Edited (2009-11-26 00:44)

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 Re: NEED HELP--- Unique Contra Alto Clarinet
Author: Mark Fleming 
Date:   2009-12-17 16:28

For my BBb, have a Runyun (new), a LeBlanc (original), a Grabner (new) and a Conn Precision (NOS). The Conns were being sold on Ebay for a while and may still be available. It appears to be plastic and has a slightly smaller chamber than the Grabner (which is based on a Zinner blank). I bought the Conn just to try (and maybe reface), but haven't really done that yet.

Mark



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 Re: NEED HELP--- Unique Contra Alto Clarinet
Author: goldtr6c 
Date:   2009-12-19 05:25

I have the straight EEb Leblanc contra also. As for the MPc, the Leblanc BBb and EEb both use the same size MPc. There was a time though when Selmer did make a C* MPc that was cut and fitted with the bari sax reed but had the large tennon as needed for the metal Leblancs. I only know of one of these in my neck of the woods and guy that has it won't part with it. They do exist but are very rare. I had one myself on my first contra but I let it go when I sold the horn as I was much dumber and ignorant back then. Right now I use the stock MPc fitted with a #2 1/4 Legere reed. Works great! Willie



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 Re: NEED HELP--- Unique Contra Alto Clarinet
Author: buedsma 
Date:   2009-12-19 16:49

i have a Leblanc BBb straight model .
I can play it with the Leblanc mouthpiece it came with , but also with a selmer D mouthpiece that i bought without adaptations .

Strange , compared to what i read here

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 Re: NEED HELP--- Unique Contra Alto Clarinet
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2009-12-19 19:36

The Selmer BBb contrabass mouthpiece tenon will fit Leblanc EEb and BBb contras, but the tenon on the Selmer EEb contra mouthpiece will be too narrow for Leblanc contras.

Chris.

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