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 Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2013-01-25 00:01

On my post about using a P-M barrel on a B & H instrument, I had a very interesting response from Dr Allan Segal concerning the relationship between bore diameter, length and pitch. Could somebody possibly write a brief account of the relationship of barrel bore diameter, length and where present, taper. I've noted that some barrels are tapered where others are not and that sometimes the barrel bore matches the upper joint bore and sometimes doesn't. The same applies to the relationship between mouthpiece bore and barrel bore.

Thanks in advance for any responses.

Tony F.

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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: Alseg 
Date:   2013-01-25 13:18

Thanks for the mention.
Hope this helps:

There are books about about the subject --some of which are sitting in front of me or on my shelves, and they are relatively inexpensive...Gibson, Benade (not Bonade) and others. I think Gary Van Cott sells them (see the retail section of this website).

Also there are online treatises about the physics involved (Helmholz equations, etc). available from acoustical websites, universities, etc. Some are theses, others are brief papers.

The equations do well in predicting intonation, but beyond that we get into the venue of the artisan and his/her concept of tonal beauty.


Disclaimer: I make and sell custom barrels.


CUSTOM CLARINET TUNING BARRELS by DR. ALLAN SEGAL
-Where the Sound Matters Most(tm)- http://www.clarinetconcepts.com
http://chedevillemp.com/rbuy/barrel
412 889 8202


Post Edited (2013-01-25 13:23)

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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2013-01-25 14:17

Many thanks, Dr Segal. I'll pursue some of these publications.

Tony F.

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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2013-02-05 02:59

I've just received my copy of Ernest Ferron's book "The Clarinet Revealed", which answers many of my questions and opens the door for many more. Every question answered leads to the next. Many thanks for the pointer. I suspect that this will keep me intrigued for a long time yet.

Tony F.

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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: Caroline Smale 
Date:   2013-02-05 18:45

Yes Ferron's is a very revealing book, one of the best I have come across.



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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: ruben 2017
Date:   2013-02-05 19:03

Dear Tony,
I work for a clarinet maker: jl-clarinette, and the Ferron book is our bible. It is absolutely pragmatic and we have come across very little in that doesn't prove true. After much experimentation with barrels, we have come to the conclusion that the best taper for a barrel is no taper: this is what most stabilises intonation. Tapers open up sound though.

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: Alseg 
Date:   2013-02-05 19:26

The more common use of taper originated in order to correct an intonation problem that arose when using certain mouthpieces (eg Selmer) on certain clarinets.
Here is an article you can read:

http://www.clarinetpages.net/stuff-phil-recommends/barrels-tuning-rings/allan-segal-s-in-depth-barrel-information

Disclaimer: same disclaimer, different day. I make and sell clarinet barrels.


CUSTOM CLARINET TUNING BARRELS by DR. ALLAN SEGAL
-Where the Sound Matters Most(tm)- http://www.clarinetconcepts.com
http://chedevillemp.com/rbuy/barrel
412 889 8202


Post Edited (2013-02-05 19:27)

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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2013-02-05 20:12

"I remember watching Hans Moennig pick through his display case to find just the right barrel for a given clarinet."

So, did Moennig choose the barrels by measurement (matching entry bores to mouthpiece exit bores) or did he play-test them on the instrument and just use the best sounding one.

If he played them, you're one up on me - I never heard him play. :)

Karl

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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: Alseg 
Date:   2013-02-05 22:47

Karl, he (Moennig) had a smooth scale and a very dark sound, even by today's standards.
He would pick up the test horn near the door jam between the outer showcase area (piled with Buffet brochures, an old sales receipt machine, and other junk) , deposit his pipe in an ashtray near the telephone, and toot away on whatever mouthpiece was on the instrument, although I recall he might have had his own nearby.
I remember being taken aback by his sound. Closest thing to a standing wave I had heard. Very steady sound, almost like the sound you get when you push the "clarinet" stop on an electric organ. Years later I would liken it to Dieter Klocker or similar. It seemed unusual at the time and I did not know what to make of it.


CUSTOM CLARINET TUNING BARRELS by DR. ALLAN SEGAL
-Where the Sound Matters Most(tm)- http://www.clarinetconcepts.com
http://chedevillemp.com/rbuy/barrel
412 889 8202


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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2013-02-06 00:59

Well, he *was* German. Makes you wonder how he worked so well with all the French/Bonade/Curtis-schooled players who were so concentrated here at that time.

Karl

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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: Ed Palanker 2017
Date:   2013-02-06 03:02

I can't really answer your question but I can say this from experience. There are certian differences in the measurments of barrels that alter certain registers. Some will raise or lower the throat tones or the upper register, some will give more or less resistance and a brighter or darker tone. My friend Phil Rovner of ligature fame told me once that any time a barrel has an effect on one register, positive or negative, it will probably have an effect on another register as well so one has to be aware of that when trying out barrels. In my experiences the only way to know how a barrel will effect your playing is to try them. I've never believed in measurments unless those measurments happen to work for you and that depends on your mouthpiece and well as you clarinet. Most of them are slightly difference so one can't work for everyone. It also depends of the way you voice. I've noticed that some players voice the pitch naturally higher or lower in different registers so the same barrel can't tune best for everyone.
As great a genius Meonnnig was when I went to him because my high B, above the staff, was very sharp but the 12th E below was flat and he tried everything to fix it he gave up after about an hour and told me it was the fault of my mouthpiece and told me to use a stock Buffet barrel. Besides the fact that I sounded like a goat with that it did not solve the problem even a tiny bit. Sometimes somethings just can't be fixed I guess and for sure a different piece of equipment can't solve all problems, that includes barrels. I'm just saying.

ESP eddiesclarinet.com

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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: Buster 
Date:   2013-02-06 03:19

never mind



Post Edited (2013-02-07 00:53)

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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: The Doctor 2017
Date:   2013-02-06 12:40

Disclaimer - I sell Chedeville (R) barrels and mouthpieces which are CNC machined from a proprietary Chedeville rubber.

Back to Moenig's observation on Ed's problem notes - there is a definite interaction in sound quality and intonation between mouthpiece and barrel which may be person or hardware specific. First, the instrument below the barrel must be checked for problems that may fix the whole situation of intonation.

Without a doubt the barrel taper can help certain intonation problems like 12ths. But as soon as you approach one problem you must know that other registers are also affected.

Working with the "Barrel Guru" Dr. Allan Segal for several years on tapers for the Chedeville hard rubber barrels also indicates to me that different materials for barrels will also affect tone and intonation due to a specific taper or multiple tapers within one barrel so now we see that several different variables are interacting.

The tapers that Allan finally produced for the hard rubber barrels are different than those for wooden barrels, for at least my Buffet setup, and seem to work for some other's setups as well. The cost of a custom made tapered CNC reamer can be very expensive and care must be used to program where the reamer depth is set in different barrel lengths but there is nice consistency not available using hand reamers.

So here we have an art form where, in my view, experience from many instruments and materials as well as an artistic talent are important for a good barrel maker. This however is a great area for experimentation for those interested in acoustics.

L. Omar Henderson
www.doctorsprod.com
www.chedevillemp.com

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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: rtmyth 
Date:   2013-02-06 14:08

Benade has , with his students, done much research on this subject; a brief summary is presented in his book Fundamentals of Musical Acoustics. The subject is complicated; all components interact, and that includes the player, the acoustic environment and the listeners.

richard smith

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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: Ed Palanker 2017
Date:   2013-02-06 20:53

My point was that the intonation problem could not be fixed by changing the mouthpiece, or the barrel, even after the master suggested it after not being able to fix the intonation problem on my clarinet. Sometimes there's a problem with the body of the clarinet. In this case, I bought a new clarinet.

ESP eddiesclarinet.com

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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: Buster 
Date:   2013-02-07 01:29





Post Edited (2014-12-27 06:09)

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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: ruben 2017
Date:   2013-02-07 12:42

Dear Ed,
From what I've read, the Selmer 10 G clarinet was actually the product of Mr. Moennnig having fiddled (can one "fiddle" with a clarinet?) with Anthony Gigliotti's Buffet R13 for years. Once they got it to their liking, Selmer mass produced it. I tried about 3 or 4 and didn't find them all that good or very well in tune. Maybe the only thing this proves is that you can't mass produce something that is handcrafted. What did you think of this instrument, which has been discontinued?

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: Steven Ocone 2017
Date:   2013-02-08 12:19

Whether it was the design or (more likely) the manufacture, I found the tuning to be poor. I found the same with other Selmer Paris models as well. Maybe I was seeing the worst ones. I don't see many Selmers.

Steven Ocone
Ann & Steve's Music

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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2013-02-08 13:06

ruben wrote:

> From what I've read, the Selmer 10 G clarinet was actually
> the product of Mr. Moennnig having fiddled (can one "fiddle"
> with a clarinet?) with Anthony Gigliotti's Buffet R13 for
> years. Once they got it to their liking, Selmer mass produced
> it.

Well, Gigliotti collaborated with Selmer, using his instruments as models. Moennig strongly disapproved. Further changes, meant to be improvements, were made to the basic Moennig R13 model.

> I tried about 3 or 4 and didn't find them all that good or
> very well in tune. Maybe the only thing this proves is that you
> can't mass produce something that is handcrafted. What did you
> think of this instrument, which has been discontinued?
>

I have played 10Gs since 1972, when they first came out (my Bb clarinet is an X-series). They still needed tweaking, but perhaps less than the R13s of the time did. But I never played on a completely virgin, off-the-shelf R13 of the time to compare. My Buffet clarinets had been modified by Moennig before I played them (one bought second-hand, the other from Moennig himself).

The main difference between R13 and 10G that I began to hear become more pronounced as the 10G evolved over the years was in the sound quality itself, which was meant to be very tightly focused with more blowing resistance than the contemporary R13s were. Not many players, I guess, found the feel to their liking. I don't think 10G was ever very popular, even in Gigliotti's home area of Philadelphia (at least 2 of the four Philadelphia Orchestra clarinetists stayed with their Buffets - I'm not sure about Raoul Querze).

Karl

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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2018-09-17 23:32

I had never read the Ferron book before...was recently provided a copy generously by another poster on this site.

I was particularly taken by the following:

"In the absolute, the clarinet (like other instruments with lateral tone holes: flute, oboe, saxophone, bassoon) should not be adjusted for tuning. It should be played at the pitch for which it was built. At another pitch, the tone holes would be spaced differently."

"It is the piano which should be suitably tuned, not the contrary."



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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-09-18 00:14

shmuelyosef wrote:

> "In the absolute, the clarinet (like other instruments with
> lateral tone holes: flute, oboe, saxophone, bassoon) should not
> be adjusted for tuning. It should be played at the pitch for
> which it was built. At another pitch, the tone holes would be
> spaced differently."
>
> "It is the piano which should be suitably tuned, not the
> contrary."

>

I think that ship sailed a long time ago! [frown]

Karl



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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2018-09-18 01:26

Well that may have been written regarding the difference in international pitch standards (maybe). In Germany they still use a pitch standard of A=445. You'd think that's just a matter of using a shorter barrel but once you get to a certain point you experience the very phenomenon that is referred to above. Same reason why you can't just pull way out to play your Bb like an A clarinet.


You may get the idea if you have a tuner with adjustable pitch center. Do the reverse. Pull the barrel out to just about falling off the top joint. Now tune the tuner to a specific note (like open G). Then play the rest of the instrument and see where the anomalies crop up.


Karl Leister (retiree of the Berlin Philharmonic) has two pair of Wurlitzers (at least). One pair is pitched at A=445 the other for A=440 for when he tours outside Europe (and plays with American ensembles for example). The difference is bigger than many appreciate.




.................Paul Aviles



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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2018-09-18 02:12

Any of you that play alto saxophone (I think one of the more sensitive instruments in this parameter), should try this if you don't believe.

Tune your sax...Get a feel for the intonation and response (particularly the 'Bell' notes)

Now pull your mouthpiece out a centimeter (or as much as you can). Check the response of the bell notes and the intonation in the lower range...surprise

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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: Dibbs 
Date:   2018-09-18 16:48

Paul Aviles wrote:

> Well that may have been written regarding the difference in
> international pitch standards (maybe). In Germany they still
> use a pitch standard of A=445. You'd think that's just a
> matter of using a shorter barrel but once you get to a certain
> point you experience the very phenomenon that is referred to
> above. Same reason why you can't just pull way out to play
> your Bb like an A clarinet.
>
> ...
>

It's about 20 cents difference.

See this calculator: https://www.flutopedia.com/pitch_to_frequency.htm

A change in ambient temperature of 7 degrees C would produce about the same rise in pitch.

See here: http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-pitchchange.htm

So, when in Germany, turn the heating way up.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2018-09-18 17:09

However, the pitch between notes (moving from hole to hole) is no longer correct.


That's the point.





................Pau Aviles



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 Re: Effects of barrel bore and taper
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2018-09-19 01:28

Exactly right...and this (at least for me) seems to be worse in the lower notes;
when pulled way out they become unresponsive

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