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 Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Bruno 
Date:   2014-01-05 02:06

Does anybody here play Selmer Paris clarinets? (Signature, Prestige, etc)
And what is the general opinion of them? I grew up listening to Artie Shaw, and even Goodman played a Selmer for a while.



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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2014-01-05 03:40

If you like Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman, the Selmers you'd be after are the large bore ones from the Balanced Tone through to the Centered Tone, so any made from 1936-1960 (K-R prefixes) are worth hunting down.

All the current Selmers are narrow bore clarinets, so the bore sizes are from around 14.3mm to around 14.65mm as opposed to the large bores of around 15mm (and large toneholes) of the older models.

The Recital has a small bore but has thick diameter joints which are completely cylindrical on the outside. The outer diameter of the joints is that of the bell socket ring all the way up to the barrel, so they weigh a ton.

Prestige is a name used by Buffet for what was previously their top end range of clarinets.

Chris.

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Ken Shaw 2017
Date:   2014-01-05 00:46

The Selmer Series 9 (though not the 9*) also had the large bore. They come up fairly frequently on eBay.

I've read that Artie Shaw (no relation) played a large-bore Conn http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=155930&t=155621.

Ken Shaw

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: MarlboroughMan 
Date:   2014-01-05 01:16

Shaw endorsed Conn, but played Selmer, until his last Gramercy 5, when
he switched to Buffet. The Shaw sound we dominantly remember was
produced on a Selmer.

[see Vladimir Simosko's bio-discography for more info].

Eric

******************************
The Jazz Clarinet
http://thejazzclarinet.blogspot.com/

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2014-01-05 02:23

Bore aside, I found that the heavily undercut tone holes of the Selmer clarinets (this has not changes) allows for a bit more "flexibility" of sound. I have tried about four of the Privilege clarinets (just prior to this latest iteration) and all of them were amazingly consistent in pitch and could produce a very large, focused sound (very much like the Buffet top of the line).

If all goes according to plan, I will be working with one for a while and I hope to have more to say about the Privilege later.




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



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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Bruno 
Date:   2014-01-05 02:43

When I was a young buck I picked a Selmer Paris up in a Philadelphia pawn shop and played it with my MP. I couldn't play it up to tune! I forget which, but either the chalumeau or clarion register was horribly out of tune. The clarinet was beautiful though, silver-plated key work, nice black grenadilla, unique bell flare. Of course it was me. I just couldn't deal with such a large bore.

B.

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2014-01-05 07:55

The Series 9 was the last of the large bore Selmers and produced from 1962 to around 1978 (S to A prefix). Some weren't marked with the Series 9 logo on the top joint, so the only definitive way to tell is by the speaker bush which has a large hexagonal head on it. The Centered Tone also has the hexagonal speaker bush but they're usually clearly marked as being a Centered Tone. There was some overlap in production of each model in turn and the Series 10 (small bore) was being made while the Series 9 production was being wound down. The Series 10 doesn't have a metal tenon ring on the top joint and has a small speaker tube like that seen on Buffets and Yamahas.

The Series 9* was also being produced alongside the regular Series 9, but they have a smaller bore and undercut toneholes whereas the regular Series 9 has straight toneholes. You can see this by looking up the top joint bore as the undercuttings are clearly evident. The Series 9* with its smaller bore wasdesigned more for the orchestral player, but they still pack plenty of punch.

Even though the more recent Selmers have narrow bores, they are very different clarinets to Buffets and should be treated as such.

Chris.

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Ken Shaw 2017
Date:   2014-01-05 03:21

Eric -

In the string at http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=155930&t=155621, Jneilsmith says he handled Shaw's clarinet, which was a Conn, and Shaw told him that he made his recordings on it.

So there are conflicting stories. Who knows which is true? The main thing is his great playing.

Ken Shaw

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: MarlboroughMan 
Date:   2014-01-05 23:17

Agreed, Ken. But there are many, many interviews with Artie, wherein he says
that he played Selmers until the final Gramercy 5 recordings. Also, in Simosko's
bio-discography he details that he was a consultant and endorser of the
"Connstellation", and that it worked in the studio, but not on the bandstand for
him--so he stuck with Selmer in performance.

From what I've read and heard, the instruments in his possession at the end of
his life were Selmers and Buffets. Perhaps someone knows otherwise. Now, I'm
not saying he never played a Conn on the bandstand, but let's face it: he was
primarily a Selmer player, who endorsed a Conn and played Buffet for his last
recordings.


Eric

******************************
The Jazz Clarinet
http://thejazzclarinet.blogspot.com/

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Bruno 
Date:   2014-01-06 00:53

With all the hullabaloo about Backun clarinets, barrels and bells in the forums and on UTube, (no criticism intended) where do Selmers rank on the "great clarinet" scale?
I play an R-13 on a 5RV lyre and occasionally on a B45. Would I be satisfied with one of the present-day Selmers?
Why? Why not?

I've always loved the special gleam of their sound.
B.



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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Ken Shaw 2017
Date:   2014-01-06 01:15

I played a Selmer Centered Tone Omega in high school and my first year of college, when I switched to a Buffet R13. I've also played numerous other CTs.

For me, a CT plays easily and is mechanically superior to the R13. However, large-bore Selmers have what is for me a disagreeable glare in the tone, and I can't make as many different sounds on it as I can on the R13.

Ken Shaw

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: MarlboroughMan 
Date:   2014-01-06 02:16

I'll add my agreement with Paul and Chris P about later Selmers. Though the bores are smaller, the do handle like Selmers of old in many ways. The altissimo of a 10S and a CT are virtually indistinguishable. I'd probably have stuck with my 10S if not for the CT being more colorful, comfortable (small bores make my stomach hurt, literally), and consistent over the break, timbrally. Surprisingly, the 10S feels more like a CT, to me, than it does an R13.

Eric

******************************
The Jazz Clarinet
http://thejazzclarinet.blogspot.com/

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2014-01-06 03:40

I'll go one further on the Privilege. They have an incredibly focused and woody timbre. The intonation and the color of the horn was even throughout all its registers. This is unlike many R13s that have some anomalies throughout and requires trying out a fairly large sample to find a particularly good one (though they DO exist).

The ONLY reason I didn't just snap up a pair is strictly one of economics. I have a pair of Yamahas that work just fine and the cost of the new Selmers is rather high (around a list price of $4500 each).

I am not much of a Backun fan so I wouldn't put the Selmers or the Buffets in the same category. Perhaps the Chadash or the Rossi clarinets would be a better comparison.





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



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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Ken Shaw 2017
Date:   2014-01-06 07:43

Paul -

Guy Chadash says that his clarinets have the original R13 small bore. The ones I've tried are nothing like a large bore Selmer -- more like a hand-made Buffet Vintage or a 1960s R13 with the intonation improved and a reverse taper barrel.

Rossi makes a dizzying variety of models. I don't remember a big-bore one designed for jazz, though certainly one of them might work.

Ken Shaw

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2014-01-06 20:47

If I am not mistaken "Bruno" is ONLY asking about the quality of the modern Selmer professional line clarinets. In the second posted question he mentions Backun quite favorably. I wouldn't try to compare a Backun to a Selmer 9 either.


Now if we are trying to SOUND like Benny Goodman, there are many other avenues besides bore we could go down but I think I am reading the query to be more about where Selmer lies with respect to quality these days.


Bruno?






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



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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Ed 
Date:   2014-01-06 16:42

I have play tested a few Selmers over the years. Those that I have tried are top notch instruments and certainly well worth considering when one is looking for an instrument.

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Bruno 
Date:   2014-01-06 18:17

Paul:
Sounding "like Benny Goodman" is the last thing I would want to do. He was then. This is now. Besides, beyond Benny's obvious clarinet-playing skill I never cared much for his tone or soloing. (Nothing personal, Benny. RIP)
The only reason I mentioned Backun was to keep the focus of the thread on Selmer. There seems to be such a groundswell of enthusiasm for Backun products I thought someone might suggest one as an alternative.
When all is said and done, top professional horns are so expensive today that unless you earn your living playing clarinet and can write off your instruments as a business expense, they are out of the question for many of us.
Used Selmers are perhaps another story. They're possibly more affordable for us nonprofessional players. But there is much to learn about the different models that were produced through the years.
Thanks for the input, everybody!
B.



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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: rmk54 
Date:   2014-01-07 00:38

If you think clarinets are expensive, look at oboe and flute prices.

Bassoons can cost over $30K

Not to mention stringed instruments - my daughter's bow alone cost more than a few professional clarinets.

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: AAAClarinet 
Date:   2014-01-06 20:09

That bow better have been magic.

AAAClarinet

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Clarineteer 
Date:   2014-01-07 14:32

Mr. Bruno, There is currently a Selmer K Series big bore clarinet available on Ebay for a reasonable price in case you are interested.

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: rmk54 
Date:   2014-01-07 17:21

That bow better have been magic.

-----------------------------------------------

No, magic bows are in the $20K+ range.

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Fcott1 
Date:   2014-01-07 20:57

Paul,
Where do you get the chance to play this selmer Paris Clarinet ?

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2014-01-08 00:38

Yes, well THAT is becoming an increasingly more difficult feat. Back in the day, Selmer pro line clarinet were as easy to find as Buffets. Now you have to suss out an authorized dealer. My source was a small shop located near Indiana University and the last Oklahoma Clarinet symposium. There are the two locations of Kessler Music in Las Vegas (whatever bad notes happen in Vegas, stay in Vegas) but apart from that you'll have to search to see if there are any locations nearer to you.





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



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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: MarlboroughMan 
Date:   2014-01-08 00:48

The store in Bloomington was called Pro Winds. Great place--I bought a soprano sax and my last small bore Selmer there--a Recital A back in 2000. They had a great selection of instruments and worked with the Indiana U faculty to hand select them. Unfortunately, they closed their doors last January.

http://www.heraldtimesonline.com/news/business/pro-winds-music-store-ceases-operations/article_87bf985f-44ef-5ee2-8211-0c610d6d2059.html

******************************
The Jazz Clarinet
http://thejazzclarinet.blogspot.com/

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: CocoboloKid 
Date:   2014-01-15 02:54
Attachment:  IMG_20130812_194657.jpg (980k)

I find the current Selmer Paris offerings to be absolutely top-notch clarinets, easily on par with anything Buffet or Backun is producing. The particularly enjoy the Privilege, though I've yet to get my hands on the very newest incarnation of that model.

This summer, I was performing in Japan for two months with an international Broadway tour, and I was able to try many, many instruments while I was there. (Japanese music stores are absolute wonderlands! If you ever get a chance to go to Tokyo, go! The variety of high-end woodwinds that are kept in stock over there is mind-blowing.) The theater I was performing at was in Shibuya, and about a ten minute walk away from the venue is a music store called Actus (Nonaka), which is the official Selmer dealer in Tokyo. I got to try everything from the Odyssey to the Privilege, and I made a short demo video comparing the Recital, Signature, and Privilege back to back. (I also played the Odyssey, Arthea, and St. Louis, but unbeknownst to me, my SD card was full! :( ) If you have a spare three minutes or so, you can check it out here: http://youtu.be/kkS4E8EO9NY

There are slight differences between the models, which I think are pretty evident, even in my last-minute haphazard testing-room recording, but they are all absolutely fantastic instruments and very much worth trying out if you haven't already. I think it might be a bit difficult to get ahold of a variety of them in the States, though I do think there are places such as Kessler Music in Nevada that might be able to help with that. :)

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Eric V 
Date:   2014-01-15 03:45

I'm a big fan of Kessler Bros. Music in Las Vegas, but when I went there to try Selmers last year they said they just don't stock them because nobody buys them. Ended up very happy with a Buffet Festival anyways.

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: alph 
Date:   2014-01-16 18:23

Hi Bruno,

Having played all kinds of clarinets, especially the german clarinets of Fritz and Herbert Wurlitzer, I settled down on old Selmer 9 and Centered Tone clarinets.
They have very good focus and a big, warm tone. The reason they were abandoned here in the Netherlands was often the tuning problems in the chalumeau. Like almost all larger bore clarinets these instruments are 20% or more high in this area.
Fortunately I have discovered a way to alter the bore in some areas and this results in a lowered chalumeau and a tiny bit raised upper register, so 12ths become a bit larger!
I noticed also that almost all series 9 have a too low bell B. So, with shortening the bell and in some cases shortening the lower joint with 2 mm, this problem is solved also.
I have very good experiences with the firm of Rolf and Gunnar Meinel in Wernitzgr├╝n who are expert clarinetbuilders and can do literally everything.
My series 9 tunes better now than any instrument I had....

Best regards,

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Kenton153 
Date:   2015-03-02 02:48

i got a set of the new privileges this summer, and they are stunning. thats my 2 cents. tried everything at washington music center, and nothing plays as evenly or in tune. save or yamaha CSG

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Jamnik 
Date:   2015-03-02 09:13

My daughter played a large bore Series 9 but due to having to play in tune with a group setting switched to a Recital. Except for cracking twice rather extensively during the first year, she absolutely loves it and it definitely has a sound with more energy (ever play in a room with a snare drum that would rattle as you played?) and darker tone! The response is like no other. She did try a Signature A clarinet that she really liked but just didn't have a use for a few years back.

Jamnik

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: alph 
Date:   2015-03-02 09:36

Last december I was invited to pick a pair of Privileges in Paris. From a batch of 12 clarinets I took a pair and they worked on them for some hours. After 2 weeks I decided to give them back to Selmer....
They sounded fine, but..tuning could be really beter and some tones were really stuffy, like the left hand e-b. There is a bush in that hole, but....imho...it doesnt work.

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Jamnik 
Date:   2015-03-02 11:06

Has anyone tried out a Saint Louis? It also has resonators on the lowest three pads like the Privledge does, but I haven't heard much about them.

Jamnik

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Jeroen 
Date:   2015-03-25 13:11

Alph wrote:

> Having played all kinds of clarinets, especially the german clarinets of Fritz and Herbert Wurlitzer, I settled down on old Selmer 9 and Centered Tone clarinets.

Can I ask which mouthpieces/reeds you use for classical/orchestral playing?
I am still working with the Series 9 to get optimal results but having some trouble to find a good setup that lets the instrument really 'blossom'.

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: alph 
Date:   2015-03-25 14:57

Hi Jeroen,

For more than 10 years I play the mouthpieces from Johannes Gleichweit . His firm is called Maxton and is based in Vienna.
I play the 9-5 , a 21 mm lay and about 1.20 open. I have that lay on german and french models. The best results I get with Peter Leuthner reeds, french cut professional no3. These reeds come also from Vienna.
Shorter lays are too bright for me on these instruments.
I also like the mp,s made by Nick K├╝ckmeier, also from Austria. His model M Solist, and then especially the german model, is very easy to play, warm, big tone. They go with V12 no 3. Due to a jawmuscle problem I can not play this beautiful mp....

Good luck

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Jeroen 
Date:   2015-03-25 15:40

Hi Fons, thank you very much, I will give it a try.

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Clarineteer 
Date:   2018-09-25 16:47

edited



Post Edited (2018-09-25 16:57)

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Clarineteer 
Date:   2018-09-25 16:57
Attachment:  Selmer Series 9.jpg (1005k)

Just finished a complete restoration on this 1962 Selmer Series 9 Bb clarinet that I bought from the original owner who only played it a short time and then stored it properly for many years. No replacement joints here . All original barrel which is the correct bore dimension as I measured the diameter of the barrel socket end and also the top of the upper joint bore. The barrel bore measurement needs to be slightly narrower than the upper joint bore which it is. Great big sound with a lot of power and volume and also able to greatly bend notes. This one has it all for playing jazz.

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Ed 
Date:   2018-09-25 21:10

Beautiful!

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-09-26 01:01

Nice!

Chris.

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 Re: Selmer Paris clarinets
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-09-28 09:02

Me too - Just had in a 10G for repair and it has a smaller bore than the 9 series which I tried for a year in the late 1970's, but couldn't handle how open it was. The 10G needed a lot of work, but it played really well once I finished it. One of the things I noticed was the metal is so much harder compared to the Buffet and Yamaha keys. This I really like. It also played in tune with a Selmer stock barrel.

As for the newer Selmer's the Signature is a great horn. I played it for a few days and the sound is full and easy to play. Great altissimo.

If you want to play jazz get the 9 and some of the 10 series. Really fun horns. Prices are actually pretty decent on used gear.


NEWLY DESIGNED - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist




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