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 Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: bassclgirl92 
Date:   2016-04-08 01:05

I have a Yamaha ycl 221 ii, I believe it is. I believe this instrument is built at 442. I need it to be at 440. Pulling out the neck very far fixes some notes and ruins others. Was thinking of putting o rings between the middle joint or something, but I'm not sure if that would fix the issue. Is there anything anyone has tried? Would a longer neck help or is it the instrument's body that is the issue?

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: CEC 
Date:   2016-04-08 05:08

Your best option is to use o-rings. You might need to use them at the bell as well as in the middle! It's a terrific horn but tunes well above 442.

Chris

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2016-04-08 05:21

Sorry, but I've tried that trick to bring down the clarion register on a bass a few years ago and pulling the middle joint does not have that much effect. Great idea; not much result.

HRL

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2016-04-08 06:06

The Yamaha 221ii bass clarinets need to be pulled out about 3/8" in the neck area in order to be in tune at A=440. The best way I've found to fix this problem is to remove the neck socket, build a 1/4" ring shaped spacer and glue the neck socket back in place with the spacer inserted. This should bring it down to pitch, but you need to find someone willing to do the modification.

If you can find a longer neck that fits the Yamaha 221ii (I haven't from years of looking) than that will work too.

-Jdbassplayer

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: CEC 
Date:   2016-04-08 06:11

Hey Hank,

Hmmm. I've read that Yamaha themselves recommend it for this particular horn, though I didn't try it with the sample I had. One of my professors back in the old days also recommended pulling at the middle (using internal spacers) and I got some positive results in the right-hand clarion, but it was a Buffet RC Prestige. Maybe it's somewhat horn-dependent (or the internal spacers are mandatory)? I think it's worth a try, at least.

Chris



Post Edited (2016-04-08 06:24)

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2016-04-08 14:54

Jdbass and Chris,

Sorry but I did not have any luck with the bass I was trying the same thing with before. Sure, a 10 cent change but nothing that will really be a "permanent fix" like the OP seeks. Maybe the open G and other notes in that area will be better in tune but there are going to be other notes that will be "ruined."

The 221II plays great though. I really like Yamaha instruments but the 442 on the bass is too much for me to accept personally. Maybe I'm too demanding on my instruments? My wife says I'm a musical snob! I take it as a compliment :-).

HRL

PS When I first saw the reference to 442 I thought of the 1964 Olds 442 (4 barrel carb, 4 on the floor, and dual exhaust).



Post Edited (2016-04-08 18:34)

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: tommo84 
Date:   2016-04-08 22:50

if it may helps, some time ago I have asked directly to yamaha the differencies between the 221 and 221-II.

Their answer was that the only difference is in the neck, with the 221-II neck improved for "better intonation".

Given that my 221 tunes well at 440, for the 221-II owner maybe it is worth to try an old 221 neck.

bye

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2016-04-09 01:32

Tommo84,

I wonder where the OP might find a 221 neck for sale? IMHO that will be difficult and could be costly for an uncertain outcome.

HRL



Post Edited (2016-04-09 01:34)

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: bassclgirl92 
Date:   2016-04-09 01:35

Thank you for the responses so far. I've looked at necks on eBay but I don't know which one to choose. The Noblet looks long, but it is $300. Is there anything else I can try (fiddling with tone holes etc)? In all the research I did on the 221 II before buying it, I hadn't seen any mention of this issue; if I had, I wouldn't have purchased it.

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: bassclgirl92 
Date:   2016-04-09 01:41

Also, what if I used the other kind of neck that has the register key on them? (Like the prestige and most other kinds of "pro" models) what modifications would I have to make to make that sort of neck compatible? Maybe it would help. Those necks do look longer.

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: Johan H Nilsson 2017
Date:   2016-04-09 02:00

E4 to A4 will be very flat when the neck is pulled too far. E4 to G4 can be fingered with the trill keys, but Ab4 and A4 cannot. Those tone holes have to be modified. Don't ask me how. For A=440 they have to be moved several mm's. Buffet and Selmer make different upper joints for *soprano* clarinets to fit 440 or 442.

I haven't tested any Yamaha bass but between the Selmer Privilege and the Buffet Tosca/Prestige, the Buffets are clear winners for A=440.

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: qualitycontrol 
Date:   2016-04-09 03:17

Don't look to solve the problem with pulling the neck or with tuning rings in the middle joint, seek out a mouthpiece and reed combination that work well with the instrument.

I played a 221ii for a year in an orchestra that tunes to 441 and had no problems, and I usually kept the neck all the way in as I found the throat tones pretty flat. I had to work a bit to keep the low clarion from getting too sharp, but don't blame Yamaha or this model for that, that's kind of how bass clarinets work. Otherwise, the low chalumeau would be flat and impossible to bring to pitch, and that's the register you're usually playing.

I was playing on a B50 with 2.5 Vandoren traditionals and then switched to a Walter Grabner LB with V12 3.5s. If I could play that instrument without pulling the neck at all at 441, I'm sure you can find a way to make it work at 440 without any major changes other than maybe mouthpiece, it'll just take some experimenting.

Make sure you're not biting! BCs need a lot of air to sound good and not run sharp.

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2016-04-09 10:12

It's not a 442 or 440 issue exactly. If a clarinet is really tuned to 442 then it is not a serious problem if you need to play at 440. Most players need to play both 440 and 442 with the same clarinet. The most popular clarinet here is the R13, same as what a lot have in the USA (some even bought their clarinets there), but most play 442 here. Different weather will make a much bigger difference than 440 to 442.

So if you are so far off 440 then the clarinet isn't tuned to 442, or rather you specifically with your mouthpiece and reed setup are tuned to much higher than 442.

Opening the neck and middle is the way to lower the tuning, just like the barrel and middle on a soprano clarinet. It doesn't affect all notes the same, just like on soprano clarinet.

>> Sure, a 10 cent change but nothing that will really be a "permanent fix" like the OP seeks. <<

10 cents is more than the difference between 440 and 442.

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: Johan H Nilsson 2017
Date:   2016-04-09 12:54

The difference between 440 and 442 is 7.85 cents.

http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-centsratio.htm

Moving the long tones 8 cents requires some substantial pulling out, like 10 mm. Considering the distance from the mouthpiece that is like moving the throat tone holes 6 or 7 mm.

The throat tones have to be sharp at A=442 to allow for this.

Pro players who don't have a choice might be able to voice down the long tones.

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2016-04-09 15:53

Clarnibass and Johan,

I believe your comments about my "10 cent change" did not quite fit the context in which I made that assertion. I was referring to inserting an O ring between the sections to lower just the long clarion notes which were really, really high.

I ended up selling the instrument which was of obscure Asian lineage.

HRL



Post Edited (2016-04-09 19:12)

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2016-04-09 21:48

>> I believe your comments about my "10 cent change" did not quite fit the context in which I made that assertion. <<

Maybe I misunderstood. It was in reply to the quote where you mentioned achieving a 10 cent change, with the general idea in the thread and title about this clarinet being tuned to 442 and your other quote from the same post: "but the 442 on the bass is too much for me to accept"

I understood this to mean you got "only" a 10 cents difference and not enough to change from 442 to 440. Maybe you meant the clarinet (or part of it) was actually much sharper than 442, so the 10 cents change you had wasn't enough? Because it's more than the difference between 440 and 442.

The point is that there are always variables that have a larger effect than 442 or 440. Something like a difference of 5 degrees is already significantly more than 440 to 442.

Re the amounts mentioned, the length (simplified for the mouthpiece, player adjustments, tone holes, etc.) has the same proportion as the tuning. So the ratio is 442/440 which is approx 1:1.0045. So for C4 on a bass clarinet, the note most affected by opening the middle joint, a very rough length measurement is 700mm (rounded significantly to simplify). Then x1.0045 is about 703mm, meaning about 3mm would move it from 442 to 440. So for the low C (on a low C bass) it's about double that and for any note higher it's less.

Calculating very roughly, if a bass clarinet is tuned to 442, the lowest Eb - which would require the most extra length - would need less than 5mm to move from 442 to 440, everything else being equal. That is the longest note, plus the instrument has tuning variations along its length that are larger than the (just under) 8 cents. I once recorded in almost sauna-like conditions and had to open a soprano clarinet by more than that.



Post Edited (2016-04-09 21:57)

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2016-04-09 22:31

Nitai,

Thanks for the impressive explanation. Much excellent detail!

To summarize by comments I think there are two issues at play in my mind and they are not related.

1. When I added O rings in the middle section, the clarion notes below did not come down much (an extreme was ~10 cents). The upper portion of the instrument was fine but I sold the instrument. It was not going to get any better (bad design or manufacturing I suspect).

2. I have played several Yamaha 221s and to get them down to play and open G with the tuner at 440 I had to pull out a lot. Too much for me and the OP evidently.

The bass clarinets I now own, a Selmer Model 30 and a Ridenour 925e, are well in tune from top to bottom without the 2-piece neck being pulled very much. Sure, a couple of traditionally bad notes found on most bass clarinets must be humored enough but I am happy.

Cheers,

HRL

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: bassclgirl92 
Date:   2016-04-09 22:44

I have a Walter Grabner LB mouthpiece, a #3 V12 reed, and the Rovner Legacy ligature. Great sound and response. Different reed and ligature didn't help. My Clark Fobes Nova mouthpiece didn't either.

The horn plays so sharp that, when not pulled out at all, the tuner thinks it is playing a note higher (but, flat). It has to be higher than 442 then.

The notes I seem to have the most issue with are the middle C to the B up the next octave. I am not sure what those notes are referred as.

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: qualitycontrol 
Date:   2016-04-10 01:50

I would double check your set up against other bass clarinets, especially against other 221iis if you can. As others have pointed out, you should run about 8 cents sharp if you were up at 442 and not 440. If you are a full semi-tone sharp, that's 100 cents (or at least 50 cents, if it's reading that note, but very flat.)

If you play fine on other bass clarinets, there's probably some sort of problem with the instrument. I've heard horror stories of the regular 221s playing 30-40 cents sharp in the low clarion, but my experience with the 221iis was good.

If you can't find any other instruments around to check against, see if there are any other bass clarinetists who could try your instrument to double check. If they can get it to work, then you can, too.

Have you played other bass clarinets and not had this problem?

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: bassclgirl92 
Date:   2016-04-10 01:59

I have moved my setup around, and I've never had an issue on any other bass clarinet. I am able to get any other instrument perfectly in tune - even our crappy one in high school. I'm inclined to blame the 221 II, even though I absolutely love the horn. It's a shame!

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: CEC 
Date:   2016-04-10 05:28

I think there must be some variability with these horns (though I can't imaging what it might be). I've read that a different mouthpiece can fix the problem (I tried three), or that the horn is only a bit sharp, or that others have no problem, etc, etc, etc. With everything pushed in mine was 30+ cents sharp. My Selmer 37 plays in tune with the slide pulled 4mm. I had to pull the Yamaha's neck out to the very edge to get the open G close, never mind what it did to the tuning of other regions.

In every other regard, it is a great horn. You're right bassclgirl92, it's a shame!

Chris



Post Edited (2016-04-10 05:38)

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2016-04-10 09:11

>> The horn plays so sharp that, when not pulled out at all, the tuner thinks it is playing a note higher (but, flat). It has to be higher than 442 then. <<

Yes. If you are checking the tuning of a certain note at 440 and you get the next semi tone above but flat, then as was mentioned it's more than 50 cents sharp. That is at least 453 tuning. You might struggle slightly less if you needed to tune to 442 but not really.

Pretty much all players deal with variables more significant than 440 or 442 every time they play. It's pretty common that I have to open the neck by a significant amount (maybe as much as 10mm, maybe more, I've never measured) between the beginning and the end of a rehearsal.

Rounding and simplifying again, if you tune to 453, then for a note that is around the C4 area - about 700mm (very rough length) - you would need to add about 20mm length to get to 440. The question is also what part of the instrument is sharp and by how much.
If you get the entire clarinet at that tuning, then you'd need to add 10mm+ for the shortest notes and as much as 30mm+ for the longest note. I'm guessing it is not the entire instrument that tunes to 453 or higher?

I would try to open the neck by an amount that would get the throat notes about right (aiming mainly for open G, unless other notes are drastically out), then if needed open the middle joint to get middle C more or less right but even accept some notes being slightly flat if necessary. Then see how the overall tuning/intonation is and if it's manageable.

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: LarryBocaner 2017
Date:   2016-04-11 04:07

I've had students with that same Yamaha instrument present with the same sharpness problem that you are having. Are you sure that the problem is the instrument and not the player. Playing bass clarinet demands a much more relaxed embouchure and much more air support than the smaller clarinets. Try pulling your neck out a moderate distance, and then using a tuner, try to bend the pitch downward by loosening your embouchure and making sure that you are using plenty of air all the way down to your umbilicus. I've used this strategy with numerous bass clarinet students -- usually solves the problem that you present. (Might also require a bit softer reed than you are currently using.)

The late Joe Allard used to make his Juilliard students push their sax mouthpieces all the way in -- then play in tune using the method suggested above. Also improves tone!

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: bassclgirl92 
Date:   2016-04-11 04:10

I don't play any other clarinets - just bass. It's been that way for about twelve years. In all that time, even as a beginner, I've never had an issue with sharpness, and I still don't on any other horn, aside from my 221 II. I am therefore inclined to blame the instrument. I can drop the pitch, but it is not nearly enough.

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: bassclgirl92 
Date:   2016-06-17 07:35

So this thread died out a couple of months ago, but I'm going to reanimate it one last time before I start searching for a replacement horn. My dad is an engineer; he and a few coworkers are thinking about creating a replacement piece for the neck--an extension of sorts? Would this possibly solve my problem, or would it just make certain notes incredibly flat?

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2016-06-17 08:08

>> Would this possibly solve my problem, or would it just make certain notes incredibly flat?

It's impossible to say because it's not clear what the problem is. Going with your description, the instrument is not tuned to 440 or 442 and some notes are so sharp, about 453 or more, but we don't know which ones.

There are variables to the length of the notes, because of the shape of the tone holes, the length of bore after the tone holes, etc. You can get a rough estimate of how much lengthening the neck would affect any note by using the same calculations I explained in previous posts.

Assuming the neck extension would have pretty much the same bore as the neck, the change would be about the same as opening the neck.



Post Edited (2016-06-17 09:32)

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: Mojo 
Date:   2016-06-17 18:09

Yamaha players all tune with the neck pulled out 1/4-3/8". So this is like having a neck that is 1/4-3/8" longer. I do not think there are any intonation worries by extending the neck this much since you are already playing on it this way.

Another solution I think would work is to have the mouthpiece bored out to make the chamber volume larger. One could do the math to figure out how much to go. Yamaha bass clarinet mouthpieces are pretty cheap on eBay. I have been thinking of modifying one and lending it to Yamaha players to see if they like it.

Mojo Mouthpiece Work LLC
MojoMouthpieceWork@yahoo.com

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2016-06-18 04:17

A good tech should be able to put an extension section into a bass clarinet neck to lengthen it the required amount. You might find that a good brass tech might be more prepared to do this than a woodwind tech.

Tony F.

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2016-06-18 15:13

Hi All,

I am not an acoustical engineer but I have had enough mathematics and physics to believe that just adding an extension to the neck of this bass clarinet will not cure the problem. While the tuning of G4 could be brought down, I fear that many of the other notes that would have been previously in tune will now be unacceptable.

IMHO, the ratios of distances between tone holes along with their physical dimensions is most likely a compromise of some sort. Start changing these relationships and more intonation problems are sure to crop up.

An easier test would be to pull the mouthpiece and neck to get the G4 in tune and then see what happens with the rest of the instrument. My street-sense tells me it will not be satisfactory.

HRL

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2017-09-09 03:46

Just for clarification, the 221ii middle joint can only be pulled out by 1-2mm before the Eb/Bb bridge connection fails to work. My 221ii is happiest with the neck pulled out about 1/4-3/8" as several have mentioned.

The intonation is not perfect, but it's as good as any of my soprano clarinets, and this bass is much higher performance than my previous ancient Bundy, and/or my bass clarinet playing. According to Yamaha, mine was built in 2010 (I bought it as a 'used rental' about three years ago and just repadded and cleaned it up).

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: Toolaholic 
Date:   2017-09-09 05:55

I use clark fobes selmer 1.5mm tuning rings in my Yamaha 622 II low C bass and in my Yamaha 221 II bass. They fit both bass clarinets well' https://www.clarkwfobes.com/collections/tuning-rings/products/tuning-ring-bass-clarinet?variant=6112401093. I also use a Fobes 1mm ring in my 622 neck where the mouthpiece goes in. Maybe you can put a ring in neck receiver and thus will make neck longer. It worked with my 622. I may have to try it on my 221



Post Edited (2017-09-09 06:19)

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: Wes 
Date:   2017-09-09 09:47


Well, I'm sure that you are weary of these tuning issues. If I had that instrument, I would experiment by trying it with a 1/4 inch wooden dowel setting in the entire length of the straight section of the bore or, perhaps a 1/8 inch dowel. People used to put a length of thin rope down the bore of a Bb clarinet to get it to sort of play as an A clarinet. Perhaps the solution is to do as Hank did, sell it.

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: bassclgirl92 
Date:   2017-09-09 10:02

I did tire of it and sold it. I purchased a Selmer 1430LP instead. Good pitch but loose screw work.

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: Mojo 
Date:   2017-09-10 18:35

Try Loctite?

Mojo Mouthpiece Work LLC
MojoMouthpieceWork@yahoo.com

Post Edited (2017-09-10 18:35)

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: Toolaholic 
Date:   2017-09-10 21:47

Or finger nail polish( Mike hammer recommended) or even dental floss( Clark Fobes recommended that to me when I told him my whipping post screws for my low C rods keep coming loose).



Post Edited (2017-09-10 21:50)

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: bassclgirl92 
Date:   2017-09-10 21:50

Going to give that a try. It's to the point where I have to bring a small screwdriver to every gig and fix up the same spots multiple times throughout any performance. I refuse to sell this horn after having to sell the last one and can't send it for an overhaul yet since our concert season isn't done for a while so hopefully nail polish will do the trick for now.

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: Toolaholic 
Date:   2017-09-11 02:33

I just had our 221 II out. Really good intonation. 1.5mm tuning rings in mid joint . Neck 3/8"'out with Fobes 10k RR mouthpiece. What I don't like is lack of register vent on neck. I had problems voicing notes above staff with out glissing to them. I love my 622 II with the register vent on neck. 221 II has bigger sound in low register than 622 II



Post Edited (2017-09-11 04:54)

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-09-11 03:26

Toolaholic wrote:

"221 II has bigger sound in low register than 221 II"

Eh?

Chris.

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2017-09-11 04:39

To bassclargirl

Loctite 222 (type that into an amazon search) is a product designed exactly for this type of applications. Most repair techs use it for headless point screws in the action...I use it whenever a screw won't stay put in a musical instrument. It allows the screw to still turn and be removed, but adds enough friction that it stays put.

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: Toolaholic 
Date:   2017-09-11 04:56

I meant 221 II has a bigger sound in low end than my 622 II. I edited my post thanks!

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: bassclgirl92 
Date:   2017-09-11 05:32

How would I apply it? I definitely wouldn't want to do anything until I knew what I was doing.

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 Re: Permanent fix for 442 bass clarinet?
Author: Toolaholic 
Date:   2017-09-11 15:07

Put a little bit on screw and put screw in and tighten it. The blue location goes on as a liquid and then hardens after installation so screw is fixed in position. If you need to remove blue can be broke free with some elbow grease. For the love of god, never use Red! Only heat breaks red loose!

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