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 Please tell me what I have here, metal clarinet
Author: StevenWayne 
Date:   2017-03-08 00:55
Attachment:  z2.jpg (849k)
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Impulse buy but I'm not unhappy with it. Old Greville, Paris clarinet. It actually plays and has a decent tone (to my ears anyway) but needs a rebuild, and I bought it to rebuild. I am hoping it's a low pitch. When playing a written C (actual Bb/A#) I can hold it pretty steady on the Bb/A#. But if I blow harder it goes pretty sharp, or sometimes flat if my embouchure changes.

Reason I ask is this clarinet is smaller than around 23 1/2 inches without the mouthpiece, like a low pitch wood horn. It's more like 23 3/16. But, if it was made in the 1920's or 30's when most of these metal horns were made, it's not likely to be high pitch anyway, is it?

Also, the mouthpiece that came with it is unmarked except for a "B". Is it likely to be anything good? I think my Vandoren M13 plays a little easier.

Thanks a lot!

Post Edited (2017-03-08 01:25)

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 Re: Please tell me what I have here, metal clarinet
Author: modernicus 
Date:   2017-03-08 06:01

I think those were Noblet stencils. High pitch Bb clarinets are around 22.5" w/o mouthpiece.

Post Edited (2017-03-08 06:05)

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 Re: Please tell me what I have here, metal clarinet
Author: richard smith 
Date:   2017-03-08 21:53

I started learning how to play clarinet on one, in 1934. It was new and cost $18.00 I played it until 1940, when I received a wood Pedler. The metal clarinet was most acceptical; I played in tune, and my Junior high band and orchestra conductor told me he never heard more beautiful clarinet timbre. The instrument was chromium plated; never tarnished . Why not use chromium for plating of clarinet keys ? Or is it used ??

Post Edited (2017-03-18 17:14)

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 Re: Please tell me what I have here, metal clarinet
Author: StevenWayne 
Date:   2017-03-08 22:49

Hey thanks folks. It does sound good I think. And that is with ancient pads and all. It has red leather pads throughout. I guess I'll stay with those.

And maybe I lucked out and got a decent one. I've been reading around the web on metal clarinets. The word on the street is most of these are junk.😄

Post Edited (2017-03-08 22:57)

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 Re: Please tell me what I have here, metal clarinet
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2017-03-09 00:14


A lot of metal clarinets *are* junk (at least by professional standards of today)...but so are many non-metal clarinets (including some with pretty hefty price tags). ;^)>>>

I have loved metal clarinets since back in high school when my band instructor asked if I would take one as a senior project, clean it up, repad/cork it, and get it into playing order. He then presented it as a gift to me at the final concert (I had put together a little "Dixieland" band...and I use the term very lightly...but we did our best). I got to play it - and it is still in my rotation of "backup" instruments. It would be considered "junk" even by my standards if compared to a fine concert instrument - but it worked great for the combos I was in, and worked great as a fall-back during marching band. It played better than many of the non-metal clarinets in my marching section.

I think metal clarinets are many times unjustly maligned because folks remember them more as lamps from their childhood than instruments they saw being played. Many of those clarinets (after a proper overhaul) do play as in tune (or better) than many of the lower-end student instruments I see in the market today. The sad part is - they're a bit of a gamble - in that you don't really know what you have unless you invest in an overhaul, or follow the metal clarinet world. Jim Lande (occasional board participant, and metal clarinet knowledge-base) has evaluated just about every metal clarinet model out there! Well...maybe that's an overstatement, but I don't personally know of anyone with greater experience/knowledge with a greater sampling of these old metal clarinets.

Richard Lund is an up-and-coming trad player - and he's been playing what some folks would have automatically claimed to be a "junk" metal clarinet (no-name brand on it) - yet he plays it beautifully.

Jim Lande plays a wonderful Silva-Bet, and I play a metal Conn.

Jonathan Doyle occasionally plays (busks with) a metal clarinet with Tuba Skinny https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vPN38j8Zso (There's some issues with the multiple cameras and the audio sync, but still worth the watch). The exposed clarinet part comes through at about the 40 second mark in the video.

I'm glad you are going to have fun with it! Not everyone opts to play a clarinet skeleton! ;^)>>>

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 Re: Please tell me what I have here, metal clarinet
Author: StevenWayne 
Date:   2017-03-09 01:07

That video is a blast. Thanks for sharing that.

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