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 Higher resistance improves overtime?
Author: KaiLiau 
Date:   2017-09-09 04:44

I have got two new Yamaha CSG2s that I need to decide which one to keep tomorrow. Appreciate all the inputs.

One has lower resistance, seems to have better resonance probably as the consequence, but has some intonation issues (1st register right hand notes B, Bb, A too sharp). 2nd register right hand B and C a little flat. The other CSG2 has higher resistance and slightly more stuffy but plays in tune much easier. I had the shop check the leaks already (with Magnehelic) and both were top notch with great seal.

Despite resistance difference, both play very even to me, resistance wise. There are no other visible differences either (well except the key plating), so I think both are mechanically sound.

Right now, I am leaning toward keeping the one with better intonation, hoping the stuffiness and resistance will improve overtime. Is this improvement with more playing (breaking-in) possible? The shop I took these horns to said it's possible.

PS, I emailed Tomoji, Yamaha's woodwind specialist, and he said the intonation issues can be corrected with some chimney fillings. I am not sure if doing this is worth the hassle, if the other option is better and will improve.



Which one will you keep and why?

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 Re: Higher resistance improves overtime?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-09-09 07:54

You just don't really know if a clarinet will become less resistant over time. The less resistant one probably won't become *more* resistant (barring the development of leaks), but either clarinet might lose resistance over time.

But I have a couple of reactions to your post:

1. Resistance and stuffiness aren't necessarily the same thing, or said differently, you can have a useful amount of blowing resistance that doesn't reach the level of stuffiness. Resistance can help keep the tone and pitch stable and articulation clean and aid in overall control. Stuffiness involves airy tone quality and difficulty in producing clear sound that articulates easily. Stuffiness can also result in tuning unevenness.

2. If the more resistant instrument is actually stuffy, I would seriously question the thoroughness of the mechanical testing that was done. In addition to leaks, wrong clearances on open pads and slight obstructions in any open tone holes could cause stuffiness in the notes produced by those open holes.

It's true that sharp notes in the chalumeau might be improved by putting material into the top of the tone holes involved, just as flatness and even stuffiness can often be corrected by undercutting the tone holes. It has to be done carefully in either direction so that an even greater problem isn't caused in the note that's a twelfth higher.

If there are truly stuffy notes on the one clarinet, and you are under some kind of deadline to decide, I'd take the one that isn't stuffy. But, lacking stuffiness, I would probably choose the one that plays better in tune, thinking that not having to adjust any of the tuning is better than having to adjust even a couple of notes.

Karl

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 Re: Higher resistance improves overtime?
Author: KaiLiau 
Date:   2017-09-09 08:22

Thanks a lot for the reply, Karl.

It's great to know the resistance is likely to decrease overtime.

Maybe it is not the right word calling it "stuffy". Sorry English is not my first language.

I have no troubles articulating cleanly and playing high notes soft or loud on either. I am pretty sure the shop I went to is very capable so there should be no mechanical issues on these either.

Let me use parable....Playing the one that has intonation issues is like playing a good reed that is already broken in, while playing the one with better intonation is like playing a new reed that you see great potential because of the sound it produces and how easy it articulates (despite more air is needed) but it is so new hence slightly harder and more resistant. It probably just needs to be played more in order to soften to be just right (meaning with comfortable resistance).

At least this is what I am hoping what the better tuned clarinet will happen. I actually got this clarinet about a week later because I noticed the first one had tuning issues and wanted to confirm. I am not sure a week worth of playing (assuming no one played it previously) to an otherwise identical clarinet will make such a difference in resistance.

BTW, the one that has more resistance happens to have Hamilton plated keys and Yamaha says it plays darker. Is higher resistance a means to achieve this darker sound? They do sound different (in addition to the resistance difference) but I can't really tell if one is any darker.



Post Edited (2017-09-09 08:27)

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 Re: Higher resistance improves overtime?
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2017-09-09 20:36

Given the narrow choice you propose, I would go with the one that is better in tune. Both the other players in the orchestra and the audience (to say nothing of the conductor) will not much care if you are slightly dissatisfied with the resistance of your instrument, or the sound is a trifle brighter than you consider ideal; but they will wince and disapprove if the pitch goes awry.

Ideally speaking, if it were me, I'd ask to try another pair of clarinets to see if one of those was both reasonably in tune and relatively free blowing. If that's not an option, choose the truer pitched one.

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 Re: Higher resistance improves overtime?
Author: Johan H Nilsson 2017
Date:   2017-09-09 22:51

If one of two new CSG2s is stuffy it must be due to leakage. I am generally very impressed with the pad sealing on Yamaha instruments, but they are human too.

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 Re: Higher resistance improves overtime?
Author: fskelley 
Date:   2017-09-09 23:00

These instruments are out of my league, but I would have thought high end Yamahas would be as consistent as Ridenours are claimed to be. Buffets are another matter. Is it really variation in unfixable things?- such that if you make a poor choice you are stuck?- or is it just things that a top tech could fix or modify? Not that it's easy to find such a tech or to figure out what you want him/her to do.

Stan in Orlando

Ridenour Lyrique 576BC
Ridenour Arioso ASB-101
Selmer HS**, Legere European
Rovner Van Gogh
Berkeley adjustable Freedom Barrel

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 Re: Higher resistance improves overtime?
Author: KaiLiau 
Date:   2017-09-09 23:10

Thanks for the reply, Seabreeze and Johan. I really don't think there are any leakages on these horns. I agree with Seabreeze that the audience will notice the out of tune more easily than the slight more resonance. My wife, used to be a clarinet player in high school and college, who gets to hear me playing of these over and over (she is kinda forced) can't really tell which one is which most of the time.

I am hoping the slightly higer resistance (and slightly less resonance) will improve overtime as it gets more playing.

These are already the seller's last two CSG2 in Bb so I don't have other options, unless I want to try other sellers. I doubt I can get prices these good.

Thanks for all the inputs...



Post Edited (2017-09-09 23:43)

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 Re: Higher resistance improves overtime?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-09-09 23:20

fskelley wrote:

> Is it really
> variation in unfixable things?- such that if you make a poor
> choice you are stuck?- or is it just things that a top tech
> could fix or modify?

If the design is sound, it's generally something that a knowledgeable tech can fix - even in the case of the routinely maligned Buffets. Mechanism can be adjusted (just as it can be customized), bad pads can be replaced and poorly seated ones moved. The point in general is that players want to avoid the added cost and inconvenience of having a new instrument "fixed" to meet its intended specs and playing quality. The issue here isn't that the out-of-tune instrument can't be tuned or stuffy notes can't be cleared up, but it takes shop time and a tech's skill if the instrument doesn't play its best off the shelf.

Karl

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 Re: Higher resistance improves overtime?
Author: fskelley 
Date:   2017-09-09 23:42

Karl,

I had wondered if some sample to sample variations were in bore dimensions / tolerances and such- where some examples might be genuinely inferior to others in ways that could not be readily remedied if at all. If that were true, how would one know by inspection that playing faults were fixable? The only sensible approach would be to demand a top playable instrument at the outset.

The car manufacturers always claimed there are no true lemons, anything wrong with a car could always be fixed. Car owners know better.

And I suppose top pianists still go to the Steinway factory to choose which particular piano to buy, even though 90% of flaws in the sound or action of a good piano can by remedied by careful voicing and other adjustments by the tuner/technician.

Stan in Orlando

Ridenour Lyrique 576BC
Ridenour Arioso ASB-101
Selmer HS**, Legere European
Rovner Van Gogh
Berkeley adjustable Freedom Barrel

Post Edited (2017-09-09 23:48)

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 Re: Higher resistance improves overtime?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-09-10 01:52

fskelley wrote:

> Karl,
>
> I had wondered if some sample to sample variations were in bore
> dimensions / tolerances and such- where some examples might be
> genuinely inferior to others in ways that could not be readily
> remedied if at all.

Maybe - especially variation in the billets of wood used to make the sections, which I guess can cause different reactions to machining and exposure, possibly resulting in aberrant bores or tone holes and greater tendency to crack under use - so irremediable sample variation is possible. But most of the differences instrument-to-instrument have to do with things that sloppily may have come off the assembly line out of spec but can be fixed.

The real issue is that quality control seems to vary among factories, so more remedial work may be needed for one product family than another.

Karl

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 Re: Higher resistance improves overtime?
Author: Ed 
Date:   2017-09-10 01:57

Just for interest, try swapping the barrels and see if it changes anything. I would also have a good tech take a look at it just to be safe.

Is the playability any better with a little lighter or responsive reed?

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 Re: Higher resistance improves overtime?
Author: fskelley 
Date:   2017-09-10 03:57

Karl- thanks for the insights- interesting.

And KaiLiau- best of luck with your clarinet choice.

Stan in Orlando

Ridenour Lyrique 576BC
Ridenour Arioso ASB-101
Selmer HS**, Legere European
Rovner Van Gogh
Berkeley adjustable Freedom Barrel

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 Re: Higher resistance improves overtime?
Author: KaiLiau 
Date:   2017-09-10 07:09

Thanks again for all the feedback. I am returning the CSG2 with intonation issues while keeping the CSG2H with slight higher resistance (and slight less resonance) but much less tuning issue. Again, both are mechanically sound.

I have tried soft and hard reeds and switch joints, barrels, bells. The combinations that sounds the best to my ear (with least resistance too) is still with top and bottom joints of the CSG2, which unfortunately will be returned.

Like Karl said, I am trying to avoid hassles to customize/alter a brand new clarinet which should come (mostly) in tune, especially for a high end Yamaha. The needed change applied to the tone holes to correct the intonation may potentially change the resistance/tone as well. The resistance/tone difference between these two is so minor that probably not perceivable to the most listeners and even some players. Not to mention wood will move and change (and I probably will) so what's marginally better (lower resistance and better resonance) to me right now may not be the same in two years after it gets more playing and I get used to the new clarinet.

Once again I appreciate all the feedback.

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 Re: Higher resistance improves overtime?
Author: Sean.Perrin 
Date:   2017-09-10 20:35

Are you sure the tuning issues of the more resonant horn couldn't be corrected by adjusting pad heights, etc?

As someone who settled with an unusually resistant R13A I have to say I regret it and it did not "break in" to the extent I was hoping.

Only you can decide but I would go for the feel and resonance you want over a hope for the resistant horn to improve.

PS: (same goes for the resistant horn though... where was it set up, can they check to see if there's something that could be adjusted that might help such as the register vent or if there are any leaks?)

Sean Perrin
Host of the Clarineat Podcast
http://www.clarineat.com

New Album "Dreamsongs" Now available
http://www.dreamsongs.ca

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 Re: Higher resistance improves overtime?
Author: KaiLiau 
Date:   2017-09-10 23:33

Hi Sean,

Thanks for your input.
I thought about making those easy adjustments but the out of tune notes don't have pads to adjust (B, Bb, and A too sharp in 1st register). I will need a shop to fill the tone hole chimneys and doing this has some risks. The only reason I got 2 CSG2s was the 1st one's tunning issue. If I got the 2nd CSG2 to begin with, I probably wouldn't even try another clarinet, as it is still very good. It is only inferior (resoanance/tone) when compared to the 1st one.

BTW, I like your podcast and your new album.

-Kai

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 Re: Higher resistance improves overtime?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-09-11 02:23

Sean.Perrin wrote:

> As someone who settled with an unusually resistant R13A I have
> to say I regret it and it did not "break in" to the extent I
> was hoping.
>
> Only you can decide but I would go for the feel and resonance
> you want over a hope for the resistant horn to improve.

The unhappy fact is that you can't ever be really sure what will happen as an instrument is used over time, especially over its initial life. String players deal with this all the time, and they spend a lot more money on new high quality instruments than we as clarinetists ever will. Buying one or the other of the two you (the OP) are testing is an equal risk. A great deal depends on how resistant the one really is and how out-of-tune those notes on the other really are.

Karl

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