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 My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: Clarinet1230 
Date:   2017-11-16 17:42

My high b sounds like high c on my Etude ECL-300

Caroline Bader

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-11-16 17:56

You need to be clearer about which B and C you mean. Where on the staff are they? Or, use the graphic of C4 above (next to The Clarinet BBoard) to locate the octave of "high c" - C4, C5 or C6.

"High B and C" can be higher for some people than for others.

Karl

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2017-11-16 18:08

>Etude ECL-300

There's your problem...

But seriously, this instrument is well known to be a cheap generic Chinese instrument. Instruments like this are known to have severe tuning problems. On the instrument I had (not an Etude but the exact same design. Even came in the same case) the clarion C was a quarter tone flat! The upper clarion B and C were also quite sharp on my instrument, but not to the severity of yours.

I know you probably don't want to hear this but there really isn't much you can do short of having the instrument completely re-bored. You should look into getting a better horn. Fortunately you can pick up a Selmer(Bundy) or Vito student instrument used for far less than the $249 the Etude sells for. Check your local music store or search online for refurbished instruments. If you shop around you should be able to find something for around $100.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news:(

-Jdbassplayer

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: Matt74 
Date:   2017-11-16 22:07

Even with bad intonation, it should be impossible for them to the same. Do you mean your left index finger B? Which note is wrong, the B or the C?

- Matthew Simington


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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: gavalanche20 
Date:   2017-11-17 03:47

How long have you had the clarinet for? It is a new clarinet or has the problem just started? Etude isn't exactly up there when it comes to brand names, to say the least, so the build quality is definitely going to be the first thing that would come into question.

That being said I had a similar problem on my very first clarinet when it was only a week old. It was a Yamaha YCL200AD, which we had got brand new. Of course I didn't know any better at the time as I was new to clarinet. Basically the middle-line B was playing a C. I was getting an earful from the band director until we finally figured out that it was the clarinet's problem and not mine.

Fortunately it was only a week old so we were able to send it in for warranty repairs. Meanwhile I was stuck with a loaner Selmer USA (looking back it was probably a 1400B but I didn't pay attention to those things a the time) which had the highest left hand keys I'd ever seen on a clarinet. But hey, at least they played the right notes.

I don't know anything about clarinet repair but if I were to hazard a guess I wouldn't be surprised if it was a problem with the keys if in fact you're talking about the middle line B.



Post Edited (2017-11-17 03:47)

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2017-11-17 03:58

No offence but jdbassplayer's comment sounds hilarious to me. No matter how severe the intonation problem of an instrument is, two notes by no means can sound same. It is not wrong to blame the low quality instruments but it is definitely not relevant here.

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2017-11-17 04:43

Klose

I think we may be interpreting Clarinet1230's post differently.

I thought that they were saying that when they fingered a high B (R T xoo ooo) a written C (C6) was produced. I've seen clarinets with extreme sharpness in the upper clarion so I though that was the problem.

It seems the other way to interpret Clarinet1230's problem is that regardless of wether they finger high B (R T xoo ooo) or high C (R T ooo ooo) the same note comes out. This doesn't make any sense unless maybe the L1 (F/C) tone hole is completely blocked, which would be very unlikely and cause other problems, so I assumed this wasn't the case.

Or maybe they meant C5 and B5 in which case that it's probably a mechanical issue, although I've never heard anyone refer to C5 as "high" C ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Hopefully they can clarify what they meant.

-Jdbassplayer

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2017-11-17 06:44

jdbassplayer,

Again, no matter how sharp the note (R T xoo ooo) is, opening one more tone hole will certainly increase the pitch to a discernible extent. I believe gavalanche20 is right here. "High B" here is the middle-line B and due to leakiness/mechanic problem, the middle-line B was playing a C. And you see, YAMAHA also has this problem if the instrument is not properly set up, so don't always blame the instrument maker.

Well, with all due respect, now I am trying to understand why you might be thinking like that. You might think that Clarinet1230 has a perfect pitch so if the high B (R T xoo ooo) is sharp enough, she would consider it sounds the same as high C without referring the pitch produced by fingering (R T ooo ooo). I don't know how likely this scenario would happen...



Post Edited (2017-11-17 07:04)

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2017-11-17 07:13

Yes I understand that, my original assumption was that B was ~100 cents sharp. And the C above that was sharper than that. Again, OP's post is very vague and until they clarify I'm just going on assumptions.

Going with the assumption that it is a mechanical issue with B5/C5, this is most likely to be caused by either the F/C key or E/B key being bent severely. It could also be caused by a missing pad on the E/B key. Given this, it is not unreasonable to assume the problem was either caused by weak keywork or a poorly glued pad. These are both common problems with Chinese instruments. Normally yes I would agree with you that it is not always the instrument's fault, but unless OP dropped the instrument or it was damaged in some way I stand by my opinion that bargin priced Chinese instruments are inferior. Every manufacturer makes mistakes sometimes, but most Chinese manufacturers making <$150 instruments make CONSISTENT mistakes.

Edit: I have fixed a few instruments in the past where the upper clarion was almost a semitone sharp due to poor design (most recently a Hammerschmidt). This is usually related to the placement of the register vent. It is unlikely yes but not impossible. Looking back it probably wasn't the best assumption and for that I apologize.

-Jdbassplayer



Post Edited (2017-11-17 07:32)

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2017-11-17 07:32

jdbassplayer, I am not saying the instrument itself is good, but I believe now you agree that the tuning problem of the instrument, mentioned by you previously, is not the cause here? Someone also blamed the violin when the player plays out of tune all the time. Oh, you play a Chinese made violin, and that's why you are always out of tune...


Edited: Just curious, how did you fix the tuning problem due to the wrong placement of register vent? Filling it and open another one?



Post Edited (2017-11-17 08:14)

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2017-11-17 08:32

Furthermore, jdbassplayer. I am also curious to know if some notes are almost a semitone sharp on a German/Austrian made Hammerschmidt, how funny it will sound when playing a scale. I also assume this instrument is not cheap as it was made in Germany or Austria. So who could possibly buy it if he or she tried it?

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2017-11-17 08:48

Quote:

I have fixed a few instruments in the past where the upper clarion was almost a semitone sharp due to poor design (most recently a Hammerschmidt). This is usually related to the placement of the register vent. It is unlikely yes but not impossible. Looking back it probably wasn't the best assumption and for that I apologize.

-Jdbassplayer


See this link to check the price of karl-hammerschmidt instrument:
http://www.karl-hammerschmidt-klarinetten.de/pdf/brutto_preise.pdf

The cheapest Böhm one is 3691 euro, which is more expensive than a Festival B flat. I know now Hammerschmidt has been divided into several different brands but it is reasonable to assume their instruments are never cheap. So it is a huge surprise to hear that their instruments have such a bad design causing upper clarion almost a semitone sharp...

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2017-11-17 09:00

Klose,

The instrument was a "factory second" sold at a steep discount. The original owner mainly improvised and rarely played with others so intonation wasn't a big problem. If you played a simple scare from C5 to C6 each note would get progressively sharper at a constant rate, so it was hard to notice the problem unless you had a tuner or a good ear.

With the Hammerschmidt I had to fill every tone hole on the upper joint partially with epoxy and undercut them. I also filled in the old register vent and installed a new smaller one around 1 cm higher like you said. After this the instrument played well in tune.

-Jdbassplayer

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2017-11-17 11:27

jdbassplayer, thank you for your explanation but two things are still extremely interesting to me.

A, do you mean that playing a C5 to C6 interval on that clarinet sounded as a C5 to C6 sharp interval? I still strongly believe any person, even non-musicians, can easily hear the difference when playing a melody, a song or anything.

B, it is super impressive to know that you were able to repair it, because by filling the vent and opening another one 1 cm higher you must have also built a customized key for that. To be honest, I've never heard that any repairman has the equipments to do that, yet this is maybe just due to my limited experience...



Post Edited (2017-11-17 11:58)

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-11-17 21:30

We have, of course, not yet heard from the OP specifying which B and C he meant. The assumption that he meant B5-C6 is reasonable, but I've taught beginners who, when they first started over the break called B4-C5 "high and B3-C4 "low." Some response to all the suggestions from Clarinet1230 would be useful to help clarify the octave and the actual problem more specifically.

Karl

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-11-17 21:36

Klose wrote:

> B, it is super impressive to know that you were able to repair
> it, because by filling the vent and opening another one 1 cm
> higher you must have also built a customized key for that. To
> be honest, I've never heard that any repairman has the
> equipments to do that, yet this is maybe just due to my limited
> experience...
>
I've known several repair people who could do this. The question is whether or not they would willingly spend the shop time it would take to solve one problem this severe on a generally inferior instrument. More likely, if a simpler fix weren't obvious, the advice would be to replace the instrument.

Karl

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2017-11-17 21:54

> I've known several repair people who could do this. The
> question is whether or not they would willingly spend the shop
> time it would take to solve one problem this severe on a
> generally inferior instrument. More likely, if a simpler fix
> weren't obvious, the advice would be to replace the instrument.
>
> Karl


Karl, thank you. You are right. For instruments from big brands, they can just order the key from the factory while for cheaper instruments, it is not worthwhile. Again, it is really impressive that jdbassplayer did this to repair that "factory second" instrument. Besides, the repairman must be very good at the acoustics theory to do this. Fixing some minor tuning problems by epoxy or undercutting, fine, not so extraordinary, but filling the register vent and drill another one 1 cm higher? Wow! How did he calculate the position? Did he measure the bore and position of other tone holes? Or just simple base upon experience? In any case, I am super impressed. kdk wrote:

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2017-11-17 22:35

The Hammerschmidt had a wrap-around register key, so what I did was install the new vent off center and partially straighten the key so that it covered the vent.

I choose the new position by comparing the position of vents on other instruments to the Hammerschmidt. I was prepared to relocate the vent several times if need be, but I got lucky the first time.

-Jdbassplayer

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2017-11-17 22:53

jdbassplayer wrote:

> The Hammerschmidt had a wrap-around register key, so what I did
> was install the new vent off center and partially straighten
> the key so that it covered the vent.
>
> I choose the new position by comparing the position of vents on
> other instruments to the Hammerschmidt. I was prepared to
> relocate the vent several times if need be, but I got lucky the
> first time.
>
> -Jdbassplayer


Some following interesting thoughts. I have a very high admiration for German craftship as I play German clarinets. Therefore I just wonder how bad the design is to cause such a terrible semitone sharper intonation. If it is really a design problem, as you said, WOW, it's much worse than any <$150 clarinets I've ever seen. Even the around $50 instrument recently posted here is much much better than this one!

Ok, let's think it an exception, or maybe a defective one just because the worker accidentally drilled the hole 1cm lower. One more point came to my mind, I am sure the register keys must be built in a large amount in the factory. Or did they also made a customized special shorter register key for this? Ok, maybe because it is not a <$150 instrument so all key works were handmade individually. Then with such a dedicated effort, they didn't play-test it?? Or they did but even if they used fingering (RT oooooo) while the pitch on the tuner is B, they still sell this instrument on the market?



Post Edited (2017-11-17 23:05)

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2017-11-17 23:21

I have no idea. There was at least one other tonehole that was filled in and relocated but this was done at the factory. Maybe it was a prototype or an instrument made by an apprentice?

-Jdbassplayer

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2017-11-17 23:30

Thank you, Jdbassplayer. Such a fascinating story!! With this story in mind, everyone here should think twice to blame a Buffet or any other cheap instruments.

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: donald 
Date:   2017-11-18 01:29

Re Hammerschmidt- remember there are several different companies using this name, in addition to various one-off runs from Chinese factories. Instruments from Frank Hammerschmidt, and the Hammerschmidt clarinets used by Austrian professional players, have little in common with 95% of the instruments out there using this name.

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: donald 
Date:   2017-11-18 01:36

Re the original post...
Assuming that the problem is not to do with your playing (please don't be offended) and that you have checked that pads and springs are all working as they should, there is one other thing that could cause this.
Sometime when clarinets have moulded bodies a thin layer of plastic can form over the tonehole ON THE INSIDE of the bore. Usually this would be detected when they were putting the keys on, and easily scraped away. If this has happened in the lowest hole on the clarinet, OR in the hole for the left hand index finger, it could make C sound like B (at either of the B/Cs in the upper register).
This is quite uncommon- but I've twice before encountered it, once with a no-name red coloured chinese instrument, and once with John Denman "Kinder-klari" instruments (and on several of those).
It's not likely, but possible that this is causing your problem
dn

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2017-11-18 02:24

Donald, no, no clarinet made in other places used this name. Or can you give me a link for them?

www.karl-hammerschmidt-klarinetten.de
www.hammerschmidt-klarinetten.at
www.frank-klarinetten.com

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2017-11-18 09:59

It would help to clarify whether it's the upper clarion B and C or the lower clarion B and C (a beginner could refer to either as "high").
Also is B sharp, C flat, or both?
How are the notes 12th below with same fingerings?

Depending on what exactly is happening, it could be a blocked tone hole, a missing pad, gross misadjustment, etc. It could be the player's mistake for high (thumb) C since this loses support of the left hand and beginners often play it flat.

>> To be honest, I've never heard that any repairman has the equipments to do that, yet this is maybe just due to my limited experience... <<

>> For instruments from big brands, they can just order the key from the factory while for cheaper instruments, it is not worthwhile. <<

Obviously not all repairers can do this but it is not extremely rare. It is possible to make new keys, either from spare parts or from scratch if necessary. You just need the equipment and experience... except the first time :)

Ordering from the factory is often not an option if you need a different shape/length key, or might not be available at all, not practical depending on your location (often the case for me), etc. New keys are more often added rather than replaced so there is also no standard key to order in those cases.

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2017-11-18 10:14

clarnibass,

Again, I feel embarrassed for my limited instrument repair knowledge... You often add new keys to the instruments? Like what keys? Left hand Eb/Gb key? Low E/F correction key? Long time ago I had an instrument added a low E/F correction German style key (with one hole on the bell), it cost over 1000 euros, can you also do that?



Post Edited (2017-11-18 10:17)

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2017-11-18 17:00

Making keys for specific problems is not that difficult if you have the appropriate skills and equipment. I'm a only hobby restorer/repairer, but on several occasions I have made up keys to solve difficulties where no replacement was available. I have used old keys from junkers as raw material and modified them as needed. In the distant past (1960's) I made up modified keys for a colleague who suffered the loss of the top joints of several fingers. As far as I know the instrument is still in use. I know for sure that it was 3 years ago.

Tony F.

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 Re: My high B sounds the same as high c
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2017-11-19 10:14

>> You often add new keys to the instruments? <<

No. I'll clarify. What I meant by "often" is that when making new keys, it is much more often to add a new key rather than replace an existing ruined or missing key.

I know it might be different in other areas. I think in the USA, because of marching bands and so many school bands and old abused instruments, it is much more common to encounter missing keys. That's my impression from American repairers. Locally, it is extremely rare and I think I only had to replace a key once or twice.

>> Like what keys? <<

For example the last one was a right hand Eb/Bb lever to an Albert system clarinet that came without a right hand key.

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