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 vintage "Henri Leduc Paris" bass clarinet
Author: river432 
Date:   2017-11-26 19:12

Hello, I submitted a post regarding my vintage "Henri Leduc Paris" bass clarinet on this site last year, and it was very helpful in receiving some feedback on the origin of this clarinet. Most likely, it is a Malerne stencil bass that was manufactured in the 1930's or 1940's.

But to provide some background information, it is a wood bass clarinet marked "Henri Leduc Paris" on the upper joint, with the serial number "2007" on both the upper and lower joints. There are no other markings on either joint, or the bell. It plays down to low Eb. This bass clarinet also has two register keys, one on the body, and one on the neck. It also appears to have the long rod linking the upper and lower joints and which actives the "on-neck" register key when playing from fourth line D on the staff to fourth space E and remains open on up this register.

The problem I am having with this bass is the intonation. The intonation below the point where the on-neck register key is activated seems to be mostly in tune, but because it doesn't have a tunable neck that could be adjusted, it is difficult to play in tune in the upper register. Unfortunately, it plays flat from fourth line D on the staff up to A above the staff, and I am not able to adjust the neck by pushing in. Above that point, it seems to go back in tune. The bass also plays a little sharp from C just below the staff to about open G. But B and C just above the break are nicely in tune. I have experimented with some joint rings, but while they might solve intonation problems in one area, they will just make another area worse. I have also tried stiffer reeds which only helps somewhat.

It does appear to be a well-made bass clarinet with nice crack-free wood, well-manufactured keywork (the finish is still excellent), and a nice sound. Since I don't expect to be playing a lot of bass clarinet, I seems to be suitable for my needs and I am fairly happy with it. But if I could correct the intonation problems, I would be a lot happier!

If anyone has any ideas about how I can possibly correct the intonation problems on this bass clarinet, particularly the flat upper register, I would greatly appreciate it. Maybe I should try experimenting with different mouthpieces and/or necks. I am currently playing on a nice Charles Bay mouthpiece and ligature. I have heard about the Charles Bay tunable bass clarinet necks, but I am unable to find any information on them. (I can't even find one on the Charles Bay website.) I have also learned of the Blashaus bass clarinet necks made in Switzerland, but they are rather expensive. But Blaushaus does make a bass neck that has a register vent "pip" on the neck similar to the one on my bass neck. (I'm not sure about the Bay bass neck.)

Anyway, thank you in advance for any input you may have! River432

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 Topics Author  Date
 vintage "Henri Leduc Paris" bass clarinet  new
river432 2017-11-26 19:12 
 Re: vintage "Henri Leduc Paris" bass clarinet  new
Tony F 2017-11-26 20:07 
 Re: vintage "Henri Leduc Paris" bass clarinet  new
river432 2017-11-26 20:57 


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