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 My new chinese Efer
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2017-12-30 15:36

After becoming more and more fascinated with all the different types of clarinets and always having loved that shrill sound of the higher registers, I decided my little clarinet family should gain a new member. Much earlier than expected, she arrived today - it's a cute little chinese Eb clarinet!!

And wow, she's no hoax, she's no fake, she's no CSO (I think!), after I disposed of this reed imitation included in the case and somehow managed to attach one of my Pilgerstorfers Bb (and you won't stop me from doing that until I have Eb reeds, haha), I managed more than getting a sound out of her.
Indeed (and now is probably the time to switch to the correct pronoun, but I was too excited and translated from the german one - "die klarinette"(feminine)), it's very free blowing, the keywork is great, despite being a little softer as it's casted (I had to bend the left pinky C# spatula a bit so it wouldn't get stuck) and the nickel plating looks just fine. It sealed instantly and even when I play a B/low E, I feel no increased resistance. Great work there.

There are, however, some marks of a more "rustic" worksmanship than you might expect from the high-end makers and the sometimes weirdly dimensioned cork was more or less slapped onto it with some hot glue, but then again, it's adjusted very nicely with the rings being just slightly above the chimneys as the should be, and even though I never touched an Eefer in my life before, it's quite comfortable to play. Seriously, what would you expect for an 80$ clarinet, including shipping, bought directly from china?? I don't know how in the world the manufacturer has been able to have the keywork made with as good as no play and adjust they spring tension so well. Even the nylon screw for the throat G# is adjusted correctly.

I'll attach one audio file I've recorded with an iPad after just abit of messing around for an hour on this instrument. It's the Eb part of Ravel's Bolero. Note that I've never played an Eb before and cannot yet comment on the intionation, nor get it spot on - I'm beginning to understand why eefers are deemed hard to play - but the instrument did sound much in tune with itself and with the right pressure applied for the higher register, I could even play altissimo. For example, the clarion A seems a bit flat, but is perfectly correctable. Since it's played on a Bb reed and with the standard mouthpiece, I supose you could greatly improve intonation just by swapping those.
All in all, great instrument and fun to play, I'd not have expected it to sound like an Eb at all. In fact, the timbre is quite nice and makes me question why grenadilla clarinets are considered better. Imagine this is one in a kind of premium version, with forged, silver plated keys, pinned levers, a decent mouthpiece and modern bore design.
Subjectively, the sound is great and with some practise + a different mouthpiece, one might produce impressive results on this 80$ instrument. I hope my iPad recording isn't too crappy for you guys, but it's certainly enough to prove that this is more than a "CSO"

Best regards,
Christian



Post Edited (2017-12-30 21:43)

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 Re: My new chinese Eefer
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2017-12-30 15:39
Attachment:  Eb.mp3 (956k)
Attachment:  IMG_20171230_122951.jpg (846k)
Attachment:  IMG_20171230_123051.jpg (1207k)
Attachment:  IMG_20171230_123107.jpg (1336k)

Here's the recording
How tiny she is...
Check post #42 for a recording of the clarion with a Bb mouthpiece duct-taped to her!!



Post Edited (2018-01-01 20:49)

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 Re: My new chinese Eefer
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2017-12-30 17:57

Nice review. First, there is no doubt that we are seeing a raise of made in China instruments. In fact, some Chinese luthiers are already worldwide famous but for wind instruments, it might still need some time. Remember that Japanese products were also considered as junk for a long time.

On the other hand, my opinion here is that making a Böhm clarinet probably is the easiest among all woodwind instruments and the cost should definitely be the lowest. As a consequence, i truly believe most Buffet pro instruments are very much over priced. There is absolutely no reason that a similar level clarinet can be as expensive as an oboe. I also anticipate that in the future, more and more companies, including some Chinese ones, will provide some competitive professional level instruments with reasonable price to the market. I will keep an open mind to try these instruments without any bias that instruments made in some places should be better than others.



Post Edited (2017-12-30 18:03)

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 Re: My new chinese Eefer
Author: rmk54 
Date:   2017-12-30 18:07

Point of information: Luthiers make string instruments, not winds.

To me, any review of an E-flat clarinet that doesn't take intonation into account, especially in the altissimo register, is worthless.

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 Re: My new chinese Eefer
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2017-12-30 18:13

E-flat clarinets have a generic problem of intonation, even for the most expensive one on the market, it is not much better at all. Therefore the players really need some special efforts and this is why most top orchestras have a dedicated E-flat clarinet player while all players can relatively easily double bass.



Post Edited (2017-12-30 18:18)

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 Re: My new chinese Eefer
Author: Katrina 
Date:   2017-12-30 18:18

FYI many folks use Bb reeds on their Eb mouthpiece.

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 Re: My new chinese Eefer
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2017-12-30 18:26

Oh well, nice to the see mixed reception :)

Klose,
thanks for your point. I very much agree that if manufactures like Buffet don't change their strategy, they'll sooner or later face very serious competition. Furthermore, modern production techniques like CNC and CAD designing will make it able to mass produce at a more consistent level. Take keys for example: Casted ones are still meticulously copied from wax models, very much like crowns had been made in dental technology. At some point, we might see keys competely cut from rolled curponickel, or maybe even 3D-printed, who knows. Either way, the sheer possibility of making a 80$ instrument that plays nicely, even if it's from China, should alarm traditional manufacturers.

rmk54,
Klose most likely refered to actual chinese string instrument makers, who are gaining a significant market share nowadays.

Since I need to order another mouthpiece, I cannot and will not comment any further on the intonation! You'll need to be a little more patient, once I've have these, I'll edit my review! My main goal here wasn't actually to buy a Eb clarinet I could use in orchestra, but to see what they're like and whether I can handle them. Regarding the timbre and responsiveness, I'm already more than surprised. In addition to that, I'll be more than happy to fill or undercut toneholes on this instrument, as I was also looking for a blank to practise those techniques.

Edit: I didn't know using Bb reeds on Eb clarinets was common! Nice to know. Anyways, I'm going to order a B40 mouthpiece and Pilgerstorfer Dolcissimo reeds.



Post Edited (2017-12-30 18:30)

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 Re: My new chinese Eefer
Author: KenJarczyk 
Date:   2017-12-30 18:56

Very interesting!

When you’re settled on an eefer mouthpiece, please post the Ravel again. As the first listen-to left me rather hopeless for the intonation.

Ken Jarczyk
Woodwinds Specialist
Eb, C, Bb, A & Bass Clarinets
Soprano, Alto, Tenor & Baritone Saxophones
Flute, Alto Flute, Piccolo

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 Re: My new chinese Eefer
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2017-12-30 18:57

I'm also curious about the intonation. I ordered the same instrument a year ago and it was not on tune with itself whatsoever. For example, the A/E tonehole (RH3) was too small on my instrument causing those notes to be flat, but when I tried to enlarge the tonehole I found that I could not do so without making the walls of the chimney much too thin as the hole was in the wrong location to begin with. I had to abandon the instrument because it could not be made to play in tune.

You should have no problem testing the intonation with the current mouthpiece, a new mouthpiece won't make the intonation that much better or worse.

-Jdbassplayer

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 Re: My new chinese Eefer
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2017-12-30 19:13

I'm starting to have some apprehensions now,
First, what my A/E tonehole should have the same problem Jdbassplayer described. Secondly the rather unclean looking G/C tonehole makes for a very flat A/D, no doubt by now, it can't be just me. So I'll have to admit I was too optimistic about intonation and the reason some notes really sound off might be the clarinet.
Still, I'm not too sure.
I'll check with a tuner eventually. Still like the sound a lot. It would be a shame if the intonation turns out to be an huge issue, because it could have been easily fixed in the first place. We'll see.



Post Edited (2017-12-30 19:16)

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 Re: My new chinese Eefer
Author: clarinetist04 
Date:   2017-12-30 19:17

The mouthpiece can absolutly affect the intonation.

Agreed with Ken - when you settle on a mouthpiece, let's hear it again and please check the intonation. The recording sounded a bit all-over-the-place.

Nice review - interesting to see the progress of the Chinese manufacturers.

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 Re: My new chinese Eefer
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2017-12-30 19:29

Thank you guys,
so I'm not going to check intonation any further before having bought another mouthpiece. Also, I'm not sure how much practise it takes to get good results on an Eb clarinet. Compared to my Bb that I hardly have any issues with, I needed an crazy tense embouchure to get the clarion Bb anywhere, while I need to "let loose" in the chalumeau.
Should this instrument turn out to be not so much in tune, I'll start working on the toneholes, send the Vandoren back and still enjoy having an efer for the priece of less than a mouthpiece.

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 Re: My new chinese Eefer
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2017-12-30 19:29

Not blaming the poster, but I think asking a player who never played E-flat to test the intonation is somehow meaningless. I know when a lot of players, myself included, first tried E-flat, the intonation was absolutely terrible even though the instruments are top professional models. Nevertheless, for an $80 instrument, I certainly would not expect it be any better.

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 Re: My new chinese Eefer
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2017-12-30 19:34

Thanks Klose, I cannot stress enough how weird it is to play on an Eb for the first time. What's more important to me is that this instrument has a nice timbre and little resistance, so it's great for messing around at home where I don't need to worry too much about intonation. There are much worse sounding grenadilla clarinets out there, so I'm incredibly excited about anyone producing better ebonite instruments.

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2017-12-30 22:05

OK,
I've been practising a bit more with a tuner. All I can say so far is that I shouldn't have posted the recording in the first place and just practised more, as I cringe a little listening to it now, but at least the Low E and clarion B are definetely too sharp - pulling out the bell helped.
Regarding any other notes, it is still impossible to determine whether it's me, the mouthpiece or just the fact that we're talking about Eb clarinets.
I'm going to order a Pomarico Eb-Clarinet Boehm Facing 3 mouthpiece from Thomann, as the Vandorens aren't so readily available. Someone wrote a very positive review and called the mouthpiece included with his 80€-clarinet (possibly this model?) total rubbish.
That being sad, I managed to more or less play in tune in the higher register, but there are some weird surprises depending on the dynamics and even my posture. The clarion D is suddenly sharper, including everything down to the B etc etc...
Here's a review on a "Martin Freres" labeled Efer. It's 100% the same like mine, with even the same case. A terrific deal at 500$? Sure, haha.



Post Edited (2017-12-30 22:13)

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: awildman 
Date:   2017-12-30 23:42

You won't see a lot of CNC work coming out of China for a long time. Chinese labor laws prohibit automated machinery if the same work can be done manually. For something as simple as a musical instrument, CNC is not needed, and I doubt you could get the permits needed to automate. I'm afraid if you want the quality to increase, you will have to invest money in training a workforce and more expensive materials and quality control.

Companies manufacture in China due to costs, not quality. If you want quality of manufacture, you can get it, of course, but different cultures have different standards of quality. It's not as easy as you might think.

Isn't it Buffet who own a factory in China already? How is that working out?

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2017-12-31 01:01

awildman, I am afraid I don't agree with you for most of your points.

Regarding CNC, I am not sure about the law but I assume that mobile phone manufactures like Huawei or XiaoMi (or their suppliers) certainly have been using CNC technology for a long time. Maybe someone can check the law to make sure?

Yes, training is certainly important here. This reminds me of the story of Oboe manufacture Josef. When he started making oboe in Japan, he also found that what he made was terrible and then he invited some Germans to his company and to teach him for a long time. After some time, now this brand has gained a reputation in the oboe world. Btw, its clarinets are also worthy a try!
http://www.josef-oboe.com/en/about.html

I also don't agree with your theory of culture. You are right, if you want quality, you can get. Again, using phone industry as example, with a price as high as iPhone, you certainly can get quality. Yes, at this moment, most Chinese wind instruments are of low quality, and some of them are just rubbish. However, one major reason for this is that there is a need for super cheap instruments (like the poster here who can try E-flat clarinet for fun by using just $80). The clarinet market is particularly special as we know Buffet at this moment is the domination. Given that companies like Selmer or YAMAHA are still struggling to get a little portion of the professional instrument market, I tend to think these Chinese manufactures are wise enough to not enter the high quality market, at least not for now (maybe this also answers why not American pro line so far). Therefore, this does not necessarily mean that culturally speaking people there don't know what is high quality or people don't want high quality.

With regarding to Buffet's factory, I believe all pro line instruments of Buffet are completely made in France? Do a brief search on this site and you will know how many negative comments here, e.g.,
http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=458586&t=458586

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2017-12-31 03:44

awildman,
is that so? CNCing a key and then moutning it by hand should be legal in China too, but I'm no expert.

Anyways, your statement is a broad and untrue generalization.
Firstly, I've already hinted that actual manufacturing quality is not an issue with this instrument. With the "ressources" available, it might be even considered excellent: The keys don't wobble, there is surprisingly little play, it seals better than many Buffets and upon closer inspection, all needle springs are made out of blued steel and exactly cut to their appropriate lenghts (unlike what I've observed on Instruments of czech make...)
What I'd be interested in would be a chinese instrument maker willing to go the extra mile and refine this concept. I know that Ridenour offers a bass clarinet that is very well received, but has bendy keys - no doubt, while this may be unproblematic on an efer, casted key are a terrible idea in the long run on a bass clarinet.

What does this have to do with quality? With the right tools, any monkey could forge and solder keys together with the right tools. All the big makers have special gauges where you place the individual parts and then solder them. There is no difficulty in that. On the contrary, I can really respect whoever was able to put my efer together, knowing they don't have the same means like bigger manufacturers.
There are other aspects that a trained workforce cannot replace. Experienced technicians from Germany all have in common that their instruments are not only designed, but also made by them. You could just have someone with a solid concept designing instruments and have them Made in china. Oh wait, Ridenour did that. True master grade instruments however will still have to be made by educated and experienced professionals, or at least be checked by them.

Now imagine someone coming from there and actually changing the production process, introducing new manufacturing techniques and maybe better QC. What I'm specifically talking about is keys made of cold rolled, rather than casted cupronickel and more precisely machined + undercut toneholes, so nothing too fancy. They could charge 3-4 times of what I pay now for their product and I'd still buy it. Sooner or later, this is going to happen, like it has already with other instruments.
On a site note, I'm worried by the more and more cheap grenadilla clarinets flooding the market. There is literally no reason for me to believe in the material being relevant on a sub 1000$ instrument. In fact, I'm stll hoping for the manufacturer Schreiber here in Germany to go bankrupt. None of their instruments I've tested so far was anyhwere near likable and felling a tree that takes 80-100 to mature for muscial instrument building seems like a waste if the result doesn't turn out to be at least on Buffet E13 or R13/RC level.

On the other hand, Uebel have their German system clarinets made in China and they're clearly better than what Schreiber or Yamaha have to offer in the sub 2€ category.
You're right, it's not that easy.



Post Edited (2017-12-31 03:50)

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: awildman 
Date:   2017-12-31 08:19

"Regarding CNC, I am not sure about the law but I assume that mobile phone manufactures like Huawei or XiaoMi (or their suppliers) certainly have been using CNC technology for a long time. Maybe someone can check the law to make sure?"
High tech (electronics) versus low tech (musical instruments) are completely different when it comes to automation and precision. High precision electronics require more precision, which you get with CNC machinery.

"I also don't agree with your theory of culture." How is the method and quality of manufacturing not a reflection of ANY culture? Study modern Chinese history, especially as it relates to the modernization explosion they have been experiencing in the last half-century. Subsistence living to modern powerhouse in 50 years etc. There are a lot of old ways still in the culture. Manufacturing is very new. Study this stuff, and you'll understand why and how they do the things they do.

"there is a need for super cheap instruments"
I completely disagree. Most of these never really see play. They are little better than the proverbial snake oil from a market perspective.

"Chinese manufactures are wise enough to not enter the high quality market"
But they entered the high quality market with electronics and became a world powerhouse, yes? Anything is possible with the right direction and marketing, especially if a company could make a high quality instrument for significantly cheaper than the competition. Also, China is not an invention and marketing machine (at least when it comes to their exports). They are a cheap labor machine with loose environmental laws. {as an aside, there are some fantastic student violins coming out of places in China, and even some much more expensive ones. No reason this couldn't be done with other instruments as well.}

"With regarding to Buffet's factory"
Student instruments. Prodige and such. Bodies made in France, shipped to China where they are finished. They moved the operation there for quality or cost? You tell me.

"Anyways, your statement is a broad and untrue generalization."
I didn't say anything incorrect or untrue. Not liking my words doesn't make me incorrect. Besides, I don't think we disagree as much as you let on. ;-)

"You could just have someone with a solid concept designing instruments and have them Made in china. Oh wait, Ridenour did that."
This is common business practice, with all manufacturing. Clothes, electronics, etc. China is not an invention and marketing machine, they are a cheap labor machine and have loose environmental laws. Much of what China makes had its design originate outside the country.

"What does this have to do with quality? With the right tools, any monkey could forge and solder keys together with the right tools."
Correct. But you have to pay for the materials and the extra labor, which increases the selling price of the instrument. Do you really think Ridenour's Chinese factory is incapable of making and putting on non-bendy keys? Or is this simply a cost versus quality choice that Ridenour made? Cupronickel is the cheapest of the cheap, man. There are lots of other options in China, both cast and forged. They are just more expensive.

"is that so? CNCing a key and then moutning it by hand should be legal in China too, but I'm no expert."
China cares more about employing their people than about automation, and I can hardly blame them. I'm sure there are exceptions or allowances, but the general rule does exist. You would have to ask somebody more knowledgeable than I if you're interested in specifics.

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2017-12-31 08:46

awildman,

After reading your "rebuttal", I feel both I and Kalashnikirby misunderstood you. Actually we have agreements on most part.

Some points to response:

Quote:

I completely disagree. Most of these never really see play. They are little better than the proverbial snake oil from a market perspective.


I failed to understand if there is no market at all, how can these companies still survive?

Quote:

How is the method and quality of manufacturing not a reflection of ANY culture? Study modern Chinese history, especially as it relates to the modernization explosion they have been experiencing in the last half-century. Subsistence living to modern powerhouse in 50 years etc. There are a lot of old ways still in the culture. Manufacturing is very new. Study this stuff, and you'll understand why and how they do the things they do.
But they entered the high quality market with electronics and became a world powerhouse, yes? Anything is possible with the right direction and marketing, especially if a company could make a high quality instrument for significantly cheaper than the competition. Also, China is not an invention and marketing machine (at least when it comes to their exports). They are a cheap labor machine with loose environmental laws. {as an aside, there are some fantastic student violins coming out of places in China, and even some much more expensive ones. No reason this couldn't be done with other instruments as well.}


Good, now I understand you. You mean due to cultural reason, we have not yet seen a noble wind manufacture there. True, this is totally correct.

Quote:

Student instruments. Prodige and such. Bodies made in France, shipped to China where they are finished. They moved the operation there for quality or cost? You tell me.


For cost but without compromising the quality.

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: Wes 
Date:   2017-12-31 09:11

If the clarinet has any tuning issues, there are many ways of modifying it to tune it, mostly by using common sense.

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2017-12-31 12:07

awildman,
Well, it does seem like our points don't differ that much, actually.
But I'm still sceptical whether a) there are factories that make ebonite clarinets with forged keys and b) a better quality product from China wouldn't still be cheaper than an Yamaha/Buffet ABS clarinet.
I was going to post a long text, but in short, what I'd wish is an instrument coming from one factory with on-site design and QC. It wouldn't be important where it's from, as long as it plays well. Buffet's approach has always been to outsource, whether to Germany for making keys or now to China for finishing the product (as the bodies are drilled in France by their better machines). I cannot determine whether the latter affects quality, as any Buffet nowadays is not completely made in France, this doesn't matter anyways. A clarinet is no high tech product and what counts ist having someone check the intonation and make sure the keywork is smooth. This is why I don't see any benefit in the Buffet or Schreiber approach when taking a look at their instruments! Shame, because CAD-clarinet bodies are an excellent idea!



Post Edited (2017-12-31 12:46)

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: GenEric 
Date:   2017-12-31 18:46

Sorry for going off topic...
I'm tempted to buy one. I'll have to play Eb next year so it'll be a fun headstart. Where did you buy it? There are plenty clarinets on eBay but to be safe, I want to buy from the seller which you bought from.



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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: gatto 
Date:   2017-12-31 20:40

>as any Buffet nowadays is not completely made in France

Which are not??? I guess all the professional line models *are* made in France, aren't they?

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2017-12-31 22:05

>Sorry for going off topic...
>I'm tempted to buy one. I'll have to play Eb next year so it'll be a fun >headstart. Where did you buy it? There are plenty clarinets on eBay but to be >safe, I want to buy from the seller which you bought from.

If you plan on playing with an ensemble DO NOT get a generic Chinese instrument. A used Bundy Eb will serve you much better and you won't have your conductor yelling at you for being out of tune...

-Jdbassplayer

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2018-01-01 01:43

Imagine the ironic resonance of playing Das Lied von der Erde on a Chinese Eb clarinet!

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-01-01 02:20

Mahler also could not imagine his music played by any French system clarinets…

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: awildman 
Date:   2018-01-01 02:34

"But I'm still sceptical whether a) there are factories that make ebonite clarinets with forged keys"
Doubtful, aside from the Uebel and Buffet examples(and maybe others?) we mentioned earlier. I think what you will find if you dig deep is that the clarinet market there is very very small. I studied a bit of Chinese music, and there just aren't keyed wind instruments similar to clarinet in the native tradition. Which makes Clarinet a Western instrument. Somebody in China would have to see an opportunity to make money in order for this to happen, which is not likely until Western music, and clarinet in particular, becomes more prevalent. Gotta have a good marketer to create need close to home, or somebody who can sell them outside China. Business arises when there is a need for them, and if there is no significant need, well, there you go.

As far as forged keys are concerned, there are most certainly factories that do such quality metalwork, and it would be a simple thing for a clarinet factory to outsource the key making to them. You're going to have to outsource the plating regardless. That sort of thing happens everywhere in the world. It doesn't matter, though. Good instrument is still good instrument even if the keys are made somewhere else (to your specs). There is, of course, a certain cachet to having a French clarinet or Italian violin, but we're not talking creme de la creme (i hope).

"b) a better quality product from China wouldn't still be cheaper than an Yamaha/Buffet ABS clarinet."
Assuming exact same quality with lower cost in materials and labor, of course you could price your wares cheaper than the competition. In the long run, the other makers would have to get their prices lower, and everything would mostly even out as the years pass. Simple economics, supply and demand and all that.

"I failed to understand if there is no market at all, how can these companies still survive? "
That's not what you said. You said there was a need. I agree with a market existing, but I don't believe there is a need. 'Market' and 'need' are similar, yes, but not the same. For example, there is a market for male enhancement pills(modern snake oil). Is there truly a need? Just because they sell(meaning there is a market), does that make them a legitimate medical product?

"For cost but without compromising the quality."
It's OK to just say cost. We all know the reason. Any global company would be at a severe disadvantage if they didn't explore keeping costs down. It's a hard thing to swallow, sometimes, but we are moving more and more towards a global economy rather than a domestic one. Unique cultural traits and products are slowly becoming watered-down in the process.

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: brycon 
Date:   2018-01-01 02:36

Quote:

Mahler also could not imagine his music played by any French system clarinets…


The players in NYC were using German-system horns while Mahler lived and worked there?

FWIW, I don't see how anyone could use that Eb clarinet in an ensemble: the pitch is horrible, much more so than any Buffet or Selmer I've played (though if you've never played Eb, could also be you). I'm not really sure, for instance, how the repeated high Bb goes from about 10 cents under pitch to 20 or 30 cents over pitch as you crescendo. The pitch from note-to-note also sounds crazy, as though you're playing quarter tones. While Eb clarinets are usually quirky in terms of intonation, for the most part, it's a matter of certain registers or parts of registers being out of tune, not one pitch being 20 cents flat and then a half or whole step above it being 20 cents sharp.



Post Edited (2018-01-01 02:43)

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-01-01 02:40

Quote:

That's not what you said. You said there was a need. I agree with a market existing, but I don't believe there is a need. 'Market' and 'need' are similar, yes, but not the same. For example, there is a market for male enhancement pills(modern snake oil). Is there truly a need? Just because they sell(meaning there is a market), does that make them a legitimate medical product?


Are you implying the people who bought them are not wise? According to you, whoever bought this is not because he or she needs it? I don't know which word should be used to describe the behavior that buying something if he/she doesn't need it.

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-01-01 02:48


Quote:

The players in NYC were using German-system horns while Mahler lived and worked there?


Well, I was saying this a bit ironically as some people have a strong location bias.

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: awildman 
Date:   2018-01-01 03:58

"Are you implying the people who bought them are not wise? According to you, whoever bought this is not because he or she needs it? I don't know which word should be used to describe the behavior that buying something if he/she doesn't need it."
You tell me. How many people have a need to make good music, and is that need filled by a CSO? If, indeed, the CSO cannot fill that need, are the purchasers deceived or are they unwise?

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-01-01 05:33

Quote:

You tell me. How many people have a need to make good music, and is that need filled by a CSO? If, indeed, the CSO cannot fill that need, are the purchasers deceived or are they unwise?


Not everyone wants an instrument only for the purpose of making good music. Like this poster, he got this e-flat just to know the instrument and to get the feeling of an unfamiliar instrument. Besides, the word "good" is very relative. If I only consider New York Phiharmonic level is good, then all american clarinets are also absolutely rubbish.

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: awildman 
Date:   2018-01-01 07:27

I'm not talking about 'not everyone', and neither are you. We are both talking about the general market for such instruments. Are the majority of their cuatomers experimenters or are they people buying a clarinet in good faith, expecting it to perform decently and last a reasonable amount of time?

You were the one who said there was a need (meaning market). So what exactly is the market? Who buys these things? Not good faith customers, only experimenters?

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: derf5585 
Date:   2018-01-01 07:41

I hope they also make a Afer (Ab) clarinet

fsbsde@yahoo.com

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-01-01 09:06

What you had said before:

Quote:

That's not what you said. You said there was a need. I agree with a market existing, but I don't believe there is a need.


What you just said:

Quote:

I'm not talking about 'not everyone', and neither are you. We are both talking about the general market for such instruments. Are the majority of their cuatomers experimenters or are they people buying a clarinet in good faith, expecting it to perform decently and last a reasonable amount of time?


Good, now you changed your statement and realized there is a need.

And no, few people, if not no one at all, would consider an $80 dollar intrument to be a decent one.



Post Edited (2018-01-01 09:07)

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: awildman 
Date:   2018-01-01 09:33

Now you're just being obtuse. You've done nothing but evade direct questions and twist my words around. I'm going to go ahead and save my efforts for somebody capable of having normal, adult conversations.

Cheers.

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-01-01 09:54

Quote:


Now you're just being obtuse. You've done nothing but evade direct questions and twist my words around. I'm going to go ahead and save my efforts for somebody capable of having normal, adult conversations.

Cheers.


Cheers and happy new year. Sounds like I am still very young, which is nice.

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-01-01 10:10

I am also sorry that I didn't answer your question directly since I thought it's obvious. Most people who bought this $80 instrument were just curious about how blowing an E flat clarinet feels like. This is similar with the super cheap B flat clarinet we recently discussed. Some people, mostly students, just want to know how playing a clarinet feels like. Using 50 dollars to fill this need is pretty worthwhile in my opinion.

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: Clarineteer 
Date:   2018-01-01 13:27

How good are the Selmer Series 9 Eb soprano clarinets from the mid 1960's?

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2018-01-01 20:42

Since I couldn't rest easy knowing I posted a sh**y recording and since it may take a while for my mouthpiece to arrive, I've thought of another why to find out whether there is any sound and possibility to play in tune with this Efer and duct-taped my Bb mouthpiece to it. Of course, register changes are impossible, but perhaps it'll suffice to find out whether the clarion checks out?

I think it got better. Intonation is still difficult, and the C# to B are too sharp even when lipping down, but I'm sure now buying a different mouthpiece will be worth it. Only a experienced Eb player could tell you whether it is easy enough on this instrument to play in tune, save the way too sharp B/E, C#/F# and C/F. The C#/F# can be made to play in tune by fingering the B/E....
The squeak at the beginning comes from my mouthpiece wobbling around ;)
Use it as a band instrument? I don't know, there certainly has some work to be done before I'd dare thinking about that....



Post Edited (2018-01-01 21:00)

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2018-01-01 20:44
Attachment:  Frankenefer.mp3 (520k)

There it is (Sorry if it's rythmically wrong, I was rather occupied with the mouthpiece falling off!)



Post Edited (2018-01-01 21:30)

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2018-01-01 21:18

In response to the all the new posts:

GenEric,
I'll send you an E-mail. It's a seller on Ali...

gatto,
Buffet's keywork is made in Markneukirchen. My problem here is only that there is a significant amount of play even on new clarinets. They never get the pivot screw spacing right, it seems.

jdbassplayer,
have you tried another one of those? I suspect the quality can vary greatly, but I'm not too desperate about mine for now. Again I need to point out that the review on the "Martin Freres" Efer@clarinetpages was extremely favorable, but I'm definitely never going to get this guy's results with my instrument.

awildman and Klose,
Some people find that the Boehm and German system are becoming more and more similar in terms of sound. A small maker specifically told me that his Reform-Boehms sound exactly like his German system clarinets. Personally, I don't care about the system anymore (while of course there are some excellent, unique instruments that need to live on), but that's a whole different topic.

brycon,
I hope the high Bb sounds less terrible now. It certainly was easier to keep it in tune with my mouthpiece tape to the clarinet - go figure....

Regarding the discussion between Klose and awildman
Personally, I'm curious about the possibilities of such instruments and wanted a challenge on how much it is YOU that makes a clarinet sound vs. the material. The other question is, can the instrument be improved with a reasonably low amount of work? You probably shouldn't buy this instrument just for blowing an Eb for once, it might be easier to find someone owning a decent one or buying a used instrument, try it for while and then sell it again. That being said, 80$ is crazy cheap for what it does, IMHO



Post Edited (2018-01-01 21:30)

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2018-01-01 22:36

Kalashnikirby,

One thing you aren't taking into account is the durability of these instruments. On mine the pads started to tear after a week. The material is generally extremely thin and the toneholes are often sharp because they are rarely finished properly from the factory. On my Chinese Eb the pads started to tear after a week, after about a month the instrument needed a full overhaul, even though it was practically new! When you buy the cheapest version of something there is a guarantee that corners were cut somewhere.

While your instrument may look a lot like a Martin Freres, there are a few notable exceptions. Most notably, look at the pad cup on the left hand middle finger ring key:

http://martinfreres.net/clarinetcatalog/e_flat_soprano/model-e-34-eb-soprano-clarinet/

The pad cup is attached directly to the ring. While this may seem insignificant, this design feature tells us that this instrument uses a different and more refined design that your average cheap Chinese Eb.

As unfortunate as it is, unless you plan on completely rebuilding the instrument an $80 Eb is not a good investment. I have owned Cheap Chinese instruments in almost every key (Eb, C, Bb, A, G) and the story has always been the same, they always need major work to play well.

-Jdbassplayer

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 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: gatto 
Date:   2018-01-01 23:01

> Buffet's keywork is made in Markneukirchen. My problem here is only that there is a significant amount of play even on new clarinets. They never get the pivot screw spacing right, it seems.

Though it is quite off-topic in this thread, but I am really interested in this.

Do you mean the keywork itself (the keys) is made in Markneukirchen, or the mounting of the keywork onto the clarinets? I guess that, at least, the mountung is done in France, isn't it?

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2018-01-01 23:45

jdbassplayer,

you are right, this must be a completely different instrument! Unfortunately, I didn't pay attention. Checking on alibaba.com, however, one with this design pops up for pretty much the same price - 60$...
Seems like the "HCL-106E" has been redesigned at some point, there are offers with pictures of the pad cup attached to the key ring, others have it detached.
I actually plan on rebuilding this instrument. I've already had to invest a lot of work into my Amati A, which by the way has even worse pads and it's kind of my hobby. Seeing what terrible instruments (not of chinese make!), I've had in my hands already, I'm still optimistic with this one.

gatto,

this information is not 100% verified and I might even be wrong. However, I can very well renember someone who knew more of this stuff telling me that Buffet at least has their keys silverplated there. Officially, the lower end models are either completely made there or assembled there, with the bodies being made in france - depending on the model



Post Edited (2018-01-02 00:05)

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My new chinese Efer
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2018-01-19 18:14
Attachment:  Pomarico.mp3 (1062k)

As promised, the new recording with the Pomarico mouthpiece. I'd have liked to post a rythmically correct version but I'm totally exhausted now and feel like my lungs and lips had imploded while practising. Eb clarinets are hard to play, my goodness...
But I think the intonation is getting somewhere and the instrument can sound really fine, only the clarion B seems way too sharp. For the next days, I can probably do no further testing, sorry.



Post Edited (2018-01-19 18:15)

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