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 Kessler Custom Clarinet
Author: thereallukasj 
Date:   2018-01-14 23:21

Just asking if anyone has tried the NEW Kessler Custom 2nd Gen Bb clari that came out a few months ago and what their opinions were on the playability. For those that dont know, its an Artist series Grenadilla Bb clarinet with silver plated keys and a ringless design. It also boasts a voicing groove in the bell and appears to be a very nice horn. The one technical thing I wish it contained was an Eb lever but oh well. For the price of about $800 it seems to be a very good deal. The question remains, how does it play?

Lukas Johnson

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 Re: Kessler Custom Clarinet
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-01-15 02:24

Ringless design = cracked sockets.


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 Re: Kessler Custom Clarinet
Author: Clarineteer 
Date:   2018-01-15 02:38

That looks like a copy of the cheap clarinets that Backun has made in China which are no good. Also that tenon design equals wobble.

Post Edited (2018-01-15 03:17)

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 Re: Kessler Custom Clarinet
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2018-01-15 03:27

Chris P, according to the specs and pictures, each tenon socket has an inner metal ring as well as a metal ring in the upper tenon. Also, the specs sheet says it's made of ebony which is much denser than grenadilla. And, according to Alseg, ebony is so dense that "It blunts turning tools more readily than does mpingo."

Clarineteer, I believe the metal inserts in the middle of the sockets would actually stabilize the connecting points to a great degree.

This appears to be a high quality clarinet at a very reasonable price.

Just my opinion...

Post Edited (2018-01-15 03:35)

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 Re: Kessler Custom Clarinet
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2018-01-15 03:41
Attachment:  Kessler-metal ring in tenon-middle.jpg (81k)

Kessler Second Generation Custom Clarinet specs info:

(You'll need to scroll down towards the bottom and click on "Specifications" which is located on the left side.)

Post Edited (2018-01-15 03:47)

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 Re: Kessler Custom Clarinet
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-01-15 20:46

I assumed 'ringless' meant just that - all sockets need to be reinforced with a socket ring no matter how thick or thin the wood is. Even sockets with a thick diameter collar turned on the ends but with no other reinforcement can crack once the tenon cork or a rocking tenon applies force from within.

So 'ringless design' means it appears to have no visible metal socket rings, only they're present and are well hidden.


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 Re: Kessler Custom Clarinet
Author: thereallukasj 
Date:   2018-01-16 01:04

From what ive heard from Dave, the new Kessler clarinet is strengthened a lot from the metal tenon inserts and has been validated on its sound and response by several excellent players. I made this thread asking more about the playability of the instrument than its actual design.


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 Re: Kessler Custom Clarinet
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2018-01-17 04:04

Anyone know if the bore design is similar to any of the recent Backun lower priced horns...e.g. the Alpha or Beta?

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 Re: Kessler Custom Clarinet
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2018-01-17 21:51

Lukas, a clarinet’s “playability” can mean more than the instrument body itself.

For example:

The type of mouthpiece used:

From a past BB posting: “I bought a nice Hammerschmidt mouthpiece that was recommended among the professional clarinetists of its time. This remarkably improved my playing and tone. I never thought that a mouthpiece could have such a big influence on the tone projection and playability of a clarinet.” (click on “Text-only version”, then look at first response)

The reed thickness (from 2 independent sources verifying the same parameters):

“The thickness of the tip and heel and the profile in between affect the sound and playability.”

“The thickness of the tip and heel and the profile in between affect the sound and playability.”

The ligature used:

“Every difference in a ligature's configuration will have an influence on tone, intonation, and playability.”

And, finally, the size of the clarinet bore:

From another past BB posting: “I have found that a smaller bore makes the clarinet sound darker and project more, but it requires more air, and has more resistance. The larger bore clarinets have less of a focused, projected tone, but they have more ease of play. They also tend to be easier to bend the tone colours with.”

So, IMHO, playability can vary with different mouthpieces, reeds, ligatures, and bore sizes.

I think it would be best if you were to define what playability means to you, then you might have a greater chance of getting the response that you are looking for.

Just my 2 cents worth…

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 Re: Kessler Custom Clarinet
Author: Johnnie Goldfish 
Date:   2019-03-07 19:24

As this is a Gen2 model and Kessler lists it as intermediate along with the Backun Protege at less than half the price, is the ebony comparable to grenadilla for th e average student wanting to bump up a little from plastic?

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 Re: Kessler Custom Clarinet
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2019-03-08 03:51
Attachment:  embedded_ring.JPG (66k)

Quite clear how this works from the images at Kesslers site (see attached).

It does seem like a lot of extra parts and cost compared to an external ring...I imagine it is because the Backun brand is about "all wood" clarinets, and this one still looks that way, but is perhaps better.

I'm surprised that the radius of the thumbrest mount doesn't match the horn in this picture...

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