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 Intonation Tolerance
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2018-01-16 04:50

I recently spoke to a clarinet salesperson who told me that the intonation of a certain model of clarinet that they sell is "within tolerance".

I would like to know what "within tolerance intonation" means to you. How many +/- cents off from zero would be acceptable to you?

Thank you in advance for your comments.

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 Re: Intonation Tolerance
Author: Caroline Smale 
Date:   2018-01-16 05:03

On it's own it's a pretty meaningless phrase.

Tolerance is what you would tolerate, and depends largely on how good an ear you have.
All clarinets have some discrepancy between perfect and actual pitch on at least some notes, it's just not possible to make one "perfectly" in tune (and perfectly is a moveable feast anyway - is G# same as Ab ??)

some regions of the clarinet are particularly dufficult to tune and differences of +/- 10 cents may be unavoidable whereas in other areas 3-4 cents or better should exist.

The most important factor is how the dicrepancies are distributed along the scale and how easily correctable by a good embouchure.

my two-penneth anyway.

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 Re: Intonation Tolerance
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-01-16 06:15

My first reaction is that it's something a salesperson would say who doesn't know what he's talking about. It sounds good, but it's basically meaningless.


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 Re: Intonation Tolerance
Author: Burt 
Date:   2018-01-16 07:04

Ask the salesperson what numerical value the tolerance in terms of +/- how many cents. My guess is that you will find that Karl is right.

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 Re: Intonation Tolerance
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2018-01-16 08:40

I had a pretty fast phone conversation with this person. I tried to pin down some +/- specifics, but, did not really succeed well.

I believe this person is very well respected in the clarinet community and is probably known to everyone on this BB.

Reputations can be easily tarnished.

Perhaps this person was purposely vague because everyone's interpretation of what is a tolerable intonation deviation is different.

What is a tolerable intonation deviation to one person may be totally intolerable to another.

Perhaps this model of clarinet simply met this person's criteria of a tolerable intonation deviation.

I believe my query has been answered.

Thanks everyone!

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 Re: Intonation Tolerance
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2018-01-16 20:37

Some brands are more consistent than others, and tuning can be affected by mouthpiece and reed combinations. 3 - 4 sounds about right, but it depends on evenness. If you go up a scale and it's consistently about that far off, you can do something, but if it goes up and down a lot from one note to the next, it can be rough. Because of the setup thing, you can't really just take someone's word for it.

Post Edited (2018-01-16 20:40)

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