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 Mfg. Year of Normandy 4
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2018-01-23 00:26

I have, what I consider to be, a pristine Normandy 4 with a serial number of 63XX. I tried to find out how old it was but the chart that I found only goes back to 1964 with a serial # starting at 24000.

I would appreciate it if someone could help me determine its age.

Thanks.

http://www.dannychesnut.com/Music/Clarinet/Leblanc/LeblancSerialNumbers.htm (Scroll almost all the way down to the bottom.)

p.s. No, I'm not planning on selling it. I need to find a really good clarinet tech who's willing to put "all the pieces back together" from my half-done complete overhaul which I started around 5 years ago.



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 Re: Mfg. Year of Normandy 4
Author: dubrosa22 
Date:   2018-01-23 00:43

Are you sure it's a Normandy 4?
Model 10 has very similar keywork according to this website:

http://www.clarinetpages.net/vintage-odd-brands/normandy/detailed-normandy-model-history


V

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 Re: Mfg. Year of Normandy 4
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2018-01-23 01:11
Attachment:  Upper section.jpg (983k)
Attachment:  Lower section.jpg (1038k)
Attachment:  Serial No.jpg (1007k)

Yep, it's a Normandy 4.



Post Edited (2018-01-23 01:26)

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 Re: Mfg. Year of Normandy 4
Author: Ursa 
Date:   2018-01-23 01:28

According to my serial number records, production of the Normandy 4 got rolling around 1970.

The earliest Normandy 4 I've found has serial number 62740. Perhaps your serial number was supposed to be in the 63000 range, and a workman made a blunder inscribing it onto the instrument. It's also possible that your body joints are warranty replacements.

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 Re: Mfg. Year of Normandy 4
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2018-01-23 01:47

Well, all I know is that it has the same serial number on both joints.

The barrel only says Normandy. Should the number 4 be on it?



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 Re: Mfg. Year of Normandy 4
Author: Ursa 
Date:   2018-01-23 02:15

Dan, none of the Normandy models had model designations on the bell.

The upper joint logo on your Normandy is correct for a 1970 instrument.

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 Re: Mfg. Year of Normandy 4
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2018-01-23 02:48

Thanks, Ursa. It appears that you are correct in that a final zero may be missing from both joints. How strange...



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 Re: Mfg. Year of Normandy 4
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-01-23 04:09
Attachment:  manual stamp.jpg (225k)

I have a Leblanc L300 A clarinet with a serial in the 21 thousands, dating it to the early 1960s.

The only problem with that is that the model was introduced in 1982...

I suspect that Leblanc reused previously abandoned bodies.

Another forum member has an Opus with a serial in the 58 thousands which dates it approximately to 1987. The Opus was introduced in late 1991.

It's my impression that the serial number was stamped using a counting mechanism and was not manually done digit by digit. You can see that on older instruments where the digits can be very unevenly placed and where mistakes have been corrected.



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 Re: Mfg. Year of Normandy 4
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2018-01-23 04:31
Attachment:  Serial No.jpg (915k)

Johan, here's a better picture of the serial number. If this was indeed stamped using a counting mechanism, then, to my understanding, this number is really not a serial number. And that, I believe, would make it all the more harder to determine when it was actually manufactured.

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 Re: Mfg. Year of Normandy 4
Author: Ursa 
Date:   2018-01-23 06:03

Johan,

Leblanc reset the Normandy serial number counter back to 1 when the Normandy models 5, 7, 10, and hard rubber 11 were introduced.

It would thus not be unprecedented that they would do the same thing again when rolling out new Leblanc, Noblet, and Jeffrey models.

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 Re: Mfg. Year of Normandy 4
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-01-23 19:39

Ursa,

"Leblanc reset the Normandy serial number counter back to 1 when the Normandy models 5, 7, 10, and hard rubber 11 were introduced."

Interesting. I suppose this must have happened in the 1950s. How did you find this out? Following the timeline of adverts and price lists? I haven't investigated the matter very much and thought the serial numbers with a letter were part of the same series but the letter meant something. Early Leblanc clarinets also have a letter in the serial number. Since these letters appear in all the early generations of Symphonie clarinets (up to 5 digits Symphonie 3) there was no similar reset of the serials.

"It would thus not be unprecedented that they would do the same thing again when rolling out new Leblanc, Noblet, and Jeffrey models."

I don't think so. Evidence speaks against it. For example, the L300 has serials going from around 54000 to 58000 (my outlier A clarinet excluded) and the L7 from 28000 to 45000.



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 Re: Mfg. Year of Normandy 4
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-01-23 19:54

Dan/Ursa,

When I check my little "register" of serial numbers I find no less than 5 other Normandy 4s with low serial numbers between 5000 and 12000. The bulk of Normandy 4s then start at 58000.

If deviating serial numbers were the result of mistakes, we should see serial numbers that were "ahead of their time", for instance an L7 with a 60000+ serial. But so far I have only seen serials that lag in time, hence my theory that they were reusing old bodies that for some reason had been abandoned. This is quite strange though since the serial number was probably stamped very late in the process, probably just before the key work was mounted. Reusing a body with a serial number stamped would require an almost identical design. The tone holes could be reworked and made larger and the bore could be re-reamed and made larger but overall it would be a complicated process.



Post Edited (2018-01-24 13:13)

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 Re: Mfg. Year of Normandy 4
Author: Ursa 
Date:   2018-01-24 01:14

Johan, I'd be happy to share notes and evidence; kindly send me an e-mail. Let's not "hijack" this thread...



Post Edited (2018-01-24 01:16)

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 Re: Mfg. Year of Normandy 4
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-01-24 13:25

To summarize, my safest bet is that Dan's instrument is a prototype that was made in 1970 using an old body. The instrument was then sold on the market along with the mass-produced instruments starting with a 58xxx serial.

If that theory holds, chances are good that the instrument in question is better than the mass produced ones. It has been worked on and tested much more and the work has been done by craftsmen, not workers.

My L300 A with a 21XXX serial is in fact better than the two other L300s in A I have tested.



Post Edited (2018-01-24 23:17)

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 Re: Mfg. Year of Normandy 4
Author: Steven Ocone 2017
Date:   2018-01-24 23:43

Leblanc had many different serial number series. When they still existed as a separate company, we would nag them for a comprehensive list. I don't think they had one.

Steven Ocone
Ann & Steve's Music

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