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 Need help identifying a Normandy
Author: gavalanche20 
Date:   2017-12-15 06:20

Hi guys,

I recently purchased a used, overhauled Normandy clarinet but need help identifying which model it is. The seller thought it was either a 5 or a 7, but it's difficult to tell for sure as there is no number by the Normandy logo. The serial number is A13088, it has a wooden body, and a plastic bell. I'm not sure what the barrel is made of (seller said hard rubber) but I actually like the sound of it so far. It sounds quite nice, but the long tube notes feel like it's stuck in the horn and not projecting, the intonation is only okay but for what I paid I'm quite happy with it.

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 Re: Need help identifying a Normandy
Author: gavalanche20 
Date:   2017-12-15 06:27
Attachment:  IMG_0711.jpg (781k)
Attachment:  IMG_0712 3.jpg (1554k)
Attachment:  IMG_0709 3.jpg (1931k)
Attachment:  IMG_0707 3.jpg (1705k)

Here some pictures, hopefully somebody will be able to help me identify the model. Thanks!

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 Re: Need help identifying a Normandy
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2017-12-15 06:57

I believe it is a "Transitional" Normandy:


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 Re: Need help identifying a Normandy
Author: gavalanche20 
Date:   2017-12-15 08:37

I've read that article as well, and I'm doubtful as the Transitional has inline trill keys mounted on three sets of posts, whereas the trill keys on my clarinet are mounted on four. I'm also unable to spot a "Made by Noblet" marking on the upper joint, although there is "Made in France" on the rear.

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 Re: Need help identifying a Normandy
Author: Ursa 
Date:   2017-12-15 11:14

It's a model 7, with the hard rubber barrel from a late model 11. Perhaps we could dub yours the "7-Eleven"...

Those Model 11 hard rubber barrels are actually very nice.

A mismatched mouthpiece can really mess up the intonation on the early Normandy models, resulting in sharp throat tones along with a painfully flat low E and F. The inexpensive Hite Premiere tunes well with these clarinets.

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 Re: Need help identifying a Normandy
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2017-12-16 01:42

Haha, Ursa, great humor AND great work with your Normandy research!

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 Re: Need help identifying a Normandy
Author: gavalanche20 
Date:   2017-12-16 10:28


Thanks for the info, I do quite like the barrel myself. As for those specific tuning issues I haven't encountered them on those particular notes but I will definitely keep that in mind. Thanks again!

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 Re: Need help identifying a Normandy
Author: Ursa 
Date:   2017-12-16 12:48

Glad to be of assistance!

I'm troubled that you're finding your Normandy a bit stuffy on the bell tones and not projecting well. Perhaps there's a leak lurking somewhere. A properly set up Normandy should be an easy blow and project well, just like the Noblet 40 that it is based upon.

Intonation wise, a leak could account for some faults, too. But, note that your clarinet is from the late 1950s, and tuning accuracy sometimes didn't measure up to what we'd expect to encounter today.

Your clarinet, thankfully, looks to have decent nickel plating; poor quality plating was sometimes an issue with Normandy during the era in which yours was built.


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 Re: Need help identifying a Normandy
Author: gavalanche20 
Date:   2018-01-27 11:59

Hi Ursa,

Finally took the time to sit down with a tuner to adjust the Normandy, your suggestion about the Hite Premier was bang-on, and after pulling out a little here and there I have it mostly in tune save for the chalumeau A, which is quite sharp. I also haven't noticed the stuffiness I reported earlier.

The only downside is that I'm not a massive fan of the Hite itself, I've been a lot more prone to squeaking (Curiously I had initially this problem as well with the last Babbitt mouthpiece I tried, the Debut, although not with Zinners), although it's probably just me getting accustomed to it. It's also not as easy to play, although it's a little more open than what I'm used to (I'm already seeing improved results with my softer reeds), and I've perhaps been spoiled by my Hawkins. May I ask what other mouthpieces, if any have also tuned well for you with Normandies?

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 Re: Need help identifying a Normandy
Author: Ursa 
Date:   2018-01-30 01:25

The Portnoy BP01 also tunes well on the Normandy. The BP01 I have in my studio, however, is also a squeak monster--if you elect to audition the BP01, it's probably a good idea to try several and pick the best one.

Post Edited (2018-01-30 01:26)

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