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 Selmer Series 9 Intonation Issues
Author: bassclgirl92 
Date:   2018-03-15 22:57

Hi all,

I have a Selmer Series 9 and recently purchased a new mouthpiece for it. My setup is absolutely amazing - it speaks effortlessly and has great sound. The only problem is that I'm now noticing how out of whack my intonation is. When it's first warming up, it plays flat. When it's warmed up, however, the middle notes (particularly C up to A) are insanely sharp. But pulling out makes other notes in the upper registers go flat.

I am using a Vandoren 5RV Lyre mouthpiece and a size 3 Vandoren V21 reed. I don't know anything about the barrel - it is just whatever came with the instrument when I purchased it.

I am unsure if the instrument was always sharp, as I primarily play bass and have not played clarinet since my marching band days (and when I did, it was a different horn).

I went to the Backun site and spoke to someone there who recommended a slightly longer Fatboy barrel, and said that my mouthpiece tends to play high.



Post Edited (2018-03-15 22:57)

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 Re: Selmer Series 9 Intonation Issues
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2018-03-15 23:47

Here is a general tuning correction list.
It is a good starting point and doesn't cover all the possibilities.
-------------------------------------
Lower register flat and left hand upper notes sharp?
*Barrel bore too large.
Third register "altissimo" notes flat?
*Barrel bore needs to be cylindrical or mouthpiece bore too large.
Third register "altissimo" sharp and the throat tones flat?
*Barrel bore needs to be conical, (Same or larger toward the bell).
Twelfths near the mouthpiece too wide?
*Barrel bore needs to be conical, (Same or larger toward the bell).
Sharp up to about A in the second register and flat above that?
*Mouthpiece bore is oversize.
Flat up to about A in the second register and sharp above that?
*Mouthpiece bore is undersize.
Sharp in the upper part of the second register and the lower altissimo notes?
*Barrel bore too large.
Flat in the upper part of the second register and the lower altissimo notes?
*Barrel bore too small.
Left hand twelfths too wide?
*Expand the bore around the speaker hole either conically or cylindrically.
Altissimo is sharp and the twelfths near the mouthpiece are too large?
*A conical barrel will help.
-----------------------------------------
I am an acoustics hacker and have collected these from many sources. Corrections appreciated!



Post Edited (2018-03-16 00:14)

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 Re: Selmer Series 9 Intonation Issues
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-03-16 01:23

Title should be: 9 serious Selmer intonation issues

More seriously, try a 13 series Vandoren. Its bigger volume will bring down the 1st register tones proportionally to the distance from the mouthpiece. It will also raise the pitch of the upper 2nd register relatively to the rest of the tones.

When I check my notes though, they say I get the best result with a standard size mouthpiece for the Series 9 I own. The throat tones get too flat and the upper 2nd register too sharp with a 13 series mouthpiece. Might work for you.



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 Re: Selmer Series 9 Intonation Issues
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-03-16 01:46

Ken,

Interesting compilation.

My experience is a little different on some points.

Mouthpiece bore size generally matters more than barrel bore. I believe this is because the mouthpiece is closer to where the sound waves originate.

The shape of the barrel bore does not itself affect the intonation. Only the volume and its position do. However, this means that a reverse taper barrel could affect intonation more than a parallel bore barrel with the same volume just because the bigger volume is placed higher.

These ones must have been mixed:
"Sharp up to about A in the second register and flat above that?
*Mouthpiece bore is oversize.
Flat up to about A in the second register and sharp above that?
*Mouthpiece bore is undersize."

A bigger bore mouthpiece always widens the 12ths in the upper left hand tones. If you play a C major scale and have trouble reaching up to the last 2nd register C6, a bigger volume mouthpiece will help.



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 Re: Selmer Series 9 Intonation Issues
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-03-16 02:14

bassclgirl92 wrote:

> I am unsure if the instrument was always sharp, as I primarily
> play bass and have not played clarinet since my marching band
> days (and when I did, it was a different horn).
>

Given what you say above, you might have someone else try your setup and see if the intonation problems travel with the instrument. Those clarinets weren't designed to be out-of-tune. But they were designed AFAIK with cylindrical barrels and mouthpieces of the time. Is there anything on the barrel you have to indicate that it was a Selmer barrel or, better, originally included with the 9?

> I went to the Backun site and spoke to someone there who
> recommended a slightly longer Fatboy barrel, and said that my
> mouthpiece tends to play high.
>

Are you using a 5RV Lyre Series 13 or the Traditional 5RV Lyre? The Traditional Vandorens do play slightly higher than the Series 13s, but if you already have a Series 13, that advice seems less valid.

> When it's warmed up, however, the middle notes (particularly
> C up to A) are insanely sharp.

Which are the "middle" notes? Do you mean the chalumeau notes leading up to throat A (C4-A4)? Or the clarion register C5-A5?

Karl

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 Re: Selmer Series 9 Intonation Issues
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2018-03-16 04:49

Thanks so much for the feedback.
Funny - I was looking at those lines you quote and thought they were wrong so I changed them.
My thought was that the notes up there have shorter vibrations, now more in the mouthpiece bore, so enlarging the mouthpiece would make the pitches lower.

Maybe you have an explanation for where I am wrong?



Post Edited (2018-03-16 04:56)

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 Re: Selmer Series 9 Intonation Issues
Author: Jeroen 
Date:   2018-03-16 16:22

Ken Lagace wrote:

> My thought was that the notes up there have shorter vibrations,
> now more in the mouthpiece bore, so enlarging the mouthpiece
> would make the pitches lower.

This works for the lower register, esp throat area. However the effect diminishes when going higher. For the altissimo it's mainly the length of the bore that counts, not the volume. So, reaming your mouthpiece makes the throat notes lower but will not alter the altissimo.

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 Re: Selmer Series 9 Intonation Issues
Author: Jeroen 
Date:   2018-03-16 16:32

I have played Series 9 clarinet without that many intonation issues. Quite common is that right hand chalumeau a and b raise in pitch when playing soft. This is due to the wider bore design in combination with very large tone holes.
When playing louder, the Series 9 should be reasonably well in tune. In my case I never used a '13 series' mouthpiece, the standard Vandorens worked best.

My suggestion is that the barrel is not good. Btw. even an original barrel could not be optimal.

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 Re: Selmer Series 9 Intonation Issues
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-03-17 03:18

Ken, look at this article, especially the part about bore perturbation:
http://www.sfoxclarinets.com/baclac_art.htm

"A mouthpiece with a bore smaller than ideal will play sharp up to about A in the second register, then flat above that; one with an oversize bore will behave in the opposite way, flat up to the same point and sharp above"



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 Re: Selmer Series 9 Intonation Issues
Author: TrueTone 
Date:   2018-03-17 23:23

While it might be you or the barrel that's the problem here, my intonation on the Series 9 Bb I own is noticeably better with a Chicago Kaspar (unfortunately, getting another one of those would be fairly difficult) than with a Vandoren M15, (what probably is closest to a 5RVLyre in interior dimensions that I have) both woth the original 67mm barrel, especially in that region of the horn you mentioned, although it wasn't insanely sharp to begin with. The A is still noticeably sharp though.
I don't recommend a Backun fatboy(that model specifically, at least) that you mentioned on a large bore clarinet like a Series 9-it's designed for a clarinet with a much smaller bore, and the only one of them that I've played on a S9 messed up the twelfths. A MoBa barrel I briefly tried seemed to be better, although I wasn't testing it with a tuner, so their other models might be better in tune on a larger bored clarinet.



Post Edited (2018-03-17 23:35)

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