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 metal bass
Author: Bubalooy 
Date:   2018-03-18 12:01

I understand that there have been good metal clarinets made and that even some professionals have used them in the past. I have never played on a good one, but I haven't tried many. I have played on good contra-bass clarinets though, and in fact, all the contras I've ever seen have been metal. So I am curious. Has anyone produced metal bass clarinets, and if not, why not?

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 Re: metal bass
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-03-18 12:16

I am curious to know what brands your metal contra-bass clarinets are?

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 Re: metal bass
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-03-18 14:06

Leblanc made metal contras in straight form to low Eb and in paperclip form to low D or C. They also made some metal basses (even a paperclip model), but mostly wooden ones to low Eb and low C.

Kohlert also made metal basses and G.R.Uebel made aluminium bodied basses to low Eb and D (both German and Boehm system).

Metal basses (and contras) are a far more practical thing than plastic ones as it means the key fit can be made to close tolerances whereas plastic basses do need the extra lateral slop between keys and pillars so they'll still function in cold climates - metal basses won't have that problem as metal is very stable with temperature changes compared to plastic.


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 Re: metal bass
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2018-03-18 20:51

The Eppelsheim contrabass is also metal.
Buffet used to make a metal contrbass but that was a very long time ago.

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 Re: metal bass
Author: Wes 
Date:   2018-03-18 23:56

Many years ago, I played with two or three people who had metal bass clarinets, but don't remember anything about them.

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 Re: metal bass
Author: David Spiegelthal 2017
Date:   2018-03-19 14:32

I played a Kohlert metal bass clarinet for several years. It played just like the corresponding wood model of that vintage (pre-WWII).

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 Re: metal bass
Author: derf5585 
Date:   2018-03-20 00:23

Heard a story. Do knot now if it is true.

At rehearsal the conductor noticed the contrabass clarinet was metal. The conductor was not pleased. Then to clarinetist painted it black. The conductor was pleased and said it sounded much better.

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 Re: metal bass
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-03-20 16:17

I think that was in one of the California orchestras - either Los Angeles or San Francisco.


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 Re: metal bass
Author: Bubalooy 
Date:   2018-03-26 02:19

I just want to answer Klose's question. The metal contras I've played were LeBlancs. I have never owned one, they were supplied by the schools I attended. It would seem to make sense to make bass clarinets out of metal, so I'm surprised they don't seem to be on the market. Bass clarinets seem quite prohibitively expensive. I would think metal might make them a bit more affordable.

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