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 Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: DD 
Date:   2019-01-27 14:05

I recently purchased a C clarinet and stumbled upon Clark Fobes C clarinet extension. It fits between the bell and the end of the clarinet. This adds a properly sized and positioned tone hole to produce the E/B twelfth.

According to the website
"Due to the much larger impedence of sound at the end of the clarinet the long B natural is often resistant and of a much different timbre than the throat tones. My extension greatly alleviates this problem - it also reduces the oversized twelfth interval. As a very happy coincidence the extension of the air column tends to even the timbre of both clarinets and produces a much more supple tone through all registers."

I wonder the same would work for a Bb clarinet ? If so, why is there no such product in the market (as far as I know)

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: donald 
Date:   2019-01-27 15:16

There used to be an Italian company (not Orsi or Patricola, but I can't remember the name) that made b flat and A clarinets with an extra 10cm on the lower joint, and e/b emitted from a tone hole rather t b an the bell (essentially a low e flat hole without a pad/key over it....

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: Caroline Smale 
Date:   2019-01-28 03:17

B&H did make just a handful of their 1010s with a low Eb extension. I think this was primarily to get the benefit of a better vented E/B.
However like most "inovations" manufacturers seem curiously reluctant to make any changes to their standard instruments.



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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: DD 
Date:   2019-01-28 04:23

I guess this may have to do with the additional weight and inconvenience of a longer instrument. I guess that's why full Boehm clarinets, despite their acoustic advantages, are not mainstream nowadays.

But I'm just curious why Clark Fobes only made extensions for Eb and C clarinets? Is it because of the special acoustic properties of Eb and C which make them more desirable and necessary, as opposed to a Bb or A clarinet ?

And has anyone tried EVO Bb/A Clarinet Bell with the optional vent hole?



Post Edited (2019-01-28 06:28)

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: donald 
Date:   2019-01-28 09:22

I feel like I'm going crazy- I can't find any evidence on the web, but I'm CERTAIN that about 20 years ago an Italian maker made a normal Boehm clarinet, but with an open tone hole at the bottom of the lower joint (between the E/B key and the bell, and beyond the "normal" E/B key). This was so that E/B emitted from a tone hole, not the bell. There was no key for this tonehole, so it couldn't be used for low E flat....
If anyone else has a memory of this, and the maker (Ripamonti?) it would be greatly appreciated. I remember thinking at the time "hey, you could just make an small joint to go between the lower joint and bell, and it would do the same thing" (at a time before the E flat joint extensions were available).
dn

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: ebonite 
Date:   2019-01-28 12:35

There was also one Buffet model that had the extra hole without a key: Elite

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: DD 
Date:   2019-01-28 13:54

ebonite, are you talking about this? See the first clarinet on the following page:

http://www.woodwindforum.com/clarinetperfection/alternate-keywork/

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: donald 
Date:   2019-01-28 15:26

The one I saw definitely wasn't a Buffet, and I have played several Elites and never seen one with an open tone hole between the e/b key the bell. They may have made one like this, if you say so!

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: ebonite 
Date:   2019-01-28 15:38

donald wrote:

> The one I saw definitely wasn't a Buffet, and I have played
> several Elites and never seen one with an open tone hole
> between the e/b key the bell. They may have made one like this,
> if you say so!

The hole may have been an optional extra (see DD's picture above for an example)

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2019-01-28 17:15
Attachment:  r4430.jpg (330k)

Orsi made their Verdi model clarinets with the long lower joint with an open E/B tonehole. If that tonehole is closed, you'd get low Eb and middle Bb as on full Boehms.

Selmer used to make otherwise plain Boehm systems to low Eb, but most clarinets built with the longer lower joint were full Boehms.

Chris.

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: DD 
Date:   2019-01-28 18:30

Thanks all for the great sharing. Back to my previous question, why there's extension for C clarinet but not for Bb? If there's one, is it going to solve the problem of the low E, or will it create more problems?

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2019-01-29 01:17

It shouldn't cause any problems using an extension on a Bb or A clarinet considering they have been made with longer lower joints, either in the form of full Boehms or like the Buffet Elite or Orsi Verdi.

Low E is purposely designed to be flat on the majority of clarinets unless they have a low E/F vent fitted to correct it. Having an in tune upper register (mid stave) B is more favourable even though it's at the expense of the flat low E - if the low E was in tune, you'd have a painfully sharp upper B and that's not something that can be flattened easily.

Chris.

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: Ralph Katz 
Date:   2019-01-29 02:57

I have a Fobes extension for Eb clarinet and find it can be useful. But it makes the horn longer and spoils the visual appeal of having such a small instrument. At may age, it is great to have mechanical fixes to intonation issues I have lived with lo these many decades. But also, I am used to lipping things to proper pitch (as I understand it). So, I mostly leave the extension in my case, unless called upon to play gobs of low E's, or buried in the back of an enormous ensemble where nobody can see me.

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: DD 
Date:   2019-01-29 03:36

I made a cardboard version of the extension for my Bb clarinet. What I noticed is that the low E becomes more in tune and its tone colour matches more with the low F. The B becomes less resistant and the colour matches more with C, but a bit too sharp. This crude experiment makes me think that with the right design, this would be a viable aftermarket solution to the problem.

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: DD 
Date:   2019-01-29 03:38

The photo of my prototype



Post Edited (2019-01-29 04:16)

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: Ed 
Date:   2019-01-29 03:51

You would have to ask Clark more details, but I seem to recall having a discussion with him at some point and he indicated that he tried it for Bb and it was not as effective.

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2019-01-29 05:52

I have also seen replacement bells that have a hole in them...also for venting/intonation.

This has long been a practice in Irish and folk flutes. If you buy a 6-key Irish flute, it often has two extra holes in an extension, and an option to buy two more keys. It does help intonation and add projection

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: donald 
Date:   2019-01-29 16:42

The one I saw wasn't the Orsi, but cool to hear that they tried this. The top line Orsi clarinets were (are?) very fine instruments. I'm pretty sure the Buffet Elite is the result of "aftermarket" customisation, does anyone know for certain that buffet offered this as an option? I've known two very fine European players who used this model and neither of them had it or mentioned it. My B flat clarinet doesn't really need this kind of help, but my R13 A clarinet could certainly benefit from this!



Post Edited (2019-01-29 16:50)

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: DD 
Date:   2019-01-29 19:49

I dropped Clark a line. I was told that his C extension works for Bb clarinets too! That's intriguing...

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: donald 
Date:   2019-02-08 13:52

After writing above that I'd never seen a Buffet Elite with the extension, I noticed that in my collection of DVDs I have a performance of Spohr 1st concerto- very musical performance by Curzio Petraglio playing a Buffet Elite with the extension.
Here is a bit of it on youtube...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjSHuvcs0a4
There are some shots in the DVD where you clearly see the extension, and open hole.
The sound is a bit thin as posted to youtube- on my DVD it sounds a LOT better! (ps, I LOVE Peter Maag!)

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: DD 
Date:   2019-02-08 21:00

I have just ordered the C clarinet extension, let's see if it works on my Bb clarinet!

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: donald 
Date:   2019-02-09 05:54

I'll be VERY interested to hear how this goes, please keep us posted! (I'm primarily interested in something like this for my A clarinet, but this will be a starting point).

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: DD 
Date:   2019-03-12 08:30

The Clark Fobes extension finally arrived at my doorstep after a long delay (Clark not to blame but the forwarding agent which forwarded the package from US to Hong Kong). Got a chance to quickly test it on my Bb and C clarinets. It immediately solves 2 problems on my Bb clarinet (a vintage SML Lemaire with Moba barrel and Bell): 1. the low E used to be about 15 cents flat, and tend to sound stuffy. Now the intonation is right on spot, and the colour matches more with the neighbouring notes. 2. the third line B used to be a bit flat and very stuffy, now it's in tune (maybe a 5 cents sharp), and the tone is BEAUTIFUL. No more stuffiness usually associated with this note for most clarinet (I have already done all the advices out there, e.g. add a left hand G#, rounding the edges of the Bb cork, etc., there are some improvements, but still not satisfactory)

On my C clarinet (a Lyrique), I don't seem to notice too much of an improvement in both intonation and tone quality (maybe a little bit improvement for the third line B in terms of clarity).I say this because the Lyrique that I have is already quite good in both aspects.

Donald: given the longer tonehole spacing in an A clarinet, I think the low E and third line B will play a bit sharp.

It seems to be a worthwhile investment for those struggling with my problems. Disclaimer: I have no business relationship with any brands that I mentioned above.

Desmond Leung



Post Edited (2019-03-12 08:32)

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: DD 
Date:   2019-03-14 08:09
Attachment:  received_397009617758373.jpeg (77k)

A photo of my current setup.

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: donald 
Date:   2019-03-30 08:03

Something I'm curious about... Is the bore of these mainly cylindrical?

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: DD 
Date:   2019-03-30 19:08

My understanding is that SML clarinet has a mainly cylindrical bore (as opposed to polycylindrical bore design in an R13), but obviously the bore gets larger as it approaches the bell, as is typical in French clarinets.

Since the extension is for C clarinet, its bore diameter is actually a bit smaller than the lower end of the Bb lower joint, but I don't notice any significant problems with the sound and intonation because of this.

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: donald 
Date:   2019-03-31 04:26

I'm asking about the bore of the extension (ie if THAT is cylindrical). Obviously it is elongating the bore at a tenon, and although the entry to the bell may be smaller than the end of the lower joint (the so called "choke" employed in the R13 design) it would seem to make sense that the extension would just have a cylindrical bore. Though it may not. No way to know without examining one or asking someone who is able to do so.



Post Edited (2019-03-31 14:19)

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: DD 
Date:   2019-03-31 18:42

I don't have the tool to measure the bore of the extension, but it seems cylindrical to me.



Post Edited (2019-03-31 18:42)

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 Re: Extension to Bb clarinet?
Author: donald 
Date:   2019-03-31 23:44

Thanks!

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