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 Adjustable barrels any good?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-02-20 07:02

Hi,

I wondered if I might ask whether anyone has experience of adjustable barrels, and whether they are as good as promised for adjusting tuning, and whether they affect tone?

https://www.amazon.com/RS-Berkeley-Freedom-Adjustable-Clarinet/dp/B00EAH2W1Y#customerReviews

Thanks!

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 Re: Adjustable barrels any good?
Author: JMason 
Date:   2019-02-20 07:15

I have the barrel you are asking about. This is from another post about tuning problems:

I am 66 years old and I play in two different venues;church where the piano is tuned to 440 and most of the time feels like 50 degrees; second a jazz band where the sax player always plays sharp 442 or 443 and won't change so everyone else just tunes to what he is doing,(it is a good thing that the keyboard has an adjustable tone slider.) To solve my problem I bought an adjustable barrel a "FACB-01 Freedom Adjustable Clarinet Barrel" from RS Berkeley around $80.00 on Amazon. It is adjustable from 60mm to over 70mm and I cannot tell any sound difference and allows me to play however sharp the crazy sax player wants to play.
But it also helps when I play in church. You play one song and wait 20 minutes and then play 3 or 4 songs and wait another 20 or 30 minutes. My clarinet plays flat when cold but after a couple of minutes will play in tune. With just a twist of the wrist I can play in tune with out any work on my part.

I like it.

Jeff

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 Re: Adjustable barrels any good?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-02-20 07:53

Jeff,


Honestly I did not bother to look at the barrel when you first posted about it. Aluminum has the added advantage of heating up pretty fast, so that aids the tuning process as well. I like the fact that it is metal. That at least would reinforce upper partials (one of the selling points of the old DEG barrels).


So Jeff, when you turn the ring to move the barrel up or down the mouthpiece remains horizontal (in line with your mouth)?


Some of the other offerings I have seen in plastic do not keep the mouthpiece at the playing angle.



................Paul Aviles



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 Re: Adjustable barrels any good?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2019-02-20 08:04

Guy Chadash makes a decent one, but are a tad bit expensive. They work pretty well.


NEWLY DESIGNED - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist




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 Re: Adjustable barrels any good?
Author: fernie121 
Date:   2019-02-20 08:37

The zoom barrels are really popular. I’ve never tried one, but some of the best players in the world do.

Bb Clarinet: Ridenour G1, Mouthpiece: Bernardo’s 1940 Cicero Reeds: Vandoren traditional 3.5, Behn Aria 4, Ligature: BG duo

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 Re: Adjustable barrels any good?
Author: gwie 
Date:   2019-02-20 09:18

I have the P&S Zoom barrel for my Yamaha CSG Bb/A set, and it's wonderful. Easy switching between both instruments in orchestra, sounds great, and easy to adjust for pitch. Does exactly what it is supposed to do. :)

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 Re: Adjustable barrels any good?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-02-20 10:06

Gwie - How much range of tuning do you get from the P&S Zoom barrel? I'm looking for it for a Yamaha CX so very close to your Yamaha CSG.

Does it keep the tuning fairly consistent across the range of the instrument?

Thanks!

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 Re: Adjustable barrels any good?
Author: gwie 
Date:   2019-02-20 10:31
Attachment:  behn.jpg (63k)

The P&S barrels adjust within a 3mm range, to my knowledge, which is more than sufficient for most of the tuning situations I've run into, especially since the stock CSG barrels are short (~55mm average). Both the Bb and A have no issues with it, and switching is a breeze.

However, I'd highly recommend checking out Brad Behn's new adjustable "Precision" barrel as well. While the metal tuning ring in the middle of the barrel is similar, the mechanism is quite different, and Behn's barrel is completely wood. The CX uses standard length 65-66mm barrels right?

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 Re: Adjustable barrels any good?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-02-20 11:22

gwie - Thanks, that's good to know.

Yes the CX has a 65mm barrel. How do I find Brad Behn's new adjustable "Precision" barrel? It doesn't show on a google search.

I wrote to Joe Wolfe in Australia and he said:

A longer barrel flattens the instrument, but has a greater effect on short tube notes. 1 mm on a 300 mm tube changes 0.3 percent, 1 mm on a 500 mm tube changes 0.2 percent. 6 percent is a semitone.

So if you get 3mm total range, is that only a very tiny fraction of a semi-tone?

Thanks!

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 Re: Adjustable barrels any good?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-02-20 12:29

So the stats that you quote are probably correct but you'd never want to (or be able to thank goodness!) go up or down a full half step. If you have a tuner, 10 cents is a pretty drastic difference and a few millimeters will do the trick.



I found this:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dT2d6ZVeZik


which is a better description of the RS Berkeley Adjustable barrel than anything on their own website (come on guys!).


I think they just sold me a barrel.




.................Paul Aviles



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 Re: Adjustable barrels any good?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-02-20 14:46

That really sounds ideal. I just need to work out which one is the good one, and then I can buy one. Thanks!

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 Re: Adjustable barrels any good?
Author: Micke Isotalo 2017
Date:   2019-02-21 02:08

I wrote this in a previous thread about the Paulus & Schuler Zoom barrel:

On my Wurlitzer Reform Boehm's it doesn't either improve or harm the sound. The latter is somewhat impressive though, since most non-original barrels that I have tried through the years has been negative to the sound.

When lowering the tuning it must be turned out longer compared to the pullout of a regular barrel, probably since the gap between a regular barrel and the upper joint tenon is missing and thus no added internal volume is created that way.

The throat tones gets just as flat as with a relatively shorter pullout of a regular barrel, when lowering the general tuning to the same level. An exemption may be mouthpieces that creates drastic flatness of the throat tones at the slightest pullout, as at least some mouthpieces with Austrian bores on German bore clarinets. In these cases the Zoom barrel may actually even out the scale a little bit. At least I have a feeling of that, but I just haven't made the effort to get solid evidence.

I didn't find any improvement in sound with a turned out Zoom barrel compared to a pulled out regular barrel - despite the claim that a maintained "wood-to-wood" contact between the barrel and upper joint would have such an effect.

My findings about sound were based on recordings of the entire chromatic scale of my clarinets (up to d#6) and then a comparison by a playback of three notes at a time in instant succession with either the Zoom barrel or the regular Wurlitzer barrels.



Post Edited (2019-02-26 22:52)

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 Re: Adjustable barrels any good?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-03-05 13:58

Hi,

I wondered if I could ask a quick follow-up question to this?

I would like to buy one of the adjustable barrels, and find one that can sharpen my Yamaha CX clarinet by two tenths of a semi-tone, but I am not sure which one to buy.

I see that the Paulus & Schuler GbR Zoom Clarinet barrels come in different lengths, but the zoom range is not explained. I wondered if anybody might know which barrel would have a long enough range to do the job?

https://www.thomann.de/gb/paulus_schuler_gbr_zoom_clarinet_buffet_rc_62mm.htm

(I'm looking for quite a big range adjustment, because I am only on grade 2 at the moment and my embouchure is not strong enough to reliably bring the clarinet up to pitch. I am thinking that the adjustable barrel might give me a leg up, while I get better at controlling the pitch myself.)

Thanks!

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 Re: Adjustable barrels any good?
Author: jthole 
Date:   2019-03-05 14:11

SunnyDaze wrote:

> (I'm looking for quite a big range adjustment, because I am
> only on grade 2 at the moment and my embouchure is not strong
> enough to reliably bring the clarinet up to pitch. I am
> thinking that the adjustable barrel might give me a leg up,
> while I get better at controlling the pitch myself.)
>
> Thanks!

I am not sure if that is the intended use of adjustable barrels. In this case, I would first look at reed, mouthpiece, and (especially) embouchure exercises. You don't want to learn bad habits reinforced by an adjustable barrel.

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 Re: Adjustable barrels any good?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-03-05 17:20

When I have seen a good description of the Paulus and Schuler Barrels (and this one is not), it indicates a range of about 3mm (ie from 62-65mm). I cannot tell from Thomann's description if they are referring to the longest or shortest dimension (though I'd assume the shorter).


If you are in the United States, it is also helpful to know that there is a minimum shipping charge (for a minimum weight to a fairly inclusive weight) of about $40 US dollars that you add to whatever you order from Thomann. So it's better if you have a list of things you're getting all at once.


I wanted to add a review of the RS Berkeley Barrel and never got around to it. This is actually a pretty nice barrel! I would say it is up there with the DEGs of years gone by in terms of sound and probably a bit better than any composite material barrels which unfortunately decouple the resonance from the mouthpiece and the rest of the clarinet (in my opinion).


I would take issue with "jthole's" contention that the adjustable concept teaches you bad habits. On the contrary, I think being able to reach up with your right hand and tune a low "C" or open "G" WHILE YOU PLAY INTO A TUNER can only help train your ear better.



The RS Berkeley has a VERY wide tuning range since it operates from 60mm to a whopping 70mm.


My only issue was that I had a "burr" on the top tenon of my top joint that had to be lessened to get my provided Greenline R13 barrels to go on properly. Still the RS Berkeley snugs up just before sitting flush for me but I assume that might still just be my clarinet's problem.


I would recommend the RS Berkeley to anyone with intonation problems. It is fully adjustable and has a really competitive sound. The design does however generate an internal space as you adjust out, but it is a much shallower gap than what you get when you "pull out" with a normal barrel.




....................Paul Aviles



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