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 Uebel 621 (German system)
Author: Bill 
Date:   2019-03-02 04:26

Was the Uebel 621 (German system), as made in the 1980s (or so), a professional instrument?


Bill Fogle
Ellsworth, Maine
(formerly Washington, DC)

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 Re: Uebel 621 (German system)
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-03-02 08:59

My impression from trying the Uebel German system horn about five years ago was that the company decided to pursue top level instrument manufacture with the Boehm systems and market them in the US. The German horn of five years ago was pretty second rate and was in no way a reflection of the quality that they put into the Boehms.

My guess is that the earlier German system Uebels (the ONLY Uebels of the time) where meant as an affordable fully keyed option for students.

I hope that if this is not accurate (regarding the horns prior to 2013) someone will chime in quickly to correct this.

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

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 Re: Uebel 621 (German system)
Author: YT 
Date:   2019-03-02 11:56

I've had similar experiences with the German Uebel instruments, good for beginners, but not a professional instrument.


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 Re: Uebel 621 (German system)
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2019-03-02 20:07

It was earlier than the '80s, but Leister played an Uebel before he switched to Wurlitzer, so yes, they were professional instruments, but I don't know about specific models. My understanding, though, is that Uebel now is a quite different ownership situation, and some people have opined that the German system horns are now made substantially somewhere other than Germany. I played for awhile on an old Uebel Oehler system basset horn, and it was fantastic.

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 Re: Uebel 621 (German system)
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-03-03 13:10

There is this information on the interweb:

"One sale ad gives this information:
Gerhard Rudolf Uebel (1915-1991) was a member of an instrument makers family with a tradition dating back to 1878. The F.Arthur Uebel company is still making clarinets in Markneukirchen (Germany). G.Rudolf was a nephew of F.Arthur and took over the production of flutes when F.Arthur passed away in 1963. The clarinet workshop went to his brother Max Werner, who continued making clarinets under the brand name of his uncle. The company is now no longer family owned and resides under Triumph Adler AG (together with Courtois,Strasser-Marigaux and Meinl). The production of flutes apparently ended with the death of G.Rudolf Uebel in 1991."

I suppose the old Uebel Co. bears no resemblance to the new. I assume that Leister's affiliation was prior to Triumph Adler AG.

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

Post Edited (2019-03-03 13:11)

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 Re: Uebel 621 (German system)
Author: MichaelW 2017
Date:   2019-03-03 13:30
Attachment:  FAU Marke Sammel.jpg (105k)

I'd assume that Karl Leister played FAUe Oehler system instruments from the 1936 to 1962 period (serial nrs. about 7000 to 17800 according to Dr. Enrico Weller) or perhaps one of the later top models, see below.

After Arthur Uebel's death (1963) and nationalization of the firm (1972) general quality declined. After the end of GDR (1989) and reprivatization ownership changed repeatedly, and quality issues remained over years.

An exception, concerning the Oehler models, were the top models 700 from about the 1980ties, especially the selected „Künstlerinstrumente“, according to Dr. Weller officially and individually tested and marked with a „k“ and notehead sign, see photo. These were given to top artists in GDR orchestras and, as far as I know, even not obtainable in Western countries (my son got a set of 700 „k“ clarinets from his teacher some years after the end of GDR).

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 Re: Uebel 621 (German system)
Author: donald 
Date:   2019-03-03 13:44

F. Arthur Uebel was one of the student/apprentice makers who learnt from Oskar Oehler. Uebel clarinets were certainly professional instruments in the first half of the 20th century. In the latter half the firm continued to make pro level instrument, but also student level horns (and the name was also associated with some mass produced instruments). Interestingly they were making reasonably good Boehm system clarinets until at least the 1980s.
These instruments had a German bore in that it remained parallel for longer in the lower joint (and thus required the double f/c pad for extra venting, and had keywork more closely resembling "full boehm" than "reform boehm" which kept the price down.
They varied in design - with the more expensive models being very well made, but acoustically were too resistant for most boehm players, and tended to make a great sound but within limited dynamic boundaries.
I don't know if these were common in the USA but a few pairs turned up in NZ, and for a while I owned an A clarinet I bought from a German fellow (from the East) that had very good build and intonation, with the limitations described above. The ones I have seen/owned were all made prior to the 1980s, had excellent keywork and played with a distinctly "German" tone quality.

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 Re: Uebel 621 (German system)
Author: John Peacock 
Date:   2019-03-03 14:06

I don't think the Uebel 621 is a professional model. As far as I know, they've used the same model numbers for many years, and the present German-system offerings are 621, 622, 632, 634. The latter two are actual Oehler system machines, with the fingerplate for RH middle finger, but 621/622 just have open holes on the RH. The 621 has fewer keys - e.g. only 1 key between the LH rings, whereas the 622 has two. So the 621 looks to me more like the Uebel entry-level instrument, perhaps analogous to the Buffet E13.

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 Re: Uebel 621 (German system)
Author: David Spiegelthal 2017
Date:   2019-03-05 06:54

I have a 621, like it a lot. But I'm not a "professional" player. That said, I like F. Arthur Uebel clarinets so much I have two of their Boehm-system Bb and one Boehm A soprano clarinets, the 621 Oehler-system Bb, and an Oehler-system bass clarinet. I don't know the vintage of the bass, but the soprano clarinets all date from the 1970s or 80s.

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