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 Sharp Bb
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2019-05-03 20:26

I have a couple of B & H 926 Imperials, and they both have a sharp Bb just below the break. I've experimented with various combinations of venting, pad shape, material and modifying the tone hole shape without appreciably improving the situation. I've tried several other B & H instruments which show a similar problem, so it seems that it may be a characteristic of the B & H design. Is anybody else familiar with this and can they suggest any way in which I might improve things?
Thanks in advance.

Tony F.

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 Re: Sharp Bb
Author: paulyb 
Date:   2019-05-03 20:38

What mouthpiece are you using? Is it bored correctly for a 926? Unless the bore is correct there will be some big problems with the intonation of the throat notes.



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 Re: Sharp Bb
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2019-05-03 22:30

Lee Gibson's "Clarinet Acoustics" will have many of your questions answered.

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 Re: Sharp Bb
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-05-03 22:58

You can obtain a correctly bored mouthpiece from Pillinger or perhaps even get him to re-bore one of yours.





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



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 Re: Sharp Bb
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2019-05-04 05:06

If I understand the situation correctly, while I need a cylindrically bored mouthpiece for a B & H 1010 or Symphony, which have a large bore, the narrower bored 926 should play with a conventional French-style mouthpiece. I have a 1010 which tunes well with the original B & H 1010 mouthpiece and also with my Pillinger rebored Selmer mouthpiece. My problem is with my 926 Imperials. I normally play these with a Clarke Fobes CF+, but even using an original B & H 926 mouthpiece the Bb problem is still present. I find the same situation on B & H Emperors and Edgwares, which are mechanically and acoustically identical, hence my thought that this is a characteristic of the breed.

Tony F.

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 Re: Sharp Bb
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-05-04 06:50

From Pillinger's website:


"Bb Clarinet Mouthpieces
Models F1, F2 , F3 and F4 are four distinctive mouthpieces designed to suit all French clarinets. Each model is available with a wide choice of different lays (facings). Individual facings can also be applied on request. All Bb models can have the bore modified for use with 926 or 1010 bore instruments.d for use with 926 or 1010 bore ins
F1 Classic style with a deep concave baffle and large slightly A-frame throat.. Strong dark tone."


My personal experience begins and ends with the 1010, however I have heard various, contradictory information on the requirements for the 926.


I would call Pillinger directly if I were you and find out what his take is on this. In the meantime it may be worth a shot to see what your 1010 mouthpiece(s) sound like on your 926.


Worth a shot.





..................Paul aviles



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 Re: Sharp Bb
Author: paulyb 
Date:   2019-05-04 11:09

There is some information specifically about mouthpieces for 926s in this thread http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=323261&t=323261 some of which is conflicting. My own experience is that a standard modern French bore mouthpiece (e.g. vandoren) gives unacceptably sharp throat notes on a 926.

If you've discounted a mouthpiece mismatch then there are more questions. Is it just Bb that is sharp or is throat A sharp as well? Is the side-key throat Bb fingering also sharp? Less sharp or more sharp? This information might help you narrow down the keys / holes that are the problem.



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 Re: Sharp Bb
Author: donald 
Date:   2019-05-04 16:50

Here's an idea that might make me unpopular, but please be assured I don't mean it to sound judgemental...
Many English clarinet players in the post war era adopted a sound production that was less focused than that preferred in other countries. While there were certainly excellent players who had an "English" sound but still maintained a ring and brightness in their tone (and there are certainly many of them playing today) there were some that seemed quite happy to perform with a very "wide" and unfocused sound. Even Jack Brymer noted this in The Clarinet.
I'm of the opinion that being "too focused" causes it's own set of problems, but that being "un-focused" is definitely not a good default mode (I actually find myself playing this way deliberately in certain moments, but then it's not happening by accident but is a conscious and deliberate action to achieve some result).
One of the symptoms of playing with an "unfocused tone" is that it tends to flatten short tube notes more than long tube notes. This is of course an advantage if you have a sharp left hand upper register, but is not friendly to the throat tones. It could be that the B+H clarinets had the throat B flat set higher in pitch than modern clarinets as a way of dealing with the prevalent fashion to play with that less focused tone quality?
Just a theory, and one with not much data to back it up. I do know of one English player (well, a NZer who lived in UK for many years) who actually TOLD ME he opened up the register key as much as possible to sharpen throat B flat as his tone production tended to flatten the throat notes (he said that, not me) and I've got to say, he did NOT play with a tone quality that would be welcomed in the modern world.... though he did at least make music sound like a work of art.

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 Re: Sharp Bb
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2019-05-04 18:30

Some good suggestions here, thanks to you all. Since writing the initial post I've been experimenting with a number of mouthpieces. I got the best results with a Vandoren 3 crystal mouthpiece, and also with one of Bob Ridenour's mouthpieces that I picked up with a Buffet I bought on EBay a couple of years back. I have 3 B & H 926 mouthpieces in my junkbox and they all gave different results. So much for consistency. Reed softness/hardness also gave wide variations in tuning when using the same mouthpiece. I have a Woodwind K7 that works quite well, and I propose to use it as a test subject and open up the bore a little at a time and see what that does.

Tony F.

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 Re: Sharp Bb
Author: paulyb 
Date:   2019-05-04 19:33

The B&H mouthpieces were notoriously variable in quality - not their strongest point. I've seen some people state that a 926 mouthpiece should have a conical bore if that helps your modifications:

http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=367963&t=367963#reply_367966



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 Re: Sharp Bb
Author: donald 
Date:   2019-05-05 08:28

Tony F, at the risk of sounding like another frequent poster here on the BB, since you're just over the ditch why don't you send me one of your 926 mouthpieces to reface? Just to see what happens...

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 Re: Sharp Bb
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2019-05-05 17:43


Hi Donald,
That would be a very interesting experiment. I'll contact you via email. Thanks.

Tony F.

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