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 Libertas with Cocobolo Barrel and/or Bell
Author: Jack Nelson 
Date:   2019-06-13 05:18

It seems like many clarinetists who purchase a Backun Alpha clarinet also invest in a cocobolo barrel and/or bell in order to circumvent a certain brightness that is endemic with synthetic clarinets.

If a synthetic clarinet is purchased for the purpose of avoiding the possible cracking of the instrument due to outdoor performances in extreme weather conditions, wouldn't the cocobolo barrel and/or bell be susceptible to cracking thereby negating the reason for the purchase?

In other words, are barrels and bells made of wood in danger of cracking under conditions of extreme temperature and humidity in addition to the wooden body of the clarinet?

Has anyone tried cocobolo barrels and/or bells with the Lyrique Libertas? If so, what did you discover?



Post Edited (2019-06-13 05:21)

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 Re: Libertas with Cocobolo Barrel and/or Bell
Author: gwie 
Date:   2019-06-13 05:53

A barrel is inexpensive and easy to replace.

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 Re: Libertas with Cocobolo Barrel and/or Bell
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-06-13 07:29

I have to push back against the entire premise.


Firstly synthetic clarinets tend toward being slightly less resonant if anything.


Secondly, the cocobolo barrels and bells have a certain sound/response that some players prefer and it does not depend on whether the clarinet is synthetic or wood, though the majority of players preferring the third party barrels and bells tend to play wooden horns.


Now, if one uses a synthetic horn strictly for its durability regarding outdoor use, it makes little sense to use it with a wooden barrel or bell. This would make even less sense with cocobolo which is much more prone to expansion and contraction with prevailing moisture to which it is exposed.


And yes, cocobolo is more susceptible to cracking than African Blackwood.


Lastly it is just as easy to cause more tuning and response problems than you solve with third party barrels and bells. One needs to sit down with a tuner and go through a selection of barrels and bells at a reputable dealer to find the ones that work for you and your horn. Remember, clarinets are built to play with the barrels and bells that come with them (no offense intended to manufacturers and dealers of after market bells and barrels).





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



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 Re: Libertas with Cocobolo Barrel and/or Bell
Author: Steven Ocone 2017
Date:   2019-06-13 17:38

Interesting question regarding cracks. Barrels do crack but not nearly as frequently as the top half of the upper joint. I believe that moisture absorbed in the upper tone holes and hole for the register tube increases the likelihood of cracks in this area.

Steven Ocone
Ann & Steve's Music

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 Re: Libertas with Cocobolo Barrel and/or Bell
Author: Erez Katz 
Date:   2019-06-13 20:52

I believe cracks form when wood expands unevenly.
The barrel is small enough such that moisture and temperature differences along it too small to stress the wood.

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 Re: Libertas with Cocobolo Barrel and/or Bell
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-06-13 21:45

Though I have not had a barrel crack, I have owned several wooden mouthpieces that cracked along the table. So I would say that the length of the wood involved is not necessarily a factor in cracking.






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



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 Re: Libertas with Cocobolo Barrel and/or Bell
Author: ruben 
Date:   2019-06-13 22:59

Paul: I agree that coco and softer-than-blackwood cracks more. In fact, I'm sure of it. That's why Clark Fobes lines his coco barrels. I'm pretty sure Tom Ridenour doesn't make clarinets out of ebonite so that they don't crack: he makes them-or has themmade-because he believes in the acoustic qualities of ebonite.

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com


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 Re: Libertas with Cocobolo Barrel and/or Bell
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-06-13 23:55

Agreed, but also not the topic of the thread.





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



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 Re: Libertas with Cocobolo Barrel and/or Bell
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2019-06-14 03:48

Synthetic Clarinets have a hollowish sound. The barrel helps greatly to assist to give it a more acceptable sound.


They aren't expensive to replace compared to the body which can be quite costly.

The bore of the Ridenour is different, so wouldn't be a great test.

http://www.SkypeClarinetLessons.com


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 Re: Libertas with Cocobolo Barrel and/or Bell
Author: Leon P 
Date:   2019-06-14 08:31

If "synthetic clarinets" are less resonant or have a "hollowish sound," how is it that there are so many professionals playing the Libertas? Also, if these clarinets have such sub-standard abilities, why would the players of the Libertas be winning major clarinet contests across the USA?

Yes, I do play a Ridenour Lyrique Libertas, and I have had nothing but sincere compliments from many clarinetists in my area, all of whom are astounded at the tonal qualities of the instrument.

Honestly, I wouldn't consider trying an aftermarket bell or barrel on my instrument, as I know that the acoustical properties of the entire clarinet were designed by one of the greatest acoustics engineers extant.

Léon P

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 Re: Libertas with Cocobolo Barrel and/or Bell
Author: fernie121 
Date:   2019-06-14 08:47

Well I do think there is a difference in sound between most synthetic clarinet and hard rubber clarinet (I own the 576 and have tried the libertas). And they are also different from grenadilla wood clarinets. I’m quite happy with my wood clarinet by Ridenour.



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 Re: Libertas with Cocobolo Barrel and/or Bell
Author: blueclarinet 
Date:   2019-06-15 06:41

I’ve only had one barrel crack, and the sound was beautiful: a high-pitched pinging sound. One would think that the rings would keep the barrel from cracking,but that isn’t the case.

William C Sereque

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 Re: Libertas with Cocobolo Barrel and/or Bell
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-06-15 07:31

Oh yeah, that reminds me of the ringless (not even the extra thickness of wood at the ends) barrels of a certain clarinet maker that were having regular cracking issues.






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



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 Re: Libertas with Cocobolo Barrel and/or Bell
Author: J. J. 
Date:   2019-06-15 07:33

Leon, you may need to check your facts. "So many" professionals? How many? and do they reach the highest levels of playing, i.e. orchestral musicians or soloists?

Also, "winning major contests throughout the USA?" Other than one winner of the Oklahoma or ICA competition trumpeted by Tom Ridenour years ago, who else has won?

None of this means that the clarinets have a "hollowish sound." But you're hardly providing convincing evidence otherwise. I would consider whether or not you're spending too much time listening to what Ridenour himself has to say about his clarinets.

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 Re: Libertas with Cocobolo Barrel and/or Bell
Author: fernie121 
Date:   2019-06-15 08:22

I know that his C clarinet is pretty popular. Ricardo Morales uses it and regularly recommends it to his students.

I do know that the Prodige Backun barrel cracks ALOT. The wood I think is just to thin to not have metal rings.



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