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 Vandoren tuning rings, good or not?
Author: Kaos 
Date:   2019-06-17 03:31

I am a conservatory student, me and my teacher noticed that my clarinet started to play one semitone sharp in all the instrument range. It gets noticeable especially when I play in Conservatory Youth Orchestra with other clarinets. He tried the instrument himself to confirm it. It's a Yamaha 26II with B45 mouthpiece, I just got it fully serviced. If I pull out the barrel a little the clarinet is perfeclty in tune (I also checked with the tuner) so my teacher ordered for me the vandoren tuning rings to keep the barrel shifted at a steady height, are them good? have you tried these rings? I should receive them in a week or 2.

He said that Yamaha student clarinets are usually pitched sharp for beginners with poor embochure, they play right at the beginning but once you start to grow out of them they sound a little sharp because you play harder reeds and your embochure is getting good. Is it true? Did you have the same problem? How did you solve it? (besides getting a new horn!)

I know I should get a pro wood clarinet but for now I can't afford it, my family is not wealthy and I'm on a scholarship, so my teacher tries to get my actual clarinet sound as best as it can that's why he got me the tuning rings. For exams and special events he borrows me his Buffet Tradition, even though he said that my 26II has quite a good sound.

(I'm from Italy so here we play at 442)

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 Re: Vandoren tuning rings, good or not?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2019-06-17 04:32

Kaos wrote:

> I am a conservatory student, me and my teacher noticed that my
> clarinet started to play one semitone sharp in all the
> instrument range.

I'm hoping you're using the wrong term and that you mean some other unit. A semi-tone (half-step) isn't something that will be fixed by pulling out a little. That's the difference between a Bb and an A clarinet, and the difference in length is considerably more than that.

If pulling out "a little" corrects the pitch, the correct tuning ring will do the same thing without leaving the gap between the end of the tenon and the shoulder of the barrel socket. I've found that, as far as I can tell, a tuning ring isn't worth the (admittedly slight) inconvenience of having to keep track of it in my case (they fall out when the instrument is disassembled). If I need to pull the barrel more than a millimeter-and-a-half or so, they do seem to improve the response, I suppose because that gap inside causes some amount of back pressure = resistance. But with less of a barrel pull than that, I've never felt there was a difference. Clarinets aren't generally, and IMO shouldn't be, tuned perfectly to a specific pitch standard with the original barrel all the way in. You need to have some ability to adjust to higher-than-usual pitch.

If your B45 is a Traditional model, which is pitched *nominally*, I think, at A442 but might actually play higher if your clarinet is also tuned sharp, buying a B45 in the Series 13 model, which is made to play at a lower pitch (*nominally* A440, but on a sharp instrument would obviously play higher) might bring your pitch down enough. Obviously, much more expensive than pulling the barrel out or using tuning rings.

I've heard through the years that the instruments meant for beginning students are pitched sharp deliberately as you've described, and it may well be true - I've never checked for myself. But the pitch is the result of the combination of mouthpiece, barrel and instrument with some influence coming from the player.

It's very nice of your teacher to lend you the Tradition for exams and special events.


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 Re: Vandoren tuning rings, good or not?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-06-17 06:27

Any tuning ring should do the job ok. I use the metal ones from Clark Fobes but they are much more expensive.

I have a solution to having them get lost in your case. When you disassemble the horn, take a half a Kleenex (facial tissue), ball it up and stuff it into the socket where you have the rings! You just have to keep track of the wads of Kleenex.

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

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 Re: Vandoren tuning rings, good or not?
Author: Kaos 
Date:   2019-06-17 22:55

Thank you for your replies, sorry I probably explained bad because I only study english at school. I will have my teacher test the tuning rings at the store where he ordered them before buying, and if they are not enough to solve the sharpeness I'll have to get a new mouthpiece series 13 as kdk said.

Thanks Paul Aviles I tried that and it worked!

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