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 Three Oehlers: which one to overhaul?
Author: Bill 
Date:   2019-07-21 06:43
Attachment:  20190719_120149.jpg (271k)

Like most people, I guess, I have three vintage Oehler system b-flat clarinets, and I have the budget (at present) to have just one overhauled. Below are the candidates.

(1) "Full" Oehler system (but without low E improvement) marked "JAN MICHL A SYN, KRASLICE, CECHY." I interpret this to be Johann Michl and Sons, Graslitz, Czechoslovakia, a musical instrument firm that ceased around 1936. From my reading, they did not make their own instruments but merely sold instruments (especially violins) marked with their name ("stencil"). My guess is that Kohlert made this clarinet. Condition is aged but excellent. No cracks. Two barrels. Pristine (but old and musty). Length ***without barrel*** = 22 and 1/16 inches. (I have not attached any photos of this clarinet.)

(2) F. Arthur Uebel b-flat serial number(s) 9036 (on the top joint) and 9035 (bottom joint). Much more basic Oehler system (see photo). Entirely separate keys for throat A and G#. No cracks. Short, "thicker" bell. Length ***without barrel*** = 22 and 1/16 inches.

(3) F. Arthur Uebel b-flat serial number 10610 (matching on both joints). Same basic Oehler system (see photo). More contemporary design for throat A and
G#. Evidence of pinned cracks on top joint ("shiny" spots where pins were concealed). About five of these. Also visible hairline crack (possibly pinned) in top joint. Barrel frozen to top joint (cannot be removed). Length ***without barrel*** = 22 and 9/16 inches. This is a substantially longer clarinet than the Uebel above (#2). The bell is longer (and "thinner").

I've read the pre-1961 Uebels (before Arthur's death) are the good ones. I believe the ones I have are from the 1940s. But the "Michl" clarinet has the extended keywork and seems, while lacking the name recognition of the Uebel, a better survivor.

I am puzzled why two Uebels in close serial number range should be of such different overall lengths.

Thanks in advance for any advice. I want to learn and play German clarinet. The fact that it is a dying system just makes it more attractive to me. And I have tons of Buffets for a rainy day.

Bill Fogle
Ellsworth, Maine
(formerly Washington, DC)


Post Edited (2019-07-21 06:52)

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 Re: Three Oehlers: which one to overhaul?
Author: awildman 
Date:   2019-07-21 08:26

I don't know the answers, but I love restored older instruments. Keep us updated!

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 Re: Three Oehlers: which one to overhaul?
Author: el gitano 
Date:   2019-07-21 15:38

Hi,
for my idea, the two instruments in the photo are not the Oehler system. The two are normal german system.
Ask the reformer, who make the work, what of them are the best one.
Claus

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 Re: Three Oehlers: which one to overhaul?
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2019-07-21 16:22

If #1 has the most advanced keywork I would go with that, #2 and #3 would be considered obsolete by today's standards and in most cases would not even be considered Oehler system.

-Jdbassplayer

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 Re: Three Oehlers: which one to overhaul?
Author: m1964 
Date:   2019-07-21 18:07

It depends on what you want to do with the restored instrument.

If you want to play it by yourself then I would try to determine which one sounds better (even if you can only play a couple of notes like G, F#, F, E).
Also, which one is more in tune itself and also if it can be tuned to 440hz.

If I wanted to sell the restored clarinet then I would not restore the one with the crack.

My 2p

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 Re: Three Oehlers: which one to overhaul?
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2019-07-21 18:12

I would have thought that it's the one that plays best that is the one worth renovating.

If you think that you need to overhaul it before you can find out how it plays, you probably don't. Here is a thread that may help:

http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=186495&t=186495

The difference in length and the non-matching serial numbers also concerns me. Playing would give information about that too.

Tony

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 Re: Three Oehlers: which one to overhaul?
Author: Bill 
Date:   2019-07-21 22:00

Thank you!

Bill Fogle
Ellsworth, Maine
(formerly Washington, DC)


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 Re: Three Oehlers: which one to overhaul?
Author: MichaelW 2017
Date:   2019-07-21 22:55
Attachment:  FAU _15002.jpg (245k)

Objection: From my (German) view Oehler/ German system is not at all „dying“! Over here it is still in the majority.

Your F.A.Ue.'s are, as you mentioned, from his time as an Arthur Oehler collaborator and top quality manufacturer and would be, at least from a collector's point of view, more interesting than Michl. But: The 9035/36 seems to be a bit dubious with its shorter lower joint (obviously a replacement; might it be that somebody replaced the original to try to achieve high pitch tuning?), and the 10610 has its cracks- which, if professionally repaired, wouldn't impair playing quality.

All three of your instruments wouldn't be called „Oehler“ but „German system“. For the difference you might find information here per search function.

I myself own (besides two FAUe Oehlers) a five- ring FAUe #15002 German system from 1955, silver plated, a very fine instrument (foto). In case you could read a little German: we had a discussion about these instruments in the Markneukirchen forum: http://www.museum-markneukirchen.de/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1139&p=10570#p10570

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 Re: Three Oehlers: which one to overhaul?
Author: Bill 
Date:   2019-07-22 00:44
Attachment:  s-l1600 (1).jpg (244k)
Attachment:  s-l1600 (2).jpg (253k)
Attachment:  s-l1600 (5).jpg (264k)
Attachment:  s-l1600.jpg (273k)
Attachment:  s-l1600 (10).jpg (264k)

Here are some photos of the Michl. This is an Oehler, right?

I'm on the Markneukirchen forum and can usually get it translated so that I can understand the basic meaning.

Fascinating idea about the shorter lower joint of my 9035/6 instrument. Thanks!

Glad Oehler system isn't dying -- I plan on learning it.

Bill Fogle
Ellsworth, Maine
(formerly Washington, DC)


Post Edited (2019-07-22 01:20)

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 Re: Three Oehlers: which one to overhaul?
Author: Bill 
Date:   2019-07-22 03:50

Thanks everyone! These posts have been very helpful. I plan to send the Michl clarinet for overhaul.

Bill Fogle
Ellsworth, Maine
(formerly Washington, DC)


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 Re: Three Oehlers: which one to overhaul?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2019-07-22 09:12

Well some of these horns are very special, to the point in which I almost bought a set a few years ago. I came so close. But not the German system.

I feel your real issue may be who will do the repair. This is how special these horns are. I don't think you have to worry about the serial numbers at all.

Seems like you have a good repairman above. Send it to him.

A friend sent his 1980's to the factory and the cost was over $3000. When he got his horns back he felt they were amazing. Just like new. So don't buy new horns spend the money and have these worked on. They are that special.

They are very tricky, not like Buffet's or other horns. The keys are very different.


Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist 2015




Post Edited (2019-07-22 09:22)

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 Re: Three Oehlers: which one to overhaul?
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2019-07-22 15:43

>> I plan to send the Michl clarinet for overhaul. >>

What pitch did it play at?

Tony

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 Re: Three Oehlers: which one to overhaul?
Author: MichaelW 2017
Date:   2019-07-22 22:47

Sorry, of course the Michl with its "Griffplatte" on the lower joint is an Oehler model. Like the earlier samples made by Arthur Oehler himself it does not have the Eb and sometimes F improvements of later top "Oehler" models.

General overhaul of my Oehler Uebels cost, five years ago, about 600 without resp. 800 Euros with replating. Bernd Renz, "Holzblasdoktor", Markneukirchen did an excellent job. Rolf Meinel and Frank Meinert, both Markneukirchen, also have a good reputation. With non- Oehler German systems it might cost 100 or 200 Euros less.

Generally I wouldn't recommend having such overhauls of older instruments done through the big name actual factories. I might suppose that US repairers have, in general, little experience with non- Boehm systems- perhaps rather with "Simple" or "Albert"- system?

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 Re: Three Oehlers: which one to overhaul?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2019-07-23 00:05

The RH2 fingerplate or Griffplatte and relocated Bb/F tonehole coupled with the forked Bb/F vent on the side of the lower joint is what defines Oehler systems:

http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/download.html/1,6360/s-l1600%20(5).jpg

They usually have a minimum of 24 keys and 5 rings - the low E or E/F correction key may or may not be fitted which would make them 27 or 28 keys with it fitted.

German system clarinets (with 17 to 23 keys and from 4 to 6 rings) other than Oehler systems have a ring key for RH2 with a tonehole chimney where forked Bb/F speaks directly from.

Also to be true German system, it's not about the bore diameter, but the length of the cylindrical section of the bore. On German and Oehler systems, the lower joint expansion at the tenon end starts at the lowest tonehole whereas French/Belgian clarinets have the expansion starting much further up the lower joint in the region of the F#/C# tonehole.

Chris.

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 Re: Three Oehlers: which one to overhaul?
Author: Bill 
Date:   2019-07-23 03:58

Since I'm an amateur player, it's OK if I have an instrument that plays at 445, or whatever. I think -- and I could be dead wrong here -- that most German system clarinets were made to play higher than 440.

I appreciate Tony's advice to patch things up with Saran Wrap and try the clarinet(s) first. Good advice.

Bill Fogle
Ellsworth, Maine
(formerly Washington, DC)


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 Re: Three Oehlers: which one to overhaul?
Author: m1964 
Date:   2019-07-29 22:22

Orchestras traditionally tuned to 440 or 442 Hz.

If you need to pull the barrel more than 4-5 mm, you can have rings made to insert into the barrel.
It may also indicate that the barrel is not original to the clarinet.

Regardless, even it is not original barrel and needs rings as long as the clarinet plays in tune there is no problem.



Reply To Message
 
 Re: Three Oehlers: which one to overhaul?
Author: Bill 
Date:   2019-08-21 04:35

I sent the Uebel 10610 for overhaul. Thanks to everyone for the marvelous education about German system and Oehler. Truly appreciate it.

Bill Fogle
Ellsworth, Maine
(formerly Washington, DC)


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