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 Possible Intonation Adjustment?
Author: Anonymoose 
Date:   2019-11-30 05:06

I have a nice playing clarinet in my possession, well sealed and even across the registers. It plays generally in-tune except for the left hand chalumeau (throat A-C), which is 5-10c flat, and also the middle B and C, which is also a little flat.

Is there a remedy for this? Could I go to a repair specialist to undercut the holes to raise the pitch?

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 Re: Possible Intonation Adjustment?
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2019-11-30 07:42

When it is flat in the left hand and more in the upper than the lower notes, a longer barrel may be the answer. Pull the barrel out and see if it all tunes better.

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 Re: Possible Intonation Adjustment?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-11-30 08:19

Odd, I was thinking exactly the opposite! If I see this correctly, "Anonymoose" is flat from the "C" below the staff through the second space "A." To me this would be remedied by using a shorter barrel. Also Boehm clarinets are supposed to be a little high on middle "B" and "C," and we are supposed to lip those down a bit. So I'd try a SHORTER barrel.




See which one works better and let us know.





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



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 Re: Possible Intonation Adjustment?
Author: igalkov 
Date:   2019-11-30 15:50

Hi Anonymoose,
I'd try first to tune the clarinet by the method described in full by Tom Ridenour: https://www.rclarinetproducts.com/tuning-the-clarinet-for-performance
This method literally changed my life. Never had a better tune in ~25 years of playing.

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 Re: Possible Intonation Adjustment?
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2019-11-30 17:22

Paul, of course you are correct, it needs a smaller barrel.
Thanks for your gentle response, you caught me in a severe 'senior moment'. I am embarrassed and should have asked my great grandson to check my writing!

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 Re: Possible Intonation Adjustment?
Author: Ed Palanker 2017
Date:   2019-11-30 18:07

Yes, flat means you need a smaller barrel. Remember the saying, better to be sharp than out of tune. But really, it's easier to make adjustments to bring those notes down that to bring the up in pitch so try several different smaller barrels if you can. Different bores can make slightly different results.

ESP eddiesclarinet.com

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 Re: Possible Intonation Adjustment?
Author: Anonymoose 
Date:   2019-12-04 00:26

Hey all, thanks for the replies.
I don't think a shorter barrel will fix the issue, as the left hand upper register as well as the rest of the clarion register (besides the middle C and B) is in tune. The left hand chalumeau is just really flat. I tried some barrels, 65mm with some vandoren mouthpieces (non-13 series) and the problem is still there.

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 Re: Possible Intonation Adjustment?
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2019-12-04 01:58

65 mm is not considered short. Find a 62 or 61.

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 Re: Possible Intonation Adjustment?
Author: Anonymoose 
Date:   2019-12-04 19:49

Will order some to try but wouldnt using a 62/61mm barrel affect the upper register too, not just the chalumeau?

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 Re: Possible Intonation Adjustment?
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2019-12-04 20:05

You have a problem and need to do much experimenting to find something that will (might) work.There may not be any solution to the problem if the clarinet bore is inaccurate for the barrel and mouthpiece, or there isn't a combination with mouthpiece that will be acceptable. A test 61mm barrel can be slid out to 66mm to check which length in between works the best, and the best may not be good enough.
It may take more time, money and experimentation that you are willing to invest. Your call.

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 Re: Possible Intonation Adjustment?
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2019-12-04 20:08

I'm surprised nobody mentioned this yet, but there are two separate problems here: the throat tones and the lower clarion register. Each will have to be tuned separately.

For the throat tones, the easiest solution is to get a shorter barrel like everyone said, but also get a longer register tube. The longer tube will compensate for the sharpness that will be introduced to the upper clarion register. A stock Buffet R13 register tube is my favorite to use for this purpose as it is a bit longer than many other brands.

For the B and C, the easiest solution is to have a small hole drilled in the bell to bring the notes up to pitch. You could also find a replacement bell.

-JDbassplayer

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 Re: Possible Intonation Adjustment?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-12-04 22:04

I might suggest that the upper clarion is easy to play really really high by pinching (or biting) until the notes play at their apex pitch. The point is to play in a more relaxed manner so that those notes speak well and play a bit lower. And the solution here would be to ............



USE A SHORTER BARREL.



I throw out the question to "Anonymoose," can you easily make your left hand clarion notes significantly sharper in the moment (without pushing in)? If not, relax your embouchure and try a shorter barrel.





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



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 Re: Possible Intonation Adjustment?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2019-12-04 23:16

There is a term called undercutting the holes. If the notes are flat in both of the registers and a barrel doesn't fix this you can have the holes undercutted. I do this all of the time on horns and yes I have to be careful. You don't want to do too much.

Also it could be the tuning of your mouthpiece. If you are playing on Vandoren's this is a common issue.


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


Yamaha Artist 2015




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 Re: Possible Intonation Adjustment?
Author: donald 
Date:   2019-12-05 01:06

To begin with - the B and C being flat. This is not typical of these notes, but there are a couple of model clarinets that tend to have this problem. In both cases it is the bell that is the problem- if the bore diameter at the start of the bell is too narrow it flattens these notes. R13 bore clarinets are INTENDED to have this "choke" in the design, however the typical R13 will have slightly sharp B and C. Over the years I have encountered numerous plastic "Selmer USA" students clarinets, and a number of Amati horns- both plastic and wooden, that have a flat B and C that can be helped by enlarging the diameter at the socket end of the bell.
I have an R13 A clarinet where the B was quite flat, another Buffet bell solved this- and measurements showed that in this case, the bore diameter at the top of the bell was the issue. Bell dimensions can vary as well as barrel dimensions!
Making a venting hole, mentioned above, may also help.

As for the left hand chalumeau register (assuming you mean "middle C" through to throat A). As it is currently the top register is sharper than the lower register by 5 to 10c. This is not unusual - it's what is referred to as "wide 12ths" and many clarinets, even very expensive professional horns, have a spread as much as 10c (especially R13 A clarinets!!!!!!). Your manner of tone production will have an influence here, thus different players will get different results and getting used to it may help.
But at the moment your lower register is flat and upper in tune. For many clarinets we live with the lower register in tune and the upper left hand slightly sharp. A different barrel MAY help this (the Moennig bore- or any barrel with a reverse conical bore MAY improve these wide 12ths).
A shorter barrel will bring the throat notes up to pitch (the shorter the tube used for any note, the more the barrel will influence pitch, so a short barrel will sharpen the A more than the middle C).
It may be that for this clarinet a barrel will help close the 12ths, but most likely is that the best is that the 12ths can be closed a bit, but you'll have to live with a slightly sharper "left hand clarion".
btw left hand lower register E is often very flat- and I know people with $10,000 clarinets who have to live with this (opening the C#/G# key raises the pitch, and this can be useful for long exposed notes but not very helpful in scale passages!)
dn

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 Re: Possible Intonation Adjustment?
Author: jbutler 2017
Date:   2019-12-05 02:14

Debris in the tone holes will make it play flat. Might be as simple as cleaning them out. I just had a customer in with this issue and got a lot of debris out of them.

jbutler

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 Re: Possible Intonation Adjustment?
Author: donald 
Date:   2019-12-05 04:12

Debris in the tone holes would affect both registers though (and would flatten the upper register more than the fundamental). Of course cleaning the tone holes is a good idea though!
I'd suggest trying a Muncy plastic barrel 2mm shorter than the one you currently use and see where that gets you. They are very economically priced, don't sound awful and from my experience they seem to be quite reliable as far as the bore taper goes so will give you a good idea if the tuning issue can be improved by a barrel.

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 Re: Possible Intonation Adjustment?
Author: Anonymoose 
Date:   2019-12-05 07:45

I've ordered a few barrels to try, of various makes and sizes.
Which repair shops around NYC would people recommend for undercutting or drilling a hole in the bell?

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 Re: Possible Intonation Adjustment?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2019-12-05 09:27

Maybe give Guy Chadash a call? He's surely qualified as he makes clarinets.

There is Mark Jacoby in Philadelphia, just a 2 hour train ride. There are some others I'm sure that can do this.


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


Yamaha Artist 2015




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 Re: Possible Intonation Adjustment?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2019-12-05 09:34

I misread your opening post. As for the throat notes. The throat A can often be adjusted by the height if the key, plus a cork pad with thinned down sides to let out more air. If that doesn't work then undercutting is needed.

As for the B and C a smaller bell should work. This will prevent any serious adjustments needed to the horn; In case you decide to change mouthpieces later on.


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


Yamaha Artist 2015




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 Re: Possible Intonation Adjustment?
Author: donald 
Date:   2019-12-06 00:05

When Bob writes "smaller Bell" he means shorter. A shorter total length will sharpen the pitch of the B/C, a smaller bore (or, "inside size") will however flatten the pitch.

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 Re: Possible Intonation Adjustment?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2019-12-06 00:28

Yes shorter. Thank Donald! Cheers!


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


Yamaha Artist 2015




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