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 Any Selmer « L » Series clarinet players here ? (edit : K series, RI, BT, CT welcome)
Author: Hugues Fardao 
Date:   2021-01-15 02:31
Attachment:  929F3A8E-8BF4-4CC2-8DD5-50AA7B378151.jpeg (1697k)

Hello, is there any Selmer L series players who wants to share the pleasure of playing old wood ?

I mostly play Selmer Alto clarinet, but you know, everyone needs to have a Bb. clarinet with him... I finally choose between the old Selmer Bb. models... part because I really like them (and I also love modern Selmer clarinets of course, like Privilège, St Louis, or Classic improved ones like 10S), part because I don’t have enough money : I play several instruments and can’t buy all I want.

So : I decided to go to a L Series, and WoW ! it is really the sound I was looking for.

I do like Selmer clarinets and wanted one, and I feel comfortable with the old cylindrical bore. I finally found my clarinet at « Clarinets Direct » shop, England, and the instrument just arrived this afternoon at home, in France.

I found my L clarinet was sharp, the barrel is actually short. I put a longer barrel my repairman had in a drawer, from a Centered Tone, the « A 440 » now pitches perfectly, and it does not affect the overall sound.

I play with a Selmer C85 120 mouthpiece which is very good and fits well with this clarinet, great response and flexibility. The clarinet itself is sweet and mellow, reactive, I love Selmer keywork and I have the sound I want effortlessly.

There’s a picture of it with this message.

What about yours ?

https://www.facebook.com/clarinettesolo/

Post Edited (2021-01-25 20:32)

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 Re: Any Selmer « L » Series clarinet players here ?
Author: Robert N. 
Date:   2021-01-18 00:02

I don't play one, but I am very curious about them!

How do you feel about how they feel to play compared to other clarinets.
I'm not sure how many others you have played. I am thinking about them in comparison to both other older Selmers like the Centered Tone, as well as more modern clarinets, such as Buffet and Selmer.
I am referring to things like - resistance and intonation, the feel of playing the instrument.

Thanks!
Robert

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 Re: Any Selmer « L » Series clarinet players here ?
Author: Hugues Fardao 
Date:   2021-01-18 02:18

I tested Privilège MkI and MkII, Signature, Récital, 10S, 9*, and a bit of Centered Tone and St Louis. I did'nt really tested Buffet, except some R13 from friends while jaming.

The "L" series I have is easy to blow, flexible and flowing with a round sound, perfect keywork for me (but I do like Selmer keys style). Comfort while playing and is almost the same as the Centered Tone, very close the 10S too, close to the Privilège MkII.

The "L" sound is not as rich as the recent Selmer intruments, not as rich and warm as the Privilège MkII wich is really a wonderful clarinet, not as punchy that the Récital if i remember well the Récital I tested.

It's a lightweight clarinet (Récital and St Louis are not...), mellow, same sound personality between all the registers, it's not difficult to play high notes.

Intonation : you can pitch your "B clarion" A 440 with a long barrel, but most of the notes are more or less in tune, but nothing really impossible to correct.

Privilège, St Louis, Récital, 10S, are way better than "L". I would recommand a 10S series for a good-non-expensive-second-hand clarinet, and the Privilège for a modern professionel one. But I like old cylindric Selmer for some reason.

https://www.facebook.com/clarinettesolo/

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 Re: Any Selmer « L » Series clarinet players here ?
Author: Robert N. 
Date:   2021-01-18 02:50

Thank you, I appreciate your thoughts on the clarinet.
Sounds like you are enjoying it!
It sounds great, I hope to have the opportunity to try one some day.

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 Re: Any Selmer « L » Series clarinet players here ?
Author: Jeroen 
Date:   2021-01-19 14:44

I own a L series marked "R.I" (Radio Improved). It is a loud instrument and everthing you'd expect from a large bore clarinet: low resistance and a large, open sound, also in the altissimo. Intonation is quite good and actually better imo than many CT's I have played. Of course it is large bore/large toneholes so when playing pp intonation is very flexible and not as easy as on modern clarinets.

I have owned another L-series, it was not marked but was identically to the RI besides it was silver plated and the RI not. This one played different, more like a modern clarinet, not as open as the RI. Actually more suited for classical playing. Intonation was the same.

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 Re: Any Selmer « L » Series clarinet players here ?
Author: Hugues Fardao 
Date:   2021-01-20 00:30

Mine is not stamped "R.I.". and was made in 1931.

https://www.facebook.com/clarinettesolo/

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 Re: Any Selmer « L » Series clarinet players here ?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2021-01-20 01:58

"Intonation : you can pitch your "B clarion" A 440 with a long barrel, but most of the notes are more or less in tune, but nothing really impossible to correct."

That note is employing the entire length of the instrument and furthest away from the mouthpiece so it won't be affected as much by the length of barrel or where the barrel is pulled out compared to any note employing a shorter length of tubing as those notes are affected far more by barrel length or placement on the top tenon.

Too many players I know 'tune' to that note and that note only, but you need to check other notes in other registers and especially ones employing left hand fingerings to be sure the instrument is in tune with itself.

Rather than tuning to just the B (Concert A), I prefer to tune to a Concert D minor chord (E minor on Bb clarinet) as that employs both low E and upper B as well as all the chord tones in between and upwards within a three 8ve range. There's no real need to go any higher than altissimo E unless you want to annoy the trumpets.

And it's much easier to flatten a sharp note than to sharpen a flat note.

Chris.

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 Re: Any Selmer « L » Series clarinet players here ?
Author: Fred 
Date:   2021-01-20 08:23

Older Selmer clarinets are just wonderfully different. As others have said, they are big bore, easy blowing instruments. My ‘66 R13 is a better clarinet, but my Centered Tone is more fun.

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 Re: Any Selmer « L » Series clarinet players here ?
Author: Hugues Fardao 
Date:   2021-01-20 13:13

@Chris P : thanks for tuning tips.

https://www.facebook.com/clarinettesolo/

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 Re: Any Selmer « L » Series clarinet players here ?
Author: Djudy 
Date:   2021-01-25 15:33

Fred really sums it up ! The fun is what keeps me going, even in these hard times. Luckily for those who can go the vintage route, it is possible to have the best of both worlds, if not all in one instrument.





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 Re: Any Selmer « L » Series clarinet players here ?
Author: Hugues Fardao 
Date:   2021-01-25 19:33

Right Djudy.

Played in the streets last saturday, this clarinet is so comfortable...

https://www.facebook.com/clarinettesolo/

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 Re: Any Selmer « L » Series clarinet players here ? (edit : K series, RI, BT, CT welcome)
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2021-01-25 22:46
Attachment:  r4430.jpg (330k)

I normally used a 67mm barrel with my BT, CT and Series 9 clarinets, but since changing to using Legere reeds I had trouble getting up to pitch, then changed to a 66mm barrel which helps.

My main clarinet is a 1958 full Boehm Centered Tone which I completely rebuilt and had all the keys, pillars, socket rings and other non-ferrous fittings all silver plated by Buffet's platers.

Chris.

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 Re: Any Selmer « L » Series clarinet players here ? (edit : K series, RI, BT, CT welcome)
Author: Robert N. 
Date:   2021-01-25 23:30

Hi Hugues, am I correct in reading that your clarinet is a K series?
Does that mean that it is a smaller bore than the BT, RI, CT, and Series 9?

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 Re: Any Selmer « L » Series clarinet players here ? (edit : K series, RI, BT, CT welcome)
Author: Hugues Fardao 
Date:   2021-01-26 00:23

In my first post I wrote I have a L series, made in 1931.

The bore is 14.9 mm. if I'm right, smaller than the BT/CT but wider than modern Selmer clarinets.

https://www.facebook.com/clarinettesolo/

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 Re: Any Selmer « L » Series clarinet players here ? (edit : K series, RI, BT, CT welcome)
Author: Robert N. 
Date:   2021-01-26 00:49

Oh, I see, I misunderstood the edit. Thank you!
Congratulations on the clarinet!

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 Re: Any Selmer « L » Series clarinet players here ? (edit : K series, RI, BT, CT welcome)
Author: Hugues Fardao 
Date:   2021-01-26 01:05

@ Robert N. : Thanks !

@ Chris P. : congratulations for your work on a full Boehm. By the way i play Légère reeds too, the European cut 2,5.

https://www.facebook.com/clarinettesolo/

Post Edited (2021-01-26 01:58)

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 Re: Any Selmer « L » Series clarinet players here ? (edit : K series, RI, BT, CT welcome)
Author: Hugues Fardao 
Date:   2021-01-28 01:21
Attachment:  SerieL1931.jpg (500k)

I found something cool on the saxophone.org website, they have tons of scans from old catalogs and this is the page from an early '30s Selmer catalog where my clarinet model is, the "N°15" clarinet model (see attachment).

https://www.facebook.com/clarinettesolo/

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 Re: Any Selmer « L » Series clarinet players here ? (edit : K series, RI, BT, CT welcome)
Author: Hugues Fardao 
Date:   2021-02-07 21:37

Some sound, a small theme I recorded.

https://www.facebook.com/clarinettesolo/

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 Re: Any Selmer « L » Series clarinet players here ? (edit : K series, RI, BT, CT welcome)
Author: Robert N. 
Date:   2021-02-07 23:35

I looked, but did not find it. Where is that recording you made?
I am looking forward to it! :)

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 Re: Any Selmer « L » Series clarinet players here ? (edit : K series, RI, BT, CT welcome)
Author: Hugues Fardao 
Date:   2021-02-08 04:58

Forgot the link... here it is :

https://youtu.be/hOhCryeAP_w

It's an unlisted video, just for this forum.

https://www.facebook.com/clarinettesolo/

Post Edited (2021-02-08 05:04)

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 Re: Any Selmer « L » Series clarinet players here ? (edit : K series, RI, BT, CT welcome)
Author: Robert N. 
Date:   2021-02-08 09:54

It sounds great, congratulations, thanks for posting the video!

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 Re: Any Selmer « L » Series clarinet players here ? (edit : K series, RI, BT, CT welcome)
Author: Hugues Fardao 
Date:   2021-02-25 11:15

I recorded some improvisation around « Autumn leaves » theme (Facebook public link to the video) : https://fb.watch/3T1QD6lJ0T/

These old late 20s / early 30s Selmer are so easy to play, even for a beginner like me...

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