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 Michael Lowenstern on a new Selmer Alto with critique
Author: tucker 2017
Date:   2021-02-28 02:49

https://www.youtube.com/watch?fbclid=IwAR3BBy9KwL4ap8I7kkInQIvMQajiWeTpZDDGQc8KAThhk8dhAjQq-VHQvSk&v=5_dmJvcubrE&feature=youtu.be

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern on a new Selmer Alto with critique
Author: Hugues Fardao 
Date:   2021-02-28 03:38

I replied to the video. I love my Alto, but I understand why he is not happy with it. When he mention a to do list for "Alto clarinet lovers", I feel he's right. For the sound : can be improved with mouthpiece and reed.



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 Re: Michael Lowenstern on a new Selmer Alto with critique
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2021-02-28 05:34

That Selmer alto clarinet does sound lackluster (especially for the price) and looks uncomfortable to play. But there are virtuoso players who can make their alto clarinet fly. One is Giovanni Sarnataro. Listen to his Paganini (on a Buffet alto clarinet):

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=giovanni=sarnataro+alto+clarinet+paganini. .



Post Edited (2021-02-28 05:43)

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern on a new Selmer Alto with critique
Author: Hugues Fardao 
Date:   2021-02-28 12:58

Giovanni Sarnataro is great !

By the way : Altos are overpriced, it's incredible... I mean, no more R&D since decades, basically it's an ordinary clarinet just with a little more wood, same keywork system as standard clarinets... I never understood...



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 Re: Michael Lowenstern on a new Selmer Alto with critique
Author: John Peacock 
Date:   2021-02-28 19:12

If you think altos are overpriced, try basset horns. Currently, Buffet charge more for one of these than they do for a low C Prestige bass. Admittedly, their alto is also expensive - about 80% of the price of a basset horn, or similar to a low Eb bass.

But the alto/basset differential grows markedly on the second-hand market. If you look at a respected supplier of good-quality used instruments like Clarinets Direct, you will expect to pay over £5000 for a Leblanc basset, whereas Leblanc altos, which are mostly very similar to the basset mechanically seem to be closer to £1000 - so you're paying roughly £1000 per note to get from low Eb to low C. I hope Mozart appreciates it...

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern on a new Selmer Alto with critique
Author: bradfordlloyd 
Date:   2021-02-28 20:14

Get a Bundy alto for ~$200 or a vintage Selmer Paris for <$1,000 and have it refurbished like I did. My 1962 Selmer Paris horn sounds better (a really good mouthpiece helps) and I don't have the ergonomic issues he experiences.

I don't know why anyone would pay $12,000 for a horn that is unlikely to pay for itself. But for a fun hobby or part in a clarinet choir -- why not?



Post Edited (2021-02-28 22:01)

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern on a new Selmer Alto with critique
Author: Ebclarinet1 
Date:   2021-02-28 20:43

I have a Buffet Prestige alto and it sounds great. Even then I had to carefully chose a mouthpiece that worked well. I sort of go back and forth from a Grabner to a Selmer C*. My best results have been with alto sax reeds, generally 3-3 1/2 in strength. I also use a Silverstein alto sax ligature that frees up the sound.

People that have heard my horn are impressed with the quality of the sound. My horn was made with two different neck joints but the adjustable one that comes with the more recent models I find is best. It also makes tuning much easier.

Thanks for the link to the Sarnataro video. Very smooth sound!

Eefer guy

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern on a new Selmer Alto with critique
Author: Hugues Fardao 
Date:   2021-02-28 21:24

(bradfordlloyd wrote) :

<< Get Bundy for ~$200 or a vintage Selmer Paris for <$1,000 and have it refurbished like I did. My 1962 Selmer Paris horn sounds better (a really good mouthpiece helps) and I don't have the ergonomic issues he experiences. >>

First I had a Bundy for 300 Euros, to try, then I had the chance to pick up a 1988 Selmer in an excellent shape (almost as new) at a very fair price. The Bundy wasn't that bad with a Selmer mouthpiece, but when I tried a Selmer and a Leblanc, well... it was another world. I didn't like the ergonomy on the Leblanc, I felt better with the Selmer, but the Leblanc sounded really good. The guy that let me try the Leblanc had a Pomarico mouthpiece, impressive.

( Ebclarinet1 wrote ) :

<< My best results have been with alto sax reeds >>

I use alto sax reeds too (Légère Studio) on a C* mpc.



Post Edited (2021-02-28 21:27)

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern on a new Selmer Alto with critique
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2021-03-01 09:23

I've tried the current altos from Buffet, Selmer and Yamaha. I agree that the Selmer feels like an old design, but the Buffet isn't far behind... or in front. They both have objectively pretty poor ergonomics, and subjectively it's worse (in comparison with their bass clarinets). The Selmer definitely has an 80s vibe design, but even the current Buffet Prestige bass was designed in the late 90s and it's very good... so "age" isn't really an issue.

The alto really is a sort of tweener, so it depends what you do with it... pretty much the same as any instrument really.

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern on a new Selmer Alto with critique
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2021-03-01 21:18

@seebreeze,

Great playing ability, but the keywork on Giovanni Sarnataro's alto clarinet sounds like the shock absorbers on my car...

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern on a new Selmer Alto with critique
Author: jordan.1210 
Date:   2021-03-05 09:42

I did agree with a lot of his points, especially about ergonomics, especially when your alto doesn't come with the option for a floor peg and the none of your neckstraps really work either (I just resolved this issue by making my own floor peg attachment).

I agree with his comment about the timbre, but I know this can be changed with a different mouthpiece/reed set up. Despite this, I actually like the timbre of the alto, thinking of it as an interesting blend of the Bb soprano and bass, sharing characteristics of both depending on the range you're playing.

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern on a new Selmer Alto with critique
Author: Djudy 
Date:   2021-03-05 16:48

Required listening ! An excellent presentation in defense of the Alto Clarinet and its role in musical arrangements : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2OJ8eTCPZ4





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