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 Anyone ever heard of this brand? Looks like B & H
Author: johnwesley 
Date:   2022-01-03 02:51
Attachment:  star 1.jpg (225k)
Attachment:  star 2.jpg (218k)

Never heard of the Star brand but says made in England and keywork kinda looks like Boosey Hawkes. Anyone ever heard of it, or had any experience with one?

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 Re: Anyone ever heard of this brand? Looks like B & H
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2022-01-03 14:34

That's essentially the same clarinet as a '50s B&H Regent - wood with nickel plated die cast (or 'pot metal') Mazak keys.

Be extra careful when bending the keys to adjust them as Mazak is a very soft zinc alloy and not easily repairable if broken compared to drop forged nickel silver keywork.

Chris.

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 Re: Anyone ever heard of this brand? Looks like B & H
Author: graham 
Date:   2022-01-03 17:06

Is there an easy way to recognise mazak key work by sight? other than knowing which models had it? And was there a specific era they were used?

Thanks

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 Re: Anyone ever heard of this brand? Looks like B & H
Author: johnwesley 
Date:   2022-01-03 19:38

Thanks Chris.

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 Re: Anyone ever heard of this brand? Looks like B & H
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2022-01-04 14:41

B&H's Mazak castings have a line of raised letters (separated with hyphens) on the undersides or inside pad cups, whereas the drop forged ones have two digit numbers (or two digits with two letters under them) stamped into them to denote which number each key is when it comes to ordering a replacement.

You can see the line of numbers separated by hyphens on the undersides of the LH levers in this photo:
http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/download.html/1,7377/star%202.jpg

In the UK anyway, the B&H "77" (wood with ebonite bell) and Regent (all wood) from the '50s had Mazak keys, although it turns out some others made for the export market had them as well. B&H weren't alone in using Mazak keys as there were other makers using them on their entry level instruments.

Chris.

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 Re: Anyone ever heard of this brand? Looks like B & H
Author: graham 
Date:   2022-01-04 16:42

Thanks Chris

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 Re: Anyone ever heard of this brand? Looks like B & H
Author: Chris_C 2017
Date:   2022-01-04 19:49

As I understand it, the all-plastic B&H Regent 2 seems to be a much better instrument than the wood-bodied Regent 1. It seems to have keys made from proper metal. Generally the instrument is robust and sounds pretty good. Second-hand values seem to be £10-£15, which is unbelievably low.

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 Re: Anyone ever heard of this brand? Looks like B & H
Author: John Peacock 
Date:   2022-01-04 22:00
Attachment:  Screen Shot 2022-01-04 at 17.46.56.png (899k)

Chris C wrote:

> the all-plastic B&H Regent 2 seems to be a much better instrument than the wood-bodied Regent 1 ... Generally the instrument is robust and sounds pretty good. Second-hand values seem to be £10-£15, which is unbelievably low.


I first learned on one of these, which was the standard student instrument of the day. I've never compared its playing characteristics with the Buffet B12 that took over that ecological niche, but the Regent looks nicer, with shiny resonite rather than matt ABS.

It also had the interesting feature shown in the attached photo, which was that the Eb/Bb trill key was made long in the fashion of German instruments. I believe this innovation was suggested by Reginald Kell, and I'm vaguely surprised that no maker of pro Boehm clarinets has ever experimented with changing the shape in this way. Looking at eBay (where they seem to go for more like £40), not all Regents have this feature: I don't know if it was deemed unsuccessful and withdrawn in favour of a standard key shape, or if it only appeared on later models.

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 Re: Anyone ever heard of this brand? Looks like B & H
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2022-01-05 00:22

There's a big difference between the plastic B&H Regents (bakelite bodied from the '60s through to the late '70s, then ABS bodied after that) and the B&H Regent II which were made by Schreiber, replacing the plastic Evette and then replaced by the Buffet B12.

Chris.

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 Re: Anyone ever heard of this brand? Looks like B & H
Author: graham 
Date:   2022-01-05 00:24

The 70s Regent was vastly better than the plastic clarinet made by Buffet at the time. I started on that Buffet and it coloured my judgement of that maker for the crucial next ten years.

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 Re: Anyone ever heard of this brand? Looks like B & H
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2022-01-05 01:27
Attachment:  P1010005.JPG (679k)
Attachment:  P1010007.JPG (711k)
Attachment:  P1010009.JPG (709k)
Attachment:  P1010016.JPG (690k)
Attachment:  P1010021.JPG (693k)

The good thing with Regents is they can be picked up for next to nothing and they're well worth spending top whack on a pro level overhaul and you'll still come in at under the cost of a brand new plastic clarinet from either Buffet or Yamaha.

Also you'll find plastic bodied (machined PVC with inset ebonite tonehole chimneys) Edgware Bb and A clarinets for low prices and the tenons fit the sockets nicely on them. I think B&H were one of the very few companies that made affordable A clarinets as well as plastic A clarinets.

I recently overhauled an early '50s Emperor which is identical to an Edgware except for the name on the bell. The middle tenon was typically wobbly on that as is the case with the majority of wooden B&H clarinets (and also Buffet Prestiges). I stabilised it by building up the tenon ring at the shoulder with superglue and wood dust and shimmed the metal tenon cap to make it a rock solid fit in the socket even without the tenon cork fitted. See attachments - the owner said it was last overhauled in 1969.

Chris.

Post Edited (2022-01-05 01:34)

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 Re: Anyone ever heard of this brand? Looks like B & H
Author: johnwesley 
Date:   2022-01-05 20:28

I'm guessing the answer to my original question is that yes, this clarinet was made by Boosey.

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 Re: Anyone ever heard of this brand? Looks like B & H
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2022-01-14 17:17

There was a care and maintenance booklet supplied with B&H instruments in the '50s through to the '70s (I've only seen one in a completely original '50s Edgware clarinet outfit belonging to a schoolfriend's dad) which listed the key numbers for their clarinets so replacements could be ordered. This was probably more important for clarinets with Mazak keys as unlike drop forged nickel silver keywork, they couldn't be repaired if they were broken.

Here's a photo of a B&H Imperial 926 outfit from December 1976 (463394) complete with that booklet: https://www.clarinetsdirect.net/uploads/1/2/5/8/125864077/s366908124574107393_p507_i1_w5184.jpeg?width=2560
From this page: https://www.clarinetsdirect.net/store/p507/Boosey-and-Hawkes-Imperial-Clarinet.html#/

Here's a list of key numbers for B&H Bb clarinets from the '50s with drop forged keywork (Edgware, Emperor and Imperial 926) - there's a total of 21 keys:

Top joint:
13 - speaker key
16 - C trill key
17 - Bb trill key
18 - side F# key
19 - side Eb/Bb key
20 - C#/G# key
21 - LH1 ring key
22 - LH2 ring key
23 - throat A key
24 - LH thumb ring
25 - LH3 Eb/Bb 'sliver' key
26 - throat G# key

Bottom joint:
32 - LH F/C key
33 - RH ring keys
34 - RH3 B/F# 'sliver' key
35 - LH E/B lever
36 - LH F#/C# lever
37 - Ab/Eb key
38 - RH F/C key
39 - RH F#/C# key
40 - RH E/B key

It would be good to compile a list of key numbers for Mazak keys, only I haven't worked on one for well over a couple of decades. Judging how small the numbers are, you'd definitely need high magnification lenses to read them if like me, your close-up eyesight is toast.

I had a set of '70s Emperors in for a full overhaul last year, only I didn't make a note if the A clarinets have a different series of numbers which I suspect they may have, or maybe an A prefix or suffix.

Dawkes/Windcraft have numbered B&H clarinet keys, only those numbers don't correlate to this list - maybe later ones used a different numbering system: https://www.dawkes.co.uk/spare-parts/clarinet/boosey-and-hawkes

Chris.

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