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 Identify A clarinet from photo only?
Author: Hunter_100 
Date:   2022-01-31 00:46

On many online selling sites, I have come across obviously mislabeled clarinets for sale. I usually notice the Bb clarinets marketed as Ebs because they are so different in size. I was wondering if anyone would share any tips for spotting A clarinets vs Bb instuments from photos only? Are there any distinct visual indications to look for? Unless there is a Bb in the photo next to an A, I have a hard time judging the size.


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 Re: Identify A clarinet from photo only?
Author: stevesklar 
Date:   2022-01-31 02:21

you have to look at the length of the upper joint from the throat keys (and top trill key) to the top of the body. Of course, with many cell phones and wide angle lenses you have to take that into account too with distortion.

Stephen Sklar
My YouTube Channel of Clarinet Information

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 Re: Identify A clarinet from photo only?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2022-01-31 04:29

The top trill key pad cups are often closer together on A clarinets and the ring key spacing is wider relative to Bb clarinets, although that's not always an easy thing to judge. You're best comparing a photo of an A clarinet with a photo of a Bb clarinet of the same make wherever possible even when there aren't any other references.

Former oboe finisher
Howarth of London
1998 - 2010

The opinions I express are my own.

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 Re: Identify A clarinet from photo only?
Author: m1964 
Date:   2022-01-31 06:57

Also, on the lower joint the space/distance between index finger ring and the pad cup above is wider.

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 Re: Identify A clarinet from photo only?
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2022-01-31 06:59
Attachment:  58433C12-4F1F-4B2C-B5CD-ECECC398F247.jpeg (1408k)

That’s how I identify them as well. Managed to score a near mint R13 A for $1300 that was mislabeled as a Bb.


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 Re: Identify A clarinet from photo only?
Author: Hunter_100 
Date:   2022-05-24 01:56

Thanks for your help on this topic M1964 and jdbassplayer. Looking at the spacing between the right hand index finger ring and the cup above it worked the best for me and I managed to get an E11 A for the same price as a Bb. (granted, not as great a score as an R13 A but heh...beggars can't be choosers).

For me, I was looking for a spacing between the ring and cup that could fit a pencil in between. On the Bb, the width is only about 2 mm so the key cup looks like it is almost touching the ring, even on bad photos.

Thanks again!

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