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 1972 X serial # Selmer bass
Author: zizala 
Date:   2023-06-03 17:35

Hello all,

I'll soon have an opportunity to play and compare a Selmer bass clarinet (1972 X serial number) with my '41 Conn.
I actually like the old Conn a lot....its been my one and only for a long time.

I'm more than just curious....and might pursue it as I've always felt it would be good idea to have a backup. Which one that might be remains to be seen and heard!

So as a preview to actually trying it out, I'd appreciate any experiences with or thoughts about a Selmer from this time frame. Were they making good bass clarinets in 1972? What was the model number at that time?

Any idea what a fair price for one of these would be in good playing condiition?

Thanks if you can help.


Post Edited (2023-06-03 17:39)

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 Re: 1972 X serial # Selmer bass
Author: Ed 
Date:   2023-06-03 18:58

The Selmers from the era are some of my favorites of those I have played over the years. I always loved the tone and feel.

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 Re: 1972 X serial # Selmer bass
Author: DougR 
Date:   2023-06-04 21:34

I have a Series 9 bass from circa 1968 maybe (?)--I can't imagine there was all that much difference between what you have and my S9. Can't help you with a price estimate, you'd have to look online to figure that out. Assuming the 2 instruments are at least cousins, you'd get a really robust sounding horn, plenty of bass and plenty of color. I'm inclined to regard it as a significant upgrade from the Conn, but that's a matter of opinion. good luck!

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 Re: 1972 X serial # Selmer bass
Author: zizala 
Date:   2023-06-08 20:22

I appreciate the replies.....

I was able to play and compare the Selmer '72 X serial number bass with my '41 Conn 484n.

I used my favorite mouthpiece/reed combination and was extremely surprised and happy how well my Conn compared in both sound and playability.
Both speak well in all registers. The mechanisms were of course slightly different but both easy for me to quickly adapt to and play.
The fact that the two were built nearly 30 years apart yet both be capable instruments amazes me.

That said, the Selmer was impressive.
One difference was that the Conn has the older horizontally oriented neck, while the Selmer has the angled neck that I probably would prefer in some playing positions if I had a choice.

There was a lot to like about the Selmer in comparison, but I have no trouble with the Conn's layout.....it will always be a keeper.

I do feel like a series 9 Selmer will be something I'll be looking for in the future.
It still seems a good idea to have a second bass clarinet.

I'd call it a draw for now....but have a feeling with time I might grow to prefer the Selmer's ergonomics. Playing one full time might reveal more.


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 Re: 1972 X serial # Selmer bass
Author: DougR 
Date:   2023-06-09 02:26

If you do start watching for a Series 9, I'd hold out for one with an aux left hand Eb/Ab lever. The base model, which I've got, doesn't have the lever, and I miss it constantly (my Selmer low C has one and I use it constantly.)

Good luck!

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 Re: 1972 X serial # Selmer bass
Author: JEG 2017
Date:   2023-06-09 21:31

I have a Selmer Model 33, Wxxxx bass clarinet that I bought new in 1971. If I recall my catalogue information correctly, the Model 30 had the standard key configuration, down to low E-flat and no left hand Eb/Ab key. I don't remember if it had the articulated c#/G# key.

The Model 32 was also standard range, plus the left hand Eb/Ab and articulated C#/G# key.

The Model 33 was the same as the Model 32, plus range to low C.

I don't know when Selmer stopped designating their bass clarinets as Series 9; mine just says Selmer (Paris).

I had a few friends who bought the Model 33 at around the same time, but in all honesty I must say that in my opinion mine had the best sound and mechanics.

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 Re: 1972 X serial # Selmer bass
Author: zizala 
Date:   2023-06-10 03:59

Thanks for that additional info JEG....

This 1972 X serial bass also does not have a Series 9 stamping....just the Selmer Paris.
I had thought it might have the same layout as a Series 9 hence the idea of looking for one of those in case the owner decides he's not ready to sell.

I wasn't sure what model this is....but from your description of features this is likely a a Model 32.

All that said.....it sounds and plays great!


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 Re: 1972 X serial # Selmer bass
Author: spage 
Date:   2023-06-14 16:01

Zxxxx owner here.

>recall my catalogue information correctly, the Model 30 had the standard key >configuration, down to low E-flat and no left hand Eb/Ab key. I don't remember >if it had the articulated c#/G# key.

Mine was originally to low E-flat with neither of those so, assuming they hadn't changed model in the intervening few year, it would seem to confirm your recollection.

FWIW, it's still a lovely instrument and I gave myself a retirement present by having a low-C extension and left hand Eb/Ab added. Peter Worrall did it and it's glorious work, matching the original keywork beautifully.

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