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 Boosey & Hawkes -- Soliciting opinions
Author: Dave Spiegelthal 
Date:   1999-08-31 15:04

This summer I've bought and completely restored (among others) three older Boosey & Hawkes "The Edgware" model clarinets. I've read some disparaging remarks about these instruments a few times, and I'd be interested in hearing peoples' opinions about these instruments. I've personally found them to be surprisingly good after restoration, and I can't figure out why some players are down on them. I've restored two wooden ones (1945 and 1957 models) and a hard rubber 1954 model (which plays so well that I'm keeping it as my primary clarinet; I've sold the other two, which played very similar to, and about as well as the hard rubber one). I've found these B&H's to be rather easy-blowing and very uniform through the registers, with especially clear and in-tune throat tones and a nice, woody chalumeau. The altissimo is maybe a little flat in pitch and very slightly unstable compared to most of the French instruments I've tried, but other than that, they seem to have remarkably good intonation. The keys are nickel-plated rather than solid nickel silver (German silver), which I do find to be a drawback (plated keys are a bit too slippery for my tastes). Also, the keys generally seem to be a bit larger and more spread out than on the typical French instruments, which may be an advantage for some and a disadvantage for others. Finally, they do have a characteristic "English" sound, which is hard to describe (but I know it when I hear it!). It's a tone quality I happen to like very much (assuming that vibrato is NOT added), but I suspect that this may be what turns some players off. Anyway, I'm just curious, and I'd love to hear what others have to say.

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 RE: Boosey & Hawkes -- Soliciting opinions
Author: Mark P. 
Date:   1999-08-31 16:32

I have a later Edgeware model, probably from about 1971. It's not playable right now, needing all new pads and corks but seems to be made really well. It has excellent wood and well made keys. All in all seems to be a well made instrument. When it's fixed up I'll be interested in seeing if I come up with the same issues.

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 RE: Boosey & Hawkes -- Soliciting opinions
Author: charles bergere 
Date:   1999-08-31 18:25

I own a b 7h edgeware fully restored and it plays quite well the tone is not as ample as my r13 buffet but it is still satisfactory and I cannot understand the disparaging remarks made by some people

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 RE: Boosey & Hawkes -- Soliciting opinions
Author: P.Mayo 
Date:   1999-08-31 22:29

I'm thinking about buying a vintage Edgware. The one I'm looking at is really old, the wood is actually brown instead of black. I've only heard good things about this model.

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 RE: Boosey & Hawkes -- Soliciting opinions
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-08-31 23:40

Search the Klarinet archives (see the menu at the bottom of the page). Most opinions of the Edgware have not been real positive - YMMV.

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 RE: Boosey & Hawkes -- Soliciting opinions
Author: Merry 
Date:   1999-09-01 01:11

I own an Emperor model B&H clarinet which is one model higher than the Edgeware. I bought it in high school and played it throughout high school having just replaced it with a Buffet RC last year. I always had a really nice sound but tended to be quite sharp in the low register although it was nothing that I couldn't cope with. The movement of the keys is good but not as nice as the buffet but we are comparing an intermediate model with a pro-model which probably isn't fair. I think it was a fine instrument, one of my students uses it now and loves it.

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 RE: Boosey & Hawkes -- Soliciting opinions
Author: Willie 
Date:   1999-09-01 03:41

Correct me if I'm wrong Mark & Dee, but alot of those older clarinets came with some pretty questionable MPs & ligs. Restored and fitted with modern MPs & ligs, some of them really can sound nice. I have an old Jeffrey that sounds as good as my Buffet when I use my 5rv & Harrison lig. Its my back up I take with to concert when not playing the contra.

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 RE: Boosey & Hawkes -- Soliciting opinions
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-09-01 13:20

While a good mouthpiece, barrel, and ligature can help most any clarinet, there are some clarinets which were designed "out of tune" - they'll never be right, no matter how much you play with normal components.

My feelings (not fact, but an educated guess) is that instruments that have survived for 40 or more years and were being played during that time are better instruments than most of their chronological peers - a kind of "instrument evolution" if you will ("survival of the fittest"). This leads us to <i>believe</i> that the older instruments are better, but in reality all the instruments which didn't work as well have met an early (and deserved) death.

What led me to this little conclusion is research I did while looking for a grand piano a number of years back. I checked into the records of Steinway and those surviving until today. Everyone "knew" that older Steinways were better than todays but looking at the numbers that survived to this day shows peaks and valleys - Steinway made quite a few "clunkers" during certain periods. Only the best examples survived to be remarked upon, and that has added to the mystique.

My opinon, anyway, FWIW.

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 RE: Boosey & Hawkes -- Soliciting opinions
Author: Pamela Bird 
Date:   1999-09-08 20:05

I have a Boosey & Hawkes that we purchased in 1964. The gold inscription on the bell is "Boosey & Hawkes, London, Series 2-20." It is made of blackwood. I am looking for an appraiser for this instrument. Can anyone please point me in the right direction? Thank you in advance. Pam

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