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 Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: YoungFlarinet (---.knology.net - ISP in Pawleys Island, SC United States)
Date:   2006-11-13 23:36

I've been playing clarinet for seven years now, and I'm trying to upgrade my wood clarinet. I currently have a Leblanc Noblet 45 that sounds pretty good, but I feel it might be a little childish. I tend to play a lot of jazz and video game music, but for band and other judged things I play classical.

I also have a limited budget of about $2000 and no more. I really want a Buffet R13, but new ones are a little over what I'm going to spend. I'm open to any ideas. I'm just tired of looking myself because I'm not very experienced, and I would love to hear what others think.

I've looked at the Leblanc L1012S Rapsodie clarinet and I can't find if this is a professional or beginner model clarinet. If anyone knows anything about this clarinet, I would be greatly appreciative. It's even a few hundered cheaper than what I was looking for, but if it's going to be good, I'll try it.

Any help is appreciated! Thanks!

-Hood

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: YoungFlarinet (---.knology.net - ISP in Pawleys Island, SC United States)
Date:   2006-11-14 00:09

Okay, now I'm majorly confused. I bought my Noblet 45 Brand new 4 years ago, but it states in the serial number listings that they were stopped being made in about 1983 or so. Do I have an imposter?

And also, I just found that there is an intermediate Leblanc Rapsodie clarinet, but there was another one listed that doesn't say (so I'm supposing it's proffessional). How do I figure out if this Rapsodie I'm considering is the intermediate?

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: C2thew (---.dsl.irvnca.pacbell.net - ISP in Los Angeles, CA United States)
Date:   2006-11-14 00:40

I've heard some negative reviews of the rapsodie clarinet as it might have intonation problems? It was just an instrument i steered away from due to the reviews. If you have a budget of $2000, then you have alot of options. but if you want to stretch your $2000, look for things on "that auction site" you'll find some professional clarinets and r13's for well under $2000. You can look into the opus. they sometimes pop up.

the rapsodie is an entry level professional clarinet (almost a professional, but not due to intonation issues) compare it to the class of a buffet c13, it's like a professional clarinet, but is lacking some subtleties.

good luck.

Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. they are but improved means to an unimproved end, an end which was already but too easy to arrive as railroads lead to Boston to New York
-Walden; Henry Thoreau

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: YoungFlarinet (---.knology.net - ISP in Pawleys Island, SC United States)
Date:   2006-11-14 00:46

Thanks! I'm actually quite good at intonation issues so I'll try it out keeping what you've said in mind. The opus looks like it might be good. I'll keep looking. I'm planning on trying about three or four before making my final selection.
Thanks!

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: DressedToKill (---.cable.mindspring.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-14 01:04

I own a Rapsodie that I use as a backup to my Opus, and I don't find that it has intonation problems at all. I also find the tone to be pure Leblanc creamy gorgeousness, and the wood it's made from is absolutely stunning.

Beautiful clarinet, and I would highly recommend them.

However, if you have $2,000 to spend, I would spend some time looking for good-condition secondhand professional clarinets. It's quite easy to find a nice Concerto or Opus these days, as well as decent R13s...but of course, try as many as you can and find what fits you best.



Post Edited (2006-11-14 01:16)

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: YoungFlarinet (---.knology.net - ISP in Pawleys Island, SC United States)
Date:   2006-11-14 01:28

Hmm... I'm sure a lot of factors go into the tuning of it. Thanks for your input!

I'm going to go to a music store this saturday to see what clarinets they have to try. It's a store that a lot of people don't like, but it's worth trying out some clarinets at. Hopefully I'll be able to see some of the qualities I'm looking for.

Wish me luck!

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: Brenda Siewert (---.proxy.aol.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-14 19:05

I'd have to agree with some of the above comments about Leblanc's rep. for good intonation. I haven't tried a Rapsodie, but I play an Opus II and the intonation and key-action is simply wonderful. The Rapsodie is a fairly new model in Leblanc's lineup, so you might check and see about prices and where it fits in their newest list. If you could afford the new Leblanc/Backun Cadenza that would be a fantastic choice for you. It's priced at $1,849.00 at woodwind and brasswind (wwbw.com) and they say it's in stock. That'd be my first choice over the Rapsodie. Morrie Backun is simply amazing with what he does with a clarinet.

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: DressedToKill (---.cable.mindspring.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-14 19:38

Oh, god, yes, the Cadenza. Yes yes yes yes! (How did I not suggest that?) However, last I checked, they weren't available until MARCH...has that changed?

I played five of them when Morrie brought them to New York, and I would not be at all ashamed to show up to a professional gig with one of those. They're a total R13 killer, and I'd say for 90% of the clarinet-playing population, it's all the clarinet you'd ever need.

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: Brenda Siewert (---.proxy.aol.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-15 15:05

Josh, yes, they're in stock at Woodwind and Brasswind. I'm very tempted to get one for a backup. The 2 higher-dollar models (Legacy and Symphonie) are not going to be in stock until March. But the Cadenza is there NOW!!!

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: DressedToKill (---.cable.mindspring.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-15 15:08

Hot damn!

I suppose this is the point at which I should attempt to exercise self-restraint...we'll see how long that lasts. (I really, REALLY want a Legacy, though. I should be saving up for one, but the Cadenza is tres, tres tempting.)


Having played the Cadenza, I think you might find that you find it spends more time in your hands than your primary horn ;-)

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: Brenda Siewert (---.proxy.aol.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-15 15:17

That could be true, however, my Opus II has been outfitted by Morrie with the bell and barrel touch that is just right and the key-action is superb. However, it doesn't have the hand-selected wood that the Leblanc/Backuns have--nevertheless, it's a fantastic Opus. I'm so tempted. I'm trying hard to exercise self-restraint as well. We'll see who caves first.

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: EuGeneSee (12.178.138.---)
Date:   2006-11-15 17:06

Sometimes I thank my lucky stars that I'm poor . . . that makes me immune to some of the more expensive GAS attacks. Sigh!! Eu

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: tictactux (---.dclient.hispeed.ch - ISP in Zürich, 25 Switzerland)
Date:   2006-11-15 17:12

> Sometimes I thank my lucky stars that I'm poor . . .that makes me
> immune to some of the more expensive GAS attacks. Sigh!!

No it doesn't. It just makes you ponder about it a bit longer - by then the seizure usually is over.

I've come to the bitter conclusion that it's me who is the weakest link in the sound chain. [frown]

--
Ben

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: DressedToKill (---.cable.mindspring.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-15 18:34

I think you're going to win the holdout contest, Brenda...I just emailed them about trading in my Opus for a Cadenza.


*sigh*

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: Brenda Siewert (---.proxy.aol.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-15 18:38

ugh. Let me know if they make you a good offer. hmm. This GAS attack is painful. You didn't hold out very long, Josh. I've been thinking about it over lunch today and am very close to calling them to overnight one to me.

We've certainly digressed from the topic of the Rapsodie.



Post Edited (2006-11-15 18:39)

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: DressedToKill (---.cable.mindspring.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-15 18:50

This is why I like you, B...you *get* it :-)


For this thread's sake, I pulled out my Rapsodie just now, slapped my Backun barrel on it, played a few minutes up and down the horn...and have decided to use it on the job tonight instead of the Opus. I forgot how much RING there was in the sound...it'll be great against a cast of 24 :)

*taking one for Team Rapsodie*

ETA: Since this thread is ABOUT the Rapsodie, I took a few pics of mine for illustrative purposes. :-)











Post Edited (2006-11-15 19:10)

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: Brenda Siewert (---.proxy.aol.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-15 19:16

Nice. Very cute!

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: DressedToKill (---.cable.mindspring.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-15 19:28

I just love that Leblanc wood!

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: Brenda Siewert (---.proxy.aol.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-15 20:08

Well, let's update. I just ordered the Cadenza via phone and got a discount off the listed price. So, if you're interested it pays to call Woodwind and Brasswind. I'll have it by Friday. I always recommend overnighting clarinets due to the tremendous temperature changes between there and Texas. I'll let you know.

P.S. Yeah, Leblanc has the most beautiful wood.

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: YoungFlarinet (---.knology.net - ISP in Pawleys Island, SC United States)
Date:   2006-11-15 22:09

Wow! I'm like so spazing out to try out the Cadenza and Rapsodie now. I'm thinking I'll want the Cadenza more, though. I just don't know... Ya'll are so much nicer than some of the people I've tried to talk to. They'll tell me, "I play this... now GET IT!" But ya'll actually have input! Thanks to all!

I'm just absolutely dying right now. I can't wait to try them out!

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: EuGeneSee (12.178.138.---)
Date:   2006-11-15 22:12

Josh & Brenda:

I hope we see a user's report thread on your new clarinets as soon as you get them in and honk them for a few days. In the meantime, your well coordinated dual leaps into the chasm caused me to have a po' boy GAS attack . . . and I went and bought me a Symphonie!! Not the same color Leblanc wood as that Rapsodie. Rats! Eu

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: YoungFlarinet (---.knology.net - ISP in Pawleys Island, SC United States)
Date:   2006-11-16 01:45

Yes, Eu. I would love to hear about them, too!

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: Brenda Siewert (---.proxy.aol.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-16 14:55

So, Eu, did you buy a new Symphonie? The Backun one? If so, where did you get it? WWBW isn't getting it until March.

If not, which Symphonie? I owned a Symphonie VII (the rosewood model) a few years back and it was gorgeous! It didn't sound quite as pretty as it looked, however, so I sold it.

I'll definitely give a report when the Cadenza arrives. I'm excited about it. It comes with 2 Backun barrels. I have a Backun bell that I use on my Opus II, so I'll try it with and without that.

This thread only served to get me to go ahead on what I had been thinking about anyway. I printed out a photo of the Cadenza a couple of weeks ago and had been thinking of getting one. It's always fun to shop with friends! :)

YoungFl, let us know what you get and what you like about it. The Rapsodie is less expensive, but the Cadenza offers more upgrades (like the Backun barrels). So, it's a budget decision. However, I always like to remind young players that you should get the best you can afford.

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: donald (---.dialup.ihug.co.nz - ISP in New Zealand)
Date:   2006-11-16 15:07

ummm is the Backun barrel an "upgrade" if it's the one that comes with the instrument? surely this makes it a "stock" barrel?

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: Brenda Siewert (---.proxy.aol.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-16 15:10

You're correct, Donald. I suppose it would be "stock." However, for those of us who have purchased the Backuns to "upgrade" our stock instruments it's hard to believe one would actually get such great things on a standard instrument. But, you're right.

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: EuGeneSee (12.178.138.---)
Date:   2006-11-16 17:20

Golly, Brenda, I would have to win a lottery to buy one of those "New" Symphonies, whenever they do become available. I bought an early 1950's Symphonie (sans the word "Model" or a number after the name) at a cost of about 1/10th of what the Cadenza cost and heaven only knows what fraction that is of the yet to be announced cost of the upcoming new Symphonie.

Not only is my purchase more accomodating to my meager budget, but taking into consideration my playing skills (or lack thereof), I could never justify spending big $$ for a pro instrument even if I had the money lying about the house in heaps.

I do get a certain vicarious pleasure reading all the posts from you folks that can get such and instrument and know what to do with it when you get it.

Eu

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: DressedToKill (---.cable.mindspring.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-16 17:27

"of the yet to be announced cost of the upcoming new Symphonie"

Oh, it's been announced. :-)

$3,249 for the Bb, $3,479 for the A.

Brenda, I've been talking with WWBW about trading in Rosie for a Cadenza, and it looks like it's a very real possibility! Might have to wait a couple weeks, but it could happen!

NOW, I'm thinking to myself "Why don't I just sell Rosie and use the proceeds to start a Get Josh A Legacy Fund?".

So many horns, so little time!(Money!)

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: EuGeneSee (12.178.138.---)
Date:   2006-11-16 18:12

OUCH!! $3,200 + !!

Maybe I need to save up to buy Rosie from Josh . . . it will kick off the Get Josh a Legacy Fund and Rosie can keep my harsichord, Leora, company.

Eu

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: DressedToKill (---.cable.mindspring.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-16 18:26

You think THAT'S scary?

The Legacy is $5,549 for the Bb, $5,779 for the A. Crikey!

Your harpsichord is rosewood? Mmm...sounds pretty!

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: EuGeneSee (12.178.138.---)
Date:   2006-11-16 18:56

No, my harpsichord is a Zuckerman "Z-box" that apparently is framed what appears to be ash with a mahogany plywood body and spruce soundboard . . . Rosie, I thought, was the name of your rosewood clarinet, the sacrifice of which would kick off your Legacy fund drive.

As for those clarinet prices, they are almost beyond my comprehension, but then thinking back on an earlier thread, clarinetists actually have things far cheaper than many other members of the orchestra. $4,000 - $5,000 would be almost low end for a bassoonist or many string players.

Eu

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: DressedToKill (---.cable.mindspring.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-16 19:06

Rosie IS the name of my rosewood clarinet...I just thought that what you meant by "company for your harpsichord" was that your harpsichord was also rosewood. Oops :)

(and the cheapest professional quality bassoon I know of is about 10K. 4-5K would get you a decent student instrument, at least if you were going secondhand.)

My, we've strayed from the original topic, haven't we!

I used my Rapsodie in my show last night, and it was fantastic. I had some friends in the audience, and they thought it sounded gorgeous (and not out of tune at all!). So, there you are...

(Although, YoungFl, if you can afford a Cadenza, there is no contest with the Rapsodie...the Cadenza is an entirely different species of clarinet!)

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: Brenda Siewert (---.proxy.aol.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-16 21:28

Yes, and the prices we've quoted were woodwind and brasswind prices, not full retail. Imagine if one pays full retail for a Legacy or a Symphonie...or even the Cadenza. Yikes!

It's a stretch to my budget to go ahead with the Cadenza at this time, but it's a better buy than a new R-13 at $2,200.00 or so. And, from what I've heard, it is a better instrument. I'll have to wait until I actually play one to decide whether or not I agree with that.

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: YoungFlarinet (---.knology.net - ISP in Pawleys Island, SC United States)
Date:   2006-11-16 22:53

I'm trying to push towards the Cadenza, but I keep telling myself keep my mind open. Yes, I will let ya'll know how my new baby goes (as soon as it comes)...

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: Brenda Siewert (---.proxy.aol.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-17 14:37

YoungFl, I feel we haven't answered your initial question about the Rapsodie clearly enough. Below is the web address for it. Look it up and read the particulars. You might then want to read about the Cadenza, but either would be a good choice for you. I just happen to be a big admirer of Morrie's products and know he spent a lot of energy working on his 3 new clarinets. But, if you decide on the Rapsodie you will have an excellent instrument. Yes, keep us informed.

I just checked the tracking on the Cadenza and it is on its way to my house as we speak! I'll spend some time on it today, but not much because we have a Nutcracker performance tonight and my granddaughter is a mouse!! I'll let you all know about it asap.

To view the Rapsodie particulars go here:
http://www.gleblanc.com/instruments/query.cfm?model=1012S

Another thing to keep in mind, the Rapsodie is listed as an intermediate instrument and the Cadenza is listed as an artist. So, it's a step-up from the intermediate level. If you can afford the stretch, it would probably be worth it. But, Josh loves his Rapsodie and even used it in a professional gig! So, you might be able to use it for years to come.



Post Edited (2006-11-17 14:39)

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: Brenda Siewert (---.proxy.aol.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-17 21:23

I've been playing the Cadenza for about an hour and am going to wrap it up for the day to get ready for the Nutcracker with the granddaughers. All I'll say for now is that it has a beautiful tone right out of the box. I'm not used to the key-action and it wouldn't be fair to compare it to my Opus II, but it is a very nice instrument. The tone is really, really nice for a clarinet under 2,000.00.

I'll have a rehearsal Monday and I'll let you know how it plays with others.

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: DressedToKill (---.cable.mindspring.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-18 03:45

I'm salivating over your full report!

Which barrel do you prefer? What does the wood look like? (You know I am obsessed with wood!) What is your opinion of the Cadenza mouthpiece? How would you describe the difference in the mechanism?

(Then we can compare notes later! :-) )

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: donald (---.dialup.ihug.co.nz - ISP in New Zealand)
Date:   2006-11-18 04:13

the tone is good? i'm interested in hearing about the intonation characteristics of the new Leblanc/Backun instrument (something more than "the tuner sticks at zero over the whole range" if possible... pleeeease)
donald



Post Edited (2006-11-18 10:07)

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: YoungFlarinet (---.knology.net - ISP in Pawleys Island, SC United States)
Date:   2006-11-18 05:22

Thanks a load! I'm supposed to go tomorrow to try out a few different kinds (not sure what yet, it's at some music store in the county I've been to once). That page helped. I'm still just push and pull between my mind set on the Cadenza and Rapsodie.

I'm a little bummed out right now because I just got back from our last football game, which means that we only have the Outback bowl left. I love marching, and I'll only have one year left now. :( But at least I'm getting a new clarinet! :) ...just felt I needed to vent a little.

I'm so excited about trying out the clarinets tomorrow!!!

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: donald (---.dialup.ihug.co.nz - ISP in New Zealand)
Date:   2006-11-18 10:09

the "outback bowl"?, you're travelling to Aussie with the marching band? wow that sounds like a pretty full on gig.
donald

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: crnichols (---.dhcp.ftrn.ks.charter.com - ISP in Keller, TX United States)
Date:   2006-11-18 14:17

I'd recommend you not have a mindset about what you're going to buy. Try what you can afford, and don't try what you can't afford. Pick what plays the best in regards to sound, intonation, response, and key action. Then get someone else's opinion (that doesn't work there for obvious reasons) and try as many of the same model as possible.

Christopher Nichols, D.M.A.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Clarinet
University of Delaware

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: YoungFlarinet (---.knology.net - ISP in Pawleys Island, SC United States)
Date:   2006-11-18 17:15

I'm about to leave to go try some out! I'm going to play them without knowing which one is which first, then go from there.


Donald: It's just in Florida. There's a parade and a marching contest and whoever wins gets to do the pregame show, and all the bands are on the field during halftime. I've never gone so it should be exciting!

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: Brenda Siewert (---.proxy.aol.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-18 19:33

I'll do my best to give a good report on the Cadenza. Remember, it's the lesser of the 3 Backuns. I don't have time to spend on it today, but Monday will be a good time to try some more.

The wood isn't as pretty as my Opus II. But, as I said, remember it's not the most expensive of the trio of new Leblanc/Backuns. I'll try to get a few good photos.

The barrels are one 66mm cocobolo and one 65mm grenadilla. There is a distinct difference in sound in each. It's hard to say which I prefer. I swapped back and forth between my Backun bell and the stock bell and really think the stock one gives the best sound and volume. So, maybe it is set up to maximize its qualities as it is without having to buy additional accessories. That would be a good thing.

I reread some old threads about the Cadenza and Leblanc/Backun clarinets and found Morrie Backun's comments specifically about the Cadenza. He was answering questions about whether or not the Cadenza was similar to the Legacy and Symphonie. He said:

"The bore design is different, the toneholes are different sizes with different undercutting, the key designs are from different jigs and fixtures (with a very different feel and touchpiece placement) the venting is different, the springing is different, the case is different, the Cadenza has a unique mouthpiece designed for it, the thumb rest is different...........other than that...there is some similarity!"


I'll do a full evaluation soon on my new Cadenza. :)



Post Edited (2006-11-18 20:00)

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: YoungFlarinet (---.knology.net - ISP in Pawleys Island, SC United States)
Date:   2006-11-19 00:02

I'm disapointed. The store only has two clarinets that you can try, neither of which were close to what I'm thinking of (basically beginners). What's even more disapointing is that they had let a middle school borrow them for a week. So I have yet to try anything.



-The good news is I got a car today. :) Completely not clarinet related. I'm just really happy.-

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: Brenda Siewert (---.proxy.aol.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-19 20:23

You may need to order something from an online store. If you're not old enough to do that perhaps your parents would do it for you. Otherwise you're going to need to go to a bigger city where you can try things in person.

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: YoungFlarinet (---.knology.net - ISP in Pawleys Island, SC United States)
Date:   2006-11-20 03:21

We're going to try two other music stores maybe Friday, and if that doesn't work out, we'll go with the online thing.

I'm kind of running this whole deal, and my parents are just tagging along. Ya'll have been so much help, too! I really don't think I would be this far in my "perfect" clarinet search without ya'll!

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: beantown_Bb (---.dfci.harvard.edu - ISP in Boston, MA United States)
Date:   2006-11-20 19:33

i know of one mailorder place that as of last week or so was having an outstanding offer on the rhapsodie. since I don't want to venture into no-no-territory by risking it being viewed as an unsolicited advertisement, I'd rather not say where for now. i would just say to definitely exhaust ALL online shops before deciding to make sure you get the best price.

(I have no affiliation in the slightest with the seller; just happened to hear of it in my own quest for a new instrument and wanted to share with my fellow clarinet people!)

If I hear from the moderators that it's OK to post where this offer came from, then I will follow-up and post it here so you can call and see if the offer still stands. I just don't want to step on any toes in the meanwhile.

Thanks



Post Edited (2006-11-20 19:38)

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: frank (---.travis.af.mil - ISP in Travis Afb, CA United States)
Date:   2006-11-20 21:47

When the Backun products stop being a fad, the R-13 will still be there as a great horn which also happens to keep it's value better over time. It's only a matter of time before Leblanc starts offering a "blowout sale" on all the various Opie and Backun products to make way for even new and improved, better instruments.

That's my opinion... the $1,800-$2,000 plain R-13 is still an awesome value and when selected properly, can be equal to or greater than any Rossi, Chadash, Backun, Opus, Eaton, or Signature. It's funny, I play in tune and produce virtually the same sound on my Rossi, Chadash, Signature, R-13 and any other well made pro horn. Wonder why that is. The same goes with blowing $600 on a mouthpiece that does nothing more than a good Vandoren, Smith, or Hawkins. You said you were on a budget, so consider that Carbonare and Manasse play on Vandoren mouthpieces and Selmer Recital/R-13 respectively. They are amazing! If you have the cash, buy all you can get. It's fun!  :) That said, spending $4,500 more on a clarinet that won't make a difference is a waste of money. You will not sound 4,500 times better. Trust me.

I say it all the time on here, but again quoting the illustrious pop culture icon Flava Flav of Public Enemy infamy... DON"T BELIEVE DA HYPE!



Post Edited (2006-11-20 22:02)

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: donald (---.dialup.ihug.co.nz - ISP in New Zealand)
Date:   2006-11-20 23:03

(now don't get me wrong... i love Jon Manasse....)
my incredibly talented 12 year old student had been working on the mozart Concerto, and has in this last year worked a lot on intonation.
We listened to John Manasse (lovely playing!) and she commented "oh, even HE has a flat low F"
if Backun can solve that one without an extra key, i'll definately be interested, fad or no fad....
donald

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: SVClarinet09 (---.dhcp.embarqhsd.net - ISP in Raleigh, NC United States)
Date:   2006-11-21 00:50

I noticed your ISP is in Ireland SC. If you live a short drive(4-5 hours away)from Boone, NC(up in the mountains) try Muncy Winds. Make an appointment. They usually are nice to you.



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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: Brenda Siewert (---.proxy.aol.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-21 15:09

If you live near Muncy Winds that is a no-brainer. Get yourself up there to try some clarinets! That's the best suggestion all day. Buy what works best for you and they can also give you some pointers.

As to Frank's comments above, I can't buy a new R-13 anymore for 1,800-2,000. The cheapest I can find one is right at 2,300 for a nickel plated model. They are excellent instruments, and a great all-round buy--but the Cadenza is cheaper. Only time will tell which is the better instrument.

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: DressedToKill (---.cable.mindspring.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-21 15:28

Still awaiting that full report, Miss Brenda! :-)

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: Tony Beck (---.emainc.com - ISP in Charleston, SC United States)
Date:   2006-11-21 15:48

Have you checked McFadyen Music in Myrtle Beach? As part of the Brook Mays demise, the store in Charleston just closed. They had some fantastic blowouts on Buffets, including the R-13 Limite' for less than half the price Brenda quotes, with silver plated keys. A band member here picked one up and it's very nice. If the store near Pawleys Island is doing the same thing, it would be worth a visit. The Muncy Winds suggestion is good too. It will be more than a day trip from Pawleys if you spend any time there. Book a room and don't rush yourself.

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: frank (---.travis.af.mil - ISP in Travis Afb, CA United States)
Date:   2006-11-21 15:55

<<donald wrote:
We listened to John Manasse (lovely playing!) and she commented "oh, even HE has a flat low F"
if Backun can solve that one without an extra key, i'll definately be interested, fad or no fad....>>

They all do that without the key when played above p-mp. It's a design compromise of the Boehm clarinet. If you made the low register play in tune at loud volumes, other parts of the horn would be out. You helped make my point. It's up to the player to make the pitch on a wind instrument. The idea is to get a clarinet that is close to in tune, then you do the rest.

I will make a trend prediction here: The Backun Rapsodie - and other clarinets - WILL NOT hold value like the Buffet horns do in the future. Let's revisit this post in a few years and see if that is true. People...it's all business and marketing trends here, not rocket science or mysticism.

Brenda, I thought I tried and bought alot of stuff! lol

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: Brenda Siewert (---.proxy.aol.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-21 16:02
Attachment:  lower joint with engraving.jpg (57k)
Attachment:  cadenza bell.jpg (53k)

Frank, the Rapsodie isn't a Backun design. The Cadenza, Legacy and Symphonie (the NEW Symphonie) are Morrie's babies. The Rapsodie is a newer one in Leblanc's line-up, but I don't think Morrie had anything to do with it. Just a minor correction there.

And, as to buying a lot of stuff...I used to play-test and purchase for customers and students. So, I've play-tested a lot of various brands and models. Also, I spent many hours at the music store trying things out. My friend is a very good friend of our family and he would call and tell me about new things and would have me come down and try them out so he knew what to say to people when they asked. He wanted an opinion of a clarinetist rather than just the company rep. Then, he sold out to Brook Mays and the saga ended. Badly. No more goodies for me there.

I'm getting ready for the report on the Backun/Cadenza. Here's a couple of teaser photos.



Post Edited (2006-11-21 16:04)

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: YoungFlarinet (---.knology.net - ISP in Pawleys Island, SC United States)
Date:   2006-11-22 05:43

I hope you guys aren' t thinking I'm in Ireland. Not that that bugs me. US born and raised. Where I live theres only three "reliable" music stores, and even then, one is owned by a family who really doesn't seem to know anything, one is okay, and the other one is about a three hour drive that I've never been too.

Do you think Memphis (yea, that elvis place) would have any shops with clarinets?

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: donald (---.dialup.ihug.co.nz - ISP in Auckland, 00 New Zealand)
Date:   2006-11-22 09:38

hey Frank, i know i "helped make your point", i did this because i was trying to help make your point.... and yes, i do realise that this is a design flaw, in fact i've realised it (and fought against it) for most of the last 30 years
keep playing the good tunes
donald

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: Brenda Siewert (---.proxy.aol.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-22 15:30

I just started a new thread with my opinion of the Cadenza. This seemed to be getting kind of long.

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: frank (---.travis.af.mil - ISP in Travis Afb, CA United States)
Date:   2006-11-22 15:56

Of course Donald...that's what I meant! I would have quoted you if I thought your statement was tongue in cheeck or suspect. You were right on!

I guess marketing hype, without actually improving the product annoys me no matter what product it is. "New and Improved" slogans are scattered throughout the land here. Truth be told, how much improvement has the Boehm clarinet made since it's debut in circa 1849? Other than a few tweaks in keywork (better materials now, but worse wood) and a few MINOR bore adjustments in some brands (yes, brands, not all manufacturers use the same bore and tone hole dimensions), nothing has changed. There are plenty of clarinets from late 1800's to early1900's that play far better in tune and with a better sound than some select pro horns. How could this be you ask? I will say it in caps... THE CLARINET IS VIRTUALLY UNCHANGED FOR WELL OVER 150 YEARS. Why? Design limitations. Look only as far as the Benade NX clarinet designed by eminent physicist Arthur Benade. He was an amateur clarinetist who designed a clarinet based on acoustical formula. The result? An awful sounding and playing instrument.

So, by the Boehms inherent design, in order to sound like the clarinet we know and love today, it must remain close to the original. What does that mean? Well, it means that all the manufacturers who charge 4k+ MORE per horn and claim a "perfect intonation" or "amazing sound far better than brand x" are simply selling snake oil. All I ask anyone to do is listen to vintage recordings of players like Bonade, Marcellus, McLane, Cahouzac, Leferbre, Wright, DeSantis, Gomez, etc. Their sounds are amazing and compare favorably to any top professional today. I know for a fact that Bonade didn't play Backun...so he must suck (sarcasm).

I do realize I've had a question and answer session with myself. I'm never wrong that way! lol Buy the R-13 if you want a great pro horn and resale value in the U.S., and budget is your concern. I don't make the rules, I just follow the market.  :)

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: Tony Beck (---.emainc.com - ISP in Charleston, SC United States)
Date:   2006-11-22 19:41

Frank,
I mostly agree with you, except on the recordings. Even Arthur Benade himself pointed out that recordings don’t accurately capture the harmonics (or partials) that make up a particular clarinet’s sound, and when a recording engineer starts tweaking, things only get worse. To judge clarinet tone from vintage recordings, especially early acoustical recordings, is pretty much an exercise in futility. Sure, you can tell if the instrument is in tune with itself, and that the player may have been a fantastic technician, but you can’t tell what the sound was like in a live concert hall.

That said, since the introduction of the polycylindrical bore and Moennig barrel, the clarinet has become what engineers call a saturated design. The amount of work required to develop an improvement is very disproportionate to the results. In fact, it could be argued that we are going backwards, with the modern unavailability of forked Bbs, articulated G#s and long Eb keys.

That doesn’t mean that the new Leblancs aren’t better, maybe much better. Morrie has put a LOT of work into them, and Leblanc thinks they are worth the investment in new key forging dies, at least.

I’ll hold judgment until I can hear (or better yet play) the new Symphonie beside my old ones. In the meantime, I’ll gladly read Brenda’s reports.

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: Brenda Siewert (---.proxy.aol.com - ISP in United States)
Date:   2006-11-22 22:38

Thanks Tony. I've got one up on the board.

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: frank (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net - ISP in Dallas, TX United States)
Date:   2006-11-23 09:17

Tony,

Recordings aside, the players I mentioned are legendary for their sounds and musicianship. There are plenty of documented articles and I am sure some people alive today which witnessed their greatness. I liked what you said about regression. It was dead on. Cool...that should mean Backun is overcharging by $5,500, not $4,000 like I previously mentioned.  :) I am sorry. I love all the accounts of the instruments Brenda provides and I enjoy playing and owning all types of pro horns and acessories. I just don't buy into the nonsense some manufacturers dish out. I also disdain misguided sheep mentality, mainly from amateur players, but some pros as well.

This is not an educated guess or me wanting to play devil's advocate. I have come to these conclusions by studying the history of the instrument and through years of playing professionally AND hearing the same thing from other pros. Be advised, Ricardo Morales is a self proclaimed gadget man. Look at all the different stuff he has played on and endorsed over the years. He flits around from one thing to the next. He can play anything and sound awesome. I personally would believe more hype from a person who played the same thing for years and years, then suddenly switched. A similar scenario would be trusting a playboy type, like Casanova for relationship advice. Yes, he may know women - lots of beautiful women, and loved them all - but what does he know about being faithful to one? Would you trust the opinon of someone who couldn't commit? Wonder what he will be playing in a few years when the Backun fad runs dry. Time will tell.

Again, remember that when you are good or great, you can play virutally anything and sound like yourself.

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 Re: Leblanc Rapsodie
Author: YoungFlarinet (---.knology.net - ISP in Pawleys Island, SC United States)
Date:   2007-05-05 16:10

Well, I know this is an old thread now, but I decided to come back and inform you guys of my decisions :).
I got a Cadenza a few months ago. I say one of the best decisions of my life! The extra resonance bell doesn't seem like it would do much, but it sounds so good you probably couldn't imagine. I'll try to get some pictures up or something, maybe a recording.
My recomendation, if you can afford it, is the Leblanc Cadenza.

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