I have a pair of B and H 1010's. My Bb is a 1960's Imperial and my A is a pre war Boosey and Hawkes that I bought in the 1960's as a student. The A has a serial number 15665 and a stamp on the top joint which is a circled TP. It has been suggested that this could represent the Ted Planas workshop. Does anyone have information regarding this type of mark or the approximate date for this serial number.
When Boosey and Hawkes merged in 1930/31 their clarinet serial numbers were in region of 30xxx. A Boosey clarinet with ser 15xxx would predate 1910 !!!!
Some prewar 1010s were actually the Lonon and Paris instruments made in France for B&H (Brymers first 1010s were such) but I don't know if they used a different serial number range on those.
The small number of prewar 1010s that have passed through my workshop have all been in the range 34xxx/36xxx.
From the serial numbers on that Boosey A clarinet, I would date it to around 1931.
That instrument was most likely made around the time of the merger of Boosey and Hawkes - during this time some of the clarinets made by Boosey were made from Hawkes and Son components, so your A probably started life as a Hawkes and Son clarinet and was turned into a 1010. Some of these instruments also were stamped with the Hawkes serial numbers - the last instrument in the Hawkes and Son ledger (which I own) is serial number 15631, yours was probably made shortly after. Ive seen the Boosey and Hawkes ledger and it looks as though during the initial period after the merger some instruments did have Hawkes serial numbers. The pre war 1010 serial numbers which they continued from the Boosey and Co ledger start at 30,000 - 35000.
Ted Planas rarely stamped an instrument unless he actually made a new joint / barrel for it. His stamp was either "E Planas" with "Iver Heath" around it, or very rarely, he would stamp EP, but never TP!
You are right in that Ted was not in England regularly in the early '30s, indeed he didn't start to play the clarinet until he was 16, in about 1940/41. Although he was a trained engineer he did not start proper work on clarinets until the mid to late 1950's. It was never formally his 'trade' - he was first and foremost a player, but when he wasn't rehearsing / performing he was in his workshop, which was simply a garden shed somewhat modified.
I wonder if anyone out there has a Clinton Reform Bohm which I understand B&H stopped production of the in the 30s. Apparently these were fantastic clarinets and tuned really nicely. John McCaw told me they also were hard to find but were superb...this from one of his teachers.
I think the name was Clinton Boehm (not Reform) and was essentially a hybrid with a basically Boehm fingering lower joint but a Clinton (which is really an advanced simple system) upper joint mechanism.
I believe these are extrememly rare, I have never seen one or even heard of a player who used one.
Pat Ryan, for many years principal clarinet in the Halle (40's to early 60's I think) including the years when Barbirolli was in charge was one of the last significant players to use the Clinton (non Boehm) system.
Not all that long before - not sure when the Acton vent became standard (I presume sometime in the '60s) but there are some earlier 1010s with a slightly different (probably a prototype) arrangement of the Acton vent.
The version we're more familliar with was fitted as standard right up until they stopped making them in 1984, but his legacy is still carried on with German makers of German bore and Reform Boehms.
Very good and very practical to make the short fingering altissimo Eb possible (Sp. oxx|oxo Ab/Eb) which is well tuned compared to the same fingering used on a standard Beohm which is why we have to use the full fingering (Sp. oxx|xo/o Ab/Eb) to get the correct venting for tuning's sake.
And with the serial numbers being 190xxx and 220xxx - I suspect they may have the long 'Reginald Kell' side Eb/Bb touch. This was at the time when a lot of the keywork was redesigned, so your new aquisitions should have the more familliar style B&H keywork that also changed little until the end of production.
Peter Eaton clarinets have the key castings based on the keywork from instruments from the '80s, but Eatons don't have the Acton vent.
I have never seen an Imperial 926 or 1010 with the Kell style long side key.
It is my understanding that these were never fitted to their professional range.
One of my 926 pairs ser no 254xxx264xxx dating from 1965 certainly have the normal style keys.
From your ser nos I would date the instruments you have as a couple years earlier than Chris P at 1960-63.
By prototype Acton do you mean the RH mechanism is pinned rather as on flute mechanisms? These were the first release of the Acton vent but proved so weak and hard to keep in adjustment that they were redesigned only a year or so later to the sturdier (but rather clumsy feeling) mechanism that lasted up to end of production.
I had a B&H 2-20 numbered 234701, which according to B&H's list (the A4 one that was doing the rounds in the '80s) was from 1965 when I looked it up.
Unfortunately my copy of this list went missing years ago and the only other was pinned on the noticeboard in the woodwind room at Merton Tech when it was in Rutlish Rd. when Brian Ackerman was there.
On looking up B&H's online serial number database back in 2000 (until it got axed), that dated instruments with serial numbers from 220000 to 250000 to 1965.
I still regret not making a table using that list, but it would've been the most laborious thing to do, add to the fact Boosey&co., Hawkes&Son, brass and B&H double reeds all had different numbering systems for a time until they all merged at some point so all instruments produced by B&H were using the one numbering system.
Regarding the Acton vent - I have a 1010 which was previously owned by Jack Brymer - I acquired it directly from him about 15 years ago.
It has no serial number or makers marks of any kind. it has the vent and the keys are chrome plated.
Ho told me that the instrument was made for him in 1965 and he took it to Russia in (I think) 1970, where he recorded with it.
I have no way of knowing how accurate the information is, but he told me that this particular clarinet was the prototype to be fitted with the vent (1965)
I have approximately 30 hours of tape recorded tuition with him (with his consent !) and he discusses the instrument at some length. It is truly a beautiful clarinet, still in regular use. The origin GB pads lasted until about 5 years ago and were starting to disintegrate so I somewhat reluctantly re - padded the instrument. The chrome plating is in remarkably good condition.
Regarding the Acton vent: one sees this on german reform Boehm instruments being made today. Since the reform Boehm idea goes back to well before the War, is it possible that Acton got the idea from them, or was the traffic in the opposite direction?
I think the idea of the Acton vent was taken from the concept of Oehler system clarinets whereby a closed tonehole should have two open toneholes below it for good venting - the Acton vent making sure B and F# (and alt. Eb) effectively has the RH2 tonehole open for these notes when using the xxx|oxo fingering.
I also think Reform Boehms may have had this vent developed in parallel with the development of the Acton vent on the 1010 - two identical ideas but both being developed independently from one another. But that's speculation.
If you look up modern German makers of Reform Boehms, some will state they have the Acton vent fitted in the specifications list.
Nowadays you'll find French features on German instruments and German features on French instruments - although both French and German instruments are still very different from one another, they will share some ideas between them where they see the benefit.
Just a little anecdote in relation to my 'Brymer' clarinet. Some years ago and for reasons I have long forgotten, Geoffrey Acton contacted me and asked some very searching questions as to how the instrument came into my possession.
I remember that he seemed very excited that the instrument had 'turned up' after so many years. Long story short - I foolishly agreed to post the instrument to him and several months later I was still trying to get it back!
He was clearly very fond of the instrument for some reason and he too confirmed to me that this was the prototype vent.
But then I suppose he would, if some of the previous postings are accurate and he was developing his ideas in tandem with others.
I dont suppose that we will ever know. The only thing I can be certain of is that the clarinet is staying in my possession from now on.
It seems Jack Brymer preferred Chrome plate over other types as his original pre-war London and Paris 1010 (A clarinet) was also chrome plated when I saw it about 10 years ago although whether this was original or replacement plate I don't know.
This was the clarinet on which he made his first recording of the Mozart concerto with Beecham. By the time I saw it it had obviously had a very hard life and was probably his reason for seeking the new 1010s in early 60s.
The one he broke the middle tenon on now belongs to a player in Worthing who bought it at an auction for far less than he expected - he put a reserve bid on it and it came in well under when he was contacted by the auction house.
Thats interesting Norman - I always assumed that my clarinet was a 'one off' but clearly he had a liking for chrome. I have just refreshed my memory by listening to Brymer discussing the instrument on tape. He talks of 'wanting something a bit different' which is why he took possession of it unstained and chrome plated.
One might imagine that chrome keys would be slippery under the fingers, but I find the opposite to be true. Regardless of the ambient conditions the instrument always has a 'cool' feel to it. Chrome also appears to be very hard wearing
Wish I could see that clarinet of yours Rex, such a piece of history you have - I'm envious! I was also told that Brymer's pair of unstained clarinets were one offs - one older fellow I know who played with him said that pair was made from old pre war wood. I have long been interested in tracking down his clarinets but there seem to be reports all over England of 1010s that were once his. Perhaps he went through quite a few during his career?
Also - was his old pair of pre war 1010s definitely London and Paris or the Boosey English made instruments? Chris - do you remember how the A was broken?
I read somewhere that Brymer thought that 1010s made during a certain year in the 60s were very unique for some reason - one person claims that Boosey made an error in the bore reaming and corrected it after a year, but the instruments that were made during that time were quite good - any thoughts on this? I have not seen enough 1010s from the 60s to judge - I wonder if Rex's clarinet is from that grouping.
If you are ever in striking distance of Shropshire you would be very welcome to see the clarinet and indeed play it if you wish. As you have such an interest in his instruments you might also enjoy listening to his comments on tape.
You are right - owning a Brymer clarinet is a bit like being 'the man who shot liberty valance'! You can never be quite sure of the truth.
As regards the 1010's produced during the 60's - the recent playing of the tapes has reminded me that he spoke with great respect about a 1010 maker called Jack Smith. He clearly states that Jack Smith was the greatest clarinet maker of them all and in equal measure he berates 1010's made by an American called Art Large. He states 'Art Large made 1010's that were so bad, the company tried to deny all knowledge of them' Does anyone know these names or have any information about their time line with B & H ?
Brymer's autobiography says that he fell asleep in a chair holding the clarinet, slumped on it, and that broke the middle tenon. He also says that the other clarinet (i.e. the other pair member) never played the same again. Of course, he realised that this was a psychological association effect.
Rex - does the thumb F tune OK on his instrument? Sounds flat on some recordings (to me)
Thanks Rex - would love to see that clarinet sometime, maybe I can stop in next time I am in your area.
I have seen entries in the pre war Boosey and Hawkes ledger for a craftsman named J Smith - have spent time at the Horniman museum with the Boosey ledger books; all pre war instruments have an entry and the name of the craftsman that finished it. My 2 pairs of pre war 1010s were finished by Reynolds, Gregory, Paul and Mooney. I also looked up Thurstons pair which were completed by a J Smith....Those were the finest pair of 1010s I have played.
Good to know - now any pre war 1010s I find will be checked to see who completed them. So finding clarinets finished by Mr Smith will be many times harder to locate as it seems that he didn't make many...like finding a needle in a very large haystack.
So I assume that Jack Smith continued working at the Boosey factory into the 60s? Some have said that when Boosey reorganized after the war they let go of many of the skilled craftsman to hire low paid assembly line type workers - any thoughts on that?
No, I don't find it so. Its an unusual instrument that seems to defy some of the 'rules'. Some of the intonation problems you would expect on any clarinet are not evident on this instrument. For instance the high F is nicely tuned with the standard left hand fingering. The throat B flat is also very nice. I find the instrument slightly sharp throughout, which is good - I'm never trying to squeeze up to pitch. There is no sign of any undercutting either.
It was a long search for a suitable mouthpiece but I finally settled on a Peter Eaton - an old model that he no longer makes.
I now live in fear of losing or breaking the mouthpiece, as I would be unlikely to find a replacement. Does everyone remember 'mouthpiece dependence' ?
I'm not sure what year Brymer started working for the company, but I believe it was early sixties? Someone on the board will doubtless provide the answer. I have just listened again to the taped conversation and he states that the clarinet was made for him by Jack Smith in 1965 when he (Brymer) worked for the company. So if Brymer's recollection was accurate you are right and certain key craftsmen were kept on after the war. Brymer certainly spoke highly of Jack Smith, saying 'what a craftsman' and 'there is no one like him'
In fact he opens the conversation with 'That's a fine instrument - it's a Jack Smith'
It's interesting too that Thurston's clarinets were made by Smith I wonder who owns them now?
PS I have recently restored a beautiful pair of pre-war 1010's owned by my old Army Bandmaster, now in his eighties. If I can find the serial number perhaps you can provide the makers name. Wouldn't it be nice .....
Ramon, there are photos in the Thurston/Frank tutor of 1010 clarinets, mostly rather indistinct but in a 1953 edition I can just make out ser no 33489 (I think). Is this one of the pair you checked on?
I know that between Jack and Thea there were several pairs of pre-war 1010s, one pair were I believe given to Ronnie Moore (at the time I think his son in law) and another pair were on loan to Colin Parr in the early 60s.
I tried out a 1010 that belonged to Thea King one evening and it had a huge sound! I wasn't expecting so much volume as most late 1010s I've tried have been very resistant, but this played as freely as a Selmer CT.
You will be able to hear them, as I've decided to put them on youtube. It will take quite a time, as I have to type the conversations. The intention is to have the script rolling during the videos. The lessons were recorded on a small pocket type recorder and though most of it is distinct, there are some areas where to have the script would be helpful.
As I said to Ramon recently. the tapes are a treasure trove and youtube would be a great way to share them with others who may be interested.
Keep you posted.
With reference to the key plating of Jack Brymer's 1010s, I am surprised that nobody has yet referred to a passage in his book The Clarinet, in the Yehudi Menuhin Music Guies series, first published in 1976. At page 99 he writes:
"Plating is noemly of two types - nickel ...and silver....Chrimium plating is sometimes applied but has the disadvantage that it can peel off if the key is bent, as it probably will be at some time during its life. It is, however, wonderfully hard-wearing on the bearing surface, and comfortble to use if one does not object tyo the very smootk, almost slippery effect. Silver, on the contrary, tends to 'drag' on the fingers, especially if it is of the heavy-guage type applied to the best clarinets. It also tarnishes black if left for a week or two and can be rendered quite thin by persistentcleaning. So, by and large, good nickel-plated keys seem to promise best ..."
In the light of these observations, it is intgeresting to learn that he himself favoured chromium plated keys, on some at least of hisinstruments.
As a postscript, I can well understand Jack Brymer fully believing that after he had broken the tenon of one ofa pair ofclarinets, its companion never played as well again; and to my mind, it could well be true!
Interesting to see your post regarding 1010 serial numbers. I see your Bb instrument is 220505; I have a 1010 Bb, serial number 220504, which dates from 1962. Also I have a pair of 1010 instruments from 1933. I always found the Acton fork an unnecessary mechanism and found the earlier 1010s much better made.
I saw this older 10-10 chapter. Today I bought a pair of pre war 10-10' s in a small music shop in Amsterdam!
I allready tried newer versions but never found them acceptable for tuning matters. This matched pair, 33xxx, in their original worn out leather pochette case, tune very reasonably!! I will have them overhauled and than...lets see what happens. When I drove back, I felt a bit like Jack Brymer when he collected his first pair st B&H in Regent Street....as written down by him in " from where I sit".
All parts, also the as new mouthpiece, are numbered, very nice!!
I forgot t mention that I have also a pair of the here mentioned Clinton Boehm clarinets. They sound very nice, especially the A.
This pair is made by EJ Albert in Bruxelles, as Mr. Clinton changed from maker. Perhaps there is any interest in these extraordinary instruments.
Alph, From lists I have got these instruments would date from 1938.
Do they have serial numbers on every joint (including barrel and bell?)
I recently bought a Hawkes Bb that probably dates from the 1920s which has the exact same bore as the 1010 and a parallel bore mouthpiece.
On this one every joint including the mouthpiece is numbered. I look forward to seeing how it plays once I have found the time to overhaul it.
Look forward to hearing how your acquisitions turn out.
Indeed, all parts are numbered and in a very good order except the Bb bell that has been repaired not so nicely. This can be fixed I think. Do you perhaps know wether the modern type of 10-10 bell has the same dimensions?
I am curious knowing how your clarinet from the 20,s plays!! Succes with it!
Alph, From memory the pre-war 1010s had quite thin, light and resonant bells whereas the post war 1010s have a lot more wood in them and are much heavier.
I can't say about the specific dimensional comparison but suspect the modern bell would not be a good match on the older model.
I'm curious about how the sound/tone/timbre of the 1010 compares to standard French-bore instruments "everybody" now plays. I know that's been discussed before on the board in years past, but I know from reading the board that this is a good and knowledgeable crowd of 1010 players to ask. How are they different tonally and why would you consider them desirable additions to your clarinet battery? (I've always been intrigued by them, and always thought the 1010 would be one additional clarinet I'd like to have, which is why I'm asking.)
Beautiful looking instruments - did you have them replated?
I have a pair from almost the same vintage (serials 34000 for the Bb and 32000 for the A). Like yours, mine has the lever-arm crow's foot replacement on the Bb only. This is more puzzling in your case if the pair is matched: why would they keep an older mechanism on the A at the same time as doing something new on the Bb? It would be interesting to hear from owners of older instruments about when that mechanism first appeared.
I like the sound mine make, but I have to say I don't find the tuning any better than with post-war 1010s. It's not really up to modern standards.
One irritation with them concerns the tuning barrels. The barrel on the A is a lot longer than on the Bb. On post-war 1010s, the barrels were identical (as they are on e.g. Eaton clarinets today). This make changes much easier and it's the way all instruments should be. Does your pair have the same barrel incompatibility?
No, keys have the original, thick plating which is as new! My repairman, Hr Gunnar Meinel from Markneukirchen did a great job. Allthough it was difficult with the long axes instead of the pivot screws.
Tuning is really good, but they are a bit high, 443. The barrels are identical, so I could need a longer one. I tried a newer thick barrel but that isnt good for the tone. As asked before I like the freedom of expression on these clarinets. Timbre is sweet, I call it " archaïc" ...
New instruments are much more focussed which can also be very good but I like the fact, as Jack Brymer said, that large bore instruments adept to ones character.
I also have a pair of Clinton Boehm clarinets made by EJ Albert, they are a hybrid system pair. Pinky keys in boehm and further the Albert system and on the upper joint the Barret-action system, one key for Eflat and F! BTW, I am willing to trade for a pair of 10/10!!
My A is close to 440 on its own (long) barrel, but that barrel makes the Bb too flat. If you use a single barrel on both of yours, do you need to pull out to the same extent to reach 440 on each instrument?
A lot is said about large-bore instruments being more adaptable to the player's character. Whatever one makes of this statement, it's not clear to me that it's about the dimension of the bore as such - 1010s are only about 4% wider than Buffets, after all. I suspect it's much more to do with dimensions and shape of the tone holes. The evidence in favour of this assertion comes from Eaton International clarinets. I believe these started out by taking Eaton's Elite design (an improved 1010) and just making the bore smaller, followed by tweaks to tonehole placement to deal with the resulting impact on tuning. In any case, these "narrow bore" instruments are much closer in response to Eaton's large-bore model than they are to a Buffet.
My clarinets are both high, I have to put a ring inside of 2 mm and then pull 1mm for tuning of the 12ths.
Internal bore and tonehole placement are of course very paralel important. It might well be that tonehole placement has the greater effect as one reckons there are so many types of small bore clarinets that are all so different from eachother....!
Are you using 1010 bore mouthpieces on them? They have a larger parallel bore compared to French style mouthpeces, so have increased volume which will help bring the pitch down. You can either have an existing mouthpiece bored up to 1010 specs or source a copy by Ed Pillinger or Brian Ackerman, both in the UK.
I have some mp reamers myself, so I can ream them up to 15,24. Indeed that is a lot better for overall tuning. I sometimes have read that some people play the 10/10 with a small bore mp, I think it is not possible to achieve really good tuning
I have seen an identical support and patent mark on a Boehm model some years ago. I can't remember now the make but didn't think it was Albert so possibly Boosey or Hawkes sold stencils made by Albert at some time.
John, are your clarinets also very high? I need with the 64mm barrels a ring in it of 2mm and than pull 1 mm to get it doable...
I noticed that the bore of the A barrel is a tiny bit smaller, which is good.
Alph: if your barrels are 64mm, then the sharpness is no surprise. The barrel on my A is 67.5mm and it's about 440 when warm. The Bb is 64.5mm and is sharp - but it's under 440 with the A's barrel. So it looks like they were designed to use a barrel maybe 1mm shorter on the Bb than the A - like modern Buffets. I did consider having the A barrel shortened to around 66mm, as then it would have been practical to use on both instruments - but I didn't bother, since I couldn't see myself doing too many concerts with them on account of tuning issues.