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 Boosey and Hawkes Clarinet
Author: amorlunae (50.33.222.---)
Date:   2012-05-23 23:42

I recieved a Boosey and Hawkes 2-20 London Series Clarinet. The serial number is 239034. The clarinet was free so it wasn't any loss, I was wondering a) hold old it is and b) If it was a good trade up from my beginner yamaha (kind of... It has broken so many times that there are several different peices from several different clarinets) that I am donating to my marching band.

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 Re: Boosey and Hawkes Clarinet
Author: Bill (---.washdc.fios.verizon.net - (Verizon Internet Services) Washington, DC United States)
Date:   2012-05-23 23:55

I had a 2-20 and it wasn't too bad. Reginald Kell (famous 1930s/40s/50s clarinetist) had a hand in the design of these. They're not bad.

Bill Fogle
Washington, DC

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 Re: Boosey and Hawkes Clarinet
Author: SteveG_CT (---.hsd1.ct.comcast.net - (Comcast Cable) Bloomfield, CT United States)
Date:   2012-05-24 00:08

amorlunae wrote:

> I recieved a Boosey and Hawkes 2-20 London Series Clarinet. The
> serial number is 239034. The clarinet was free so it wasn't any
> loss, I was wondering a) hold old it is and b) If it was a good
> trade up from my beginner yamaha (kind of... It has broken so
> many times that there are several different peices from several
> different clarinets) that I am donating to my marching band.


Your clarinet was made in the early 1960's, probably around 1964 based on extrapolations from the available serial number chart. The 2-20 was one of B&H's intermediate clarinets made for the US market. I have 2 of them myself. They are fairly decent clarinets in stock condition but can really benefit from a good overhaul. Usually some mild tonehole undercutting, adding a vent hold to the bell, and removing some excess material from some of the clunkier keys can dramatically improve them. After this work is done I'd say that a B&H 2-20 can hang with any modern intermediate clarinet. Contact David Spiegelthal about this as he does a lot of work on B&H clarinets and worked on a couple of mine.

As for whether it would be an upgrade from a student Yamaha clarinet, assuming that you are talking about a YCL-250, YCL-20, or similar plastic model then I would say that the B&H would definitely be an upgrade.

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 Re: Boosey and Hawkes Clarinet
Author: Chris P (---.as13285.net - (TalkTalk) Brighton, B6 United Kingdom)
Date:   2012-05-24 01:57

My first clarinet was a B&H Series 2-20 which I bought from a junk sale in Texas for $7.75 back in August 1986. The serial number on that was 234701 and according to a B&H print-out of serial numbers it was dated at 1964-1965. I learnt to do all manner of repair techniques with this instrument and played it regularly until it got stolen from college (and the insurance paid out £555.00 which was the cost of a Noblet Artist back in 1989). The barrel was too short being only 66mm instead of the usual 67mm.

It's basically an Edgware with a metal bell ring - the standard B&H bells didn't have a metal bell ring (apart from the socket ring) but had a decorative slot turned around the rim of the bell flare. To my knowledge the metal bell ring was only fitted as standard to Besson clarinets (made by B&H which were Regent and Edgware stencils) as well as the B&H Marlborough and other models destined for export (of which the 2-20 was one).

Chris.

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 Re: Boosey and Hawkes Clarinet
Author: David Spiegelthal (---.aero.org - (The Aerospace Corporation) Fairfax, VA United States)
Date:   2012-05-24 17:21

Chris, of the many B&H clarinets I've seen on this side of the Pond, the presence or absence of bell rings seems to work like this:

Regent/Series 1-10 (plastic bodies): Have bell rings
Edgware (hard rubber or wood bodies, but mostly wood): Have bell rings
Series 2-20, 4-20, 8-10: Have bell rings
Stratford: No bell ring
Imperial/926: No bell ring

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 Re: Boosey and Hawkes Clarinet
Author: SteveG_CT (159.245.32.---)
Date:   2012-05-24 17:51

David Spiegelthal wrote:

> Stratford: No bell ring


Out of curiosity where did the Stratford model fit in the line-up? I've seen some sellers asking rather high prices for them compared to the non-professional models on the auction site but don't know whether this price difference is justified.

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 Re: Boosey and Hawkes Clarinet
Author: David Spiegelthal (---.aero.org - (The Aerospace Corporation) Fairfax, VA United States)
Date:   2012-05-24 18:54

As far as I've been able to tell the Stratford is an Edgware with a non-ring bell. It's less common than the Edgware (around these here parts, anyway) so maybe sellers are equating 'less common' with 'more valuable'?

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 Re: Boosey and Hawkes Clarinet
Author: SteveG_CT (159.245.32.---)
Date:   2012-05-24 19:01

David Spiegelthal wrote:

> As far as I've been able to tell the Stratford is an Edgware
> with a non-ring bell. It's less common than the Edgware
> (around these here parts, anyway) so maybe sellers are equating
> 'less common' with 'more valuable'?

That's pretty much what I suspected. The ringless bell is kind of a novelty here but I personally wouldn't pay 4-times the cost of a regular Edgware to get one.

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 Re: Boosey and Hawkes Clarinet
Author: donald (---.jetstream.xtra.co.nz - (Telecom New Zealand Ltd) Auckland, E7 New Zealand)
Date:   2012-05-24 19:19

Here in NZ i've seen many Plastic, and older wooden, Regents over the years- none of which has ever had a bell ring. It would seem (based on DS post) they marketed this instrument with one in USA.
dn

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 Re: Boosey and Hawkes Clarinet
Author: David Spiegelthal (---.aero.org - (The Aerospace Corporation) Fairfax, VA United States)
Date:   2012-05-24 19:57

Donald, I may be mistaken about the plastic B&Hs having bell rings --- I'll try to remember to check my 'collection' when I get home to see if I have any plastic Booseys and what their bells look like. I am certain that the hard rubber models have bell rings, though.

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 Re: Boosey and Hawkes Clarinet
Author: SteveG_CT (159.245.32.---)
Date:   2012-05-24 20:17

David Spiegelthal wrote:

> Donald, I may be mistaken about the plastic B&Hs having bell
> rings ---

I have a plastic B&H 1-10 and it has a bell ring.

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 Re: Boosey and Hawkes Clarinet
Author: David Spiegelthal (---.dc.dc.cox.net - (Cox Communications) Centreville, VA United States)
Date:   2012-05-25 00:19

I just checked and, like SteveG, I have a plastic Series 1-10 with a bell ring.

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 Re: Boosey and Hawkes Clarinet
Author: clarinet3 (---.hsd1.ma.comcast.net - (Comcast Cable) Lawrence, MA United States)
Date:   2013-04-29 16:08

Lamp or musical instrument?

I just recently purchased a Boosey & Hawkes London Series 4-20 clarinet for $25. I am looking for information on the model. It is in need of a complete overhaul but the wood is in great condition. I am trying to figure if it's worth sinking money into. I yet to find anything about it on the internet except that by the serial # it was probably manufactured in 1950-1960's.

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 Re: Boosey and Hawkes Clarinet
Author: SteveG_CT (159.245.32.---)
Date:   2013-04-29 16:36

clarinet3 wrote:

> Lamp or musical instrument?
>
> I just recently purchased a Boosey & Hawkes London Series 4-20
> clarinet for $25. I am looking for information on the model.

I wouldn't convert a B&H clarinet into a lamp unless it was in very poor condition or missing parts. Most of them are pretty good players and more than worth the cost of an overhaul.

The 4-20 was one of a number of intermediate models that were made for the US market, most of which had only minor differences between them. The clarinet is basically the same accoustic design as the professional-level Imperial 926 but will have slightly different keywork, tenon rings, and bell design (most of the models destined for the US market had metal-rimmed bells while those for the European market and all of the professional models had rimless bells).

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 Re: Boosey and Hawkes Clarinet
Author: Chris P (---.proxy.aol.com - (America Online) , United Kingdom)
Date:   2013-04-29 17:43
Attachment:  pvcedgware 001.JPG (159k)

The best thing to do is try out a rebuilt and well set-up wooden B&H clarinet to see how you get on with it.

The ventings are generally set too low when they left the factory, but they can be increased to clear any stuffy notes which they can suffer from, especially the lower register notes such as (in descending order) open G, side F#, E, side Eb, C#, C and B (when played with the cross key fingering).

The other week I rebuilt a machined plastic (PVC) bodied Edgware which still had the original pads in (it was built around 1982-83) and the ventings were very low. It was very stuffy (not helped with some torn pads), but I increased all the ventings and it played incredibly well with a nice full tone. See attached photo.

Have to say it's the only B&H clarinet I've seen where the tenons were a perfect and wobble-free fit in their respective sockets with the tenon corks removed. If only that was true with most.

Chris.

Post Edited (2013-04-29 17:45)

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 Re: Boosey and Hawkes Clarinet
Author: clarinet3 (---.hsd1.ma.comcast.net - (Comcast Cable) Lawrence, MA United States)
Date:   2013-04-30 01:10

Thanks for the info. I was joking about the lamp. Even with all the pads needing to be replaced as well as the springs the clarinet played pretty well. The only notes that I found to be stuffy were the E below the open G like you mentioned but also the low G. Ill know better when i getvut repaded though. Does anyone know the metal composition of keys. I wanted to clean them up a little without damaging them.

The clarinet has a buffet barrel now. I'm assuming its not the original.

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 Re: Boosey and Hawkes Clarinet
Author: SteveG_CT (---.hsd1.ct.comcast.net - (Comcast Cable) Bloomfield, CT United States)
Date:   2013-04-30 03:02

clarinet3 wrote:

> Does
> anyone know the metal composition of keys. I wanted to clean
> them up a little without damaging them.
>
> The clarinet has a buffet barrel now. I'm assuming its not the
> original.

The keys are made of nickel silver and plated in either silver or nickel (not sure which was used on the 4-20 model). Unless they are really badly tarnished I would suggest buying a jeweler's polishing cloth and using that to polish the keys. These should work well on either type of plating and won't wear through the plating like a buffing wheel might.

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 Re: Boosey and Hawkes Clarinet
Author: Tony F (101.160.7.---)
Date:   2013-04-30 03:12

Where I reshaped some keys on my Emperor the base metal under the silver plating appears to be a very pale straw-coloured brass.

Tony F.

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 Re: Boosey and Hawkes Clarinet
Author: Chris P (---.proxy.aol.com - (America Online) , United Kingdom)
Date:   2013-04-30 09:35

Nickel silver is a very pale yellow metal - only the early wooden Regent and the B&H "77" (with ebonite bell) had the die cast mazak keys (in the UK) which are a zinc alloy which is very soft and easily broken.

If the low G is stuffy, then increase the venting of the low E and F keys (especially the latter to around 3.5mm). The middle E and C will benefit from having the RH ring key vent opening by around 3mm to make them speak cleanly.

Chris.

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