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 Backun MoBa Bell tuning
Author: anotherasianclarinetist 
Date:   2018-12-06 17:44

The grenadilla MoBa bell that I've been using for about a year and a half has suddenly acquired a tuning issue - my clarion B and low E/F is now 30 cents flat on attack, and gets even flatter if I hold the note. My other notes are in tune, or slightly sharp.

It used to tune fine, and even a little sharp, but I didn't notice when exactly this problem started. Any ideas as to why this would have happened?

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 Re: Backun MoBa Bell tuning
Author: Ed Palanker 2017
Date:   2018-12-06 18:28

When I bought one of his bells for my Selmer, I already had them for my Buffets, I found the same problem. I contacted him and sent it back and he drilled a hole in the middle of the bell which solved the problem. I was able to open the hole a slight bit more to my liking but did not want to drill the original hole. Contact him about it.


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 Re: Backun MoBa Bell tuning
Author: J. J. 
Date:   2018-12-06 18:50

Ed, you said “when I bought one.” Certainly, the tuning problem didn’t manifest itself after you’d had it for a while.

OP, think about it. What could possibly have changed with the bell itself over the last year? Isn’t it far more likely that some junk in the clarinet or you changed? Or that it was always out of tune and you’re just now noticing it? Nothing with the bell “suddenly” happened.

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 Re: Backun MoBa Bell tuning
Author: anotherasianclarinetist 
Date:   2018-12-07 19:01

Yeah, that's what befuddled me. My teacher tried it when I first bought it and found it made the clarion B sharp, but both he and I are flat when playing with it now. My tuning goes right back to normal when I use the stock bell that comes with my Festival.

Which means that the bell is singlehandedly causing this problem, since switching it out fixes the problem immediately, and when I bought it I definitely did not have this problem (tried over 30 at the shop, and made sure to check the intonation of each one before deciding which to buy).

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 Re: Backun MoBa Bell tuning
Author: Ed Palanker 2017
Date:   2018-12-07 19:22

J.J. when I bought the bells for my Buffets I chose them from many at one of the clarinerfests. When I bought the one for my then new Selmer I had him send me several, chose the one I liked and mentioned the flat tuning note B as well as the low E and F so he told me to send that back with my "rejects" and he drilled the "proper' hole and it raised the B and low E-F slightly. I opened the hole a tiny bit more for perfection. Bingo.


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 Re: Backun MoBa Bell tuning
Author: Ed Palanker 2017
Date:   2018-12-07 19:25

People don't realize it, I didn't for many many years as a pro, but some bells on a clarinet can actually change the pitch, and even the tone, "slightly" for the high B and C, just above the staff. I say slightly. At least for me the Backuns did.


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 Re: Backun MoBa Bell tuning
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2018-12-07 21:17

That makes sense to me now. The clarinet is NOT an obvious acoustic model since the wave form actually folds back in on itself.......the clarinet sounds as if it were a foot or more longer. The length and shape of the "tube" would necessarily affect the pitch of every note.

.............Paul Aviles

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 Re: Backun MoBa Bell tuning
Author: donald 
Date:   2018-12-08 01:11

The entrance bore diameter of the Bell has a big impact on tuning of E/B and F/C (and some influence on the tone of notes above - as noted above, left hand notes can be affected by the bell).
I once had a clarinet with a very sharp middle line B, and experimented with lining the inside of the bell with blue tack as a temporary solution (inspired by a former teacher who had the bell of his L200 lined with putty to flatten E/B and played it like this for many years).
A thin ring of blue tack (I think this is called "ticky tack" in USA) at the tenon end of the bell had a SIGNIFICANT impact on tuning.
SO I imagine that if the wood swelled here (the tenon end of the bell), and the bore shrunk even a fraction of a millimetre, that would be enough to flatten E/B.
And that is the only explanation I can think of for the problem you are experiencing- given that it's not an issue with the stock bell, and that it wasn't an issue when you first selected the bell.

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 Re: Backun MoBa Bell tuning
Author: Anonymoose 
Date:   2018-12-08 02:35

I had this flat clarion B, low E/F issue too with the MoBa bell, around this time last year I think. It wasn't a problem when I purchased it... Maybe the drastic dip in temperature in November/December warped the bell?
I just switched it back to the original bell, and problem solved. Now it's sitting in my closet collecting dust...

Post Edited (2018-12-08 02:35)

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 Re: Backun MoBa Bell tuning
Author: J. J. 
Date:   2018-12-08 02:46

I think everyone is misunderstanding what I meant here. What I’m saying, and what I would maintain, is that nothing has changed about the bell’s tuning from the first day you got it to now. You most likely didn’t notice the tuning problems then, or something else changed. The *bell’s* tuning did not change.

What I would guess is most likely is that the bell is a poor acoustical fit for the instrument, and that you are just now discovering this.

Post Edited (2018-12-08 03:55)

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 Re: Backun MoBa Bell tuning
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2018-12-12 05:36

Check that there isn't an air leak in the cork where the bell connects.

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 Re: Backun MoBa Bell tuning
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2018-12-12 21:16


Maybe the drastic dip in temperature in November/December warped the bell?

More likely it's the increase in humidity...particularly if your clarinet lives in air conditioning in the summer

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 Re: Backun MoBa Bell tuning
Author: gatto 
Date:   2018-12-12 21:25

30 cents and more flat because of the bell???

Do these Backun bells have an extreme, special shape?

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 Re: Backun MoBa Bell tuning
Author: Tom Puwalski 
Date:   2019-01-03 16:54

Why don't you put the bell on that came with the clarinet and see if that fixes the problem?

Tom Puwalski

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