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 Kessler Eb clarinet?
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2018-12-26 18:13

Merry Christmas everybody,

Has anyone gifted themselves with this new instrument? There seem to be a few chinese wooden efers to be floating around the web now, too.
I'd love to buy a decent eefer, and while my chinese rubber standard model was a nice start, I have to admit that it doesn't work with the altissimo range (or tune well, anyways) and that apparently this isn't my fault. So a concert(band)-able instrument would be nice, eventually.

Then of course there's used Eb clarinets like Bundy or Vito or perhaps other wooden models, but I'm never sure how "used up" these are....

Best regards

PS: I'm fairly sure the exact same instrument is offered @gear4music

Post Edited (2018-12-26 18:13)

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 Re: Kessler Eb clarinet?
Author: bradfordlloyd 
Date:   2018-12-26 19:36

I haven't played or purchased the Kessler Eb, but have recently purchased the Kessler bass clarinet to low C and have been very impressed. The quality of the instrument is great, and the service from the Kesslers has been outstanding. I would bet that they would let you try out their Eb to make sure that you like it.

In regards to other eefers, I haven't been all that impressed with Bundys or Vitos (I have purchased one of each in search of a lower priced eefer), but they are solid instruments. They are both a bit pitchy in my estimation, but a good mouthpiece and barrel can improve them greatly.

I have had better luck with some of the older wooden horns -- both those made by Couesnon and those made by Thibouville. They are generally stencils, but each has some characteristic keywork so that they are identifiable. Once overhauled, and matched with the right mouthpiece and barrel, these can be great instruments. While some investment is needed, you can still get them up and running for far less than a new horn....or even a used Buffet or Selmer.

Just my experience. As always, your mileage may vary.

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 Re: Kessler Eb clarinet?
Author: Intonation 
Date:   2018-12-26 22:16

My teacher purchased one of these instruments recently and we both tried it out of the box. We even played duets on his and a solid R13 eefer.

My biggest issue with it was the keywork. It might not even be an issue really as it felt like it was made for larger hands (or specifically a long right pinky). The right hand spatulas felt really raised for my liking. The A key spring tension made it difficult to push down but thats something that could be remedied by taking it in. Considering the reputation of the Kesslers, this may have been done intentionally in order to prevent it from going out of adjustment during shipping. Honestly the issues with the keywork may just be a me thing.

Now playing it... I was very impressed.

The tone itself was surprisingly great. Comparing it side by side to the R13 there was clearly more depth to the R13 but even then I would gladly take it to a gig. It's gotten me really interested in the wood.

Intonation was pretty even over most of the horn minus the long B. When I say the horn was pretty even I mean the intonation was steady from note to note. The barrels that came with it had the pitch sitting high at room temperature. If the barrels were just a little longer, we wouldn't have needed to pull out so much(although we were not hitting cork). As for the low B there wasn't much we could do. It was sharp and we were hitting cork on the bell trying to get it in tune. Maybe Fobes' eb extension would correct this but getting it sized would be an issue I imagine. Overall ,as far as intonation, I attempted to try the horn with my Backun tulipwood barrel, which is longer than most standard barrels but it fit so loosely that it leaked. The octave key may have also contributed to this too as it was raising oddly higher than the R13s octave key.

The inlaid metal rings are super cool I might add.

If someone were to hand me this horn, ask me to play it and guess the price I'd go with 2500-2800. I'm sure after its taken in and adjusted it'll feel so much better to play. And investing in a quality barrel and mouthpiece combo will make this horn rock! I feel the only thing the R13 has on it is a small amount more depth to the tone, which is most likely the Grenadilla vs Ebony difference.

It's a solid horn that's worth way more than the price being asked for.

Kessler also has a trial/return policy in the event the instrument doesn't work for you.

My full usual eb setup:
Leuthner german reeds
Grabner Eb piece
Backun tulipwood barrel
R13 Eb

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 Re: Kessler Eb clarinet?
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2018-12-26 23:38

Thanks a lot for this insight.
I've been eying a "Millereau Brevett" clarinet, which looks like your typical stencil, but it has a barrelless (or how would you say it?) construction and I'm not even sure wether you can get it to a=442hz. So I'm better off saving for this one.

Incedentally, the worst note on my chinese eefer is the long b, too, and even completely pulling out the bell doesn't flatten it enough. For some reason, the other notes aren't too negatively affected by that, so I wonder wether it couldn't have been made differently, and I'd certainly prefer a correct long b over in-tune Low E/F on an eefer!

The right hand spatulas do look like they're set too high. But bending keys on a new instrument... I'd rather not. Would you say the ebony projects worse (more softly) than grenadilla? Also, even if it's a simple-minded question, would you say the Kessler has equal or better intonation than an R13? (played that horn once). I'm positive it's better than an Amati, haha.

BTW, gear4music has that return policy, too and I've found it to work quite nicely. Since I live in Germany and don't need the extra m'piece (got an Pomarico #3) or barrel included with the Kessler, I'd probably go for this one. They've got to be one and the same instrument

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 Re: Kessler Eb clarinet?
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2018-12-29 15:32

A quick heads up.
I've just bought a Kohlert Winnenden Boehm eefer in excellent condition, with a Vandoren crystal mouthpiece, but probably in need of a repad, for 350€. Pretty excited to see how this one plays. I know the Vandoren crystal to be an incredible mpc, at least on bass.

Post Edited (2018-12-29 15:36)

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 Re: Kessler Eb clarinet?
Author: Intonation 
Date:   2019-01-02 21:43

It's more of a difference in how each of them fill up a room. The grenadilla had more body but the ebony was very close. Regardless it's an Eb and the brighter timbre along with the average range of the horn you'll be playing in will allow the sound to cut through. There's a blind sound test that Michael Lowenstern does between his custom Selmer bass and Kesslers Low C. I'd say the difference between the 2 is almost equal to that, only leaning more towards them being closer.

Taking into account how the R13 plays with its original barrel rather than the longer barrel I usually use, I'd say they're about equal excluding the long B.

I trust Kessler's reputation. Any extra cost it has on any competitors in the price range is probably all spent on quality. Even then it's still cheaper than others(referencing Michael Lowenstern's opinion on the Kessler vs the more expensive Ridenour). Regardless a trial policy is exactly that. If you end up purchasing the gear4music I'd love to hear about it.

Post Edited (2019-01-02 21:43)

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 Re: Kessler Eb clarinet?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2019-01-02 21:58



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 Re: Kessler Eb clarinet?
Author: donald 
Date:   2019-01-03 01:49

I think they mean Ebonite.... or maybe "Grenadilla vrs Cocobollo"?

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 Re: Kessler Eb clarinet?
Author: Ursa 
Date:   2019-01-03 02:50

If you buy from Kessler at their Las Vegas shop, they're happy to set up keywork touchpiece positions, pad heights, and spring tensions before you leave with your new clarinet. When I bought my Backun clarinet there, they had it tweaked to perfection in about 90 minutes.

If I was going to buy one of their eefers, I'd take a winter holiday to Las Vegas, buy it in person, and similarly have it tweaked to my liking before taking it home.

I don't see Backun's eefer barrels and bells currently on offer at their website, but you could likely arrange to audition them, too, given enough advance notice.

The gear4music Rosedale wooden eefer does seem to be the same one as the Kessler, though the Kessler is upgraded with leather pads and a 5RV mouthpiece.

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 Re: Kessler Eb clarinet?
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2019-01-04 12:40

The reason I've now bought a Kohlert Winnenden was that the overall price with the A1 mpc was very attractive and I "need" to own a Kohlert because of their history.
However, I might as well do a repad and sell it again if the g4m is a better horn. I'm probably going to order one eventually, anyways.

Ursa, I'm rather sure the g4m has leather pads, too. They aren't particulary reliable with their item descriptions, but looking at the product photos, the pads look the same like on the kessler.
One would surely need to do a few adjustments, but that'd be no problem (at this price). Their return police works nicely, that's more impartant.

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 Re: Kessler Eb clarinet?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2019-01-04 14:17

I take it you mean this one:

Pinch of salt time:

Full Description

Professional Materials

Unlike many other modern clarinets, the Rosedale Professional Clarinet is made of solid ebony, which give warm and rich sounds and rich overtones that are comparable to instruments with far greater price tags. The Cupro-Nickel mechanisms have been manufactured for longevity and silver plated to give a professional finish to the instrument. The Tone Holes are kept in place using professional Blue Steel Springs, which have been built to be hard wearing.

Custom Design Features

The Rosedale Professional Ebony clarinet comes supplied with a classic style leather ligature with a rubber pressure plate, which gives the instrument a deep, dark sound. The holes have been undercut, which provides better intonation and a unique dark sound. Combined with Double Bladder Pads, this gives a comprehensive close on the note, providing better tuning and a more solid tone.

Included Accessories

Included with this Clarinet is a hard padded canvas case with leather binding, giving a top quality finish to a great instrument. The moulded protection covered in a felt finish gives brilliant protection to the clarinet when transporting to rehearsals and concerts. The clarinet also comes with its own mouthpiece and two reeds, so you will be able to play as soon as the instrument comes out of the box. As well as this, there is a screwdriver, polishing cloth and cork grease therefore allowing for easy maintenance.


Finish: Solid Ebony Body
Keys and Mechanisms: Silver Plated
Pads: Double Bladder
Model: Eb Clarinet
Tone Holes: Undercut
Springs: Blue steel
Ligature: Classic Leather style

Included Accessories

Premium Hard Case
Mouthpiece and Two Reeds
Cleaning Cloth
Cork Grease

Looks like they forgot to include the usual pair of white cotton gloves with these.


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