Advertising and Web Hosting on Woodwind.Org!

Woodwind.OrgThe Clarinet BBoardThe C4 standard

 
  BBoard Equipment Study Resources Music General    
 
 New Topic  |  Go to Top  |  Go to Topic  |  Search  |  Help/Rules  |  Smileys/Notes  |  Log In   Newer Topic  |  Older Topic 
 Adding a vent hole to the bell of a bass clarinet?
Author: tdufka 
Date:   2020-10-25 08:03

Buffet uses a vent hole on the bell after the low-C tone hole, presumably to make the notes from G to low C speak better. In my experience the Privilege low C sounds muffled relative to the other lowest notes, and when the bell is twisted out of the way of the low C linkage such that the pad is at maximum distance from the tone hole, all of the lower notes have more resonance. The intonation of these notes seems to become more accurate as well.

Would there be any disadvantage incurred by adding a vent hole to the bell?

Where would this hole theoretically be placed?

What diameter should the hole be, and how far should the lip around this tone hole extend from the bell?



Post Edited (2020-10-25 08:26)

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Adding a vent hole to the bell of a bass clarinet?
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2020-10-25 09:11

Bass clarinets with vent holes in the bell (e.g. current Buffet low C) are made so that low C is in tune (supposedly) with it. If you plug the hole low C is extremely flat.

The Selmer Privilege without the open hole is made so low C is in tune (again, supposedly) the way it is. Adding an open hole would make it sharper. It would have by far the largest effect on the low C compared with other notes.

It has a much smaller effect on higher notes, practically none for the higher notes you mentioned. Adding it would cause more problems than it would solve, unless, low C is already very flat. It seems that the low C with an open hole is the one thing you can't check with your test.

However, I remember Henri Bok had a vent hole on his low C Privilege (it was more than a decade ago that I saw it). I don't remember what the configuration was, but possibly he used a low Eb Privilege bell, which both a key and a vent hole, or maybe he had an extension and left the bell key off. Maybe ask him. If the low Eb bell is made in a way to be a little longer so it works with the vent hole on the low C model, it's weird that they have two different bell designs (it's much better for manufacturing to use the same bell), so this makes me think it's unlikely that it works.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Adding a vent hole to the bell of a bass clarinet?
Author: Mojo 
Date:   2020-10-25 19:00

This reply is about the the comment on the different Selmer bells. (I’m not sure why they decided one should have a vent hole though.)

I think there should be a different bell design for low C BCs vs low Eb. On my first Gen Kessler, the low C# was flat but the low C was in tune. I speculated that they just stuck a bell designed for a low Eb BC on it. The low C# tone hole was about 1/4” too low. I told Kessler about it and maybe it got back to the factory.

A year or so later I started seeing bells being sold on eBay with what looked like a higher positioned low C# tone hole. I blew up photos and took measurements and decided to purchase one. It was great! I sold my old one to offset the purchase some.

MojoMP.com
Mojo Mouthpiece Work LLC
MojoMouthpieceWork@yahoo.com

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Adding a vent hole to the bell of a bass clarinet?
Author: tdufka 
Date:   2020-10-25 21:55

It makes sense that the vent hole aids in tuning, but why would the design require it to begin with, if there was not some other advantage? In other words, could not the design be altered in other ways to bring the low C into tune, rather than just adding a hole to the bell?

Clarnibass, as someone who has experience with both Buffet and Selmer basses in good adjustment, could you describe what causes the qualitative differences between them, in the lower chalumeau?

Mojobari, did you mean to say that you purchased a bell with a higher positioned low C hole? I have never seen a bell with a low C# hole.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Adding a vent hole to the bell of a bass clarinet?
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2020-10-25 22:27

Mojo, could you send me the link to that bell in a private message? I have the same bass and I would love to fix low C# without making a new bell like I was originally planning to do.

tdufka, every bell has a low C# tonehole, that is the hole that the key usually covers. The low C "tonehole" would technically be the end of the bell for most bells.

With regards to the sound of the low notes, I have found that on a lot of instruments the pad heights are set too low. Sometimes techs also try to use pad height to control the intonation of clarion B, making the problem much worse. Generally when working on basses I adjust the lowest pads to open as high as they can go, in some cases up to 10mm. This greatly improves the response of the rest of the instrument as well. Before drilling any holes in the bell I would check and see how high the pads are opening up and seeing whether there is room for improvement.

-Jdbassplayer

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Adding a vent hole to the bell of a bass clarinet?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2020-10-25 23:51

The vent hole in Buffet Prestige bass bells is the low C tonehole.

The tonehole covered by the bell key is the low C# tonehole, or E/B tonehole on basses built to low Eb as low Eb issues directly from the bell. Low C issues directly from the bell on basses with bells without the vent hole.

Chris.

Post Edited (2020-10-25 23:55)

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Adding a vent hole to the bell of a bass clarinet?
Author: tdufka 
Date:   2020-10-26 01:14

Ah yes, thanks for correcting me on the C# tone hole on a non-Buffet bass. I forgot this fact.



Post Edited (2020-10-26 01:14)

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Adding a vent hole to the bell of a bass clarinet?
Author: Mojo 
Date:   2020-10-26 17:37

“ It makes sense that the vent hole aids in tuning, but why would the design require it to begin with, if there was not some other advantage? In other words, could not the design be altered in other ways to bring the low C into tune, rather than just adding a hole to the bell?”

I think the longer Buffet bell with a vent hole is used to try to make the tone color sound the same between the low C and the other notes. The low C can sound a little “honky” with the regular design. I think it is fine on my Kessler and Selmer BCs.

MojoMP.com
Mojo Mouthpiece Work LLC
MojoMouthpieceWork@yahoo.com

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Adding a vent hole to the bell of a bass clarinet?
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2020-10-27 14:24

>> I think there should be a different bell design for low C BCs vs low Eb. <<

Yes it makes sense that the distance between the last key tone hole and the open vent holes would be different.

Maybe it's the opposite and to make it easier, the bells are the same other than the vent hole and they have determined that when making vent holes for both, the bells would need to be different in other ways that raise manufacturing cost. Maybe that's why Selmer makes a vent hole only on the low Eb model, so the bells are otherwise the same.

It seems that it would be possible to make the bell key tone hole work for both. They definitely "play" with sizes and distances and it's not exactly linear.

>> It makes sense that the vent hole aids in tuning, but why would the design require it to begin with, if there was not some other advantage? <<

It's what Mojo wrote, to make low C more similar to notes above it and it does help with that.
A vent hole by itself doesn't aid in tuning. It can make tuning worse just the same. It's just like a tone hole. It's a little different only in that it has the open bell after it, but what matters are the specifics of the size and location and not some kind of basic idea that is different.

If they have decided that a vent hole is better for this reason you might expect they would have it on both models...
I remember the Selmer 35 had a particularly "honky" (to use Mojo's term) low Eb, different from all other notes. Maybe the same (though less) for the low C on the 37 (my memory is not as good with that one).

>> on basses built to low Eb as low Eb issues directly from the bell. <<

Do you know or remember what's it like on the Buffet 1183? I'm struggling to find a good photo of one to at least guesstimate how similar (or not) it is to the 1193 bell.

BTW I found more photos of that modified Selmer Privilege I mentioned, with low C and a bell vent hole. They are not completely clear, but it's definitely possible to tell there is actually an extension on the section itself with a key that replaces the bell key. I think (but not sure) the vent hole is the low C key tone hole with the key removed. It might have been a specially made bow, though most likely it's the original low C Privilege bell bow, since there is no extra vent other than this one.

>> could you describe what causes the qualitative differences between them, in the lower chalumeau? <<

They are just a little different overall. Different bore, tone holes, etc.
I gave up trying to describe these type of things... :)

Reading your first post again, maybe first try the suggestion in the post above to have all the low keys raised to vent more?

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Adding a vent hole to the bell of a bass clarinet?
Author: Mojo 
Date:   2020-10-27 18:37

I follow the logic that Selmer could use the same bell designed for its low C BC on its low Eb BC and drill a hole in it to tune the low Eb. The Eb BC tenon end would need to be about 1/4” longer (or bell pulled out that much) so that the low E/B will be in tune when using a low C Bell. This will locate the (C#) keyed tone hole in the bell properly for the low E/B. This makes the low Eb flat when using a low C designed bell unless a proper sized hole is drilled in it. I think this hole would be a lot smaller than the one Buffet uses.

MojoMP.com
Mojo Mouthpiece Work LLC
MojoMouthpieceWork@yahoo.com

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Adding a vent hole to the bell of a bass clarinet?
Author: tdufka 
Date:   2020-10-27 21:31

Here is an aftermarket bell, "the result of a collaboration between Sir Henri Bok and Howard Wiseman"

https://wisemanlondon.com/product/bok-wiseman-carbon-fibre-bass-clarinet-bell-for-selmer-bass-clarinet/



Post Edited (2020-10-28 19:49)

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Adding a vent hole to the bell of a bass clarinet?
Author: EbClarinet 
Date:   2020-10-29 00:40

I played a Selmer low C bass in college 4 5 years. It was the university's. I've got a question though. How much/many times is this low C called 4 on bass? I only played it 4 a bar or 2 in Prelude by Shostokovich. I didn't play it all the time because I would squeak and the band director cussed me out for squeaking on the low E in Elegy.

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/mbtldsongministry/

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Adding a vent hole to the bell of a bass clarinet?
Author: David Spiegelthal 2017
Date:   2020-10-29 00:53

For the (mostly-amateur) orchestra playing and theatre pit work I've done, I'll put it this way: I've spend several thousand times the hours adding low-C capability to several of my basses, than I have spent actually playing the note. Honestly, I almost never use the low C note. Low-D is very handy (besides making the low-Eb sound better), so I built a small removable low-D-only extension which has gotten some use.

That's just my little world. There are soloists, and not-necessarily-"classical" players like Nitai (a.k.a. clarnibass) who use the extended range frequently. So it depends on what sort of music you regularly play. For concert band and most orchestral-type playing you will hardly ever see a low C. In other types of music it can be important to have.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Adding a vent hole to the bell of a bass clarinet?
Author: Mojo 
Date:   2020-10-29 16:31

Low C is rarely used. But it is a real shame when it is and you do not have it. Like Dave say, low D is more common. It matches the low A on the bari sax and it is easy on the arranger to duplicate low woodwind passages.

On some arrangements, you can tell the arranger only assumed a low Eb (or E) was available by the way a descending line jumps the octave on BC but keeps going lower on tuba, etc. In these cases it is fun and tasteful to drop the notes down where they “should” be.

Some contra alto parts can be covered on a low C bass clarinet too. There may only be a few low note differences that I transpose and pencil in on the BC part.

MojoMP.com
Mojo Mouthpiece Work LLC
MojoMouthpieceWork@yahoo.com

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Adding a vent hole to the bell of a bass clarinet?
Author: tdufka 
Date:   2020-10-30 00:30

Why did clarinet makers settle on a low Eb with the bass rather than a low D? Seems like it would have been more logical to have a low D since it corresponds with low C concert.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Adding a vent hole to the bell of a bass clarinet?
Author: ebonite 
Date:   2020-10-30 00:53

tdufka wrote:

> Why did clarinet makers settle on a low Eb with the bass rather
> than a low D? Seems like it would have been more logical to
> have a low D since it corresponds with low C concert.

I think it was partly because composers assumed the range of the instrument was simply an octave lower than the clarinet, with written E as the lowest note. Instrument makers added the low Eb so that a bass clarinet in Bb could be used to play parts written for bass clarinet in A, which often included the written low E (concert C#).

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Adding a vent hole to the bell of a bass clarinet?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2020-10-30 01:02

And you get that low Concert C# in Rachmaninov's 2nd Symphony which is scored for bass clarinet in A. Among others.

Chris.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Adding a vent hole to the bell of a bass clarinet?
Author: ebonite 
Date:   2020-10-30 01:06

Chris P wrote:

> And you get that low Concert C# in Rachmaninov's 2nd Symphony
> which is scored for bass clarinet in A. Among others.
>

Yes, including a nice solo at the end of the slow movement

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Adding a vent hole to the bell of a bass clarinet?
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2020-10-30 18:55

Mojo,

You are right on track with:

"On some arrangements, you can tell the arranger only assumed a low Eb (or E) was available by the way a descending line jumps the octave on BC but keeps going lower on tuba, etc. In these cases it is fun and tasteful to drop the notes down where they “should” be."

For a very long time, I could not see the need for the lowest three notes and discussed that at great length with my good friend, David Spiegelthal. However, very recently, particularly in newer arrangements of clarinet quartet music, the arrangers are writing for notes down to low C. I have even started doing as Mojo mentioned and continuing a bass line (many times doubled in the bassoons whom sit next to) on down in wind ensemble music. Granted, in older arrangements, one does not find these low notes because as was suggested above, the arrangers did not use it for several reasons.

But now, I feel free to add very low bass clarinet notes as I sense they are appropriate. There nothing quite like the V-I resolution of the last chord with the bass clarinet ending on a Low C.

HRL

PS I'm playing more chamber music now with the virus knocking out all the wind ensembles I used to play in regularly.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Adding a vent hole to the bell of a bass clarinet?
Author: HANGARDUDE 
Date:   2020-11-06 18:04

Tim,

Even though ebonite & Chris P already answered the main part of your question re: Why settle on Low Eb instead of D on the shorter model basses, I'd like to add that not all clarinet makers settle on Eb. AFAIK the Boehm French system/bore horns(Buffet, Selmer, Yamaha, etc.) ascend to Low Eb, while a number of German/Oehler system horns actually descend down to Low D, including an old Uebel German bore bass that David Speigelthal made his own Low C extension for, and also several older Fritz Wurlitzer basses that also descend down to the same note, and you can request most German makers to make a Low D horn(cost-effectiveness aside). That said, there at least one old Conn model that went down to Low C, and much more recently the short version of the Buffet Tosca Bass aka the 1185 model also descends down to Low D.

I'm personally strongly for the having the Low D the lowest note on both alto clarinets & short model bass clarinets. For the latter I often come across concert band parts that call for the Low D, and it's also handy when playing untransposed cello parts/works. Sure a Low C horn would be more ideal in many cases(and I'm fortunate enough to play and own a Selmer Low C myself), but aside from the reason of simply covering the low written E of the bass clarinet A(Low Eb on the Bb bass) I feel it makes a lot more sense to have the Low D as the lowest note rather than the Low Eb on the shorter models of the low clarinets for many reasons, though I ain't on the board of any of the clarinet maker firms... But I digress.

Back to the Low C tone hole topic: I personally play and own a Selmer Privilege Low C bass, and concur that the Low C on the Selmer is indeed a bit less 'boomy' than on the Buffet Prestige(which I've tried on several occasions), but have gotten used to it and now my Low C on the Selmer is much more powerful than I first got the instrument albeit I don't have a Buffet to compare it with.

A note on the intonation: I find the Low C to relatively in tune on the Selmer Privilege, but the Low C# was pretty flat, though AFAIK the intonation of lowest notes has been a problem that plagues many bass clarinets(Boehm horns at least!)

Josh


Reply To Message
 Avail. Forums  |  Threaded View   Newer Topic  |  Older Topic 


 Avail. Forums  |  Need a Login? Register Here 
 User Login
 User Name:
 Password:
 Remember my login:
   
 Forgot Your Password?
Enter your email address or user name below and a new password will be sent to the email address associated with your profile.
Search Woodwind.Org

Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale

The Clarinet Pages
is sponsored by:

For Sale
Put your ads for items you'd like to sell here. Free! Please, no more than two at a time - ads removed after two weeks.

Mouthpieces & Barrels
Fine makers of mouthpieces and barrels, from wood to crystal to hard rubber and plastic

Reeds
Great reeds available from around the world

Events
Major events especially for clarinetists

Accessories
Accessories that every clarinetist needs - reed makers and shapers, ligatures, greases, oils, and preservatives ... and more!

Service
Instrument repairs, restorations, adjustments, and overhauls.

Instruments
Retailers and manufacturers of clarinets, both modern and early replica

Miscellaneous
Services and products too varied to categorize! Repair, recording, news

Music & Books
CDs, Sheet Music, and some of the greatest reference books ever written!

 
     Copyright © Woodwind.Org, Inc. All Rights Reserved    Privacy Policy    Contact charette@woodwind.org