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 Regulating E/B anF/C keys
Author: m1964 
Date:   2020-11-08 22:28

Hi all,

I was recently trying to change height of the left E/B and F3/C# key levers, and, after achieving the position where I wanted the levers, I found that there is now slight travel of the F/C key with the E/B pad closed. The travel is very little, less than 0.5mm.

What is the best way to have these keys regulated?

1. regulated perfectly (if even possible) - that is there is no travel of the F/C key, and no extra pressure required to close the E/B pad.

2. when the E/B is closed, there is slight gap between the E/B level and the craw foot (like in my case)

3. Need slightly increased pressure on E/B key, in order to close the pad completely- that is if pressing lightly on E/B key, the pad is not completely closed.

Thanks for your input.

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 Re: Regulating E/B anF/C keys
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2020-11-09 00:38

They should both close at the same time when you press the E/B key. You should not have to force things or hold the F/C key closed to play a B.


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 Re: Regulating E/B anF/C keys
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2020-11-09 01:16

There are some clarinets where the metal is rather soft and this area goes out of adjustment frequently. Given that the stress bending is how that happens, by extension, I have no qualms with doing some judicious bending to get it back into regulation (and really this can be done on pretty much any clarinet........but some folks will either replace corks to make up difference or add shims of cork).

In your case you need to make the "C" cup lower sooner. Just wedge your thumb under the crow's foot and press against the "C" cup simultaneously (you'll have to do this just enough to bend a little but not bend the cup too far down). If however the "C" cup now hits too soon, just push down on the right hand "C/F" key until you reach the point where both the C and B cups come down together.

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

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 Re: Regulating E/B anF/C keys
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2020-11-09 12:58

For clarinets with a crow's foot (which yours seems to be), Paul's explanation is pretty good, but to add a bit more...

There is almost never a reason not to correct this by bending (or bending back, if you prefer).

Something to consider and check is how much it needs to be raised, and how that compares with the adjustment between the left pinky F/C lever and the F/C key.

If you raise the crow's foot by more than the gap between the the foot and E/B and F#/C#, then this will create a gap between the F/C lever and key (or increase a gap that already exists).

It might be a simple case and raising the crow's foot will put everything in place. More often than not this doesn't happen. It's a combination of the crow's foot, E/B and F#/C# height and F/C lever to key, that need to all be adjusted.

Some clarinets have adjustment screws for the left hand F/C lever which makes it easier.

Another important thing...

>> Just wedge your thumb under the crow's foot and press against the "C" cup simultaneously (you'll have to do this just enough to bend a little but not bend the cup too far down). If however the "C" cup now hits too soon, just push down on the right hand "C/F" key until you reach the point where both the C and B cups come down together. <<

If you press and bend the key so it is exactly in adjustment, the metal will be unstable and will spring back slightly very soon after, ruining the adjustment. It needs to always be bent and then bent slightly back, with specific amount of force, so it is stable after the bend. The adjustment needs to be accurate in this stable condition.

Post Edited (2020-11-09 12:59)

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 Re: Regulating E/B anF/C keys
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2020-11-10 01:06

Most crow's foot adjustments go out of whack because the F/C touchpiece gets bent down as that's often a fairly weak casting and the touchpiece arm isn't particularly strong. Mostly caused by ill-fitting cases, placing anything on top of the instrument while in its case or using soft-sided cases and overloading the lid pocket with all manner of stuff which puts excessive pressure on the keywork. That can be corrected by gently bending the F/C touch back up an checking until you can get E/B with just the LH lever and the E/B pad closes with slightly less pressure than the F/C pad.

If there's a gap between the E/B touch and the crow's foot and you can still get E/B with the LH lever alone, then the linkage has been bent which is down to either the silencing materials having compressed or careless handling during assembly causing the E/B key to get bent upwards. That's easy enough to bend back if it's a bent lever by holding the RH E/B touchpiece down and gently bending the linkage arm down until the gap has gone. Then check and adjust to get the ideal closing pressure on both F/C and E/B pads.

If the silencing material is missing, then replace it and do any further adjustments by bending the keys instead of sanding things uneven - always better to have even thicknesses of cork, felt or whatever material you choose to use instead of ones that look like steps or hacked to bits using an axe.

I never use cork on the crow's foot as it's too noisy - either thin felt or ultrasuede. Likewise with the E/B stopper - cork and tech cork is too noisy for open-standing keys (and don't use cork on linkages as it's too compressible and weak).

Pick the ideal thickness felt or ultrasuede for the key feet or crow's foot and regulate the keywork by bending the keys. And take into account keywork has a certain amount of torsion in it, so don't go all text book and think everything has to close with the same pressure as that will go out of regulation very fast - you can slightly over adjust things when new silencing materials have been used as they will compress, but still remain in regulation instead of ending up out of regulation.


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 Re: Regulating E/B anF/C keys
Author: m1964 
Date:   2020-11-10 07:53

Thanks a lot to everyone who replied to my post.

I was under impression that it's better to replace the silencing material on the craw foot rather than bending the key, so I was going to remove the felt, glue a thin (.4mm thick) tech cork first, and then felt on top of the cork.

In my case, I think it happened because the felt I glued there has compressed slightly.
I will bend the key then, should not be difficult since the gap is very small (<0.5mm).

Again, thanks for your time.

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