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 
 Pre-war 1010 L&P barrel length
Author: ebonite 
Date:   2021-11-08 18:35

Does anyone have a Bb "London and Paris" pre-war 1010 with its original barrel? If so, I'd be grateful if you could measure the length of the barrel.

Reply To Message
 Re: Pre-war 1010 L&P barrel length
Author: Reformed 
Date:   2021-11-08 21:51

Not L&P but I have pre-war 1010 barrels at:

- Bb 64.6mm, serial 34xxx
- A 64.8mm, serial 35xxx

Reply To Message
 Re: Pre-war 1010 L&P barrel length
Author: Brad Behn 
Date:   2021-11-08 23:59

In my experience the socket is deeper on 1010 barrels
making the effective bore length of the barrel significantly shorter as compared to other makes.

Brad Behn

Reply To Message
 Re: Pre-war 1010 L&P barrel length
Author: Reformed 
Date:   2021-11-09 12:45


Indeed. The lower socket on my Bb and A 1010 barrels are 20.48mm and 20.68mm long, respectively. This compares 18.68 on an old Accubore which is the only "French" barrel I have to hand.

The upper socket is more standard at ~17.2mm.

Peter Eaton clarinets have the shorter lower barrel tenon.

Reply To Message
 Re: Pre-war 1010 L&P barrel length
Author: ebonite 
Date:   2021-11-09 14:23

Thanks for the information.
Yes, the barrels for my later model 1010s (early 1980s) have sockets with dimensions similar to Reformed's numbers. Also, the London & Paris pre-war 1010 that I have (which is missing the original barrel) has a tenon shoulder on the upper joint that is around the same length, though interestingly the shoulder has a slightly smaller outer diameter than the later 1010's, so the later barrel can only be used on it with teflon tape. When using the later barrels, which are 64mm and 65mm, the London and Paris plays sharp, so I think it may have originally come with a longer barrel. Alternatively, the London and Paris may have been designed for saxophone players, who had a reputation for playing flat when doubling on clarinet....

Reply To Message
 Re: Pre-war 1010 L&P barrel length
Author: RWodkowski 
Date:   2021-11-10 18:15

Perhaps slightly off topic, but I thought to post as these clarinets are so seldom discussed. I am probably one of the few remaining players that used the pre-war 1010 clarinets professionally in London. During my time playing in London I had several pairs, both the BH made and London & Paris - used them in the BBC Symphony and many other groups.

The pre war BH 1010 and London & Paris were both professional models made by Boosey & Hawkes, mid 1930s-1940s. Both were the wide bore, 15.24mm, and played and tuned in a similar manner. However, their construction was different.

The London & Paris instruments were made in France, the bodies, and most of the keywork, and shipped to BH for finishing. I was told that BH had difficulties machining tone holes, and imported the London & Paris as an option for their catalogue. Many London & Paris were fitted with ebonite barrels. The BH models made in England had ebonite tone hole chimneys, and different keywork, which was cheaper in quality - I had several keys break. Some say that the London & Paris had a nuttier, or woodier sound - I found them to be perhaps a bit more dense and focused. Frederick Thurston and Jack Brymer both used the London & Paris during their careers.

As for “ebonite’s” comment on tuning and barrel length, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, the standard mouthpiece used in the 1930s in London was very close, around 1mm, and quite short. Players used soft reeds, and didnt play with nearly as much volume as today. Pitch therefore was easier to control on these clarinets. One thing to keep in mind, is these were not French clarinets, and do not behave in that way. These were a wide bore instrument that are extremely flexible with pitch and sound. This allowed players to find their pitch quite easily, and I believe is one of the tools that aided the development of the “English” way of playing that emerged later with Brymer, DePeyer. Kell was the first, using slightly smaller bore Hawkes/Martel instruments with a very vocal approach.

Regarding barrel length, yes, 64-65mm was around standard, however, many players, including myself, needed longer barrels to tune. The reason for the long barrels, is these clarinets have quite thin walls, which contribute to their sweet resonance, however it encourages them to sharpen up quite a bit. It also is tricky using modern, more open facing mouthpieces on these clarinets, as if one is not careful, the tuning and sharpness issues can be amplified. I often had to use a few barrels on the job and interchange as I warmed up. One other tale that was passed my way, was that the designers of these instruments, Brian Manton Myatt included, used very soft reeds, close tip mpcs and tested in a small room…who knows if this is completely true, but its a familiar story with designers.

As for tenon lengths, yes the later barrels may not fit that well, and are a bit thicker. Many of the pre war barrels cracked or didnt make it, so people generally used a modern barrel or had something special made. I had Jon Steward at Howarth make me a few barrels that worked well.

I ended up putting my pre war 1010s away, in favour of the thicker walled Eaton Elites. They didnt have that extra special something, but they were far better in tune, played in a very similar way to the 1010, and also are capable of much more volume as London orchestras can play with much volume indeed and I needed that. I have kept the pre war sound in my ear, much like a violinist would a fine instrument that they borrow for a period, or playing a very fine Henri Chedeville mouthpiece - it stays with you.

Ramón Wodkowski


Post Edited (2021-11-10 18:20)

Reply To Message
 Re: Pre-war 1010 L&P barrel length
Author: graham 
Date:   2021-11-11 00:00

Ebonite - Alex Allen may be willing to measure the L&P barrel he currently has: https://www.clarinetsdirect.net/store/p37/Boosey-and-Hawkes-A-Clarinet.html#/


Reply To Message
 Re: Pre-war 1010 L&P barrel length
Author: John Peacock 
Date:   2021-11-11 13:57

I also have a pair of pre-War 1010s (not L&P). Interestingly, the barrel lengths are rather different to those given by Reformed:

Bb: 64.7mm (35,xxx; 1939)
A: 67.4mm (32,xxx; 1938)

Both barrels bear the same serial number as the main instrument, so they are original - although could theoretically have been shortened.

The A barrel is one of the longest I've ever seen, but it plays to 440 quite easily with post-War 1010 mouthpieces. However, it's too long for the Bb - although equally the existing barrel is too short, and something around 65.5-66 is really what's needed (for me to play it today, that is - not to disagree with Ramon Wodkowski's enlightening comments).

This does raise a separate issue, of whether pre-War 1010s were generally designed to use different bore barrels on Bb and A. With the post-War instruments I believe the barrels were intended to be interchangeable, and this is certainly the case with Peter Eaton Elites. Having a single barrel is a huge advantage for secure quick changes, and I always thought the loss of this was one way in which the move from 1010s to Buffets in the UK was undeniably a backward step - although yes of course it's a price worth paying for better tuning.

Reply To Message
 Re: Pre-war 1010 L&P barrel length
Author: RWodkowski 
Date:   2021-11-11 17:47

John - is your pair an originally matched pair? Those serial numbers seem a bit far apart to be maybe?

I have never encountered any information about the pre-war A clarinets requiring a specific barrel taper. If so, wouldn’t they stamp them so players could identify that clearly? Thurstons A clarinet barrel measured as it should from what I recall - .6 and straight. At least as straight as an 80 year old barrel can be. From other pre-war A barrels that I have owned, which were not matched to the clarinet, they also had standard straight bores. I have heard of players using 926 barrels on their pre-war clarinets, but those were instruments that were used for many years and quite possibly warped and contorted, or were not that well made to begin with.

My oldest pair of pre-wars did require the long barrel to be used on the A clarinet. As I warmed up on Bb I could use both. Jon Steward told me that BH were still ironing things out with their tuning in the late 30s and things varied - also it depended on which workman finished the clarinets - Clark, Smith, also Reynolds, I forget the other names. When comparing my former pair which belonged to Nicholas Tschaikov to his colleague Frederick Thurstons pair, they did play differently and had slightly different physical characteristics. Looking at the ledger, they were finished by different craftsmen. Obviously they were played well after their original owners passed away, however it is clear that the pre-war instruments varied quite a bit, and players had to do whatever was necessary to make them work with barrels and mouthpieces.

One last thing to keep in mind about the pre-war BH clarinets - not many were made, and quite a few went to professionals. Some were adjusted at the factory for them, as is indicated in the ledger, hinting it. This may be a contributing factor with barrels lengths, certain tuning adjustments, etc that we encounter today when studying them.

Post Edited (2021-11-11 18:25)

Reply To Message
 Re: Pre-war 1010 L&P barrel length
Author: John Peacock 
Date:   2021-11-11 18:58

Hi Ramon. I acquired the instruments separately, and yes they must have been made at least 12 months apart, so hardly "matched" Mind you, I've never been clear if that term meant much: instruments with nearby serial numbers could easily have been finished by different craftsmen - and even if made almost consecutively by the same person, results for each instrument probably varied. So in those days, as now with Buffet, probably the only way to achieve genuine matching is for the player to select a Bb and A from a large number of alternatives of each. For what it's worth, my pair are identical in keywork design, down to the LH bis key and the patent guide for the lower LH F#/C# key.

What you say about the bore makes sense: we know that 1010 mouthpieces are notorious for being cylindrical, so it seems likely that the same cylinder continued through the barrel into the top joint. But with the barrel having a serial number, I guess it wouldn't need a separate A/Bb designation.

Your last point about personalisation is a strong one. We know e.g. from Brymer's anecdote about him & Roy Jowitt swapping instruments that different people play intrinsically at different pitches, so I guess it's plausible that the first owner of my A had a sharp tendency and ordered a long barrel to compensate. To test this hypothesis, one would somehow need to access their Bb and see if it also had a 67-ish barrel.

Reply To Message
 Re: Pre-war 1010 L&P barrel length
Author: RWodkowski 
Date:   2021-11-11 20:08

John - Of course the player must choose a pair when matching them, that is obvious, and one cannot go by serial numbers alone. However, the old Boosey clarinets were a different story. You didnt just show up at the Regent street store and pick up a pair off the shelf, these were made to order mostly. They were finished by one of the craftsmen, and then someone higher up would select the pair from small batches and deliver to the buyer. In Brymer’s book, he talks about Tschaikov walking into the Regent street store to pick up and test his new pair. I came to own that pair, and have to say that they were well selected, although finished by different craftsmen. Tschaikov may have had a few to try, but it seems in those days, at least in the 30s, players ordered and took what they were given. Somewhere in the BH journals is a photo of the man at BH who tested the instruments, I forget his name.

That being said, the quality of BH clarinets changed very slightly throughout the 30s, and even a year apart can be a fair difference between instruments. As with any manufacturing enterprise, especially with so few being made relatively speaking, little things changed along the ways. This is why it can be tricky finding a pair of pre-war clarinets that were from different periods.

Post Edited (2021-11-11 20:10)

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

 Avail. Forums  |  Need a Login? Register Here 
 User Login
 User Name:
 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
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.

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