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 
 Help with 19th Century Clarinets
Author: Verdi 
Date:   2023-01-19 03:59
Attachment:  C78A46AC-60B6-45EA-AA91-F3CA5F4C2588.jpeg (409k)
Attachment:  02E95AFF-5B9A-4C36-A909-88677890E447.jpeg (263k)
Attachment:  5D4CDC08-BE5E-4C06-B259-3AB8BD5D4C91.jpeg (278k)
Attachment:  047837B0-E400-40C5-8FBC-3D2E814C3AE9.jpeg (252k)
Attachment:  5CA3E510-E0F8-4E4A-96A6-33CFB66B69B4.jpeg (328k)

Hi all happy new year.
Last month I started a new thread seeking thoughts, advice and information on a set of three mid-19th century clarinets I bought at an online auction. They are a C “E Albert a Brusselles”, a Bb “Gautrot Ainè a Paris” 12key Muller system, and an A “E Albert a Brusselles”.
They are all in almost as new conditions, as is the case, their original wooden mouthpieces and accessories.
As I disassembled them to oil the body I noticed that one ligature has a failed weld repair and, more importantly, a previously repaired key on the A clarinet is broken (photos attached).
I have read that the key metal at the time was called German silver, does anyone know if it is possible to repair it?
Also, the pads are a mix of stuffed leather and cork, are there any pads in production today that could replace the originals as needed? sizes and shapes seem vastly different to modern standard pads.

In general I would like to gain as much info as possible on these beautiful old instruments, it would be wonderful to get in touch with experts in antique clarinets.

Many thanks

Reply To Message
 Re: Help with 19th Century Clarinets
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2023-01-19 08:31

Keys on modern clarinets are also made from "German Silver" (though they are usually silver or nickel plated) and many modern instruments use cork and leather pads. Because of this any good clarinet repair tech should be able to fix up these instruments. Clarinet pads come in every possible size from about 8mm up to about 35mm so there should also be no issue sourcing them. The Bb might be a little tricky as it has "salt spoon" keys, but I have worked on several instruments like this and modern pads work fine in them.

My biggest concern would be whether they tune to modern pitch or not. Measuring the length should confirm that:



Reply To Message
 Re: Help with 19th Century Clarinets
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2023-01-19 14:15

In order to successfully repair the broken keys, you'd have to completely remove all traces of soft (lead) solder as heating it up to the temperatures needed to hard (silver) solder it back together will cause any remaining traces of soft solder to eat into or dissolve the nickel silver.

Former oboe finisher
Howarth of London
1998 - 2010

The opinions I express are my own.

Reply To Message
 Re: Help with 19th Century Clarinets
Author: Verdi 
Date:   2023-01-19 16:52

Thanks JDbassplayer, I appreciate your input. I am seeing my local repair man at Legato Australia tomorrow. He warned me against buying old clarinets in the past, so I’m sure he won’t be impressed.
Also, thank you for sharing an incredibly useful chart. It’s an invaluable tool to identify clarinets of any age. But it also confused me a bit as the two Eugene Alberts sit somewhere in between. The C is 56.5 with mouthpiece, 49.8 without. The A is 68.9 with m/p, 61.9 without. The Bb Gautrot is 64.7 with, 57.8 without, so it’s definitely high pitch. I would assume that being bundled as a set they are all tuned to the same pitch.

Reply To Message
 Re: Help with 19th Century Clarinets
Author: Verdi 
Date:   2023-01-19 17:23

Thank you Chris. I will mention this to the repair guy tomorrow (I wish I could do these things myself..). The broken bit is 2x2mm hidden under other keywork, but I’m also concerned by the old lead solder on the same key, and what it may hide.

Reply To Message
 Re: Help with 19th Century Clarinets
Author: Hunter_100 
Date:   2023-01-19 19:35

German silver is actually an alloy of copper, nickel and zinc. It has no actual silver in it, it is a stupid misleading name.

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