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 
 Gretsch Saxonette in E-flat Pictures
Author: Mark Charette (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date:   2002-08-10 13:28

[I'm trying to catch up a bit on my "to-do" list. Scott Miller sent these in back in May like he promised - I'm at fault for not getting them up right away. Mark C.]

Gretsch Saxonette in E-flat
Serial # - n/a
Actual manufacturer - LeBlanc, Paris???
Vintage - ???

<img src="http://www.woodwind.org/clarinet/Uploads/saxonetteincase.JPG" alt="Saxonette in case">

<img src="http://www.woodwind.org/clarinet/Uploads/saxonettereclining1.JPG" alt="lh side of horn against piano mirror">

<img src="http://www.woodwind.org/clarinet/Uploads/saxonettereclining2.JPG" alt="rh side of horn against piano mirror">

<img src="http://www.woodwind.org/clarinet/Uploads/saxonettepieces.JPG" alt="Saxonette in pieces">

<img src="http://www.woodwind.org/clarinet/Uploads/saxonettestanding.JPG" alt="Saxonette standing">

Reply To Message
 
 RE: Gretsch Saxonette in E-flat Pictures
Author: RS (---.waf-dc-0-106.rasserver.net)
Date:   2002-08-10 17:38

Very interesting horn. The fingering system appears to be Oehler clarinet type. I would love to get a similar barrel and bell for my Bb Boehm system clarinet. The upturned bell would probably make the horn easier to mike and the curved barrel (crook?) would make playing with a strap more comfortable. It's hard to tell from the pictures but this horn appears to be too small to be an alto and too big to be a sopranino. Could it actually be a Bb soprano? I've been saying for years that someone needs to offer a Bb cl. with the curved barrel/crook and upturned bell and here it is (or something close). Definitely a fascinating instrument. Thanks for the pics, Mark. I think I'll poke around the net for a while and see if I can come up with some more info. This thing has got me going.

Reply To Message
 
 RE: Gretsch Saxonette in E-flat Pictures
Author: Brian B (---.telocity.com)
Date:   2002-08-10 21:53

I have a clarinet almost identical to this one, except mine is a Buescher and is in Bb. I have to agree with RS that this Gretsch looks like a Bb too. The only difference I can see between the 2 is my bell is shaped slightly differently. Mine is marked "The Buescher" on the top joint and the bell, and by checking serial number lists I've dated it to around 1913-1914. Unfortunately, mine is a high pitch instrument which is why it is still awaiting a restoration.  :) The case is a little funky too. The only place to put a mouthpiece is inside the bell which gets clamped down to the lid of the case. Here are links to 2 pics of my buescher.

http://members.telocity.com/davidbrian/clarinet06.jpg

http://members.telocity.com/davidbrian/clarinet07.jpg

Brian

Reply To Message
 
 RE: Gretsch Saxonette in E-flat Pictures
Author: RS (---.waf-dc-0-28.rasserver.net)
Date:   2002-08-11 01:46

Brian--interesting pics. Apparently the saxonette above is not just one of a kind. There are more of these things floating about. On the saxophone site Sax On The Web a contributor wrote in about how some of the old New Orleans cats used upturned bells on their Albert system horns. They called them "opera bells". Now if I could just find one for my Leblanc LL I would be happy as a clam. I might talk to instrument maker Steven Fox to see if he could make me one (and a curved barrel or crook too). If that doesn't pan out I guess I would have to get a saxonette and cannibalise it for the bell and crook. I've got to have this set-up for my Leblanc.

Reply To Message
 
 RE: Gretsch Saxonette in E-flat Pictures
Author: Jim S. (---.dialup.mindspring.com)
Date:   2002-08-12 05:28

And then there is the Bb Saxello:
http://cybersax.com/features/Saxello_71K/Saxello_71K.html

Reply To Message
 
 RE: Gretsch Saxonette in E-flat Pictures
Author: diz (203.42.75.---)
Date:   2002-08-12 06:08

Mark C - it just looks plain odd to me ... have you heard on play? I'd be interested to read your thoughts ... thanks, diz

Reply To Message
 
 RE: Gretsch Saxonette in E-flat Pictures
Author: diz (203.42.75.---)
Date:   2002-08-12 06:12

that SHOULD have read ... have you heard ONE play? :-|

Reply To Message
 
 RE: Gretsch Saxonette in E-flat Pictures
Author: Mark Charette (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date:   2002-08-12 11:35

diz wrote:
>
> Mark C - it just looks plain odd to me ... have you heard
> on play? I'd be interested to read your thoughts ... thanks,
> diz

Nope, never has. Hopefully Scott Miller, the person who took the pictures, will chime in ...

Reply To Message
 
 RE: Gretsch Saxonette in E-flat Pictures
Author: Ken Shaw (63.94.240.---)
Date:   2002-08-12 17:22

I played a Saxonette in Bb at Charlie Ponte's store many years ago. He had one (and usually two) of everything.

It was a truly dreadful instrument -- horribly out of tune, impossibly high resistance, very uneven scale.

IMHO, it goes exactly the opposite way from improvement. Steve Fox and Luis Rossi have become well known for putting wood bells on altos and basses -- not the other way around.

Ken Shaw

Reply To Message
 
 RE: Gretsch Saxonette in E-flat Pictures
Author: Gnomon (Eoin McAuley) (193.120.81.---)
Date:   2002-08-30 07:45

I don't think it matters much what the bell is made of. The important things are: is the bore cylindrical or conical? It looks as if it is cylindrical from the shape of the instrument, so this is a clarinet despite the "sax" in the name. How wide is the bore? If this is a wide bor instrument, would that explain the out-of-tune high resitance playing?

Reply To Message
 
 RE: Gretsch Saxonette in E-flat Pictures
Author: Scott Miller (12.96.236.---)
Date:   2002-08-30 10:47

Answers, such as I have. I looked at Brian's pictures. In the "assembled" picture his horn looks slightly larger in every dimension, particularly diameter. After looking at the "cased" pic, I ain't so sure, but his case is much larger than mine. The "Saxello" is interesting, but completely different (a "tweener" soprano sax). The Saxonette is way smaller than an alto clarinet. My take is that it is also too small to be a soprano, so we have a small dilemma there. If the key of a clarinet is determined in open fingering position, the horn is in E-flat, or so says my piano. Sound. Two caveats. First, I am a sax, not a clarinet player, and an inactive one at that. Second, I've not heard the instrument played by anyone else, and what the player and the audience hears differ. Having said that here are my subjective impressions (soft reed, just >#2): woody, slightly more throaty than clear, with surprising volume and projection. Much closer to clarinet than sax. I was prepared for some metallic ("tinny") artifacts attributable to the bell, but I can't hear any. It's tempted to credit the bell with the projection, too, but I'm suspicious that isn't true. I'll have to dredge up an Oehler finger chart and see if it makes sense with the horn. Bore sure seems to be cylindrical. I will post inside diameter(s) as soon as I locate my inside calipers. The relationship of "resistance" to bore is a fairly complicated funtion, is it not? At least I would believe so from articles like this one on Moennig barrels:
http://www.jdhite.com/mouthpieces/shop1.htm
Any other measurements I should take while I'm at it?

Reply To Message
 
 RE: Gretsch Saxonette in E-flat Pictures
Author: lamanyana (---.ptld.qwest.net - ISP in Portland, OR United States)
Date:   2006-06-14 05:32

Hello - I know this is an old thread but I wanted to add in a bit more info, as I got one of these last fall.

In reality The saxonette is a C soprano clarinet, Albert system, with a curved barrel and bell. It's shaped a whole lot like a tiny alto clarinet.

You can see pictures of my horn (both before and after I cleaned it up and repadded it) at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mlf/sets/1055018/ .

I can't say it is the most beautiful sounding clarinet and the intonation is all over the place if you're not careful, but it's fun to play and can sound nice enough in the proper settings. (I've mainly used it while just playing and improvizing with friends, where having a C instrument means I don't have to worry about on the fly transposing.)

-Michael

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Gretsch Saxonette in E-flat Pictures
Author: ukebert (---.server.ntli.net - ISP in Stevenage, I9 United Kingdom)
Date:   2006-06-17 11:55

As I understand it, the Gretsch was a stencil of the Buescher Saxonette, which was produced in Eb, A, Bb and C.

It looks like you've done a really good job cleaning it up, well done. Would you put the intonation problems down to the clarinet or the curved barrel/bell?

Regards,

ukebert

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Gretsch Saxonette in E-flat Pictures
Author: lamanyana (---.pdx1.dsl.speakeasy.net - ISP in Portland, OR United States)
Date:   2006-08-31 17:45

ukebert wrote:

>
> It looks like you've done a really good job cleaning it up,
> well done. Would you put the intonation problems down to the
> clarinet or the curved barrel/bell?
>

Thanks - it was actually easier to work on than other woodwind restoration project I've attemped since the keywork is so simple and (fortunately) everything was in pretty good condition.

I'm not sure how much of the intonation issues are due to the curve or not. I suspect a lot of it is just the result of it being an Albert system, but as it's the only Albert clarinet I've played, I'm not sure.

As i've gotten used to it I've learned to compensate for the intonation irregularities to a large degree, anyway. It's certainly fun to play!

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Gretsch Saxonette in E-flat Pictures
Author: ukebert (---.server.ntli.net - ISP in Stevenage, I9 United Kingdom)
Date:   2006-09-01 13:36

Have you tried using a C Clarinet mouthpiece? Often they produce better intonation on instruments such as these. I know that Morgan makes one, available from Junkdude.

You've done a really nice job on it, and I'm a bit envious :-)

regards,

ukebert

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Gretsch Saxonette in E-flat Pictures
Author: lamanyana (---.ptld.qwest.net - ISP in Vancouver, WA United States)
Date:   2006-09-01 17:15

ukebert wrote:

> Have you tried using a C Clarinet mouthpiece? Often they
> produce better intonation on instruments such as these. I know
> that Morgan makes one, available from Junkdude.
>

I've just been using a B-45, but at some point should try to find a mouthpiece more appropriate to the horn. I'll take a look at the Morgan (I didn't now that anyone was making C mouthpieces at all these days).

> You've done a really nice job on it, and I'm a bit envious :-)

Thanks - I just feel lucky that I came across it and at a price I could afford. (Ceratainly a fluke, especially considering what the couple on eBay have gone for.)

- Michael



Reply To Message
 
 Re: Gretsch Saxonette in E-flat Pictures
Author: lamanyana (---.pdx1.dsl.speakeasy.net - ISP in Seattle, WA United States)
Date:   2007-03-15 04:47


> I've just been using a B-45, but at some point should try to
> find a mouthpiece more appropriate to the horn. I'll take a
> look at the Morgan (I didn't now that anyone was making C
> mouthpieces at all these days).

I just wanted to report back and let people know that I got one of the Morgan C mouthpieces and it really helped the intonation on the Saxonette quite a bit.

-Michael

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:

Classified Ads
FREE Classifieds! Instruments, and accessories, For Sale and Wanted

Events
Major events especially for clarinetists

Reeds
Great reeds available from around the world

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!

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

Service
Instrument repairs, restorations, adjustments, and overhauls.

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

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

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