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Discussion Starter #1
Happy Holidays!

So I got a Silva-Bet.

I really need to get out of rescue mode. This poor thing was donated from a school music program (there are two sets of initials gouged into the plating on the bell; one on the inside, one on the top rim). The bell is also uneven in an oddly even way, allowing it to remain balanced while swaying gently like a rocking chair when set standing upright on a known flat surface. Two pads were installed so roughly there is shellac on the pads and the cup rims. Not going to discuss the plating, or the repair to the once-broken key... The case is a mess, but somehow it still has 98% of the original equipment - with the Bettoney-marked reed case, cap, ligature, and cork grease container, (bright.green.grease. >>eeewwww). There is even a foil "Silva-Bet" logo on the inside lining. Only the paperwork and the original mouthpiece are missing.

It has a lot of small leaks, but it still plays. The mouthpiece it came with is wood, so not usable. I tried all of my mouthpieces, and wouldn't you guess, it picks the one I never have liked much - the Vandoren B45. I'll give it a good bath, maybe a spa day, and some new nice pads.
 

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Bettony silver plated clarinet. Should be fun!
 

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Happy Holidays!

So I got a Silva-Bet.

I really need to get out of rescue mode. This poor thing was donated from a school music program (there are two sets of initials gouged into the plating on the bell; one on the inside, one on the top rim). The bell is also uneven in an oddly even way, allowing it to remain balanced while swaying gently like a rocking chair when set standing upright on a known flat surface. Two pads were installed so roughly there is shellac on the pads and the cup rims. Not going to discuss the plating, or the repair to the once-broken key... The case is a mess, but somehow it still has 98% of the original equipment - with the Bettoney-marked reed case, cap, ligature, and cork grease container, (bright.green.grease. >>eeewwww). There is even a foil "Silva-Bet" logo on the inside lining. Only the paperwork and the original mouthpiece are missing.

It has a lot of small leaks, but it still plays. The mouthpiece it came with is wood, so not usable. I tried all of my mouthpieces, and wouldn't you guess, it picks the one I never have liked much - the Vandoren B45. I'll give it a good bath, maybe a spa day, and some new nice pads.
What a fun find. Your condition report notes that it actually had a life. And in your hands I assume even more. Post some pictures for fun.
Don’t throw anything out. Take a bunch of pictures including the label. Cool case candy. Does the tin of cork grease have any markings. I’ve never seen one. What’s wrong with the mouthpiece being wood? Just figure out a way to disinfect it. Soap and water, toothbrush and maybe a week in some good Kentucky whiskey. Figures one you didn’t like worked. Amazing it’s playing at all.
 

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I started on clarinet, but haven't played one in years. The Silva-Bet looks like a real nice horn. I'd love to try one, maybe pick up the clarinet again!
 

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That's a good rescue, I think.

15 years ago I paid what I thought was a fortune for a 1929 Selmer Paris silver clarinet, but it was worth it. With new pads and adjustments from a knowledgeable tech, it sounds good and is in top shape. Just need to polish it ever so often.

I wouldn't be able to resist a Silva-Bet or Silver King.

BTW, nice Wiki link.
 

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I have a metal clarinet that I toot on once in a while. I've owned it longer than any saxophone. What amazes people (me included) is that a skinny metal tube can sound just like a thick grenedilla wood clarinet. It is always a bit of a shock.

Like the picture on Wikipedia, I found a crystal mouthpiece just because it adds to the weirdness of the whole thing. I'm fairly certain that the old mouthpiece is worth more than the clarinet.

It was one of my first forays into woodwind "repair," although all it really needed was the replacement of the bug-eaten pads and a few corks renewed. Not knowing exactly what I was doing, I simply ordered an inexpensive set of Valentino synthetic stick on pads. Maybe it was luck, but the repad was easy, quick, and is going on 15 years without a problem. I did remove the keywork to clean and oil during the repad, although I think that isn't always done for Valentino stick on repads.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I also have a crystal (two actually), but the Bet didn't play well with it. Every other clarinet I have just loves that Clarion, so maybe it is because the Bet needs some work.

You are right that the mouthpiece is sometimes worth more than the horn. The first crystal I got was in with a Sears M Dupont.

Mark, what is your metal one?
 

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Mine has no name, which keeps it in my price range. Here is an old thread (thanks to Milandro's secret search technique) that discusses metal clarinets and has pictures of mine. https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?350240-Continental-Colonial-Clarinet-Identification

I suspect that there were very few manufacturers and many stencils. Even metal clarinets attributed to Conn and Buescher probably were not manufactured by them. The fact that mine has a blank spot for a decal (which may have worn off) indicates that this model could easily be "stenciled" for Joe's Music Store. My guess would be that even the big names looked at the market share for metal clarinets and decided that the tooling costs likely out weighed the sales profits. Simply request that the manufacturer change the thumb rest or some other simple feature and engrave the big name on it. Then let the power of a trade name make that metal clarinet superior to all unbranded or less known clarinet brands. The trade name makes it a "safe bet" for the purchaser, maybe even enough to pay double for it.

I just scored on a vintage "JP" odd ball clarinet mouthpiece and have been doing some research on it. I may find enough to write a blog. Short story is that "JP' (John Peirce, often misspelled as Pierce) was an alto sax player from the Mid West. He doubled on clarinet and had a personal clarinet mouthpiece that was "saxophonized" with a drop beak and squared off tip rail. It also had a non-clarinet lay and a larger than normal tip opening for a clarinet. He apparently made a bunch and wholesaled them. As with many mouthpieces, music stores had them long after his death and stories were made up about the history. They became popular with Dixie and Klezmer clarinet players. More volume, easier bending, non-classical sound. I find that embouchure is less of an issue when going sax to clarinet. I haven't tried it yet on my metal no name.

Mark
 

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Metal clarinets have soldered-on tone holes.
Soldering does not fare well long-term in wet environments. How bad will depend on the particular solder alloy used.
So watch out for failed soldering. The solder can go powdery and leak long before a tone hole actually falls off.
RE-soldering needs good preparation, and the heat involved can accelerate the failure of neighbouring tone holes.
Hence this can be a huge can of worms.

How do I know? Been there, and don't want to go there again!
 

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A number of years back I sold one of these for a friend. I had the chance to play it for a bit before it sold. It was surprisingly good and far from the lousy metal clarinets out there. I have also heard great things about the old Selmers.
 
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