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· Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
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2,702 Posts
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
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Joined
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2,702 Posts
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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