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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,
I'm in the market for a low Eb bass clarinet. I'm trying out a P series Selmer 1952. It's nice but I don't have a lot to compare it to. There is also a Z series Selmer available 1978, but I have not tried it yet. I was looking for a series 9 because I hear so many great things about them. Since there isn't much around town here to try and compare, I was hoping maybe some of you could help me. I know you can find great horns and not so great horns in any serial number/ model range, but in general, how do these early 50s horns and late 70s horns compare with the highly regarded mid-60s Series 9 instruments? Thank you!
Scott
 

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A 1930-ish wood Kohlert, re-angled neck, floor peg, range to low Eb, very nice! I played an orchestra concert on it two weeks ago and it gave a very good account of itself, but I could use the money and with four other perfectly fine bass clarinets in the house I really need to slim down.

I've had a number of Kohlerts over the years, made of wood, hard rubber and even metal, and they've all been excellent after just a bit of work. I find they feel and play very much like the older Selmers that have been praised in this forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi Dave,
I've got a few Selmers coming my way to try, so I'll check those out first. Thanks though!
Scott
 

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Some of the 70s to early 80s Selmers I've tried were excellent. Older than that, around 50s-60s, I also think can be very good, but I personally like those less. With the oldest one especially, carefully check eveness and intonation of the range to see if there's an issue you rather not live with. I wouldn't give too much significance to whether it says Series 9 or not. Not especially important IME with (many of) these.
 

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Selmer changed the design of their bass clarinet around 1983, not for the better. I think anything up to that date would be your basic series 9. Great horns. I'd be leery of anything as old as a '52. All those long rods and levers.....
 

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Thank you for that advice. I've been playing these low Ebs and they are very good. I happened to try a low C Buffet today and I really liked it. Being a jazz player though, I just don't know if the extra weight would be worth the extended range. Any thoughts about low Eb vs. low C would be appreciated! Thanks again!
Scott
 

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Low Eb vs. Low C is a common subject here.

Like you mentioned before, the extra weight is a con. The case will be bigger too. The low notes are more for orchestral use. In concert band you will occasionally see a low D, this can either be played up an octave or lipped down on a low Eb bass. Right now I play a Conn bass clarinet (original Conn, not a Malerne) that goes to low E only. I see a lot of low Eb's that I just play up an octave.

However, Marcus Miller is a jazz bass clarinetist and he plays a Low C Selmer Privilege (It may be Buffet now, but I'm not sure.)


This is off-topic, but you should listen to more Marcus Miller. Aspiring to be a jazz bass clarinetist myself, I really enjoy his music.
 
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