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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All

I'm after a bit of help from someone who knows their clarinets.

I had a good toot on a friends clarinet which had keywork more like a saxophone, with no rings so the holes seal with pads, not your fingers. Hers was a very old wooden Kohlert and sounded amazing. Does anyone know if any other manufactures made this style of clarinet or was it only Kohlert? I've been looking for one for about 6 months now but they must be quite rare as i've not seen any.

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You say the keywork is saxophone like, then it's probably an Albert system.
I don't think I've ever seen a closed hole clarinet.
 

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Some others will chime in soon, i'm sure, and they'll correct me if I'm wrong, but...

There are some companies out there that make clarinets with this type of "closed hole" keywork, called Plateau keys. I think Leblanc is/was one of them, but i could be mistaken. This kind of keywork is common on larger clarinets like altos (common option, good for smaller hands) and basses (standard), etc.

I also remember a user on here who owns a clarinet with rollers on the lower pinky keys (a'la sax rollers), and I've seen that on a couple of examples out there in the wild. These sorts of rare keywork examples can also be easily added to an existing clarinet by skilled technicians. I'm thinking of having a set of rollers added to my clarinet in the near future, as soon as I decide if I'm sticking with it for sure.

Hope that helps, at least for some background. I'm sure some more of the experienced members will chirp up with brands, and possibly some corrections
 

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Sorry I think i've not been too clear on the description. Every hole on the clarinet was covered by pads, much like a sax, with a slight dished effect on the back for the fingers to easily locate without looking, like the pearls on a sax.

I have a Albert system clarinet but hers was a standard Boehm system. I found it a lot easier to play as you don't have to make sure your fingers cover the holes centrally, which is handy when you have small hands/fingers.

from
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saxandstrings86 you're a genius! Now I know the name of the key type I just googled it and found out there's a couple of manufacturers make them. Like you said I'm sure others will soon add to the discussion.

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Saxandstrings was correct. They are called Plateau keys. The holes are covered by the pad with the solid key touch like a sax. They are in Boehm system. There are a few that pop up on ebay from time to time. Leblanc/Noblet is the most well known modern manufacturer. Google Plateau system clarinets and see what comes up.
 

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bandmommy said:
Saxandstrings was correct. They are called Plateau keys. The holes are covered by the pad with the solid key touch like a sax. They are in Boehm system. There are a few that pop up on ebay from time to time. Leblanc/Noblet is the most well known modern manufacturer. Google Plateau system clarinets and see what comes up.
I saw a Leblanc Vito plastic clarinet recently in the Woodwind Brasswind catologue. Plateau(covered) Keys. About $600.00. WWBW.com or 1 800 348
5003.
Martin
 

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I remember David Spiegelthal posting a message some time ago about a clarinet with plateau keys. If you contact him he might have some helpful information. David is a great resource for exploring the world of non "big four" brands of clarinets and other unusual things he's come across.

My 1960 Couesnon Monopole clarinet has a roller on the right hand Eb key. It can be used to perform a right hand slide from middle Eb to C. Personally, I have never found much use for it as I naturally play Eb on the right side and C on the left.

Unless one has a physical condition that can be helped by using a plateau-keyed Bb soprano clarinet I don't see much reason for having one. If one is new to the clarinet investing the time, money, and effort in studying with a good clarinet teacher is worth every penny....especially in the long run.

Roger
 

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I have a couple. They came in a variety of manufacturers and usually their student line to assist young students in learning clarinet where they could not really quickly adjust to covering a tonehole.

I have a Normandy reso-tone plateau, Normandy wood
Noblet had a version
Selmer Vito had a version

I haven't seen one from Buffet nor Yamaha though

they come up on ebay from time to time.
 

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stevesklar said:
I have a couple. They came in a variety of manufacturers and usually their student line to assist young students in learning clarinet where they could not really quickly adjust to covering a tonehole.
I bought one from Steve and show it off every once in a while. Most sax players considering playing clarinet think about it but end up going with the standard instrument. BTW, I have a plasticover reed on it and it sits in my living room. I pick it up and it plays very nicely--good job setting it up Steve. But it just doesn't ring like my Leblanc Paris or Buffet Festival.
 

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Those who start on the sax often have a problem with "hitting the holes" dead on. Playing the sax, with nary a finger hole to be seen on the horn, does not really force the player to adopt the exact finger placement that clarinet players have to learn from the get-go.

I've even known a few sax players to routinely place their fingers off of the pearls (as seen by the lacquer wear on the key pad cups). As long as all the linkages are enabled, you can get away with that on a sax. Not so on the clarinet.

Finger hole leakage (after poor seals of the key pad overall) is the most common cause for squeals on the clarinet. The slightest inperfection of the location of your finger is all that it takes to open a "register vent" in just the wrong location, and a squeal follows close behind. Some have used the plateau horn to get around this, and it works but with the price of veiling the tone, at least as heard by the player. (Others who are listening out front don't seem to notice.)

I have also known an older fellow who had a broken ring finger with a badly crooked first joint (displaced towards the little finger) on his right hand. As a result, he had a lot of trouble playing the clarinet. When he got a plateau clarinet, all of those problems disappeared. Unfortunately, he died soon afterwards.

A better approach for the sax player moving over to the clarinet would be to purchase a Vito student clarinet. These have (or at least had, the last time I bothered to look) smaller fingers holes, the better for a less-experienced player. You can get these horns for next to nothing, and they will "train" your hands to center the fingers on the holes without having to suffer through months of trouble. Do your learnin' on this inexpensive Vito, and after you have mastered the finger placement (and decided that clarinet playing is something you want to do), you can step up to a pro horn without worrying about if you can manage it.
 

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SOTSDO said:
When he got a plateau clarinet, all of those problems disappeared. Unfortunately, he died soon afterwards.
That settles it. I don't want a plateau clarinet.
 

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SOTSDO said:
When he got a plateau clarinet, all of those problems disappeared. Unfortunately, he died soon afterwards.
retread said:
That settles it. I don't want a plateau clarinet.

retread .. don't worry. I sent you mine becz I dont wanna DIE :twisted:
 

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SOTSDO said:
When he got a plateau clarinet, all of those problems disappeared. Unfortunately, he died soon afterwards.
This is a good enough reason not to get one...
 
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