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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
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2,666 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Made an interesting discovery about one of my Couesnon Monopole clarinets today. My first Couesnon is a 1960 model and the second one that I got a few months ago is from the 70's. After getting the second one I came to realize how the 1960 model has more resistance and a darker & more focused sound. Whereas the 70's model has a much bigger sound and more ring.

Long story short, I took both clarinets to my repair tech this morning and he took bore measurements of both ends of the upper joint. Here's what he found:

'70's Couesnon -- .575 (top of upper joint) and .579 (bottom of upper joint).

1960 Couesnon -- .580 (top) and .5775 (bottom).

Thus, the 1960 Couesnon has an inverse taper. I believe that can account for the greater amount of resistance.

I tried switching to a Grabner K11 Kaspar (from my usual K14) on the 1960 Couesnon and found the smaller tip opening to work very well. It has a different kind of sound from my 70's Couesnon. I'd describe it as darker and more focused. The K11 gives the 1960 Couesnon more ring than the K14 as well as more control in the high range. It's a really nice sound and I quickly warmed up to it. It might be just what I'd want in a smaller ensemble.

Anyway, I'm curious if others on the Forum have come across an inverse taper clarinet. Intonation is perfectly fine on my 1960 Couesnon. Thus, I don't think the measurements are a result of the bore warping.

Roger
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
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2,666 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Bootman,

Yes, that's the model!

Have you ever tried a Grabner Kaspar? Fantastic mouthpieces. The K11 works beautifully on my 1960 Couesnon as does the K14 on my 70's model. Walter has come to understand what I'm looking for in a mouthpiece. Thus, when I get one from him it's a perfect fit.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member and Great Bloke.
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2,968 Posts
Roger,
A nice clarinet to play but I think I will stick with my RC's. The sound was very big but it was the 3rd and 4th registers where I felt that it didnt sing quite as it, it was a little fickle to control in this range. Intonation was very easy and the throat notes had a big open quality to them reminiscent of the Buffet RC.

I have tried a few Grabners here but still I prefer my JVW refaced LC#3.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
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2,666 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Yes, JVW could make all of the difference! He's sorely missed.
 
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