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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been playing for the last 2 years a Yamaha 34 that is in tune and has reliable keywork. But I bought a Thibouville Freres last week that has a fat sweet tone. Problem is its not nearly as in tune as the Yamaha. My teacher seems to think its not worth the bother and I sound okay on the Yamaha. What happens for me is I play a slow scale on this Thibourville and say to myself, see, my tone is as good as what I hear on classical records. So, I don't know whether I should deal with the intonation or just go back to the Yamaha and try to fatten that up? I felt like I took Dr Gs advice but my teacher just shakes her head. (she sound beautiful on a Buffet Greenline but I can't spend that kind of money. ) K
 

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I say keep trying to use the Thibouville and work on the intonation. I feel that tone is very important, so if you can work on the intonation and get a better tone, then do that.
 

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Keith - you might relate the degree of bad intonation on the Thibouville to an imaginary sax that you might buy, and then ask yourself, "If this was a sax, would I continue to fight the intonation, or would I call it a day and spend the next X months looking for another horn that gives me the sound I am looking for but which is more manageable to play, otherwise".
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Gary, if it were a sax I wouldn't waste any time trying to compensate for bad intonation. That being said, What I think i'm gonna do is spend at least a month trying to fix the out notes (which I can do with airspeed) and then see if it "sets" . but , you have a good slant of how to look at this. K
 

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To be fair, I don't think the teacher is saying you have to get rid of the Thibouville Freres. She's saying she wants to teach you on an instrument with accurate intonation. I bet your teacher would sound beautiful on the Yamaha as well as the Greenline. Actually ask her to play the Yamaha and the TF. If she struggles to get the latter in tune then that proves her point. If not, she may start to come round to your point of view. (IMHO)
 

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Keith. I think you're already on the right track here. Play with it and see if familiarity with the Freres sorts things out. For mine, trying to work through Klose, Langenus, Rose, Baermann, Opperman etc on Clarinet is tough enough without fighting the horn.
 

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Clarinets are not like saxophones in the sense of adjusting pitch as you play. If the pitch is REAL wacky - I would strongly think about using it on a gig because you could have the nicest tone but if you dont play in tune - you are not gonna get called back. If you have an ok sound and you play in tune - you will get called back. Thats just how I have seen things work in my neck of the woods.

Charlie
 

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Fixing clarinet intonation is a tricky thing.

A few years back I played the Tenor and Soprano Saxophone parts on Bolero & sat next to my wife's former clarinet professor, who was on the Eb Clarinet part. All he had was a university horn (50's era Selmer) with BAD intonation.

The first night of rehearsal, he fought it and didn't sound so great. I was kinda concerned but the next rehearsal he nailed every single pitch by compensating with alternate fingerings. He is a master clarinetist, though, and was trying extremely hard.

He was able to put on quite a musical performance, but had the Eb Clarinet been properly intonated, he would not have had to work as hard. If this had been the case, his musicality most assuredly would have increased as well.

I say go back to the Yamaha and try some mpcs and/or barrels to help "fatten" your tone.

Good Luck, Keith!
 

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Keith,

I think you should just step up to the plate and get a modern(-ish), pro horn. You can do this for $1000-1500. You know... Buffet, Selmer Paris, Leblanc, Yamaha. Money well spent. Several decent deals have gone by here. You will have no intonation problems and you can focus on playing.

(I would sell you my Selmer for a grand. But my intention is not to unload horns on you.)

IMO...
 

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If you are having intonation problems, I'd say go with the horn that is in tune. The tone can be changed a lot with a mouthpiece and/or barrel and a lot of practice (which could be the difference you hear in tone with your teacher). Having to fight intonation issues isn't something that I'd be up for, and that the colleagues you play with wouldn't want to deal with either!

I also agree with having your teacher play the horn to see how difficult it is for them on intonation as well.

Good luck!
 

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I'm also wondering if the teacher was playing with you in that lesson and that's how he/she knew it was off. No matter how good the tone is........if the intonation is wacked then it's not worth the fight in my opinion. If it's a little off that's one thing but if you have notes going all over the place that's another.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The throat Ab is flat, as are the F and E at the top of the staff. The C# (below staff) is stuffy. I noticed the Ab the most but teacher noticed the F nad E and that bothered her the most. It is a large bore horn also so pitch is more variable than my Yamaha. There is a guy in SF who says he can fix most of this. I'm debating whether to throw the money at it. Most horns you trial or buy have a 3 to 5 day trial period. This one had a 5 day but I didn't have a lesson last week or I would have had her try it. When I played it I was aware of "low" notes but thought that I could increase airspeed to raise the pitch. As far as how low they are around 15 cents off flat. A few minor sharp notes. My teacher has watched me buy a few horns and basically says skip the bad intermediate horns and wait for the ones like Trice said. Decent in the 1000 dollar range. I;ll contact that guy in SF today and see what he thinks it would cost to fix this. K
 

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There is an R13 on CL right now for $1200 supposed owed by a pro player and in great shape. In Oakland.
 

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The stuffy throat Ab can be addressed by increasing the opening the A and Ab keys, although it may add to the sharpness of the throat A in doing so. The stuffy C# can be addressed by increasing the C#/G# key opening to allow more venting as well.

The more serious issues are with the F and E. If they are 15+ cents flat with the rest of the tuning close and the clarinet is warmed up it is going to be difficult to lip those notes up to be in tune. I would check the pitches of the low A and Bb with the tuner, and then add the register key while blowing faster air to see the pitch relationships of the 12ths. This is just a wild guess because I haven't done this before, but opening the register key a bit and/or beveling the cork pad in the register key might have an effect upon the pitch of the upper note of these 12ths. Beyond doing that I suspect you are looking at some serious tonehole modifications to correct the tuning.

Maybe stevesklar can join in and provide some answers. He seems to be very knowledgeable about addressing clarinet intonation issues.
 

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Tuning work is expensive, maybe too much so to justify for the horn in question. And you don't want a horn that many "issues" getting in the way of your playing. Tone and intonation are one and the same, so by doing embouchure and fingering manipulations to overcome the horn's problems, you will likely compromise the consistency of your tone quality. Make that Yamaha play porky. I think you can overcome whatever tonal difference you're hearing between the Yamaha and the Thibouville. A different mouthpiece/barrel combo might help, too.
 

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I'd say try a shorter barrell but then all your other notes will be 15 cents sharp or more so that won't help. I say get a more in tune clarinet. There is no way to get a note that is 15 cents flat up to pitch with air stream. That's too much. Clarinet is all ready a tight embouchure so you can't tighten on those notes to get them up either.
 

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I'd say try a shorter barrell but then all your other notes will be 15 cents sharp or more so that won't help. I say get a more in tune clarinet. There is no way to get a note that is 15 cents flat up to pitch with air stream. That's too much. Clarinet is all ready a tight embouchure so you can't tighten on those notes to get them up either.
+1.
 
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