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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Early vs Later Selmer Centered Tone Clarinets

I read that the Centered Tones up to the Q series have a cylindrical bore and the ones after that had a reverse taper in the upper joint identical to the early Series 9's.

I was wondering how that affected the sound. Did the later Centered Tones sound different i.e. like a Series 9?
 

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Ken, I do NOT know this for a fact, but from information I've gathered, Series 9 AND 9* clarinets were produced at the same time with the 9*'s having the reverse taper and tended to sound more like a Buffet. I have a regular Series 9 and it plays very much like the L series Selmer's I own (3 RI's and 2 BT's) for what it's worth! I recently did an overhaul on a Q series CT for a client and he just picked it up the other day. While he was play testing it, he switched back and forth from the CT to his Series 10 and the difference in sound was quite noticeable. The CT was definitely fatter and darker, while the 10 was more directional, slightly brighter and had a smaller core sound. I'm not saying that was bad, but it was again, quite noticeable.
Now, does that mean R series CT's are like that? I honestly don't know because I've never run across one.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi John. I also have a regular Series 9, a late one and full Boehm. It plays brighter than a U series 9* A clarinet I own. I just bought a R series CT full Boehm and it plays almost as dark as the 9*. However the CT has a Series 9 barrel, so I may get a custom barrel made to see if that makes a difference. I don't know either whether the Q series and before would be darker or not as I have never tried one.
 

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Hi John. I also have a regular Series 9, a late one and full Boehm. It plays brighter than a U series 9* A clarinet I own. I just bought a R series CT full Boehm and it plays almost as dark as the 9*. However the CT has a Series 9 barrel, so I may get a custom barrel made to see if that makes a difference. I don't know either whether the Q series and before would be darker or not as I have never tried one.
Ken, my 9 is a T series and an "enhanced boehm" with the C#/G# trill and the auxiliary Ab/Eb LH pinky key. It has a 9 barrel and plays a LOT like my RI's and BT's. I've toyed around with quite a few aftermarket barrels and to be honest, I ALWAYS end up going back to the original Selmer barrels! Can't hurt to try though. I'd advise making sure the bore size of the barrel(s) are made for larger bore Selmers as opposed to smaller bore Buffets which unfortunately, most of them are designed for (ask me how I know)! So you're looking to try and make the CT a bit darker?

J.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes I would like to make it a bit darker. I tried it with the barrel from the 9*. It actually made it darker. Not a huge difference but enough to make me prefer that barrel. But it was quite a tight fit so I won't be using it on the CT.
 

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Yes I would like to make it a bit darker. I tried it with the barrel from the 9*. It actually made it darker. Not a huge difference but enough to make me prefer that barrel. But it was quite a tight fit so I won't be using it on the CT.
Just my opinion/experience Ken, but I've found that most barrels don't change the timbre of the sound, but do change the blowing characteristics, most notably making what I believe it to be more free blowing. Sometimes that's desired.....other times not so much!
By tight, do you mean the radius of the barrel fitting over the upper tenon or just the cork being on the thick side? If it's just the cork, that can be taken care of easily!
Experimenting with this stuff can be both fun and maddening at the same time!!

J.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
By tight, it's hard to say, but it looks like the barrel goes part way on then gets tight. The cork looks pretty thin and old and needs replacing. So my guess is the barrel is tapered and that is why it only starts to go on then gets tight. I will be taking the CT to my tech to see what he thinks needs to be done to it, and will have him take a look at the fit of the barrel. I hope it is just the cork, thanks for pointing that out.
 

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Ken, you're talking the 9* barrel? I guess it could very well be tapered but yeah, the cork (hopefully) might be the issue. Let me know what transpires!

J.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well I had my tech look at the fit of the 9* barrel, and he thought the tight fit was fine. No danger of cracking the barrel apparently. If the ring at the end of the barrel was loose as sometimes happens when the wood shrinks that would be an issue, but the ring is tight.
 

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Well I had my tech look at the fit of the 9* barrel, and he thought the tight fit was fine. No danger of cracking the barrel apparently. If the ring at the end of the barrel was loose as sometimes happens when the wood shrinks that would be an issue, but the ring is tight.
There ya go! I totally understand not liking a real tight fit on the barrel. Neither do I, but one last thing I might suggest is if you're going to consistently use that barrel with the CT, get some 220 or 320 grit sandpaper. Put some packaging tape on the back and with a razor blade, cut a 1/2" strip. I'd gently sand the bottom half of the cork just a tad (all the way around obviously) and I'd bet that would improve the fit. Take a paper towel and wipe any existing cork grease build up off the cork first btw. Have your better half (or whoever) hold the upper joint for you while you sand since I assume you don't have a bench peg. Shoot me a PM if any questions!

John
 
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