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Discussion Starter #1
I searched on WWBW's site for big bore clarinet but it didn't seem helpful.

A search on google turned up a Conn on ebay.

How do you go about finding a big bore clarinet and more importantly,
what bore size is considered big?
 

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Anything over 14.8-14.9mm (or .588" in old money) is considered large - the largest Boehm system bore being 15.2mm in B&H 1010, Peter Eaton Elite and Rossi clarinets, though these have small toneholes in comparison to the bore size.

Selmer Centered Tones are around 15mm (.590"), and have large toneholes offering low resistance and plenty of volume (and they can whisper a pppp too).

My teacher admitted how envious he was at how easily the altissimo spoke on my Selmer CTs in comparison to his Buffet RCs.
 

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Several months ago I went back to a medium size bore (.575) clarinet as my primary clarinet. The reason: the amount of tonal "ring" it has. Using a Grabner Kaspar-style mouthpiece, the sound that I get with this clarinet is the clarinet sound of my dreams -- it's big, dark, warm -- and the "ring" takes my breath away. It's my impression that the tonal "ring" plays a significant role in one's level of projection on clarinet. I'm using a classical type of set up (especially, with the Kaspar type of mouthpiece); however, I can easily be heard in a big band or large ensemble.

With that in mind, I cannot help but wonder if a large bore clarinet truly has a greater level of projection than one with a medium size bore and a carefully matched mouthpiece. ??????

Roger
 

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In addition to what Chris said, Leblanc has their Dynamic/Dynamique and Pete Fountaine clarinets (which are an evolution of the Dynamic series).

I have a CT and though it plays nicely I'll probably be selling it shortly. I normally play my Leblanc LL which is medium, you could say, and it covers alot of what I need. Plus i may go try and find a Dynamic or RC.

Nothing against the CT .. I'll probably miss it. BUt it simply isn't getting much playing time. I prefer the keywork of Leblanc and even more of Buffet - there's just very slight minor differences in it but enough for me it seems

On my LL (and Symphonie 3) I use a Chedeville based mpc which gives it exceptional ring. not as much as say a nice R13 with it, but it's pretty good.
 

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I've got a Leblanc Dynamique, and I'm quite happy with it. I've played several Selmer Centered Tones one Balanced Tone, a Leblanc Dynamic and a Dynamic H, before I finally settled that my current clarinet is what I really love to play on (even with the slight banding and tiny chip in a tenon). That being said I'm pretty sure (and anyone feel free to correct me) that any of these horns I've mentioned all utilize what classifies as a large bore.

I had tried out the Center Tones from a gentleman I was studying with at the time, the Balanced Tone from a friend, and the Dynamics/Dynamique were from everyone's favourite (insert sarcasm here) ebay. Be warned, buying from ebay, you MUST be informed and ask lots of questions, especially due to the fact that these are vintage instruments and may have serious problems (my Dynamique, one band, and a filled chip)... Ask as many questions as possible, and if the seller pushes back or is unresponsive dump'em.

I am unsure what current professional/intermediate grade large bore clarinets bring to the table, but I like how mine sounds and plays for a total investment of about 350 bucks, and will be holding on to it for a long long time to come!

Why are you looking for a large bore cl, if I may ask? What style playing are you looking to do with it, or is it that you're interested in the difference in response?
 

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Chris Peryagh said:
Anything over 14.8-14.9mm (or .588" in old money) is considered large - the largest Boehm system bore being 15.2mm in B&H 1010, Peter Eaton Elite and Rossi clarinets, though these have small toneholes in comparison to the bore size.

Selmer Centered Tones are around 15mm (.590"), and have large toneholes offering low resistance and plenty of volume (and they can whisper a pppp too).

My teacher admitted how envious he was at how easily the altissimo spoke on my Selmer CTs in comparison to his Buffet RCs.
Hi,
I have a CT also (Q series), I love it, it's very sonorous and open but I wonder if large straight tone holes (not undercut) don't contribute to raising the pitch when plating ppp. I remember reading something about that.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
dburlone said:
Why are you looking for a large bore cl, if I may ask? What style playing are you looking to do with it, or is it that you're interested in the difference in response?
Just trying to learn more about them and where they can be found.

BTW - Thanks for the link Carl - good stuff.
 

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Carl H. said:
It is actually Steve Sklar's web site.
Yes it is. It's funny how one has to learn stuff over time. I repair clarinets (not so much saxes anymore - they take too much of what little time i have) and have always been interested in bores sizes, toneholes, etc and those clarinets respective response and in relation to mpcs.

So I have a good list of vintage bore sizes from lists, emails and customer instruments. I can then relate that to particular resistance for each clarinet AND then i've related that to mpc design & reeds. I now do clarinet mpc refacing which adds an interesting twist to all of it, plus i've accumulated way too many clarinet mpcs for study and analysis.

quite a trip and still more to come. The larger bore clarinets are great for jazz as goes the saying. Of course, you can use them for anything really. benny Goodman used them because .... well the BT & CT is what was available back then. They didn't have very many selections from each manufacturer like they have now.

I have other clarinets like a L series Selmer which is also big bore, SMLs, Noblets, etc and I find the Selmers really good clear notes though they seem to have shorter posts and shorter action keywork than Leblanc and Buffet - it also depends on which model.

unfortunately i don't know much about the entire barrel thing ... another thing i have to explore sometime .... :D
 

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What about the Selmer St. Louis clarinets that Selmer Paris is making right now? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've been told that they are a large(r) bore, reminiscent of the Centered Tone clarinets of the 50's.

Anyone use or have used these? The last time I was at WWBW trying out clarinets, they were out of stock and my girlfriend didn't get a chance to try them last weekend before the store closed (hung up with her Buffet's).

I'm curious how they stand up against the vintage Selmer/large bore horns.
 

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Ah, That's certainly good to know...I was unaware of that. One of my friends at another school has a matched set for his symphony orchestra playing, and he loves them because he can cut through when he needs to and lay back also.

Unfortunately, he's several hours away and very hard to contact, so that's as much as I know for his taste with them.
 

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saxandstrings86 said:
I'm curious how they stand up against the vintage Selmer/large bore horns.
Very much so! Same goes with whatever LeBlanc's offering is (Big Easy, Pete Fountain? something like that).

saxandstrings86 said:
One of my friends at another school has a matched set for his symphony orchestra playing, and he loves them because he can cut through when he needs to and lay back also.
And this is one reason why I really like my Dynamique. The cutting is also purely volume wise, no real change in the tone.
 

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Bobby --

The easiest way to find out how a big bore clarinet responds is to try a Bundy Resonite, which had a .590" cylindrical bore. Although most of the Bundys which are readily available on ebay and at garage sales or flea markets have been trashed out, you can find some in great condition which sell for less than $100.

The Bundy is unjustly maligned because it was by far the most popular beginner clarinet for so many years and is not often found in good condition. As with all clarinets (or saxophones) regardless of make or price, the quality of play is dependent on proper adjustment by a competent technician, which can make the Bundy into a rather nice clarinet. Try to find an older model because the key work is nicer and the quality control better than on the more recent ones.

The bore and tone hole configuration of the Bundy is the same as the older top line Selmers such as the BT and CT. The principal difference between the Bundy and those higher priced Selmers (other than wood v plastic) is in the final tuning, tweaking and finish work on the top line instruments which is not commercially feasible on a low priced clarinet.

If you find that you prefer the response of the Bundy to that of the smaller bore clarinets, you can then, if you are able to spend more money, look around for one of the classic big bore clarinets, for example the Selmer 9 (not 9*) or earlier models such as the BT or CT; Leblanc Dynamique; or Conn 444.

Be sure that you try any big bore clarinet with a flexible mouthpiece / reed setup.
 

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I consider my Normandy 4 (my first clarinet from 1978) a big bore and those can be had for $100ish or so too. The bore isn't as large as the Bundy but one of the cheapest for wood. Properly set up the Normandy sounds pretty good too.
 

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I have both a Series 9 and a Series 10S Bb soprano, and the difference between the two is remarkable. The 10S feels more along the lines of a Buffet (at least to me) while the 9 is way open and free.

Tone wise, they both sound about the same to a recording system. But, flexibility wise, they "feel" very very different.

Those who are part of the Buffet mafia will be surprised when they pick up an "early" Selmer horn....
 

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Discussion Starter #18
BTW - How do you measure the bore?
Is it the inside circumference?
 

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BobbyC said:
BTW - How do you measure the bore?
Is it the inside circumference?
it is the inside diameter of the bottom tenon of the upper joint.

but i've seen some lists where ppl take the inside diameter of the top part of the upper joint.

i now take both measurements. most older instruments are cylindrical so both those measurements should be the same. Of course, polycylindrical will have 2 measurements.
 

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SOTSDO said:
Those who are part of the Buffet mafia will be surprised when they pick up an "early" Selmer horn....
True...my '46 Buffet tried to hold it's own against a 50's Selmer CT, but couldn't quite keep up volume wise. I like the tone a little better though with my Buffet...but that might be me making excuses for not getting to keep the CT...
 
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