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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I'm new to the forums, but not new to playing, although it's been several years since I have.

My last clarinet was stolen some 13 years ago from my house, and I've been grieving for it ever since. Now that my kids are teens and in band, I've really been wanting to play again, and the hubby as okayed me to buy a used instrument. I had a wooden Selmer after having used a plastic Normandy for years, and loved it, so I'm wanting to go that way again.

I've found what appears to be a older instrument on eBay, described as a "Conn vintage rosewood". I'm not sure what is considered vintage, and I don't know if this particular model is worth trying. Can someone tell me how this one is rated as far as overall quality? I know what to look for as far as the condition of the instrument, but I'm more concerned about getting something of quality that I'll be happy with in my price range.

Thanks!
 

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QueenB said:
I'm not sure what is considered vintage
In my experience, it means "old and in need of some going-over". At least on That Auction Site.
If "yours" is the one I'm looking at, it looks like you'd have to see your friendly repair technician before you can think about playing on it. Of course, the picture might be misleading.

I'd rather go for a Selmer CL200 or a Signet, they're in the same price range. Or check out www.clarinuts.com for a rough impression about the market prices. (no affiliation whatsoever)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, the case is really "vintage" :rolleyes: and it looks like it does need some help. I've already sent a message to the person asking about the condition of the pads, etc. and whether or not there's any cracks. My old Selmer had a crack in the bell, but I didn't have any say over that as my mother had purchased it for me and she didn't know any better.
 

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Hi QueenB,
Welcome to SOTW!

Vintage Conn clarinets are decent. However if the listing says it's 'Rosewood' chances are it's NOT. Most all of the instruments you get from ebay need help. If you want to go that way, be VERY careful. Many of the sellers have no clue what they're talking about.
You haven't said what your price range or playing level is, but there may be better clarinets out there for the money.

Take a look at a Selmer Signet 'Special' or 'Soloist'. Buffet E11 and E12, or R13. Noblet, LeBlanc, Artley, Evette and Scheaffer,,,,All of these are very good. The Buffet R13 is a pro model, but can be gotten at a reasonable price.

Many SOTW members may have clarinets for sale, so don't be surprised if someone offers you one of theirs. They are good guys, for the most part, and I don't think they would sell you junk. At least they had BETTER not.

Have fun shopping!
 

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An old (particularly relatively obscure brand) clarinet can indeed need a huge amount of work to make it play well and reliably. Just like a vintage car.

Rosewood? Probably not. But if it is, then I would certainly want to check the state of the bore, and tone hole edges before purchase.

I am not the only technician who has encountered nightmarish problems on account of deep grain blemishes across tone holes of rosewood Patricola oboes.

Don't be deceived by the pretty appearance of rosewood. Grenadilla has been chosen for clarinets for practical reasons, including pads reliably sealing on tone holes.
 

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I always thought the real rosewood models were made during WWII when they couldn't get grenadilla wood out of Africa. Long ago, I had a Buffet that almost looked red. But I think that was just the finish. Or maybe it was the house cleaner I may have used on it. :shock:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, Bandmommy!

I agree with you about buying stuff off eBay. Honestly, I'd rather be holding it in my hands to inspect it, maybe play it, but I live out in the sticks, so my options are rather limited here. I'm trying to steer towards the "gently used" ones, but the pickin's seem rather slim, especially trying to find something that isn't student quality.

Did I mention that I hate playing plastic? LOL

My playing level = probably not too good nowadays. I haven't played in years, although I still know how. I have zero chops now. I'll probably pass out earplugs to my family before I start practicing.

Gordon--I didn't have my hopes up that it would be real rosewood, and even then, I didn't expect it to be in too great of condition. The whole laminate thing, too...but then, those would be kind of a rarity nowadays, anyway, wouldn't they?
 

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I live in the 'Sticks' too. But I do make the trek into the Big City once in a while. BTW I HATE PLASTIC TOO. But it's great for beginners and marching band.

Another suggestion is to call around to your closest music stores. Sometimes they have wood clarinets that have been used in rental programs or trade ins. These will be ready to play and are sometimes very reasonably priced.
Another clarinet you may like, if you can find one, is a Selmer Omega. It's a high end intermediate/entry level pro. My oldest daughter has one that is a sweet little horn.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
hornfixer said:
Stay away from all Conn clarinets.
I have had trouble with loose post.
They take twice as long to repair and play half as good when you are done.
I just read something about this on another site. I'll pass on having to worry about things falling off. LOL
 

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I play a METAL clarinet because everytime I bid on a wood one at Ebay,
somebody ALWAYS jumps on and raises the bid right out of my range.

I have won ZERO items on Ebay due to folks who obviously have too much time and money on their hands.
 

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hornfixer said:
Stay away from all Conn clarinets.

I have had trouble with loose post.
They take twice as long to repair and play half as good when you are done.
Loose posts are a pretty common part of an overhaul, or if a key has had a decent knock.

Irrespective of brand.

You are lucky to have had only one.
 

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Often times a "Conn Rosewood Clarinet" turns out to be a Pan American (by Conn) clarinet made of a laminate material which, while beautiful, turned out to be much better to look at than to play.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I've got a line on a couple of Signet Specials that are in good shape. Thanks to everyone for their input.
 

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Yep...

And the Selmer Signet Soloist that I got my son is really nice and sounds great. They made some pretty nice horns.
 

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QueenB said:
I ended up getting a Signet 100...we'll see how it does!
Plan on getting it looked at by a decent tech. Don't try to make a bad or 'okay' situation worse by trying to work around it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
It came today! I was very pleased with the condition. It hardly has any wear on it, and the corks are good, but in desperate need of grease and could probably use an overall oiling. The mouthpiece appears new. It will need repadded in the future, though, and was told about this. I was able to play both registers without a problem. He sent a 3.5 reed, which I was thinking might be too hard for me, but actually seemed okay. I may go with a 3. I'll take it in this weekend for a tech to check it out for me.
 
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