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Discussion Starter #1
I picked up a used wood Selmer Signet 100 a while back, mainly to have a clarinet to learn on and play around with. I've noticed in this forum that these instruments are generally not thought well of. While I wasn't expecting a Mark VI equivalent, the thing looks pretty good, the wood appears to be nice, the keys seem acceptable, it plays pretty good (at least to my limited level) - what is the beef with these horns?
Thanks
 

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coufplayer said:
I picked up a used wood Selmer Signet 100 a while back, mainly to have a clarinet to learn on and play around with. I've noticed in this forum that these instruments are generally not thought well of. While I wasn't expecting a Mark VI equivalent, the thing looks pretty good, the wood appears to be nice, the keys seem acceptable, it plays pretty good (at least to my limited level) - what is the beef with these horns?
None, IMHO. :)

No respectable manufacturer with a reputation would sell a true piece of junk. Of course, during the manufacturing of an instrument there are a lot of occasions to bury a lot of money, so don't expect a 200$ Selmer to look and feel the same as a 2000$ one. But either of them should reasonably be in tune, and each of them should be reasonably easy to play.

I am playing a cheap Amati (there are mixed feelings towards this brand in here too), and never had a complaint about being out of tune or having an unacceptable sound. Buy a cheap horn, combine that with a good mouthpiece and no one will complain before they have seen the logo. (disclaimer - I am just a humble hobbyist playing in a community wind band)

A professional probably has other and potentially higher expectations, but even my teacher (having a Buffet RC) said, when I gave him a refurbished Bundy to play-test, "uh, the keywork takes some getting used-to, but besides I don't see anything wrong".

So, in a nutshell - if you're happy with your setup, don't let others spoil your fun.
 

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If you have a local music shop that has a selection of clarinets I'd suggest that you take your clarinet and mouthpiece to the shop, try several clarinets in different price ranges and see how they compare to your Signet. Importantly, check each one with a tuner to see its intonation characteristics. Then, in comparing your Signet to newer and better quality clarinets you can see for yourself whether the differences are significant enough to make you think about upgrading. Then, if you find that you're still happy with the Signet...that it's good enough for what you need...then you'll have peace of mind and it won't matter what anyone else thinks about a Signet.

I agree with Ben. As long as a clarinet plays in tune and does not have any noticable problems -- like a warped bore or bad tone holes, etc -- it can be a resonably good platform. Then, if you invest in a high-quality mouthpiece your clarinet can sound quite good. A few months ago I was seeing how I could get a better quality of sound from a Yamaha plastic clarinet. After a change in barrels and finding a Walter Grabner mouthpiece that worked especially well on the Yamaha, the plastic clarinet then sounded pretty darn good.

Generally speaking, it's my personal opinion that a clarinet mouthpiece has a larger role in one's sound than the particular clarinet being used. That is, it's possible that one can have a better quality of sound by having an expensive mouthpiece on a cheaper clarinet than by having a cheap mouthpiece on an expensive clarinet. Of course, this is assumming that the "expensive" mouthpiece is a good match for you as a player.

Good luck!

Roger
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm not really worried about what others think - I'm just curious about what they don't like about the Signet 100's. Again, I don't expect it to be full pro quality, but I've seen some comments like "worst clarinet I've played", "can't stand to play one" etc.
 

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coufplayer said:
I'm not really worried about what others think - I'm just curious about what they don't like about the Signet 100's. Again, I don't expect it to be full pro quality, but I've seen some comments like "worst clarinet I've played", "can't stand to play one" etc.
My wife played a Signet clarinet all the way through high school. She was often the first chair and a very popular musician with her band teachers.

After a 30-year break I wanted her to join me in rediscovering music. So I brought in a used Leblanc Paris and had her play her instrument which she thought was just fine. Then I had her play the Leblanc Paris. The intonation, sound projection and ergonomics were so much better on the Leblanc. And the wood Leblanc with silver keys was stunning to boot.

She was so hooked and three years later she is still at it. Often times I mistake her playing for some of the CDs she is learning from. I echo the recommendation to try a couple of clarinets before making a decision. Sometimes, the instrument you choose will hold you back from becoming the musician you always wanted to be.

Cheers.
 

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same happened to me -i played a signet solist for 25 yrs and didnt know what i was missing when i bought my first leblanc LL . the diff was amazing!
 

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super20dan said:
same happened to me -i played a signet solist for 25 yrs and didnt know what i was missing when i bought my first leblanc LL . the diff was amazing!
And, for most, immediate.
 

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super20dan said:
same happened to me -i played a signet solist for 25 yrs and didnt know what i was missing when i bought my first leblanc LL . the diff was amazing!
Would you have noticed that too without those 25 years?
 
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