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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I very recently became the owner of a Boosey & Hawkes Symphony Imperial 1010 Bb clarinet.
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Not a venerated pre-WWII but it does lack the somewhat debated Acton vent, and its 150xxx serial probably dates it to around 1958. Cared for and immediately playable out of its very, very stinky case, but totally filthy and smelly. Gross but with no other flaws.

So a sweet almond oil soak, strip down, clean, oil and polish has improved things immensely. Things were really crusty in the register vent and many toneholes :tongue6:
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The pads are 'okay' but I'm guessing some stuffiness and resistance is their fault. Corks and regulation all seem in goodish order. However a visit to my tech is definitely due.

I got lucky in that it included the original BM2 1010 bore mouthpiece and that it plays rather nicely. Some say bore size match is required on these (and all) horns. My Vandoren 5RV sounded not too different on it honestly. Tuning was slightly adversely effected but not direly.

I play modern Leblanc and Yamaha Eb and Bb so the spread, open smooth tone of this 1010 is very different.
All other clarinets I've owned/played have had a more narrow core, focussed tone.
I'm curious to know if this is the big bore sound or just the so-called British clarinet sound that Boosey was famous for?

Any 1010 or other B&H players here?

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Very nice - I would love to pick up one of these if I could ever excuse the cost, here they are still priced high. But comparable with any other pro level clarinet I guess.

I have a 35 year old wooden Edgeware which is the intermediate level, and I like it. I recently had it re padded and re corked and it makes a nice tone.

I have been playing with various mouth pieces and reeds today to see what I like best. Mine came with a Selmer mth pce and a B+H 1010 and I bought a Vandoren 5JB to play around with.

I haven't played for the main part of 25 years and its starting to come back to me...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for posting firebladejedi, the B&H clarinets seem to get a little less love than they deserve, I think.
UK players seems more keen on them due to the marvellous reputation for quality they had. Here in Australia they are not uncommon (they were probably the only clarinet commonly available here until the 1970s) but not exactly sought after however. Those I see regularly are not in good condition. According to the bloke I bought mine from all interested parties were from the UK.

I've been very keen to get my hands on a B&H for awhile. Sleeper horns for sure. Sadly they're usually either in bad nick or the Regent or Oxford plastic student models. I've been looking at and bidding on Edgware/2-10 models but missing out. 926s and Emperors at good prices have eluded me too. I got super-lucky on this one. The price was chickenfeed really for a playable top notch professional horn. Glad I played the long game.

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Very nice, I too recently got a B&H clarient and have to agree with you. They a very unknown good horn. The one I got I found on Craig'sList and it is an Edgeware model, serial number 135xxx and I dated it to be around 1956 or 57. It's a very good horn. I have my other horn to compare it to which is a Buffet R13 and it sounds nice but different compared to my Buffet. What's really interesting is according to the Women who sold it to me she said its made of Rosewood and at first I was skeptical cause I just didn't expect it to be. I never new they made many rosewood ones. but when I was able to go try it at her house I could tell by comparison it definitely isn't grenedilla. Apparently at that time buffet bought up all the grenedilla so many company's couldn't make a lot of them out of that at the time. I like it a lot and it's sound is really full, I don't think it's a "large bore" but definitely suits some jazz things good IMO. A lot of people don't know these are very good and therefore there isn't a jhigh demand for them. Slot of times it leads to people selling them at a low price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I realised I never tried my Bb favourite mpc, the 5RV, on the 1010 since after my strip-down and clean.
I tried it yesterday and it was like night and day! My sound but full and spread - still very open compared to the Yamaha's punchier focus.
The Boosey BM2 was holding me back.
Now I need to reassess the 5RV and its tuning on the 1010. It sounds in tune to me.
I may have to pony up some dough for a Pillinger or Eaton big bore piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think I spoke too soon on the mouthpiece front.

I just got the 1010 back from my tech. Leaks removed and some new corks, regulation, etc. (The pads are old but play well) and suddenly the B&H BM2 1010 mpc plays so much better! Less stuffy, better intonation and easier to control. The 5RV feels out of control now by comparison and wonky tuning-wise. (Playing Rico Reserve Classic 3.5 and Vandoren blue box 3, alternating 4+ reeds on both mpcs).

On the venerable Clarinet BBoard forum there is a distinct difference of opinion on whether or not acoustically/musically a 1010 or 926 bore mouthpiece (wider bores, non-conical) is necessary on 1010 and 926 Boosey horns. I'm now leaning towards it being absolutely necessary (it seems logical given the design differences).

The 1010 plays beautifully now. Big, spread sound with richness. My Yamaha 34II is perky and a bit slicker in keywork definitely, but also quite anemic by comparison. Hard to put down the 1010 it's so good!

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I'm playing less clarinet these days, but this would be a very nice incentive to do it more. I do have an intermediate B&H Emperor waiting for an overhaul, unfortunately unplayable in its current state.
Anyway, congratulations for this nice horn.
 

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On Marketplace, I'm advertising a B&H Edgeware model. Check it out. I think it's a good deal. I'm not sure if it is grenadilla, now that I read Mr. Clariphone's post. It does have a reddish tinge on the barrel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm playing less clarinet these days, but this would be a very nice incentive to do it more. I do have an intermediate B&H Emperor waiting for an overhaul, unfortunately unplayable in its current state.
Anyway, congratulations for this nice horn.
Thanks Dexdex :)

Emperor's are very good horns and without the excessive bore of the Symphony 1010 (so no, or little, mouthpiece woes).
I believe they have a .593" bore like the 926s? But still pretty big! :mrgreen:

My tech used to work at Howarth of London where they overhauled 1010s and other Booseys regularly but he says the demand has dwindled somewhat for these older big bore horns. The new Eaton models now take the lion's share of the big bore business understandably.

Honestly, the quality of this horn astounds me. The wood is so compact and dense and the keywork, although a tad thick in places, is still rock steady and responsive.

I'm enamoured! :love34:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I can certainly recommend hunting one down!

Mine is a marvellous horn - such a sweet, rich tone and easy to play.

I also quite prefer the B&H ergonomics - very comfortable on the pinkies. However the register key and throat A keys need some getting used to. The register key is at least 1mm closer to the thumbhole than any other clarinet I've played including Eefers!

And the chunkiness of the A key means it also gets in the way early on.

I ended up buying a new 1010 bore mouthpiece. Too many issues with French bore mpcs. Ed Pillinger made me a P45b facing one of his 1010 pieces. Ed's work is flawless and amazing service!

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old thread, but Great find.
Glad you found a cylindrical bore mpc for it. I've found the 926s, 1010s, and Eatons require the mouthpiece.
There's also a few other clarinets that require it too otherwise tuning is odd.

The keywork on all of them is super smooth with the long rods instead of pivot screws.
They are a pleasure to play. Hope yours will last a long time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Steve, the 1010 is indeed a joy to play.

You're right about the smooth keywork. I was shocked at how slick it was against my modern intermediate and pro horns. Easiest clarinet I've ever played both mechanically and tonewise.

I can't recommend enough getting a proper bore sized/shaped mouthpiece. My French bored mouthpieces sounded great but the tuning was so wacky. I could've had the original BM 2 1010 refaced but I didn't see the need. Ed Pillinger's prices are very affordable.

Overall the Pillinger 1010 mpc is incredible and the perfect mate to the Symphony 1010.

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