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Discussion Starter #1
Just picked one up today...amazingly, I don't think I got a bad deal this time! :bluewink:

It's pretty squirrely in the second register, but I think a new mpc is in order. Otherwise, this thing is very clean and in great shape.

I had a plastic Vito years ago that I regretted trading (for a guitar). Ironically, I was able to acquire this Selmer, too, in trade for a guitar (and I had to kick in a couple of bills).

usually, I don't do too well in trades...but this time, I actually think I did well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. I'm having a gas with it--just checked out that Marcus Miller vid. His sounds nicer than mine [rolleyes] ... but these are killer horns for all their tonal variety. With a little practice, the second (?) register is comiing along...

It seems these horns were manufactered in the 60s? Man, this horn is spanking clean.
 

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Selmers are almost always at least decent and some are excellent. They might not be as even as new ones but more than a few very high level players use them.
Re the squeaks, that is usually from (in order from most to least likely):
1) The player's embochure
2) Leaks in the instrument
3) Mouthpiece/reed setup
So although the mouthpiece might be the issue, it is more likely that it isn't. But worth trying others just in case it will help. It might. Just yesterday someone came and said his backup mouthpiece was squeaking. I tried it and it didn't squeak for me, but it did for him and I could feel the "problem" (but didn't squeak). He had no squeaks with his main mouthpiece. So sometimes it's a combination of things.
 

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As Nitai says... plus, once you're really aqcuainted with the horn... I think that all older selmers benefits from a good serious undercutting of the C#/G# C/G bisB/bisF# Bb/F A/E tone holes.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Selmers are almost always at least decent and some are excellent. They might not be as even as new ones but more than a few very high level players use them.
Re the squeaks, that is usually from (in order from most to least likely):
1) The player's embochure
2) Leaks in the instrument
3) Mouthpiece/reed setup
So although the mouthpiece might be the issue, it is more likely that it isn't. But worth trying others just in case it will help. It might. Just yesterday someone came and said his backup mouthpiece was squeaking. I tried it and it didn't squeak for me, but it did for him and I could feel the "problem" (but didn't squeak). He had no squeaks with his main mouthpiece. So sometimes it's a combination of things.

Yes, no doubt--an embouchure issue first. The reason I suspect the mpc is because this one is quite shabby. But, yes, I'm sure the instrument can use adjustment--being that it's an older horn. I'm thrilled that it plays through two octaves thus far without me having to get it worked on...as I'm but a poor musician.. :blackeye:
 

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You don't say what mouthpiece you're using, but...
If you can find an old Bundy hard rubber piece you might be pleasantly surprised.
I like them better than Vandoren or Yamaha bass clari mouthpieces.
 

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If it's a Selmer it's likely the original mouthpiece, or a later Selmer mouthpiece. These vary in quality, but usually decent to excellent. Many professionals use them without refacing (unlike the impression you might get from some forums). The specific one you have could have problems, but generally it might take quite an expensive mouthpiece to find a better one, if at all.
 

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Congrats with the new horn. Is it a low C model?
+1 on the Selmer mouthpieces, they are (mostly) very good.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks all. I don't think it's a low C...not sure at all yet re bcl differences..

This morning--after reading through some old bcl posts--I tried a different reed. I threw on a firmer reed...and voila -- only one difficult note in clarion (because the key--third finger R hand--needs a little more pressure than the others to seal...this key appears to activate the 2nd vent?...). So, I think I discovered that the mpc is fine. Need a new lig though..

Remarkable what a difference a reed makes. And I can't believe this old horn plays so well out of the closet. This horn appeared so clean--with no issues--I was so excited and jumped at it. These kinds of deals are rare in small town Missoula. Guy was asking $400.
 

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If it's the instrument in your avatar photo then it looks like a low Eb bass. A low C model is longer with a few more lower notes.

The G/D key always needs more force on an instrument where this key is connected to the register mechanism, like yours. How much more depends on the design of the linkages, materials used, etc. An excellent repairer who knows what they are doing might be able to improve that even if the linakge is a poor design (which it is on many Selmers).
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Yes, thanks. It (was) the avatar photo.

It doesn't seem too awfully inordinately uneven--compared to the rest. I'm doing better after a day of practice too (d'oh). I recently acquired a standard (alto?) cl too, and am just getting accustomed to the fingering there...so going from the light touch of cl to the heavier touch of bcl G/D key takes a tad of technique adjustment..
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Permit me to rhapsodize a bit here...

but this horn is bad a##. I forgot what day I got it--about three or four days ago--but after a few days practice, this thing is clear and strong through the first two registers. I just got done noodling to the top of Clarion and found it quite comfortable up there--my new favorite thing is to play up there on "top" of the left hand in the second register--this horn is as smooth and responsive up there as low, but I was too green to get the notes out a few days ago (and had too soft a reed). Next, I'll have to learn what comes after the left-hand forefinger (tiip) and vent! This seems to play very smoothly throughout the range that I know, and only requires a bit more force blowing on that vented third finger. I just blew with some force on that note...and it just rips, tonally. Really beautiful.

I have been round and round with instruments all my life beginning at about age 9 (when I started alto sax in grade school). Was always first chair and found sax fun, but I soon became a freak for electric guitars and rock, and dropped horn after about three or four years.

After many travels with instruments of all kinds, I feel like this instrument could inspire me to use it as a primary voice. I only returned to sax last year -- after trading my classical and flamenco guitars for a Conn 10M. But I'm still spending way too much time playing a bunch of other instruments...as a drummer and bassist--as well as all the other folk instruments--it's way too easy to lose focus.

I'm going to see if I can't stick with this one for a while. See what happens. I've always just followed the music, so maybe it's time for me and bcl.

I'm still amazed at my luck--to have found this (for a song no less), and that it doesn't appear to need any adjustment. The case is in tatters, buit the horn is exceptionally clean--like it hasn't been played.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thought I'd update you all on my progress-

My intuition has been so far correct: not only has the bass remained my primary infatuation, but the soprano too--to which I have taken like a fish to tarter sauce.

I somehow showed up with a reed that enabled me to play up through altissimo thumb key (G maybe?) on the bass, and the horn performs well throughout. Apparently, my luck with this horn is the stuff of movies..

So I'm not so much a doubler as a clarinet player now! (erhem...demurely [rolleyes])
 

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Thumb and register? That would be C. :)

I'm so very jealous of you. I would love to have a nice bass clarinet in my 'stable'.
 

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Have you gotten any farther up than the C?
That little tab under the left index key, F#, is a wonderful little tool when playing third register D and higher.
On the regular Bb soprano we have to 'half hole' at times to get those screachers to speak clearly.
 

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From D on up, I was taught to hold down the RH Eb key like you would on flute. D is also a nice, stable note on most basses I've played. You might try that one before going down to C#.

Either way, congrats on the horn... I love playing bass, and it sounds like you're also having fun playing it!
 
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