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Original, dense Grenadilla wood in GREAT condition! This belonged to a friend's great-grandfather,

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Mar 12, 2013 19:12:01 PDT
Starting bid:
US $900.00
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Item location:
Gainesville, Florida, United States


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Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing.
Last updated on  Mar 05, 2013 18:23:48 PST  View all revisions

Item specifics

Seller Notes: Original, dense Grenadilla wood in GREAT condition! This belonged to a friend's great-grandfather, who only played it when he was young, and it sat without being played for several decades - THUS, the bore is not damaged, like other antique or vintage instruments! Keywork is untarnished nickel in fantastic condition - the entire instrument had an overhaul, so ergonomics and key tension, as well as pad sealing, are beyond excellent! The logo and brand are hand-engraved, with a bit of a mistake on the bell (as seen in the photo!) which proves it's handmade nature. With a new (played only once) Vandoren B40 mouthpiece (the standard of many professional players) that is light enough to fit the dense nature of the instrument - lush, dark sound! Also, comes with brand new Rovner ligature, played once only to shape it to the mouthpiece. I called Leblanc - they only said it was older than their records - which go back to 1968! The other noblets on ebay are much younger.
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This is a very old, French-made Eb Sopranino Clarinet in incredibly fine condition!  I am a professional clarinetist (auditioning for the Metropolitan Opera in two months) and I can say that this is one of the most incredible instruments I have ever had the pleasure of performing on!

The grenadilla m'pingo wood is extremely dense, but in fantastic condition!  The density helps "reign-in" the Eb Clarinet's famously bright/brilliant sound, for a mature and elegant sound with a lush, deep, large overtones, but still with plenty of "ring."  I have a number of vintage and antique instruments (saxophones from the 20s, metal clarinets from the 1900s, I even perform on a 1968 R13 Bb and a 1985 Festival A), and for the time I believe this instrument was around (anywhere from the 1910's through the 50's, but probably between the 20's and 40's), it has FANTASTIC intonation!  I know I said it in the title, but for Eb clarinet, timbre and intonation are the two most important factors (you don't want something super-bright, and you also don't want something with wonky tuning!).  Altissimo intonation is fantastic as well!  Come up with some good "throat tone" fingerings and you're literally set!

You may be wondering why I want to part with such an unbelievable Sopranino with such a history (in fact, Noblet was purchased by Leblanc sometime around 1903, but the original factory and craftsmen were used through the 90's), but the fact of the matter is, as a musician attempting to specialize in orchestral Eb clarinet performance, I recently purchased a Buffet Tosca Eb clarinet, with the best intonation on any Eb I've ever heard!  This is because they just came out with it last year - however, I still say the sound on this Noblet is perhaps better!

The keywork was entirely reconditioned by my good friend Levi at RDG Woodwinds in West Hollywood, CA (he also worked on the horns of the legendary, recently-deceased Lorin Levee of the LA Phil) and it is some of the best keywork I've felt on an Eb!  Every pad seals properly, key tension is just right.  The ONLY defect in this horn is a very small piece of the grenadilla, just below the barrel, chipped away - it is about 2-3mm wide, and maybe 1-2mm deep.  This does not affect the sound or intonation or play-ability in ANY WAY, and is hardly noticeable.  For an instrument of this age (the other Noblet Eb's on ebay are much younger - you can tell by the hand-designed logo marks that still retain their coloring on THIS instrument - there is a bit of a hand error on the bell, proving this!) this is an extremely small feature!

Also, the finish on the wood is excellent, as is the texture and color of the keywork.

I have personally selected a Vandoren B40 mouthpiece to accompany this instrument.  It has enough depth in its own right (as well as a fantastic scale, with great intonation) but is light enough to make this heavy instrument not TOO heavy.  A rovner dark ligature is also included.  I tried over 20 B40 mouthpieces, and found this one to be the most suitable for this instrument.  I played on the mouthpiece and ligature once.  There are no scratches or wear on either of these, and the rails are very even - suitable for most players.  I have also included the ORIGINAL CASE!!!

IF you have ANY QUESTIONS about this instrument, or any of its features, feel free to contact me!  I can even provide a video demonstrating the superb qualities of this rare, elegant find, if you want to hear me play it!

I hope it will suit you in your clarinet and musical studies!  The Eb clarinet is very rewarding (it can help your Bb playing), and this instrument is truly one of the best I've ever come across!

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