Contrabass Digest

To subscribe or unsubscribe, email



list                           Thu, 6 Aug 1998            Volume 1 : Number 53

In this issue:


Date: Thu, 6 Aug 1998 04:06:14 -0400
From: "Jack Silver" <>
To: <>
Subject: Sarrusophone bocal dimensions, etc.

On Aug 1, in List V1,47 Michel Jolivet Wrote about his getting a Conn
sarrusophone.  I have a Conn E flat CBS, serial number V246 which is 4
numbers later than his. The bocal at the reed end is about 0.275 inches
(less than .281 and more than .265)
I drive the Contrabass sarrusophone (CBS) with an improvised single-reed
mouthpiece made by inserting a cork in a sopranino sax mouthpiece (and a
soprano sax mouthpiece) and then drilling the corks to accept the bocal.
Scott Robinson made a single reed mouthpiece ffor me by  filling in  most
of an alto sax mouthpiece   and drilling a hole for the bocal. He also cut
it down in length and it plays pretty well.
I bought a CBS reed from Jack Spratt and I also found that it needed to be
worked down.  While adjusting it, I cracked it because I'm a klutz  and I
got impatient.
As for intonation, I'm not sure how much of my variability in pitch is due
to my lack of experience, my unformed embouchure or what!.
If anyone finds a source for reeds (Grant Green's bass sordun reed costs about
$70   and Jack Spratt's reed made for CBS cost about $35 with shipping)
please let me know.
I believe Mr. Jolivet is correct about the number of CBS made by Conn  but
the serial numbers don't seem to fit into the Conn serial numbers for reed
instruments.  Jack Silver


Date: Thu, 06 Aug 1998 09:42:33 -0700
From: Lisa Clayton <>
Subject: Re:  BBb Bass Clarinet

At 01:45 AM 08.06.98 EDT, you wrote:
>I'm selling a low c Yamaha bass clarinet, but I wouldn't rent it. You can
>contact me directly at

Bass or contrabass?  I'm actually looking for the latter.



Date: Thu, 6 Aug 1998 02:40:48 EDT
From: <>
Subject: Square Bores

In a message dated 98-07-24 22:16:45 EDT, you write:

<< Actually, this reminds me of the Paetzold contrabass and subcontrabass
 recorders, which also have rectangular bores, and are asserted to be based
 on organ pipe designs.  They're made to rest on the floor, or on a peg...
 The "budget" model is made from varnished plywood.  See for a picture.  The Early Music
 Shop (Bradford, UK) has the F subcontrabass for =A31,556.25, and the sub
 *sub* contrabass in CC for =A32,456.25 (about US$2,564.40 and US$4,047.40,
 respectively).  These enormous recorders reach the F below the bass clef,
 and the C below the bass clef, respectively (actually quite low for a
 recorder, considering that the soprano recorder has a range equivalent to
 the piccolo).
 Now I'm imagining a wooden contrabass taragato, with a square bore...  ;-)
 Grant >>

When I worked as a stagehand, there would frequently be various types of pipes
and tubes for hanging lights and curtains and, of course, being a
trombone/tuba player I would give a blast on many a truss or curtain pipe. A
bit of fun when the guys look around to figure out where the sound is coming
from, but a bit hazardous to the chops with some of the metals reacting badly
on my lips...a quick wipe was always a good bet. One of my favorite pipes was
a half-inch square iron pipe about 20 feet long. It had some really sweet
overtones and nice resonance! The echo off the back wall of a 6000 seat
concert shed was pretty good too at 11PM! I never found such sweet harmonics
in any of the round pipes. Go figure. I wonder how the physics figures in to
the shape....


Date: Thu, 06 Aug 1998 09:38:13 -0700
From: Grant Green <>
Subject: Re: Sarrusophone bocal dimensions, etc.

At 04:06 AM 8/6/98 -0400, Jack Silver wrote:
>If anyone finds a source for reeds (Grant Green's bass sordun reed costs about
>$70   and Jack Spratt's reed made for CBS cost about $35 with shipping)
>please let me know.

I know that Keith Loraine (
also makes sarrusophone reeds, but don't yet know how much he charges.  He
also carries reed making tools (e.g., plaques, reed knives, etc.) for reeds
that size.


Grant D. Green             Just filling in on sarrusophone
Contrabass email list:   


End of list V1 #53

Next Digest ->
Previous Digest <-