Contrabass Digest

To subscribe or unsubscribe, email



Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 16:25:48 -0700
From: Grant Green <>
Subject: Re: [Contra digest]

Yes, the CD is apparently still available: see  Very contemporary, and well worth
listening to.  It should be noted that this CD also includes a brilliant
work ("5.4.88") by Drake Mabry, performed by P-Y Artaud on amplified C



>For octobass flute fans Pierre-Yves Artaud recorded Cage's "Ryoanji" for
>octobass flute and percussion on the Neuma CD label Neuma 450-77. I'm not sure
>whether it is still available.
>    Happy listening,
>    Drake Mabry
Grant Green  

Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 21:42:14 EDT
Subject: Leblanc 340 on eBay

That contrabass in Bb Grant told us about just hit the reserve price at  $1,300. It
could be quite a steal for someone who wants it! (I'll stick with my new Vito Bb
coming this month)

-Sax (Soprano/Alto)
-Clarinet (Soprano/Bass/Contra)

From: "Gregg Bailey" <>
Subject: Low Clarinets
Date: Mon, 03 May 1999 21:07:27 CDT

 Buffet is in the initial steps for plans for a BBb contrabass clarinet!!
 I know that the list has had more than one extensive discussion regarding
bass clarinets, but I need to know general opinion.  My school has approved
buying a new low C bass clarinet next year for me to play, and I seem to
have a choice as to which brand they get.  All I remember from the list's
discussion is that someone mentioned that the Selmer (Paris) model doesn't
have as sweet of a tone as it should, and therefore isn't the best option;
also, the general consensus seemed to be that the new Buffet model is the
best.  Is this still considered to be the case?  I don't remember the list
discussing the Leblanc or Yamaha models.?  I know that in reality, it's up
to each individual player as to which brand best suits him/her, but I don't
have the luxury of playing any of them, so I need to recommend one to my
band director based on popular opinion.  Does the new Buffet model surpass
the other brands by far?  I know that it has a resonance hole in the bell.
This is for low C, right?  A brochure I have says that this low C model has
the Eb tone hole on the lower joint as opposed to the bell; this must be a
misprint--they mean the low C tone hole, right?  Then it says that the E
tone hole on their low Eb model is the same way.  This seems again like a
misprint, as though it should be the Eb tone hole.?????  Is there an option
to have the low C's resonance hole have a key on it, so that a low B
(concert A) could be produced?  I remember someone on the list saying that
if they cover that hole with their foot, they almost get an A out.?  It
seems to me that the key for it could be placed to the left of the thumb C#
and C keys, in the exact same way that the Yamaha model has the low C key to
the left of the low D and C# keys.
 The presence of the low C resonance hole means to me that the tube would
have to be a little bit longer than other low C models to accomodate for it;
is this the case?  Is the BC1193 the newest one that y'all like?  What does
"features a lighter 2nd speaker key" mean?  I know about the 2nd vent--is
this all it's referring to?  What does "a simpler 12 keys mechanism" mean?
What's "a low G tuning hole"?  The picture seems to show the bell having a
much wider bow section than standard.?  The picture shows the low Eb model
right next to the low C model and, strangely, the low C model doesn't look
to be NEAR three whole extra notes longer than the Eb model!?
 I will greatly appreciate any input on this.  I want to be as pleased as
possible next year playing a brand new low C bass clarinet for my senior
year!  If anything, I would think that the resonance hole that the Buffet
model offers would make IT the way to go.?

Get Free Email and Do More On The Web. Visit

Date: Mon, 03 May 1999 22:54:50 -0400
From: arehow <>
Subject: Re: Anyone interested in a vintage Bass Sax?

Grant Green wrote:

> I've received an inquiry as to whether anyone is interested in a historic
> bass sax.

I am interested.


Robert Howe

Date: Mon, 03 May 1999 22:58:12 -0400
From: arehow <>
Subject: Re: Low Clarinets

I have owned a LeBlanc low C bass clarienet and presently have a Buffet
Prestige.  The leBlanc was 15 years old and a single-register key model,
so a comparison is unfair.  It was, however, a very fine horn.  Buffet
is a fabulous horn, but not universally used.  Both the Cleveland
Orchestra and Metropolitan Opera bass clarinettists use Selmers.

Good luck

RObert Howe

Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 22:59:39 EDT
Subject: Re: Low Clarinets

Gregg's monster of a post

I've actually heard the Buffet's upper register is lacking, and the lower register isn't
quite as power as the Selmer Paris. Go with the Selmer--- they have a tradition of
excellence, and their new low C model bass seems to continue that legacy.

But, for a school, you don't always need the best. I would choose the cheapest
model available, as $5000 for a bass clarinet isn't always the most economical
choice for a band program (believe me, I LOVE basses, too // just try to understand
the band as a whole needs to benefit). Good luck and congratulations on your
school's new instrument, whichever you may choose!


From: "RICK IZUMI" <>
Subject: Re: Anyone interested in a vintage Bass Sax?
Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 07:05:31 -0700




From: Michael Cogswell <>
Subject: RE: Low Clarinets
Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 11:36:37 -0400

Let me preface my response by stating that I am quite possibly the worlds
worst overage beginner clarinet player.  However, my daughter is a quite
accomplished bass clarinet player and we just went through a lengthy period
while we tried to figure out what low C bass to purchase for her.  She had
been playing on an older Noblet Paris we bought used when she was in 7th
grade.  It was actually quite a decent instrument, with a Bay neck, and
served her well.  She also had a Selmer professional bass (the previous
high-end non low C model) she used mostly for small ensembles to more
closely match the sound of the Selmer her fellow bass clarinetist owns.
However, with more and more of the music using the range of the low C
instruments, and looking forward to her senior year as principal bass
clarinet and then moving on to college we decided to get a new bass.  (We
sold the Noblet for the same $1200 we paid.)

We talked to a lot of people about the various low C bass clarinets and
quickly decided it was either the Selmer model 37 or the new Buffet 1193.
There was a lot of opinion favoring the new Buffet, however there were also
some people who seemed to be having a lot of trouble keeping it adjusted.

But opinions are no replacement for playing.  My daughter went twice, once
with me and once with her private instructor, and played a total of five
instruments (two Buffet and three Selmer).  I can only say that, if at all
possible, you and your band director should test drive before you buy.  They
were certainly five *different* instruments.  Although we were somewhat
predisposed to buy the Buffet, we actually wound up buying a Selmer.  My
daughter preferred the mechanism of the Selmer, and she and her instructor
felt that the particular Selmer she purchased was clearly the best of the
five for sound and tuning.  For test purposes, she played all five with
their standard mouthpiece as well as her personal standard setup (Bay

Now that she's had it for a while, she is still very pleased with it.



Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 13:41:05 -0500
From: John Howell <>
Subject: Sub Pedal

From: Grant Green <>
>Seriously, I understand that skilled tuba players can play pitches below
>the actual pedal tones of their instrument.  Perhaps one of our resident
>tuba players would care to elucidate?

It's been a long time since I had a tuba in my mouth, but yes.  they can.
Specifically (with a 3-valve BBb tuba as reference), you run out of
"regular" notes with the low contra E fingered 1-2-3, and there's a break
between that note and the sub-contra Bb that's the first REAL pedal tone
(i.e., the fundamental of the tube length).  But it doesn't take even a
real good tubist to get the notes from contra Eb down to subcontra B.
They're actually half-wavelength notes, as I understand it, and are
probably made easy by the more conical shape of the bore compared to the
trombone, but that's about all I know except that I used to be able to play
them, no sweat.

Note that these are NOT "below the actual pedal tones," but are the fill-in
notes that a 3-valve instrument couldn't otherwise play.  The "actual pedal
tones" on a BBb tuba take you 'way down past the end of the piano
keyboard--even the European Bechstein that goes down to subcontra F.


John R. Howell
Chair, Music Curriculum Committee
Virginia Tech Department of Music
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0240
Vox (540) 231-8411  Fax (540) 231-5034


Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 15:02:56 EDT
Subject: Re: Anyone interested in a vintage Bass Sax?

Hmmm, look at this:

<< So far, I have no other details >>


Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 15:06:19 EDT
Subject: Re: Low Clarinets
 MikeC's post

Where in God's name did you play test five low C clarinets? Please tell us!


From: Michael Cogswell <>
Subject: RE: Low Clarinets
Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 15:35:54 -0400

Washington Music Center, in Maryland.

The first trip she played one Buffet and one Selmer.  Later she returned and
played another Buffet and three Selmers, one of which was the same as the
first time.  The first time she clearly preferred the Selmer over the
Buffet.  But it was only one sample of each, and I am continually amazed by
the differences in professional instruments that are all theoretically
identical.  So, we asked them to call when they got some more in.  When they
called, they had just received two more Selmers and another Buffet.  She
tried them all and picked a Selmer.

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 1999 3:06 PM
Subject: Re: Low Clarinets

Where in God's name did you play test five low C clarinets? Please tell us!



Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 17:03:30 -0700
Subject: Re: Sub Pedal

>A sub pedal?  Isn't that the thing you step on to stop the submarine?
>Seriously, I understand that skilled tuba players can play pitches
>below the actual pedal tones of their instrument.  Perhaps one of our
>resident tuba players would care to elucidate?

*// Resident tuba player hat set on //*

Starting at the Pedal or Fundimental pitch, it is possible to add valves
and play down further.  Practical limit is around a GGG, although with
enough valves it might be theoretically possible to play down an octave
below the fundimental, but since the vibrations per second at that range
can be measured on a calender, it is more an excercise in theory, than
practical application.

Michael Grogg

You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
Get completely free e-mail from Juno at
or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]

Next Digest ->
Previous Digest <-