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Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2001 03:14:02 -0400
From: Topper
Subject: [CB] Beware: Leblanc-VITO & Warranty..also Woodwind & Brasswind

Dear Educational Online Community and Clarinet Community.

I am a professional player and teacher as well as a tech for many years.

Beware of the VITO Contra. Leblanc sold a me lemon (through a dealer)
Woodwind & Brasswind  (WW & BW) and did not do proper warranty work at the
Leblanc factory. I am now stuck with an instrument which I have dates for
and have to struggle through and no loaner.

It  is only because of my experiance as a pro wind player that I can play
this intrument but for the few minor adustements I had to make which do not
require and major work that would void the warrany--work which must be done
including a complete re-pad. I must warn off for any student or school
orchestra until changes are made and these companies put quality and the
importance of musical education before profits. The instrument has the
basic capability be used professionaly if made with better care and a few
changes. One I had played at a NAMM show was carefully made and adjusted by
a pro while the ones "On order" are slapped together and subject to the
whim of the one and only person who assembles then, and NOT WELL.

There is no signal from Leblanc or Woodwind and Brasswind that I will get a
replacement or a refund.

Leblanc is clueless as to what is wrong with the instrument, which is an
indication that their professional instruments could have the same problems
should they run into an unforseen mishap past the French border. Woodwind
and Brasswind also has no clue on what a Bass Clarinet should feel like and
had to send it back to Leblanc because there was no-one there who could
adjust the instrument... they did not even try accoding to their (WW & BW)
warranty service professional. Both companies refuse to see I have worked
on clainets and saxophones for over 30 years and have sold new and used
instruments before returning to my work of playing.

The list deficiencies, which is supported by doccumentation from other
woodwind technitians, and the list of problems is too long to get into now
but it includes mechanical design flaws which makes the register mechanism
not only impossible to adjust properly for a balanced transitional
fingering (however this can be corrected to a reasonable degree but not
without voiding the warranty and not by a novice repairperson);

also; incorrect spring diameter; the wrong pads (cheap italian rivet pads)
which have impressions so deep the changes in humidity cause them to swell
and leak according to the amount of humidity and amount of incorrect
(uneaven) seat. The instrument is excessively noisey and the neck tenon
even leaks water as it does not fit well in the socket.

The keys have far to much play in them, some bind, and the spoons of the
keys could have easily been assembled and/or bent better for comfort.
Beware of carple tunnel syndrome.

Leblanc's tech had the gaul to tell me that it (the pexcessive play which
in some keys was 1/16") was needed because of the instrument's size and
composition. But this play is not on all the long keys and not even and
even if I did not know the statement was not true it still would not have
made any sense because the some of the keys were binding.

This has such inspired me such that I intend to devote a website to this
instrument and other horrific experiances so that musicians need not
suffer. I shall keep you all informed of what Leblanc and Woodwind &
Brasswind may or may not do as well as to the actions of lack there-of
regarding Woodwind and Brasswind.

I shall not alert the entire musical community even though six months has
gone by. I will give it two more weeks before I file a lawsuit and post
detailed macro photos on the web for the purpouses of journalism and the
people's right to know.


Leo G Carroll

At 09:47 -0500 1/11/01, John Webster wrote:
>If Lablanc is making keywork for the Vito line Contra bass (and I have one
>on order)  then they should be able to eaisly make (or adapt it ) to a
>wood model. of course the paper clip is a much different animal.   John

------- auto signature file -----
Just a ghost from the basses past:


Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2001 09:20:54 -0500
From: "John Webster"
Subject: Re: [CB] Beware: Leblanc-VITO & Warranty..also Woodwind &Brasswind

Your post is interesting and I wish it had been earlier.  My "on order" vito Contra-bass showed up unexpectedly shortly after my 1/11/01 post. The instrument seems OK for my  (amateur - occasional - personal ) use with community bands.  The ligeratue was too large for the mouthpiece and after some discussion WWBW send me Rovner as replacement. The tone in the lowest notes is somewhat thin and Bassoon like.  After I have a chance to work out my embouchure problems I will have our repaire man tke a good look at it.

On a slightly different note - there was earlier discussion on seating for contra playing.  Our kitchen stool (approximatly bar stool height) was a little to short, so I have been using the sling.  However, my wife found an "ironing stool" in the Lillian Vernon catalog  ( one of the many mail order catalogs we get)  I was about $40 is very solid, is adjustable in height,  way beyond what is needed.   John

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