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Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2001 21:36:12 -0700
From: bitwise
Subject: Re: [CB] Battle of the Titans: Contra clarinet vs. bas sax


Contra-alto wins, eh? No surprise here. I think my contra could
find work as a fog horn if it were so inclined. :-) The weird part
is, it doesn't require as much air as one might think. In high school,
I could blow a decent ff on bass clarinet if I gave it everything
I had. This contra reaches fff - especially on low Eb - with a
fraction of the former effort.

I don't think any bass sax I've heard has been as loud as I
thought it *should* be. Baritones make some serious sound,



From: LeliaLoban
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 15:33:21 EDT
Subject: Re: [CB] Battle of the Titans: Contra clarinet vs. bass sax

Dave Spiegelthal wrote,
>  I'm a new owner (three weeks) of a Buescher (aka Bundy) EEb contra-alto
>  clarinet, and I'm having a ball playing it. This weekend I
>   had the opportunity to take home and noodle around on a Noblet bass sax,  and I
>  was surprised to find that, because of the really
>   close Vandoren mouthpiece that came with the bass sax, it had very little power
>  or depth in the lower register. I was able to blow
>   it out of the water with the low notes on the contra clarinet.

I've never played a contra clarinet, alas, but if the bass sax sounds weak in
the lower register, I think you're right to suspect a problem with the
mouthpiece.  I'm not familiar with the Noblet bass, but my old Conn can put
out such an infernal blast that if I want to practice at top volume, I wear a
rifle range head-set.  Yeah, yeah, one of these days I'm going to spring for
some of those nifty, expensive, inconspicuous, custom-made ear plugs, but the
head-set for 10 bucks from the military surplus store does the job.  It's
designed to damp the damaging frequencies while allowing people to hear each
other talk, in case somebody says something important, such as, "Point that
muzzle downrange at all times, you idiot!"  Which could apply to the bass
sax, too, come to think of it.  But seriously, a bass sax that's in good
condition and well-paired with its mouthpiece can let out a pretty good
bellow, so best of luck with that refacing plan.

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