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From: MVinquist
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2001 06:58:26 EST
Subject: [CB] Leblanc Contrabass Clarinet Pads

When I got my Leblanc paperclip BBb, I took it to a flute specialist, who
reseated the pads with the flute technique of inserting semi-circular paper
shims.  This worked well and has been quite stable.

Clark Fobes, who used to do complete contra overhauls, wrote to me that he
would remove the screw mechanism and float kid pads in on shellac, like bass
clarinet pads.  I'm not sure the resonators make a lot of difference, and if
it's between having a playable instrument and not having one, I'd go for the

Best regards.

Ken Shaw

From: "Patrick.Scully"
Subject: Re: [CB] Leblanc Contrabass Clarinet Pads
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2001 07:36:13 -0800

Before I sent my BBb to be overhauled, I found that I could improve the
leather pads (make sticky ones less so, and poor sealing ones better
sealing) using a mechanic's hand cleaner called "Fast Orange".  This cleaner
is based on limonene (from citrus fruits), which dissolves grease but
doesn't hurt the it was logical that it would work.  I reside in
the USA and this agent is widely available, but EU or Pacific Rim residents
should be able to get equivalents from an auto supply shop.  I got the idea

In reading your post Bernard, and another one from Ken Shaw, I can see that
the saxophone pad replacement technique is pretty widespread.  Personnally,
I'd feel way more comfortable giving up on Leblanc pads if I could find a
sonic equivalent pad - eg, one with a resonator.  My Selmer Series III alto
saxophone has kid leather pads with integral, mirror surfaced, spherical
resonators.  These are beautiful pieces and - let me see - they should be
available in all the sizes needed on a Leblanc BBb paperclip contrabass

To Karen and the several others (including some dealers I contacted) who
have come forward here and privately and WHO ALL HAVE BEEN WAITING at LEAST
TWO MONTHS for Leblanc to - what - answer emails?  send the orders to the
factory? ship from inventory? - I suggest proceeding as follows:

(1)  Karen's post suggested (not in these words, mind you) that Leblanc
might be inspired to remove the constipation from its pad supply chain if we
players took a more active role communicating with Leblanc directly.  I
totally agree.

Leblanc likes to work through dealers, which is a fine, supportive move when
things are going well on Leblanc's production line, but which changes into
hiding behind and undermining its dealers otherwise (my repair tech took the
rap for Leblanc for quite some time, and still to this day insists that he
can handle things with them).  I don't suggest we completely bypass our
technicians and dealers, just supplement them with our own contacts
(telephone AND email) to Leblanc.  I've already started down this road, but
be aware that my email sent this weekend to Leblanc is still unanswered...

(2) I will investigate, with Selmer, the possibility of procuring pads of
the correct sizes and quantities  in sets needed to repad our Leblanc
paperclips.  Selmer might see this as an opportunity of sorts. Ha!  In any
event, I'd be comfortable those beautiful Selmer pads.  I'm just a little
concerned that the pads might only be sold as a set for the saxophone, but
this is still worth a try.  In this regard, can anyone tell me the
quantities and millimeter diameters required for the paperclip?  My
instrument is not available now....

(3) Let's keep each other informed of progress.

Thanks, all for the great support and fellowship.  Perhaps when we resolve
the issue with our pads, we will be able to move forward to the good stuff,
like developing new repertoire, contrabass musicianship, etc.!



Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2001 12:26:46 -0500
Subject: Re: [CB] Leblanc Contrabass Clarinet Pads
From: Michael C Grogg

Coming into this as an observer, I have noticed a lot of different styles
of pads available from Ferree's Tools and Instrument repair.  They stock
name brands like Selmer, as well as several differnt styles under their
house brand.  Different kinds of resonators as well.  I have gotten
mostly Brass instrument repair tools from them, but the catalog is a
treasure trove of information and they will sell to you as an individual,
no need to be a music dealer, etc.

The service has been very good and the voice on the other end of the
phone is freindly and knowledgeable.  I don't have the phone number or
address here at work, but I believe the web site is

A search on "Ferrees+music+repair"  should get you the right location.

Michael Grogg
Tuba player

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