View Full Version : Clarinet Barrels??

12-12-2003, 05:14 PM
I was wondering if any of you have experience with alternative barrels? I have a Buffet R13 and am really happy with it and my Eddie Daniels piece. I've read that getting a Buffet Moennig barrel or chadash barrel improves the sound alot. Also I was wondering about the Eddie Daniels Moennig power barrel and ED moennig round barrel. Anyone play any of these and have any thoughts. Thanks

Dr G
12-12-2003, 05:35 PM
I have to wonder about the Eddie Daniels barrel for the Buffet since Eddie plays Leblanc (and has lots of them according to a friend of mine that studies with him). There are other aftermarket/custom barrels around as well but I have to think that barrels, like saxophone necks, work best when optimized (fitted) for your particular instrument.

I'm pretty satisfied with my R-13 (w/ LC3) as well. I'll be interested to learn the outcome of your quest.

Dave Dolson
12-12-2003, 07:16 PM
Nefertiti: I play very flat on clarinet, hence my need for an extremely short barrel on my RC Prestige (and back-up R-13). Through the years I'd picked up some shortened Buffet barrels that helped me come to pitch.

A few years ago, I had a local clarinet specialist (in L.A.) fashion a Sierra barrel for me. I don't know if that brand is still around or not, but at the time, he recommended it for Buffets.

It is WAY short, but allows me to come to pitch (even sharp for those times where someone tuned the piano sharp) without throwing the whole horn outta whack. While nothing sounds better than a Buffet barrel (at least to me), the Sierra barrel sounds just as good. I have not tried other brands. DAVE

12-14-2003, 07:27 AM
Hey Nefferti. I have a 2-ish year old R13 and play a Morgan mpc. The Chadash barrel I tought was an improvement. It didn't change the sound dramatically, but improved intonation overall, especially in the throat tones and evened out the resistance and tone over the break. Actually I think the original barrel is a little bit brighter, but have never felt the urge to go back to it.

Must admit to being curious about the ED barrels too. Anybody else try them? I see the guys in Wynton's Lincoln Center band play a funny-looking barrel with no rings that might be the Accubore.

Anyone know if these really do help intonation on cold horns? I guess the theory is their temperature doesn't change much so the pitch doesn't change? Often have the problem in a gig of having a little bit of clarinet on the last tune with no chance to blow any air thru, the pitch is...OUCH.

12-15-2003, 03:33 AM
How do barrels affect tone? I know very little about the technical aspects of the clarinet -- but I thought the main purpose of swapping or modifying barrels was to affect tuning. I didn't really think it had much to do with tone, per se. Apparently, I'm wrong?

12-15-2003, 03:43 AM
From what I've read they can affect the tone alot. Something about the shape of there bore and the taper of it. They can cause more resistance or less and can help the tone to be more focused.

12-16-2003, 12:00 AM
Most clarinets (and woodwinds for that matter) are rife with necessary compromises to keep a simple mechanism and good acoustic output.

The R13 design varies the diameter of the bore to get better response in the throat tones and 'longest' notes at the cost of some tuning accuracy.

The tapering of a barrel (think of an hourglass profile) is supposed to make for the proper volume within the mouthpiece/clarinet tube and form a 'choke' point that interrupts the passage of air through the instrument.

If the bore of your Eddie Daniels is similar to the Chadash or Moening taper, you may already have all the enhancement you could expect.

Me? I play a Chadash taper barrel on my Opus, and it sounds nice.

12-16-2003, 12:11 AM
I'm not sure what you mean. I have a ED mouthpiece but not a ED barrel. Are you asking me about an ED barrel?

12-16-2003, 03:46 AM
For the old Buffet clarinet that I play, the Accubore ED Monnig power barrel has helped me match the tones and the feeling of resistance in all registers. When it is used with the Vandoren V13 mouthpiece the throat tones came down to correct intonation and the altissimo range got a fuller/thicker sound to it; ( the original barrel sounded very weak) and when I change to different mouthpieces now the pitch goes off, (a little with a 5JB and much with B45 and HS**which are too sharp) it takes some attentive lipping to play in tune...that's just too much work! As Anji said, "proper volume" seems to be an important consideration.

bruce bailey
12-27-2003, 05:48 AM
All that I can add is that I have always found that the main issue is the "pocket" that is formed when pulling the barrel out. Use tuning rings (cheap) that are placed inside the barrel between it and the upper section. By doing this, it keeps the bore more stable and eliminates variances in resistance. I have never found that switching barrels makes much difference and the replacement (if any) should match the taper of the horn. In other words, do not use a 10G on a series 9 or an R-13 on an S-1 or RC.

12-27-2003, 10:47 PM
I agree with Bruce on using tuning rings. It may improve the tone vs a space in the air path, and it certainly eliminates the problem I have where I pull the joints apart or push them together when I play (I just push the joints together and the ring stops me at the right place).

I have an R13 from the mid-50s. Recently, I tried the two ED barrels and the Buffet Moennig. I found the ED rounded to be the best (and better than the old Accubore with the fins I have used for years). The most significant difference was in going from C to D above the staff.

The ED rounded played almost a millimeter longer than the old Accubore. Since I had 2mm of tuning rings in the old barrel, I kept the same length (65mm) with a 1mm ring.

I use a Vandoren M30 mouthpiece. I have never tried an ED mouthpiece.

bruce bailey
12-31-2003, 06:55 AM
One thing I forgot to mention is that on some older clarinets, the barrel may have gotten a little rot from moisture and not have a smooth surface. I have found that Selmer CTs and BTs tend to get that way and since it is so close to the mpc, the sound can be compromised. This could be compared to having the bore altered. The best part is that you can usually try a barrel without much fooling around and see for yourself.

01-01-2004, 07:24 PM
what u wanna know ????

bbls?.....forget the gimmicks out there. consider only 3. the stock bufet , tha chadash and moening, all in varying mm. The chadash will play a hair bit brighter than the Moening. The chadash DOES even out the 12th's.
REMEMBER>>>>>>> all bbls (even of same maker) ARE NOT EQUAL.

every bbls has a 'sweet' spot. what you need to do, is play just an open G. logo facing up/top. then rotate the bbl 1/4 turn, play open G, rotate, rotate. ONE of those positions will be brighter than others. That's the 'spot'.

Same hold true for bell with the 3 lowest notes. It's not as noticeable, but you can discern it.
Flat?.......Yes, too long a bbl can/will do that. A too soft a reed will let you play flat. In a pinch, raise the reed to just above the tip. Or, clip (easy now) or use a harder reed.
Also, position the reed slightly to the left (usually) of the mp and to right. One side usually (left ) plays better.

MP's are also a contributor to flatness/sharpness. I've 8 RD13 Bb's adn 2 A's. ALL play flat with my mp/bbl combo (several old original Chedvilles and any stock length bbl) , thus, I use a shorter bbl. My set of Yamaha Customs, however, play dead on with a stock length (66mm) bbl.

Using too short a bbl will cause real intonation problems. Granted, European pitch is at 442 vs American, 440. BUT a bbls pitch difference is about 5-8 cents per MM.

Let's not forget the old embouchure contribution to flatness. That's a topic in itself.

Now, assuming you have the Holy Graile of embouchures, mp, reed, a ligature properly positioned, go try some bbls

Now, who can help me on an intermediate + / pro - level alto, giving a rich, classical tone that's available at a decent price. :D

ps...if you want/need more info on bbls, mp's, just ask. I'm a symphony clarinetist :D

01-01-2004, 10:02 PM
I use a Chadash Buffet barrel that I got from Greg Smith on my R13. It made a distinct, though not huge, improvement. Interestingly enough, he recommended I go with a 65mm Chadash to replace my 66mm standard Buffet barrel. He was right. I don't know why.

01-01-2004, 10:55 PM
"he was right, but don't know why "

why......a 66 is usually about the most you'll need. If you need longer, then you simply pull out (maybe use tuning rings) or pull out at middle tenon, or bell.

a 65mm....... You CAN'T push in a 66mm but you can pull out a 65mm.

Some players say the mp/bbl is a combo. Others, say the bbl is part of the clarinet. I know Greg and sometimes use one of his mp's.
Yes, a Chadash bbl will invaribly make an improvement.....how much, how little is subjective. But, I'm a believer that a bbl needs to be tried with YOUR mp on YOUR clarinet.
Chadash bb's can be ordered direct from Guy Chadash, a wonderful and talented gentleman. He has a web site. just type in chadash clarinet in a search engine.
I play on one of his custom made 4,300 Bb's.... and it came with 2 bbls lol

Bari Gordon
01-05-2004, 04:19 PM
You guys are way out of my league with your gear, but maybe you can answer my question.

I have a wood Selmer Signet clarinet that plays flat with it's standard barrel. I bought a cheap adjustable barrel that helps quite a bit when I am doubling and picking up a cold horn.

A couple of days ago when I was practicing my clarinet and had warmed up, I really concentrated on intonation. I could not bring my standard barrel up to pitch, but the adjustable one was in tune at 65-66 mm.

I am assuming that means that my standard one is longer (I think about 67mm). Is is possible, economical to shorten a barrel?

01-05-2004, 08:31 PM
You can replace a Signet barrel if you find a repair technician with one in the parts drawer. The problem is that you can buy a used Signet or Signet 100 on ebay for next to nothing, so you don't want to invest too heavily in a Signet barrel. I'd say about $15-20 for a Signet barrel would be my limit. Otherwise, you can go with a third party barrel.

One thing to consider: make sure the flatness isn't due to pads being set too low. It would be a shame to replace the barrel without fixing the problem.

01-12-2004, 02:57 PM
Where, other than wwbw.com, can you buy shorter Buffet barrels? (They don't seem to have much of a selection in terms of sizes.)

Also, a question for Dave Dolson: how short are the Buffet barrels you've used?

I have a Buffet clarinet that plays quite flat. Years ago, my then-instructor recommended that I buy a new, shorter barrel for it. I'd like to buy one now, but have no idea where to get one or how short I should go.

01-12-2004, 03:12 PM
Martha, how long (in mm) is your current Buffet barrel and how old is your Buffet (serial number will do)? Modern Buffet barrels are fairly available in 65, 66, and 67mm - maybe others as well that I'm not aware of.

Bigger Question: Are you playing flat because the barrel is too short or for some other reason? Is the barrel original?

01-12-2004, 04:21 PM
My Buffet is about twenty years old, give or take a year. The serial number is 2362XX. I'm using the original barrel.

My old instructor seemed to think that a new barrel would do the trick. If I remember correctly, he tried my clarinet and thought it played flat, too. Plus, I haven't had a similar problem with other clarinets I've played, including the ancient plastic one I started on. (I still have it.)

To tell you the truth, I'm not sure about the length of the barrel I have. Obviously, I'll need to measure it before figuring out what size of barrel to buy. I figured I'd go a couple of millimeters shorter ...

Dave Dolson
01-12-2004, 05:16 PM
Martha: My Sierra barrel (designed to match my Buffet RC Prestige Bb sop clarinet) measures 2.32" (roughly 56.5 mm) with my Lyman dial caliper. I have an altered Buffet barrel that is even shorter, but some idiot repair-tech years ago reamed out the tenon receptacle and it is kinda loose on the top joint.

I readily acknowledge that 1) most clarinetists sound in tune with longer stock barrels; 2) correct clarinet embouchure would probably cure my flatness; and 3) a barrel as short as mine could throw the whole horn out of tune.

But I play flat, it is probably too late in the game to correct any of my bad habits, and with the Sierra barrel, my clarinet plays in tune for me. DAVE

bruce bailey
01-12-2004, 10:55 PM
Martha, In the 70s we were using 65mm on most clarinets from Buffet with 66-68 being optional. Measure yours with a digital caliper and it should be a little over 65mm due to the rings. I worked there in the mid 70s.

01-22-2004, 01:32 AM
Thanks for all the help everyone. Does anyone know where I could order afew barrels to try that would have them in stock and have a return policy? WWBW is out of any of the ones I would want to try. Thanks

01-22-2004, 01:50 AM
What do folks think of the CLiCK barrel? Mine has saved my bacon countless times when faced with cold rooms, tightly-wound pianos, etc. Yes, I do think it contributes a little bit to the brightness of your tone, but I'm a jazz guy, so I deal. :)

Carl H.
01-23-2004, 06:20 AM
They have barrels down to 63mm.

As to click barrel, the sound is kind of dirty-buzzy but it has earned a place in my case. I've been burned one time too many by my standard barrel being too long for outdoor gigs and high pitch pianos. I would never try it in a legit gig, but for big band I play a Lakey so the click is not a problem, and it is nice to have the option of going a bit brighter when called for.
Carl H.

02-04-2004, 12:22 AM
Weiner Music had a good selection when I was there. If you can find a place locally where you can try several in a short period of time, that's preferable.

02-08-2004, 10:28 AM
Try a Howarth barrel or maybe a Click barrel.

03-15-2004, 03:14 AM
Well I ended up trying three barrels. The Buffet Chadash, Buffet Moennig and the Eddie Daniels Moennig round sound.. They were all a great improvement in sound than the original Buffet barrel. I ended up keeping the Chadash and the ED Moennig. The easiest one to play is the ED. Very clear,dark pure sound. Seems to project very well. The Chadash is similar to the ED but has more of a character to the sound. Thicker sound. More woodsy sounding. The Buffet Moennig was good too but I just liked the way the Chadash played better and the Chadash is a 67 which I needed to play in tune. Thanks for all the help. I'm really excited about playing these. Thanks

03-15-2004, 03:22 AM
Part of the reason for keeping the ED ir because it's 65. So I figure if I need something a bit sharper I can throw that one on.