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Thread: FS: 1927 Selmer-Paris K-series Bb clarinet

  1. #1
    Distinguished SOTW Member.
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    Mar 2003
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    Centreville, Virginia USA
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    Default FS: 1927 Selmer-Paris K-series Bb clarinet

    I've recently finished a painstaking restoration of a vintage Henri Selmer Bb clarinet, serial number K65xx, which according to the best serial number list I've found puts its manufacture date at around 1927.

    This clarinet must have led an interesting life. When I acquired the instrument about five years ago, it had been ingeniously modified by a previous technician to allow use by a player missing some or part of his right index finger --- there was a plateau key over the usual first ring on the lower joint, operated by a custom-made key hinged on the left side, with a roller on it so that the middle finger could slide up to operate the upper key. As much admiration as I had for the technician who installed the special mechanism, I've restored the keywork to the original, standard design so that we normal folks can play the clarinet. I wonder if the clarinet's owner was a wounded World War I veteran?

    I've meticulously overhauled the Selmer using tan leather pads throughout, all new key and pad corks, and oiled and polished the wood inside and out. There is a large flush band (very nicely done) at the top of the lower joint so I assume there was a crack in the wood there, although I can't locate one from the inside. Otherwise the wood is in great shape, no other cracks and the grain is very fine and dense, which is typical of the better vintage clarinets I've worked on --- high-quality wood like this doesn't exist anymore and won't be found on modern clarinets.

    The barrel, with its different logo design, is probably not original -- from what little I know about older Selmers I believe the barrel is slightly older than the rest of the instrument. That said, it looks good and works great. Intonation of the clarinet is as good as anything I've ever played. Even the low chalumeau E and F are in tune (not flat as on every Buffet I've played, for instance). It's a very free-blowing clarinet too.

    If I were a full-time soprano clarinetist I would probably keep this as my primary Bb instrument, but mostly I play bass clarinet and I've already got a half-dozen decent Bb clarinets available when I need one, so I'd rather see this vintage Selmer go to a good home where it will get played regularly as it deserves to. This is a highly-regarded professional model by one of the top instrument makers, restored to like-new condition. As always I offer a one-week trial with full refund (less return shipping) if you are not 100% satisfied with the instrument. Asking $750. Instrument is currently on eBay and for sale locally as well.

    Dave Spiegelthal
    Centreville, VA
    dspieg@earthlink.net
    Dave Spiegelthal

  2. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Member
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    Default Re: FS: 1927 Selmer-Paris K-series Bb clarinet

    nice horn dave-i have the exact same model .
    runyon mouthpeices-no need to look elsewhere

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    New York - 'North Country'
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    1,358

    Default Re: FS: 1927 Selmer-Paris K-series Bb clarinet

    I'll chime in too...my grandfather gave me his Clarinet when I was 10 years old and it is a Selmer, SN K38XX, just a little older than this one. He graduated from High School in 1925 so the timing seems about right for the one that I have to have been made in the early to mid 1920's.

    So apparently there are at least 3 of these old 'K' models owned by SOTW-ers.

  4. #4

    Default Re: FS: 1927 Selmer-Paris K-series Bb clarinet

    Hi I have just bought a pair of 'K series along with a pair of Buffet Full boehm and a martin frere plateau Bb.
    In a London auction house.the Buffets are stunning but by the sounds of it the selmers are too,they need a lot of work so i have not tried them yet......i think i better had?
    I normally play Leblanc LL and have done for 35 years.....due for a change maybe :-)
    Regards
    Neil

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