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This is a superb handmade Bass clarinet to low in Grenadilla wood, to low C, stamped "F Arthur Uebel Markneukirchen Sa". This unique and ultra rare Bass formerly belonged to the late David Hamilton. David had a long association with Surrey LEA, as their Head of Woodwind, and had many outstanding pupils, including Michael Collins, Ian Peters, and Fiona Cross. He also had a superb and large collection of rare instruments, many customised by Edward [Ted] Planas.
The F A Uebel design of Boehm system Bass clarinet differs radically from that of the major French manufacturers' in that it is basically a much smaller bore instrument, 20mm rather than 23mm bore, which is closer to the regular Bb clarinet in tone and ease of response. The tone has a lovely warmth and focus, a quintessential German sound. If you are loooking for a superbly even, well tuned instrument, capable of rapid passage work, and also long phrases then this is the Bass for you.
This instrument is in mint condition: NO cracks, marks or damage, pristine key work throughout. The Uebel design has small grub screws attached to every pillar to ensure maximum efficiency, and lack of movement on every rod. Consequently the regulation and positive feel of the complex mechanism is second to none. The quality of the key work and plating is also superior to current mass produced French design. We have just re-padded throughout in Pisoni Premium Deluxe White Leather pads, with the exception of the top register key pad which is in tan leather. The instrument is sold with our full 1 year warranty. Ted Planas has customised the Bass as follows: 1. There is an additional touchpiece on the RH lower joint for low D. 2. There is an additional joint, which can be fitted if desired to produce low C from a wooden extension, rather than from the bell. If the additional joint is fitted, then the bell acts purely as a further extension to enhance the low C, i.e. the bell key remains open and is not connected to the mechanism. However, if desired, the bell can be fitted as designed and the bell key functions in the normal way for low C. 3. The angle of the crook has been adjusted upward, to produce a playing experience closer to that of a normal Bb clarinet. NB. With the Uebel design, the double overblowing vent is actuated by the mechanism for the C/G LH3 touchpiece. Therefore, unlike wider bore French Bass clarinet designs, there is no need for a double correspondence mechanism across both main joints. The matching serial nos. on both main joints are 691544. I understand that the first two digits, are, in fact, the year of manufacture: 1969. This fits well with the known provenance, as the inventory I have from the Hamilton family states that the instrument was purchased new from Rudall Carte c1970.
Many accessories are included in the sale: The 2 original m'pieces which work with modern French Alto clarinet reeds. A large selection of reeds is included, as well as a Selmer reed trimmer. There are also cleaning cloths, swabs and pull throughs and there are 2 spikes of different lengths. Many metal reed holders are included as well as assorted screw drivers. The original case and dust cover are both in good used condition. This instrument will play perfectly out of the box. There is really no comparable instrument on the market today that I am aware of.