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SELMER, PARIS, 10S Bb CLARINET, SCHMIDT REFORM-BOEHM, BY STEPHEN FOX, 2495

A rare and unique Selmer 10S clarinet, which has been extensively customised by Stephen Fox. The Canadian Stephen Fox is one of the finest clarinet makers in the world today, and also an acknowledged authority on clarinet design and acoustics. This instrument has effectively been turned into a Schmidt Reform-Boehm. It is a great shame that Yamaha are currently offering an instrument, which is regularly, and erroneously, described as a "Schmidt Reform-Boehm" on the web. The Yamaha features a fraction of the keys and vents necessary for a genuine, "Schmidt Reform Boehm". Those clarinettists fortunate enough to have played, or owned, Seggelke, Wurlitzer, or Hammerschmidt, Schmidt Reform-Boehms are quite right to point out that there is no comparison in terms of scale, tuning or tonal character, between the German/Austrian quality instrument and the modern Yamaha.
This clarinet goes most of the way towards a "Schmidt Reform-Boehm", and in some respects exceeds it, lacking only a compensating low G/D vent. The modifications are as follows: 1. Schmidt style speaker key with separate and dedicated Bb vent, see photo 8. 2. Articulated mechanism for C#/G# and touch piece, in simple system manner, for the RH. See photos, 3, 4, 7 & 9. 3. Throat G# key bent to make the LH index work more easily around the throat notes. 4. Bb/Eb bis key, as found on pre-war B&H 1010's to facilitate fast passage work using Eb/Bb. See photo 9. 5. Additional fourth trill key,making a total of five, for improved throat note trill, Bb-B. See photos, 4, 5 & 8. 6. Copy of the B&H Acton Patent Vent system to improve RH B/F# tuning. This system is less efficient than that used on a genuine S R-B, which uses a neat additional pad attached to RH1. See photo 9. 7. Compensating hole for low E/B intonation. I suspect the bell has also been slightly shortened. NB The bell must be correctly lined up with the hole in the tenon, or this will fail to function See photo 7. 8. Compensating correction key for low F. Interesting that this is the only feature that Buffet see fit to add to the current Tosca and Divine. See photo 8. 9. Additional RH Ab/Eb lever. See photo 7.
This Bb, S/N Z9477, originally dated to the mid 1970's. As must be obvious from the above, the wood body has been extensively customised and modified. Several tone holes have been plugged. Furthermore an alternative low Eb/Ab hole, in the manner of a Houvenaghel Leblanc Bass design, was contemplated, and then abandoned, the tone hole and pillar holes have been plugged, see photo 11. This said, there are no cracks or damage to the wood, just repairs and modifications! All pads are sealing well, we have thoroughly checked the instrument over in our workshop, and replaced corks and pads as necessary. The complicated mechanisms are all in regulation & the beauty of this instrument is that it does all of the work for the player. It need hardly be said that the intonation and response of this clarinet are far superior to any standard Boehm on the market. The case is an original Selmer double, with scuffs to the interior and exterior, it still latches well .