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LOUIS, LONDON, Bb CLARINET, 995

This an exceptionally rare and fine Louis early English clarinet. The firm was strongly associated with possibly the finest ever French makers: Martel Freres. Each Louis instrument was completely hand made and undercut in their London premises, 2 Burnsall Street, Chelsea W3. The finishing alone took 2-3 days. This clarinets only former owner was a London professional who owned this instrument and a later set of Leblanc LL's which he used for the duration of his career. Charles Draper personally endorsed these makers. The perfect uninhibited open response, and excellent tuning make for a true "players clarinet" which is a physical delight to blow, superior to much on the mass produced market today.
The instruments is in very fine condition, for a clarinet made in the 1920's. Clarinets Direct have just entirely re-padded it in Pisoni Premium Deluxe Fish Skin pads, and the clarinet is sold with our full 1 year warranty. There is a small crack to the top of the lower joint of this Bb, which runs from the tenon ring down to the first tone hole, see photo 7. The crack is a surface crack only, and has no effect whatsoever on the response. This apart, the wood is in very good condition, with only scuffs and marks associated with careful professional use. There is no joint wobble. The German Silver key work shows absolutely no wear or play to the mechanism. The wood is Grenadilla, apart from the bell which is in Cocus wood. This was a popular choice of wood with superior class instruments of the period, I believe that the finest craftsman thought that a Cocus wood bell would give extra vibrancy and resonance to the bell notes. Certainly when one changes register on these clarinets the timbre of the bell "B" is much more lively and this results in an even scale across the break. This clarinet features an ebonite "bushed" C/G hole, see photo 10. The reasons for this could be: 1. The hole may have been moved at the request of the original owner, also the thumb rest has been repositioned slightly lower, and the the wood surface filled with shellac, see photo 9. 2. The clarinet may originally have been made with 7 rings and the owner requested the tone hole chimney be remade, in the standard fashion. 3. As undercutting this tone hole can be extremely difficult, and indeed, the D/A twelfth is often very poor on modern clarinets, perhaps ebonite inserts were made so that the undercutting could be done to the most exacting standards, and then fitted to the clarinet. Certainly the scale, intonation, and response of these clarinets, is the equal, or superior to, the most expensive clarinets made today. The supplied m'piece is a Morgan RM06. This Bb features a bore of 14.65mm, which is similar to most modern French bore clarinets and therefore it will work well with any modern French bore mouthpiece. A box of original, used Louis reeds is also included. The case is a brand new Carmichael with pouches and carry strap.