High Pitch PM A and Bb pair

Many thanks to Marcus W for letting me see the A and recondition and review the Bb.

I have seen several times how one cannot make a HP clarinet into a LP (modern A=440 pitch) clarinet. One has to pull out too far, and the HP clarinet will play out of tune at modern pitch. But through this project I have seen that what one can do is to go the other direction! Make the HP clarinet higher. These two 'heightened' HP clarinets play reasonably in tune at the higher pitch level. Unfortunately, of course, the Bb becomes a B, and the A becomes a very useful Bb. This seems to have been done by drastically shortening the barrel, and I think that the mouthpiece might have been filed off at the bottom on the Bb. It is possible, but I doubt that any tone holes were undercut further than when the clarinets came from the factory.

What can one do with a B clarinet?! Actually, quite a lot. For those who play with guitars and other string instruments in a modern worship band setting, a lot of music is in the key of E. To play with the group on a Bb clarinet, one is forced to play in F#. So playing in F on a B clarinet would be a lot easier. Of course, playing on an A clarinet would be another good option, playing in the key of G.

This was a High Pitch Bb instrument, but it is now a modern (LP) B natural instrument.


My mouthpiece does not go in all the way into the barrel by 1.2-4mm. I think that perhaps the mouthpiece needs to be filed off that amount to play this perfectly in tune. But then I need a short barrel, and one playing the wonderful original mouthpiece might be in tune. The original mouthpiece does fit all the way in. It was too close for me to want to test with it.


HP Bb which has become a LP B

Serial  #no longer found. I suspect the left hand joint was shortened at the top and that took away the serial number. This seems to be before PM did their vertical serial numbers.

Barrel:  56.3mm shortened barrel

Bore LH joint top:  15.0mm

Bore LH joint at bottom: 14.7mm   

Penzel-Mueller Albert HP-LP B


Intonation results taken when playing loud and not lipping. See how to interpret these results on the Model Comparison Page.


For the first test, using the 56.3mm barrel I pulled 0mm  at the barrel and 0 at the center tenon. Second test using 50.9mm barrel. In both tests my mouthpiece sticks out 1.2 (first test, VD 5RBLyre) to 1.4mm (second test using Ched Prime mthpc).

Tuning results below are noted according to the standard clarinet fingering. So the intonation for C is measuring a note that sounded a B.


High register


Android CarlTune


F



E



D

-2


C

0


B

-2


B-flat

-2


A

0

Mid




G

0//1


F

-6//-2


E

0//2


D

-6//1


C

-11//-2


B

0//0

Throat tones




Bb

7/0 with 2+3/2+3 fingers//can be as high as 43. Needs all fingers down.


A

-3//0


G

-6//0


F

-5//0


E

-8//-3

Chalumeau




D

-2//4


C The note sounding was a concert pitch B, and so on for all the notes.

0//0


B-flat

-2//1


A

0//-1


G

-16//-13


F

-49


E

-35


Intonation summary: This would have been a wonderfully in tune HP instrument. And even bumped up a half step, if I had a shorter mouthpiece, it would play in tune. With the shorter barrel it becomes pretty good. There are various fixes that could be done to improve the throat tones. Some undercutting of the lowest tone holes would help.


Key work quality: Very nice. Has Ab/Eb left pinkie key. This still is not the “improved Albert system,” but has nice little extras. There are extra rings on the left hand joint compared to the much earlier French Albert system I have reviewed. Note that either left pinkie key can be used to play the F#/C#. The low E key when pressed without the low F key gives an F#, as well as the F + F# normal fingering. Note the little lever for the second finger on the left hand for having an alternate F/C. The key work on the A (now Bb) is chrome plated, whereas the Bb (now B) has the older looking nickel keys. One must use the thinnest pads for most of this instrument except the bottom pad. For Valentino, the .08" thickness.


This clarinet is most appropriate for: PM enthusiasts.


Condition issues noted: none.



HP A which has become a LP Bb

Serial  #none found. Probably cut off at the top of the LH joint.

Barrel:  50.9mm

Bore LH joint top:  15.0mm

Bore LH joint at bottom:  14.5mm

Penzel-Mueller Albert HP-LP A


Intonation results taken when playing loud and not lipping. See how to interpret these results on the Model Comparison Page.


For this test, I pulled 1.3mm  at the barrel and 0 at the center tenon. This test was made with the original mouthpiece found with the A (Bb) and a Legere Quebec 4.


High register


Android CarlTune


F



E

10


D

10


C

9


B

2


B-flat

15


A

6

Mid




G

4/0


F

0


E

5


D

-4


C

-1


B

0

Throat tones




Bb

50


A

38


G

28


F

15


E

13

Chalumeau




D

13


C

9/13


B-flat

2


A

-1


G

-12


F

-36


E

-49


Intonation summary: The throat tones and the extreme low tones are pretty bad. But this test was not made with my modern mouthpiece. I think given some tweaking of mouthpiece and barrel that this might play reasonably in tune. For the sharp throat tones, one could always use extra fingers.


Key work quality: Very nice with the extras I noted on the Bb/B.


This clarinet is most appropriate for: PM enthusiasts.


Condition issues noted: none.



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