The Eb contra alto clarinet is one and a half times larger than the Bb bass clarinet. This leads to a new design for the neck. The neck is much longer than that of a bass, and has a significant downward curve before curving back up for the mouthpiece. Interestingly, the bell is not that much larger than that of a bass (however, Selmer and Buffet contras have massively long bells).
The contra alto clarinet utilizes a contra alto clarinet mouthpiece, and can accommodate either a contra alto reed or a contra bass reed. Contra bass reeds are much easier to find than c-alto reeds, though.
The Bundy contra alto clarinet is the most affordable of all brands. You can typically find one of these for less than a thousand, and sometimes as low as 700.
This particular example dates from sometime in the 1980s, or earlier.
As with most other Bundy products, the clarinet is definitely a rugged piece, capable of withstanding abuse from younger players.
However, the very long keys are prone to getting bent and messing up playability. Fortunately, most of the bending occurs in the trill keys, which can be taped over with no harmful consequences (this has 2 trill keys taped over due to bent keys).
Intonation Results: (Corrected, according to formula: Result - (average, excluding outliers) )
This intonation is rated at 68% in tune. This puts it in the Mid-Range Student Level.
The middle Bb was thrown out of calculations because its absurd number is due to a mechanical issue, and therefore cannot be factored into the scoring.
1. Intonation: 6.8/10
- no comments
2. Quality of Material: 8/10
- very sturdy composite plastic material. Will stand up to years of abuse.
3. Quality of Keys: 6/10
-Several keys were bent. A couple trill keys were bent so far that they could no longer cover the tone hole. Plating was typical.
4. Ease of Play: 6/10
-Plays about as easily as you would expect a gigantic clarinet to play. Low notes sometimes squeak, and high notes are difficult to reach.
5. Case: 4/10
-A solid wood case that doesn't have much in the way of padding. I had to throw in a bunch of wrapping paper inside to keep the instrument from rattling around.
6. Special: 4/0
-Has a cool key that is operated by depressing low G key. Not sure what it's purpose is, but it's a cool feature.
This clarinet's DaveLeBlanc Rating is: MID-RANGE STUDENT
This clarinet's ClarinetPages Approval Ranking is: NOT APPROVED (close, though)
Please check out my video review!
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