Artley 17S, 18S, 23S, and Prelude models.
In general, Artley plastic clarinets have a strong suit in the sturdiness of the construction. The key work is excellent, and so sturdy that I recommend them for marching band. Artleys tend to need to be pulled out significantly in order to play in tune. Intonation is generally not as good as the Vito line.
I recommend Artleys as very good instruments for beginning students.
Model 17S, serial number 43 09462.
Bore at top of left hand joint, 14.77mm, and at the bottom of the same joint, 14.6
Barrel 63.76mm. For this test I was pushed in all the way. I should have pulled some.
Using B45 mouthpiece and #4 Quebec cut Legere reed, playing loud and notes in F and C scales. (Other notes, except middle B, are just false blips. Note the number of milliseconds played.) The worst note, throat tone A, should be played with extra fingers down on both hands to bring it down.
Eflat is not out of tune. A blip was recorded.
The throat tone A is too sharp. But I will fix this by closing the hole with glue. No other notes will be affected. Most intonation problems cannot be fixed that way, because other tone holes are used in more than one register.
17S #13 5740 has smooth tenon rings. Others have the more traditional rings, as seen in the first picture.
This model has super thick keys, thicker than the 17S. But I find no serial number on this one!
Barrel: 63mm This is a short barrel.
Bore at top of left joint: 14.7mm
Bore at bottom of left joint: 14.4.
These results, playing loud and “dumb” (not adjusting), with the 63mm barrel pulled out 1.7mm.
Better results would be had using barrel rings and pulling out farther.
The logo is quite faint on this horn. There is a tiny model number on the bell: 23S.
Serial 40 41882.
This model uses 9mm pads on the top joint (or perhaps an 8.5 or two), 11, 14.5 and 16 on the bottom.
Overall, the key work is nicely designed, with headless pivot screws like Leblanc uses.
I didn't like how the left hand E/B and F#/C# keys are made.
Bore at top joint: 14.85mm.
Barrel is 66mm. Testing pushed in all the way is incredibly sharp.
Pulling is better but there are still places that will not be able to be controlled.
Using a good tuning barrel will make all the difference!
This horn seems to have good quality key work. It was a pleasure to repad. When I was at the our music store, Paul told me the local band directors tell their student, “Don't buy any instrument that starts with an A.” Evidently this means Armstrong and Artley. Pulling out does significantly improve the intonation, but, as with most clarinets, the high notes persist in being sharp.
This model has super thick keys, even thicker than the models above. No way these keys going to bend. Use this horn for marching band.
I wonder if this was a Amati product. I would guess the manufacture to be in the 1980s.
This model has no serial number anywhere.
Here I am testing it with an Artley plastic mouthpiece (which responds quite nicely), and a Legere #4 reed.
63mm barrel, pulled 1 mm. Results show I should pull more and use a barrel ring.
Bore at top of left joint, 14.76mm. At bottom of same, 14.47.
Phil's projects other than the above:
Dec2010: 17S Serial #242767 from 1973. Plays great.
2011: 17S #40 43233 from 1990.
Artley Serial Numbers from http://www.conn-selmer.com/content/resources/serialno.php: