Mannheim


The Mannheim clarinet is one of the Chinese made clarinets that are now flooding the US market.

This clarinet seems identical to
  • Lauren


This one came in for repair to the local store.
Serial: NC 3417xx
Bore: 14:85mm
Barrel: 62mm.

The key work is made of soft metal. A student who plays one of these should take careful note of the keys while assembling and disassembling.

Testing using Portnoy BP02 mouthpiece and Legere 4 reed.

High register
Vito
66mm barrel in all the way
Mannheim pulled 2 mm with barrel ringMannheim pulled 1mm with no ring

F+5-20 to -15-20 (0 if add Rt F ring finger key)

E+900

D+1100

C+13-10 to -5-4 to 0

B+1300

A+10-5 to 0-5 to 0
Middle of treble clef




G+60 to +4+4

F+500

E+800

D0+10+10

C+800

B+8+6 +13+10
Throat tones




Bflat+12 to +18+9+8 to 0

A+10+40

G000

F000

E00+4 to 0
Chalumeau




D+8+10 to 5+10

C0+15 to 10+20

Bflat0+14 to 20+20

A+20+10 to 20+13

G+3+20+24

F+200

E+7+13

Summary of the intonation: The intonation is quite good. The main problem will be the fiercely sharp chalumeau register. This clarinet will also seem quite flat in the upper register when compared to other instruments, and especially other clarinets. This is because nearly all other instruments play sharp in the upper register.

I don't recommend these Chinese brands for any level of player. They will have zero resale value. They will quickly need repair, but some shops will not service them.

The springs of this instrument seem to be rather flimsy.

A bigger problem is that there is plastic flashing that was left over from the molding process on the lower edge of tone holes. This will make a big difference in intonation.


Update: Today, when working on a Lauren clarinet that must have been made by the same maker, I found that this is not flashing left over from molding. The joint is made without the tone holes, and the tone holes are inserts that are glued in. I just tried to fix a Lauren where the tone hole inserts had come out. The band director tried to glue them in, but didn't get them inserted far enough down. The result is that the horn is unplayable because it leaks in the cracks between the inserts and the hole. I am recommending they use this horn for a lamp.

This instrument comes with an adjustable thumb rest that seems modeled on the West German plastic horns. The screw on this particular model keeps coming loose.

The side keys are modeled after Vito/Leblanc, with four posts for the four keys.

I wonder if this is the same factory that makes the Ridenour in China. Clearly they have some good plans and dimensions. The key weaknesses seem to be
  • Soft key work
  • Very sharp chalemeau register
  • Possible unpredictable intonation because of plastic flashing left at the lower end of tone holes.

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