Thanks to Dave Leblanc (Watson) for giving me the chance to review this neat clarinet!
I posit that this as a late Martin Frères or an early Thibouville product. If I am right, then the “France” often seen alone on clarinet mouthpieces or barrels is a sign of the same maker.
Serial #none found
Bore LH joint top: 14.6mm
Bore LH joint at bottom: 14.6mm
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 1.7mm at the barrel and 2.0mm at the center tenon.
Intonation summary: This is intermediate intonation and might have been pro-level in its day. Corrections can be made so that this can be played in tune. Players when this was made may have needed the extra sharpness in the high register. Those notes can be lipped down in any case.
Key work quality: Quite good, but the springs were terrible. I had to replace three of them.
This clarinet is most appropriate for: Anyone who wants a forked Eb key and a lovely vintage instrument.
Condition issues noted: Springs are now very brittle. Interestingly, I had the same problem on the very similar Hofinger, which is the same vintage and similar in many ways.