Malerne Standard

Thanks to Doreen in Florida who gave me the opportunity to review my second Malerne Standard. This is Serial A5940. The batch mark under the keys as 30R.

The LH joint of my first one was shorted by 2.7mm.
The original barrel is 61.6mm, not 57.5. The mouthpiece also would have been shortened. 

Bore: 14.6mm at the top and bottom of the LH joint.

In order to get sort of in tune, I pulled out about the width of a penny at the barrel and at the middle. 

High register






Middle of treble clef






Throat tones













I expected that an instrument that was stamped so proudly on every joint would have been made as a semi-professional instrument. The intonation however marks this as only appropriate for beginning students. The keys are nice quality. It would certainly work for a marching band horn, if one was reasonably careful with it. 

Doreen's instrument came with the original mouthpiece, stamped like the horn, which I felt was not as good as some French Stencil mouthpieces that I have played.

My first Malerne Standard was an interesting but disappointing project! The horn had been butchered. The first could be used to teach about clarinet physics (a subject beyond my skill). The second project shows what an unaltered model plays like.
Bore at top of left-hand joint: 14.6mm
Bore at bottom of the same joint: 14.73mm

Malerne Standard

I noticed the extremely short barrel right away, but didn't expect what I found later. Someone modified this instrument to play in high pitch, A=455-457. Perhaps they were in an old time polka band, or something. Instead of shortening the barrel the proper way, taking off the rings and using a lathe to shorten the inside of the tenon joint, they may have just used a file. So they reduced the depth of both female tenons on the barrel, which explains why the metal rings are so narrow. Then they shortened the mouthpiece (which I did not receive with the horn) and also shortened the top male tenon of the left hand joint! Aargh!

The right barrel is what's left of the Malerne, 57.57mm. Note that the mouthpiece in the top of the Malerne barrel won't go in any farther.

The left barrel is from an Andre Chabot, probably produced at the same factory. It is 63.57mm.

This clarinet refuses to play in tune (A=440) for me, using barrel rings and the Chabot barrel, or using a shortened mouthpiece and the Malerne barrel. For the record, the little tube inside the register key pad seems to be the right length and in the right position and free of blockage.

Picture notes:
Note the batch number hidden under the keys of both keyed joints.
The serial number is A6373.

Malerne clarinets often (always?) have Buffet-style pin-in-hole left pinkie keys.

The first intonation results were using the Chabot barrel, pushed all the way in, plus a 2mm barrel ring to fill in the outwardly-non-appearing gap caused by the barrel tenon being filed down for the shortened Malerne barrel. I was playing a C scale. Ignore any false results for notes like G# and F#. Those are caused by overtones. Numbers indicate the total fractions of seconds I played each note. Darker lines on the scale are 10 cents apart.

This is almost usable intonation. The instrument is flat on low F, sharp around middle C, flat on throat tone A and B-flat, flat just over the break, and flat in the upper register.

I filed off an old plastic student mouthpiece so that it would fit all the way into the Malerne barrel. I wanted to see how well this would play in high A=456 pitch. The results were even worse.
The tuner is set to A=456. Lower register.

Subpages (1): No-name Malerne
Phil Pedler,
Mar 6, 2010, 6:49 PM
Phil Pedler,
Mar 6, 2010, 6:49 PM
Phil Pedler,
Mar 6, 2010, 6:49 PM