Vandoren Clarinet Reeds – Looking For That Perfect Sound

Reed players are always looking for the perfect sound.  They have that sound in their head and they just need to go find it.  There are many factors that are in play when the musician is searching for it.  One of the most important pieces in that musical equation is the reed.  One of the most popular brands, worldwide, that players from beginner to professional rely on is Vandoren.

Vandoren is known for making a very consistent reed, so, as a player, you know that you are going to get a good reed each time you open the box.  They have quite a few different options and cuts, which makes it that much easier to find the “perfect fit.”   This week we are going to focus on the different styles of clarinet reeds that we stock and the features of them.

Vandoren Traditional This is the standard blue box.  These reeds are the most widely played reeds in the work.  They are suitable for all styles of music.  They are known for their excellent response in all registers.
Vandoren V12– These reeds are manufactured from reed tubes that have the same diameter as the cane used for Alto Sax reeds.  This causes them to have a thicker heal and are cut on a longer palette.  The longer palette means that more of the reed is vibrating which results in a deeper, richer sound.  It also has a slightly thicker tip than the Traditional cut reeds giving more body to the attack of the notes being played.

Vandoren 56 Rue Lepic– This style is designed from a thicker cane with a heel taper very similar to German Style reeds. The tone from this reed is rich and centered.   It has a pure sound  with quick response throughout all of the registers.

 Vandoren V21– This is the newest reed from Vandoren.  This reed takes the shape of the 56 Rue Lepic and the profile of the V12 and puts them together.  This combination makes all registers of the clarinet more accessible with a warm tone.  This also makes the clarinet play more responsive.  Lastly, it is the perfect reed for performances that require the player to play large interval leaps while still keeping and even and rich tone.

If you have any questions about clarinet reeds, please contact us via email or give us a call at 1-800-382-1099.

 

There’s A Cork In My Flute. What Does It Do?

cork-and-headjoint

A common complaint when a flute or piccolo comes in for repair is that “it is just not playing like it used to” or that “it sounds airy”. The first thing we check is the position and the fit of the head joint cork assembly. If it’s not in the right place, or if it’s too loose, the intonation and tone quality of the instrument will be affected. Proper placement of the head joint cork assembly is crucial. Use the following steps to check the placement of your cork assembly.

cleaning-rods

On the end of your cleaning rod, you will notice a line. This is actually a measuring tool to check the placement of your cork assembly. Place that end of the cleaning rod into the open end of your head joint until it makes contact with the head cork plate. rod-open-endLook into the embouchure hole (blow hole) and locate the line on your cleaning rod. It should be in the center of the embouchure hole. rod-holeIf the mark is down toward the open end of the head joint, you should tighten the head crown to pull the cork assembly back up the tube. If the line is too close to the closed end of the head joint, loosen the crown slightly and push on it to move the cork assembly down. The goal is to get the mark in the center of the embouchure hole. In rare instances, advanced players may find the need to move the cork assembly in order to bring the different registers of their flute in tune with each other.

A common mistake young flutists make is moving the cork assembly for general, every day tuning. Instead, for general tuning simply pull the head joint out of the receiver if you’re sharp, or push it in if you’re flat. Don’t make a habit out of moving the head cork assembly.

The cork part of the assembly will need to be replaced from time to time. The cork dries out and shrinks causing air to leak around the cork itself causing problems. If you notice that your cork assembly moves too freely, it’s time to have the cork replaced.

Quick Tips on Trumpet Care

Daily care and maintenance of your instrument is very important to how well your instrument performs. Watch this quick video below for a few, quick tips on caring for your trumpet.

New Yamaha YCL-CSVR Clarinet

Yamaha YCL-CSVR

Each January we send a group to the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show. This is a great opportunity for us to see new products and come up with new programs to help us better serve you.

This week, we wanted to focus on a new product that is really exciting for the clarinet world. Yamaha has developed a new professional clarinet, the CSVR. Yamaha has been a leader in the band and orchestra market for a long time, and they take, in many cases, years to develop, test, and release a new product. Below we have listed some of the key features and benefits and what they mean to the player.

  • It has redesigned keys that offer a comfortable and ergonomic hand placement making it easier for the player to play it longer without fatigue. The new keys also have thicker silver-plating which will make it sound darker and more resonant.
  • It also had a durable leather pad that will ensure a precise seal between pad and the tone hole. This makes it easier for a player to get a consistent sound out of the instrument with a lighter touch enabling more difficult passages to be played more quickly and with less effort.
  • The CSVR also comes with a new Custom barrel design. It causes the clarinet to have a well-balanced response and a rich, warm tone that will help elevate the progressing clarinetist’s playing.

Click on the instrument to the right for a close-up view of the instrument. >>

We have several of these on order, so if you’d like to try one, please let us know so we can contact you when they arrive.

For more information on the clarinet, give us a call at 1800-382-1099 or click the link below.
www.4wrd.it/csvr

Scrubbing Bubbles

ultrasonic-front

Below is an excerpt from an article we wrote when we first installed the ultrasonic cleaners in the shop.

Wow 1997! A whole brand new year and a whole brand new piece of equipment in the repair shop. A scrubbing bubbles machine! Technically known as an ultrasonic cleaner.

Over the past years, manufacturers have been forced to come up with methods of cleaning that are environmentally friendly. We have strived to become as chemical friendly in our own shop as well. Unfortunately, the safer the chemicals have become, the less effective they are at getting the grunge, grime, hot chocolate, Coke, Mountain Dew, and lime build up off/out of the instruments.

Fast forward to 2015…As it turns out we were the first ones to use ultrasonic equipment at our level. While industrial equipment had been around for years the equipment needed for our level just did not exist. After working closely with Omegasonics, a manufacturer of ultrasonic equipment in California, we have developed machines over the last 18 years that are now widely used around the world for specifically cleaning musical instruments.

In fact, in order to keep up with ourselves we have recently replaced both our floor model units with the latest developed models. In addition we also have two other table top units that we use for small parts. So we actually have four machines in use daily for cleaning of your, and our, instruments.

ultrasonic-above-instrument
ultrasonic-small

Why? Because they simply do a superior job and without the need of toxic chemicals. Which is good for you, us and the environment. The instrument is totally submerged in a liquid solution and the “scubbing bubbles” go to work on every square inch inside and out. No longer concerned about getting cleaning brushes stuck inside or wondering if you got “it” all.

So the next time you might have your instrument “cleaned” elsewhere you should ask "What process do you use?"

The video above shows the ultrasonic cleaner in action. Pay attention to the red grime coming off of both the bell and the valve casings.

Do You Do Instrument Appraisals? – FAQs

We often get asked if we do appraisals on wind and percussion isntruments. We don’t have a certified appraiser on our staff, but we can give you some information that might help you out.

Popular Brands and Models

The closest unofficial appraisal we can do is on a brand and model that we currently carry. We would ask that you either bring the instrument to our store or send it in with one of our District Managers on their weekly visit. We would then have our repair staff evaluate what kind of repairs it would need (if any) and then we could tell you what we would sell that instrument for if it were part of our inventory. This process would give you a market value of what the asking price might be for your instrument if you were to try and sell it on your own.

Brands and Models We Don’t Carry

If your instrument isn’t a brand and model that we carry, then we could still have our repair shop evaluate it for repairs, which is always good to know when selling an instrument. However, we would have a harder time giving you a good idea of an accurate selling price. We do, however, have access to a "blue book" for instruments where we would could look up a value for your brand and model.

Please Call First

It’s worth gathering some information first before you come and visit us. Most of the time an accurate assessment of your instrument requires a repair technician to see it in person. However, your situation might be such that we can give you all the information you need over the phone. It’s certainly worth the time to call us first.

Contest Season Is Almost Here. Is Your Instrument Ready?

Scott Hayden - Repair Shop

It’s not too late, but time is running out. Contest Season is almost here!

January through April is a really busy time of year for school music students. Many of the annual contests and festivals happen during this time of the year. These include:

  • Solo & Ensemble Contest
  • Jazz Band Festival
  • Junior/Middle School Organizational Festivals
  • High School Organizational Festivals

Your performance level and the success of your organization depend on a properly playing instrument. If your instrument has not been looked over by a technician in the last 6 months you may be overdue.

Send your instrument in for proper maintenance to help avoid small problems from turning into something larger at an inappropriate time. It could help you get to the next level during the upcoming contest season.

If you’d like to send your instrument in for us to check, we have a step-by-step guide on how to do that right here.

As always, please give us a call if you have any questions.

1-800-382-1099

Can I Payoff My Instrument Rental? – FAQs

Did you get some cash for Christmas and want to put it to good use? You could pay off your instrument rental contract early and save!

If you choose, you may pay off your instrument balance in full and save 40% off your remaining balance. You can do this at anytime during your contract. There is no penalty for paying your instrument off early.

To do this, please call our accounting office at 1-800-382-1099.

You can also complete this process online. Please refer to this earlier post that explains how to make a payment on our website.

As always, please give us a call if you have any questions.