C. G. Conn Albert system Bb-flat clarinet 1922
Conn made most of their clarinets in ebonite. Here is one of them. According to the serial #, the date of manufactory should be 1922. It is not a super rare instrument, as they are likely to last forever. Ebonite is very strong and don’t crack like wooden clarinets. But most of those who appear on the market are in miserable condition, and You’ll have to spend a fortune getting it back to work. This one has been refurbished and is ready to play.
On this clarinet everything is original. Even the mouthpiece (ligature and cap might not be). All keys are intact and fitted. Logos are present on most parts: Conn logo on the top joint and as usual the “Trade Mark and Eagle” logo on bell, barrel and mouthpiece. No logo on the bottom joint, but here is a matching serial number: B82924L. B stands for Bb-flat, and L indicates low pitch.
This instrument is 58,8 cm long from top of barrel to bottom of bell. The bore is 14,5 mm and the total weight is 632 grams. All new leather pads and new corks throughout the clarinet, including tenons.
The barrel is 64 mm. With the original Conn mouthpiece the clarinet pitches at A=440. However, when I use my modern mouthpiece from Vytas Krass I will have to use a shorter barrel. A 60 mm Selmer is perfect!
Some shots before the renovation process…
The broken tenon part was stuck inside the bell, slightly expanded. It has been sanded to fit and glued back on with the best epoxy. In case the fix won’t hold forever, the bell will be kept in place even without it.
All the keys have been cleaned and bent back in positions. Springs, rods and screws cleaned from rust and subsequently lubricated and adjusted.
This has become a very fine clarinet with a wonderful ancient Albert sound.