Selmer, Paris, Basset Horn
This is a rare and unique Selmer Basset Horn in Grenadilla wood, to low C. This instrument was formerly owned and modified by the late Ted Planas. Ted was for many years a Selmer agent, and was also a great acoustician and designer, it was he who designed the Selmer Basset clarinet. This Basset Horn was modified by Ted. The speaker tube was re-designed and a new Bb hole added to work as a "booster" Bb. In addition an extra LH "pinky" key low D touchpiece was added. This means that on this instrument there are 2 ways to finger both low, E, D and C, thus greatly facilitating much awkward passage work. The Selmer design of Basset Horn differs radically from that of Buffet and Leblanc in that it is a small bore design which plays with a Bb clarinet mouthpiece. Buffet and Leblanc Basset Horn designs are essentially modified Alto clarinets.
After Ted Planas' death this instrument was owned by a London professional. It goes without saying that Basset Horns do not get heavy use, and this example has been exceptionally well maintained. The Silver plated keywork is good and shows only minimal wear, the plating is about 99%. There are two crooks both in excellent condition, one for use at A=440 the other A=442. The bell shows no damage, only light surface marks. The leather pads are all in excellent condition. The wood is in pristine condition with no cracks or repairs. Selmer is generally held to be the finest manufacturer in the world of harmony clarinets, and this instrument would retail today new for over £10000, without the additional cost of modification. The matching Selmer serial nos. are B2656 which dates to 1982. The m'piece is a used Vandoren M30 in excellent condition. The original case shows some interior and exterior scuffs but is fully serviceable, it comes with the key.