Leblanc/Planas Bass Clarinet to low C
A rare and unique Ted Planas custom conversion of a Leblanc Bass clarinet to low C. This instrument started life as a Leblanc model 325 Bass, which was the top of the range professional model to low Eb, featuring a fork Eb/Ab in the RH. It was bought new by the well known British clarinettist, author, and Professor at Kneller Hall, Paul Harvey. Paul commissioned the famous acoustician Edward "Ted" Planas to convert this to a low C model. In the 1960's Boosey & Hawkes offered an Imperial Bass Clarinet, which could be played to low C with a 3rd joint, or played to low Eb with 2 joints. Ted took this idea and improved on it, effectively making this Bass an equivalent to a Selmer model 37: There are now 2 fingerings for low D, on both RH and LH. Also 2 fingerings for low Eb, using the RH or fork option. Low C# and C are played by thumb keys. In addition the 2nd highest trill key has been converted into a 2nd register key. This is specifically for the lowest pitches in the clarion, B and C, which have a tendency to play sharp with the original Leblanc designed single overblowing vent for the second register. The loss of the side key Bb fingering is not a real cause for concern, as the Bass design allows for a correctly placed throat Bb hole with the standard fingering. This instrument was subsequently sold by Paul to a close friend and professional player, also based in London. The instrument is in excellent condition and has been exceptionally well cared for, it is a commission sale for Clarinets Direct.
There are no cracks or damage to the wood, which is in fine condition throughout. The key work, which is un-plated, German Silver, is also in good condition, with no wear. The Bass has a range to low Eb, or to low C. The pads are tan leather, all in good condition. The Bass has been down to our workshop for regulation, and 1 tenon cork has been replaced. It comes in a Tenorman blue leather gig bag. In addition to a "notched" floor spike, a sling is also provided. The m'piece is a Vandoren, No.3, an open lay. The original tenon guard is included for the upper joint and the matching serial numbers are 6196. The Bass plays extremely well across the entire range, with an exceptionally open second register response. A K&M Bass stand is also included in the sale.