Leblanc, LL, Bass Clarinet
This is an extremely rare top of the range G Leblanc, Paris, LL Bass Clarinet in Grenadilla wood, to low Eb, later designated model 325S. This model features a fork Ab/Eb in the RH which neatly does away with the necessity for another touchpiece for the LH little finger. Although Leblanc's instruments were almost entirely handmade, Leon Leblanc insisted that the craftsmen follow careful measurements. "Music is an art, but it is still governed by the laws of science," he declared (Music Trades, July 1996). As a result, Leblanc instruments were more consistent than those that had come before. The LL, named for Leon Leblanc [the son of the founder of the firm] was such a successful design that it continued to be made right up until the moment the company was bought by Buffet in 2009. The LL models demonstrate excellent evenness and intonation throughout the entire range.
This Bass has had only two UK owners from new, and has been extremely well cared for it is in superb condition. The case still has the name plate of the supplying dealer, Bill Lewington, who was, for many years, the main UK agent for Leblanc. The last owner has modified the original case with some retaining velcro straps to transport the Bass more carefully. In addition to the original 2 latches a further 2 have been added. The original keys are included. There is slight wear to the interior lining and some tape repairs to the exterior, but the case protects the Bass very well. If desired an excellent pro-Tech Bass case with back straps can be supplied for an additional £100.
The Grenadilla wood throughout is in fine condition, with no cracks or damage, only slight scuffs associated with normal use. The German Silver key work is in pristine condition throughout, The crook is in excellent condition, as is the bell, which has a floor peg attachment. Both have only minor light surface marks. The instrument was last overhauled ny Andrew Roberts in 2018 at a cost of over £700, with ARCS Mk 5 pads, equivalent to super pads, and it has had virtually no use since. The matching serial nos. are 6743, which probably dates to the late 1960's. The supplied mouthpiece is a Vandoren B50 in excellent condition. The instrument comes with the original metal cylindrical guard to preserve the integrity of the upper joint top tenon. There is no joint wobble here, or at any other part of the instrument. A sling is also provided with double hooks and the the rear thumb rest has been modified by the last owner to accept this type of double hook sling. This Bass is an outstanding example at an excellent price.