I ran into a first this week: a customer who managed to spill a can of soda across BOTH his A and Bb clarinets: it was a pitiful sight! They had sluggish keys, pads stuck to tone holes, and a nice glaze on the wood bodies. I started by disassembling and cleaning all surfaces with a Q-tip: tone-holes, keys, rods, screws, body and (especially) pads.
I then dried affected parts with a soft cloth, oiled the screws and rods, and reassembled. One pad's leather actually tore loose, from the adhesive qualities of the soda, and had to be replaced! Some welcome income, but a sorry sight and one that I hope I won't be dealing with again soon....
Now, why do I bring this up? Well, soda (and other sweetened drinks) aren't just rough on the outside of your horn, they're rough on the inside, too! I used to see student instruments with sticky pads, and my boss explained that they were the victims of soda or juice consumed directly before playing, which ended up condensing on the pads. Much better to stick with water, or at least rinse your mouth after consuming a sweetened drink and BEFORE you pick up that horn! And for goodness sake, please keep that container away from your case. A word to the wise....
I've worked on a lot of clarinets in the last 12 years, but admit to having a soft spot for the Full Boehm: the mechanism solves many technical issues, the tone tends to be fuller and darker (due to extra length and bore size), and, with the low Eb, they can do double duty for an A, thus saving that piddling $4k for another car! Finally, they were made as pro horns and uniformly well constructed.
So, why are they so little used and rarely made? The only company I'm aware of that still offers a standard production model is Amati, which wouldn't be my first choice, given the historical instruments available.... Buffet, Selmer, Leblanc, Malerne, Penzel Mueller, Kohlert, Conn, even Rampone all made Full Boehms at one time, most of them excellent instruments.
Its hard to find a customer who has seen one, a tech who has worked on one, a fingering chart for one, or even a replacement case! What do you folks see as the pros and cons of these horns and do you have any idea why they are no longer readily available? Just asking....
The Licorice Shtick Blog is the creation of the Vintage Clarinet Doctor, a Winston Salem, NC based woodwind instrument repair shop specializing in vintage and antique clarinets, saxophones, and the occasional flute.