I happened to find your website as I am searching for a new clarinet.I studied with Gino Cioffi from 1967 to 1971 in NYC and Boston.He was a great man and a great friend.I miss him dearly.
He got me a set of Selmer Series 55 clarinets which I no longer have to my great regret.They went out of tune quite badly when I was playing freelance in Atlanta in the late 70s.I purchased a used set of Buffet clarinets from Norman Baker who was, at the time in the Atlanta Symphony.They worked better in the Atlanta music scene.
The f-ring sticks at the most un-opportune times.No one has ever been able to fix this.So I am looking. Anyway I just wanted to say hello.Your comments are great.Take care.
Gino Cioffi had the most beautiful sound of any clarinetist of his era and I cannot say how many times I rushed up the stairs at Symphony Hall to get that choice seat in the corner of the second balcony to see him and hear him. He too had a concern about sticking keys. Immediately before playing a solo passage, he would always adjust or open the articulated G# key on the clarinet to make sure it was not sticking. I never saw or heard it stick but saw each time the key being tried.
As to your sticking f ring, this is not a question of a spring but of some rubbing of the metal against the wood or vice versa and with patience and probably a thin non serrated long nosed pliers it is, with patience, easily fixable. You may also need a magnifying glass to really zoom in on the mechanism to attempt to see the rub. It could also be a burr on the wood or on the metal. This is the way the repair person will try to fix it, but I suggest you do it yourself.
Thanks for your comments. You take care too!.