Leblanc LL

Hi everyone:

I was looking at a horn , a Leblanc LL, full-boehm that was being advertised as a big-bored instrument, which I thought was incorrect.Since Mr Ridenour worked for Leblanc and designed many of their finest instruments, I asked him and this is his response,
——————————————————————Tucson Bob is only half-right. The LL was a large bore clarinet, as I recall, but it only weighed in at around 14.8mm �� that’s designer talk for medium-large. It was not designed to be their large bore instrument, which went up to 15.00 mm.
The LL, like all other larg(er) bored clarinets, it had sharpness problems in the right hand low register that were unsolvable. Of course, if you only play jazz that’s no biggie.
One caveat to this whole matter is the cognitive dissonance between what Mr. Leblanc designed and made the clarinet to be and what Vito sold here in America. Vito had the habit of reboring the clarinets here for various reasons �� none of which were good or valid. It was not uncommon for the boring to not go very well, since they used the wrong style reamer for wood. It was also not uncommon for the worker, whether by accident or design, to grab the wrong sized reamer. The result of this butchery was that the bores ended up with a poor finish, were often not concentric, and the wrong size. A bore that was intended as a 14.8mm bore commonly ended up as a 15mm bore, and on and on.
This made the clarinets tune terribly and Lee Gibson bitched about this incessantly in The Clarinet magazine in the 70s and 80s. I saw excellent clarinets, such as the LX, rebored from their original 14.6 to 15.00mm by the morons up there in the factory. It took me a while, but I finally got the reboring stopped in 1990 and it was then and only then that Americans actually got to play what Mr. Leblanc had truly designed and not something that had been mutilated at the US factory in Kenosha.
Of course, the clarinets I designed were not rebored….I saw to that.
I say all of this because the LL in question may or may not have been rebored. The odds are that it was, but there is the slim possibility it may have escaped the Kenosha Guillotine. If the bore is smooth and shiny it is probably what Mr. Leblanc actually designed. If it is rough and has boring ring marks (we are not talking subtle here) it has probably been gone over by some factory worker in Kenosha named Igor.


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