I bought a LeBlanc L7 on a lark, virtually sight unseen for $400. Upon receiving the instrument, it looks to be in fantastic shape: no cracks or chips; it’s not kindling wood, serial numbers match, all pieces match, keywork appears to be silver plate … a little dull but not worn through, all the mechanicals work fine. It definitely needs pads, cork, and leather. By the way, I’m intrigued by the mother of pearl inlay. Nice touch, but a little unexpected and odd.
Is this a good find?
I bought this clarinet because I am interested in playing again, at 52, not having played since high school. I still have my wooden student Noblet with the double diamond logo and honking lime green burlap briefcase style case, but I’m a little ashamed to be seen with it (horn or case).
I thought that before I jump into a $4k horn, I might as well buy a used, but reputable, horn that can be restored, even if restoring means spending an additional $1K or something (by the way, I have no idea whether $1K would cover a restoration of the horn I describe … I’m blissfully ignorant at this point).
So, what about this L7? Is it a playable horn and a good choice to relaunch with?
BTW, I am considering having my Noblet re-padded and giving it to my best friend’s son, who is in junior high school and just finished his first year playing a resin Bundy. All this at the risk of embarrassing myself — I tried to give my nephew my old 1987 impeccably maintained Mercedes 300D diesel three years ago when I bought a new one, thinking he would be happy to have a like-showroom-new vintage Mercedes … for free, no less. I was wrong. He “refused me.” Apparently no diesel, not even a Mercedes, is a chic magnet. I don’t think I can handle another well intentioned gesture of giving something away, like my Nobet, only to be met with “you’re kidding, right?”
Concerning your L7 Leblanc Clarinet, I feel happy to tell you that in my opinion it was one of Leblancs best clarinets. I owned a set (Bb and A ) L7 clarinets several years past and found them to be really highly professional regarding tuning and even quality of sound. These particular horns were custom-made for someone who had been used rollers on the little finger keys and they had been expertly installed. I think they also had articulated G# mechanisms. I remember them quite fondly in musical terms and would play them anywhere, You have an excellent instrument. The mother of pearl inlay was in the L7 and L27 . I had one of those as well.Both terrific instruments. I
Though terribly maligned in the US , especially in the so-called mid-western music schools and conservatories, they are unquestionably a better instrument thanxany other French clarinet. I amspeaking of Selmer, Buffet and if you wish, even Yamaha.
They were controlled and mismanaged for number of years when their home office was in Racine ,Wisconsin, but the clarinet itself, made in France has always been superior. I have also played a set of Opus clarinets, designed as were many Leblancs , by Tom Ridenour when he was with Leblanc and those were even better than my L27 and the L7.
But, keep in mind that this is a wonderfully consistent instrument, really excellent. Hold on to your new L7 and keep
As far as theMercedes Diesel, if you still have it, I will espress my sincere interest in purchasing this baby. No kidding. I know it rusts if you even look at it, but I love the diesael and the particular car.