Thanks for your quick response. The horn in question is being auctioned on eBay. If I’m not mistaken, I may remember you mentioning in one of your columns, on some past occasion, that you prefer not to have email attachments sent with communications to you. I did not send an attachment, out of courtesy.
It’s a french-made Leblanc. It’s the older logo, with the “G.” immediately preceeding “LeBlanc” on the same line in the logo. The model name (or number, if you will), “578”, is just above the logo on the upper joint. And that’s all is says: “578”. The keys look like neither nickel-silver nor silver-plate. I believe they are raw, and unplated (for lack of a better phrase). I actually like this look.
I’ve used LeBlancs all of my professional life, and I’m partial to them. You mentioned it may be helpful if I could provide a picture. I don’t know if I can attach the link to the eBay site, as I’m not terribly adept at such things. It’s simply under “leblanc clarinets” on eBay. The initial picture (of several) shows the horn disassembled, in a well-worn case with blue lining. The listing is among the first two or three that first appear, and thus far has received no bids. The asking price is $375.00 US. The auction ends tomorrow at 10:00 am, Pacific time.
Regardless of whether I hear from you tomorrow in time to bid, I want to thank you for taking the time to respond. I do enjoy reading the articles in your website.
I have looked at the enlarged photo of the first joint and am convinced that this is a bonafide Leblanc. Having said that, like all instruments, one has to ask the question, “How does it play?” This is the final judgement, and of course, it is yours to make. I do not think the price unreasonable, but about average. The call is yours to make. If they offer a return possibilty, that would be a benefit. Or, frankly I have found no bad Leblancs. Since you’ve only about 50 minutes and there are no bids, I would try for it, however one always has to be wary of those who wait for the last second to buy a horn. It’s called sniping and they charge you for placing a bid in the last few seconds. It’s not illegal, but I feel it ought to be.
I looked into this instrument because it seemed a different kind of Leblanc, not having a name like LL, or 1176, or any of the newer Opus-type names. It aroused my curiosity. but finally, I could fing nothing about this 578 business and so reverted back to the usual advice of a return possibility, (there was not) or the basic value of a French Leblanc. I believe they bought the clarinet sincer there was only one bid.
Leblancs are terrific instruments to buy as used because they are really so much better than used Buffets and less expensive than Selmers and sound as well.
The only problem with a Leblanc is that Vito Pascucci, head of Leblanc USA and not a clarinetist was into having Leblancs rebored in order to have a bigger sound, but did it indiscriminantly and by workers who frequently used the wrong sized reamers, rendering the clarinet not well in tune, or out of tune, which Leblancs are generally not.
So be careful out in that market place. It can be fun, but also it can be treacherous.
best regards, Sherman