LL or Symphony Leblanc?

Dear Mr. Friedland

I’ve got two long-dormant Leblanc clarinets, an LL and a Symphonie model. Other than needing new pads and re-corking, these horns are in decent shape. I only want one fixed at this time.

I’d appreciate your opinion on which clarinet you would want to play.

Sincerely, Gary

HI Gary:
Actually, my experience has shown me that there is little difference between the Symphony model and the LL, or 1176. I prefer the LL by far and have owned several, all of which are a cut above the Symphony model in my opinion.
Both are excellent instruments, very unlike their reputation, largely disparaged by other clarinet manufacturers. Te LL is the top of the line, both in reports and in my findings, and they are more rare to find and costly. As I mentioned, the LL I own is probably my best clarinet.
The only thing one has to watch for, is a rebored instrument, many of which were wrecked by the Leblanc co. in Racine, WI . The idea was to enlarge the bore which supposedly made for a bigger sound. But it did not, and frequently destroyed the quality of the intonation.
You can tell if the inside of your bore is scarred and rough, for very frequently, the incorrect tool was used.

Best wishes,
sherman friedland


One Response to LL or Symphony Leblanc?

  1. Dear Mr. Friedland,

    I own myself a Leblanc LL from the 60s and another vintage professional Leblanc from the 50s – a model pre-Symphony called 176. Both are in excellent conditions (not rebored) and both play wonderfully.

    About your comment “…the LL I own is probably my best clarinet…” – I’m curious now, could you tell us what clarinet models do you have and play professionally?

    About the “Buffet Marfia” – today at professional level we only hear about the Buffet R13s – Leblancs are second or third choices. What do you think about that?

    Best Regards

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