Our Clarinets - The Features
Choice of WoodApart from the traditional African blackwood, SCHWENK & SEGGELKE also offer other kinds of wood:
WoodworkingEvery one of our clarinets is handmade. Years of research make it possible for us to offer instruments of ideal sound properties, and of the finest quality.
Our wood is carefully seasoned for many years. It is then machined with great respect, the individual production steps being spread out over several months, giving the wood time to rest in between. This way the instruments receive accurate and stable dimensions, and the danger of cracking is minimized.
The tip rings on the barrel, bottom joint, and bell may be ordered in either the traditional style (silver-plated brass), or as a carbon fiber ring. Apart from the optical difference the latter slightly reduces the blowing resistance. Certain procedures are carried out on computer aided machines to maximize precise reproducibility. This concerns the body dimensions the tone hole positions.
Bore TypesSCHWENK & SEGGELKE offer their Model 2000 (German bore, German fingering) with two kinds of bore: a narrow bore model (14,6 mm throughout the cylindrical part) with standard body thickness (28,5 mm), as well as a large bore model (14,85 mm) with a thick body (29,5 mm). The latter may also be supplied with a Viennese bore (15,00mm).
The Model 3000 (German bore, French fingering) is a combination of a large German bore and a slightly thicker body. resulting in an instrument of optimized dynamic range and a full and centered sound.
For our Model 1000 (French bore, French fingering) we select pieces of wood that slightly decrease in density from the barrel to the bell. In our experience this creates a more homogeneous sound and even response.
Tone HolesAll of the tone holes of SCHWENK & SEGGELKE clarinets are undercut by hand and then filed to shape individually for optimal sound and intonation. We take time for this procedure to achieve the best result for you. It is here that a wide range of individual requests can be considered. The outside of the tone holes is then specially treated in order to create an airtight seal eve n with the very demanding quartz resonance pads (by Clarissono), and to allow for a hiss-free sound emission.
MechanismThe keywork of all our clarinets is a combination of nickel silver precision castings and parts machined from nickel silver sheet. Keys are then plated with a sturdy layer of Sterling silver or gold.
The speaker tubes and thumb hole bushings of all our clarinets are made from Delrin, a black synthetic material. This greatly reduces condensation over metal ones. Finger rollers are made from Sterling silver on request.
To keep friction and wear to a minimum we resort to an old and well tried technique for bearings by making our hinge tubes out of bronze, and our rod screws out of stainless steel. In addition we insert synthetic bushings into the ends of the barrel tubes of certain keys.
- The long keys for B and C# (left little finger) are each mounted on their own rods, making their hinge tubes twice as long as usual. The corresponding tone holes are operated by separate keys, hinged in bore direction. This arrangement allows for a greater vent height while the finger movement is reduced.
- Compared to conventional layouts the key touches operated by the left little finger are tilted up by several degrees, putting the left hand in a more comfortable position.
- The core of our keywork is a speaker key with an additional Bb resonance key. Instead of a plain thumb hole there is a padded plate , which, when untouched, allows the Bb resonance key to open, provided the speaker key is also open. If the thumb key is closed, the Bb resonance key is also closed. This simple arrangement makes it possible to keep the speaker tube bore narrow as it doesn't have to double act as a tone hole for Bb. The additional resonance hole in return allows for a correct intonation of Bb.
- On the upper joint, when the A key is opened, the Ab key will open as well. This way the tone hole can be kept small, while the venting is aided by the open Ab hole. Switching between the two notes no longer requires special practice, while a semi-tone trill is also simple to achieve via the second trill key as a right-hand Ab.
- The tone hole for A/e" on the bottom joint (right hand third finger) is split in two. A cup covering the resonance hole is attached to the ring. This way the tone hole stays small enough for the low A, where as the resonance hole makes sure the high e" isn't flat.
- The quality of a clarinet is not determined by the number of keys. But its cost is. Therefore we came up with a system that lets y ou design a clarinet that fits both your needs and your wallet.
FinishingAccording to your specifications we will use either high quality kid leather pads, Gore -Tex pads, or waterproof silicone resonance pads, which are an ideal addition to the sound properties of our clarinets.
Natural cork, artificial cork, and silicone are used to silence the keys.
IntonationAn essential part of production time is dedicated to achieving an even intonation and an optimized sound. The operations will be repeated together with the customer after a playing-in period, in order to adapt the instrument exactly to the customer's needs. A comprehensive after-sales service is a matter of course for us.
By the way...Not only musicians, but also some of our competitors on the market take an interest in the innovative features and registered designs of our clarinets, and use them on their own instruments. We would like to point out that only instruments marked with the original "SCHWENK & SEGGELKE Bamberg" signature will possess all the described features. We will only warrant the functionality of our original instruments.
We keep our customers informed about developments made after their purchase. It is possible to apply some of them subsequently to older instruments, comparable to a computer software update in computers.
Any more questions? You didn't find what you were looking for?
Don't hesitate to contact us – by post, email, or telephone!