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cases for full-Boehm clarinets

Posted by bitguru on May 7, 2013

a Bb full-Boehm clarinet in a (slightly modified) SKB320 clarinet case

full-Boehm clarinet in B♭ fits in modified case

About five years ago I purchased a pair of full-Boehm clarinets in B♭ and A. At the time I wrote, “the first thing I have to do is find a case for these guys,” but only now have I gotten around to doing something about it.

Actually, about a year ago I purchased a cheap WWBW-branded double clarinet case because I had read a forum post that it could be modified for full-Boehm instruments. But when it arrived the case itself was narrower than the lower joints of the A clarinet, so it obviously wasn’t going to work.

Later I read that an SKB model 320 single clarinet case could be modified with a hammer to hold a full-Boehm instrument. I ordered two of them. They arrived last week. Modification by hammer was relatively straightforward.

After modification, the Bb full-Boehm clarinet does fit in the case reasonably well. (See top image.) Unfortunately, the A full-Boehm clarinet is simply too long for the case. (See bottom image.) Fortunately, I only hammered one of the two cases. I can return the pristine one for a refund.

For the moment I’m storing the A clarinet in an old Conn case that is similar to the one linked here except it’s in much rougher shape. The lower joint doesn’t fit in any of the slots but it does fit in the large compartment at the bottom. I have encased the lower joint in bubble wrap so it won’t bounce around. The upper joint, barrel, and bell fit in the slots. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing.

an A full-Boehm clarinet not quite fitting into an SKB320 clarinet case

full-Boehm clarinet in A does not fit

The search for a better case (singe or double but preferably a double) continues.

options:

  • Amati still makes full-Boehm clarinets in the Czech Republic. An Amati rep in Europe told me I could purchase two separate full-Boehm clarinet cases through their American distributor, though he couldn’t guarantee that my Selmers would fit. I might have been willing to take the risk but the American rep was unwilling to help me. That was in 2009. I could try again, or attempt to import one from Europe.
  • It looks like a Yamaha case like this one can be modified to work.
  • I could make my own case, starting from a briefcase or something. This option is growing on me.
  • I could go high-end. For instance Wiseman tells me that they can accommodate my full-Boehm instruments at no extra charge, but their regular prices are quite high.
  • Perhaps I could pay someone to modify a suitable existing case.
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2 Responses to “cases for full-Boehm clarinets”

  1. Matt said

    Gard Bags is planning a clarinet bag. I left a comment on their site to have them consider making it adjustable to accommodate a full-Boehm clarinet. I have their trumpet case, which comes with several velcro foam blocks that you position to fit your particular horns (it fit my trumpet and odd 4-valve flugelhorn). So maybe if several full-Boehm owners pinged them, they may design it large enough to fit our full-Boehm clarinets.

  2. faxhorn said

    I have had to rip out & thin down padding to make carrying cases for single French horns fit double horns. The hard part is making the interior of the case look reasonably well finished after thinning down the cushioning material. By contrast, fixing up the outside is easier & more straightforward — replacing missing handles, re-attaching metal feet onto the bottom of the cases so they’ll stand on the floor without tipping over, etc. J-B Weld has turned out to be useful for some of that work.

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