Leblanc Contrabass Clarinet 340 & 342

Leblanc Contrabass Clarinet
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Generality

They are entirely made of nickel silver, an alloy of copper and nickel. It's much harder and stronger than brass !
     Valentin cases : Leblanc poster showing the contrabass clarinet.
Leblanc declined contrabass clarinets in two shapes: one straight and the other rolled like a paperclip.

Anyway, the neck and the bell are removable.

Leblanc Contrabass Clarinet Types

- Straight shape 342-

This model goes down to low Eb.
Valentin cases : <H2>Leblanc Contrabass Clarinet Types</H2><H3>- Straight shape 342-</H3>This model goes down to low Eb.

- Paperclip Model 340 -

The design is much compact than the straight model.
Valentin cases : <H3>- Paperclip Model 340 -</H3>The design is much compact than the straight model.
What is the most comfortable position ?
Valentin cases : What is the most comfortable position ?
For the paperclip model, two tessitures are available: the first goes down to low D (Model 340), the second to C (Model 345) with a rande of three octaves.
When the bell does not protrude from the body of the clarinet, the lowest note is a D.
Valentin cases : When the bell does not protrude from the body of the clarinet, the lowest note is a D.
The C model tube is longer and the bell is above the body.
Valentin cases : The C model tube is longer and the bell is above the body.
As on the modern bass clarinet, the low C # and C are operated by 2 keys on the right thumb.
Valentin cases : As on the modern bass clarinet, the low C # and C are operated by 2 keys on the right thumb.
The paperclip body can be in one piece or in two parts, as below.
Valentin cases : The paperclip body can be in one piece or in two parts, as below.

Cases

- Sraight model 342 -

Valentin cases : <H2>Cases</H2><H3>- Sraight model 342 -</H3>
Valentin cases :

- One piece Paperclip Model -

The box is long.
Valentin cases : <H3>- One piece Paperclip Model -</H3>The box is long.
Valentin cases :

- Two pieces model -

The case is more compact, much smaller than a bass clarinet case.
Valentin cases : <H3>- Two pieces model -</H3>The case is more compact, much smaller than a bass clarinet case.
Valentin cases :
Storage is judiciously streamlined.
Valentin cases : Storage is judiciously streamlined.
Valentin cases :

Finish

- Silver finish -

The body is sandblasted with a satin silver effect.
The keys are shiny silver plated.
Valentin cases : <H2>Finish</H2><H3>- Silver finish -</H3>The body is sandblasted with a satin silver effect. <br> The keys are shiny silver plated.
Valentin cases :

- Nickel finish -

The clarinet is nickel plated , a very resistant finish.
Valentin cases : <H3>- Nickel finish -</H3>The clarinet is nickel plated , a very resistant finish.
Valentin cases :

Register keys

There are 2 register keys, one from B clarion to D #, the other from E.

- Manual register keys -

The left thumb has two keys available.
From the D# clairon to the E, switch from the small key to the long.
Valentin cases : <H3>- Manual register keys -</H3>The left thumb has two keys available. <br>From the D# clairon to the E, switch from the small key to the long.
The key in the body curve is for the lower clarion
The large triangle clef pointing down manages the clarion from the E.
Valentin cases : The key in the body curve is for the lower clarion  <br> The large triangle clef pointing down manages the clarion from the E.

- Automatic double register key -

From 195? a single key controls the 2 registry keys. It's much easier !
Valentin cases : <H3>- Automatic double register key -</H3>From 195? a single key controls the 2 registry keys. It s much easier !
For automatic system, the registry keys have been moved. The 1st has been lowered towards the Bb and the 2nd raised towards the mouthpiece.
Valentin cases : For automatic system, the registry keys have been moved. The 1st has been lowered towards the Bb and the 2nd raised towards the mouthpiece.
The mechanism has become more complex.
Valentin cases : The mechanism has become more complex.

Side trill keys

Right hand B trill key:
Valentin cases : <H2>Side trill keys</H2>Right hand B trill key:
RH Eb trill key:
Valentin cases : RH Eb trill key:
Left hand Eb trill key:
Valentin cases : Left hand Eb trill key:
During the ??? years of production, there were many changes.
Adjustment screws were added.
Valentin cases : During the ??? years of production, there were many changes. <br>Adjustment screws were added.
There were some evolutions on the peg
Valentin cases : There were some  evolutions on the peg
Valentin cases :

- USA production -

Some contrabass clarinets were manufactured at Kenosha, Wisconsinont with this finish:
The_body_is_black,_tke_keys,_the_bell_and_the_neck_are_gold.

- Model 345 type A -

What is this mysterious woodwind with 5 octaves range ?
     Valentin cases : affiche Leblanc USA de clarinette basse 390$ et contrebasse au prix de 450$
Leblanc added a harmonic register key extending the range from 3 to 5 octaves ! This third register key is manual.
The_type_A_register_keys_system_is_more_complex.
This model has a serial number beginning with A (e.g., A5), perhaps in reference to "the All contrabass clarinet" ?
The goal was to permit the same possibilities than a soprano clarinet keywork.
Here four trill keys !
Valentin cases : The goal was to permit the same possibilities than a soprano clarinet  keywork.<br> Here four trill keys !
Raising the RH middle finger of a lower G play a Ab, so it's possible to play lower Eb to Ab.
     Comparaison Contrebasse Leblanc 340 et 345 type A
The contrabass 345A is very rare, perhaps cause the manufacture cost was hight for a sale price quasi equal with the 340 price.

Questions

Here is all the data collected on the net. However, many points are unclear.
Was extension to low C an option ?
Was the body in one part or removable in two on request ?
What are production and evolution dates ?
Was the silver finish available at the start of production and then discontinued ?

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Jason Alder www.jasonalder.com/ for the generous sharing of informations and documents. We look forward to reading the results of your research on the Leblanc contrabass clarinet.
Contact: Valentin 00.33.6.71.20.93.44 contact@valentin-saxophone.com
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