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Leblanc Noblet 40 Clarinet Serial Number

The trouble is that I'm not really sure what I have. It's clearly awooden Leblanc Bb clarinet. (And it's not so old that there's anyquestion about high pitch/low pitch.) It has "Noblet" on the wood ofthe barrel, and upper and lower joints, (the bell, too, I think; thoughI don't have it with me at the moment). The serial number (46,xxx), isstamped on both joints. I realize this is an intermediate levelinstrument, but I'm trying to figure out whether it is a Model 45, aModel 40, or possibly a Model 4 Normandy. The key work is strikinglysimilar to the old Resotone; about the only difference I've spotted isthat the pivot for the left hand C#/G# key is on a separate post betweenthe long pivot rod (for the left hand rings) and the left hand tone

Leblanc Noblet 40 Clarinet Serial Number

I received your email at work but could not reply to it then and so Ithought I would post some more general information here as it should be ofinterest to others too.You mentioned that you had had an old instrument with different markings onthe parts. This happens all too frequently. What happens is some onebreaks a part and then combines what is left with the good parts of anotherhorn. The result is then a clarinet that is a mismatched marriage and suchan instrument frequently has tuning problems.Now I am not talking about cases where people have replaced the mouthpiece.It is common practice to do so as the clarinet makers normally don't makevery good ones. A student's first upgrade should be and generally is a goodmouthpiece. Also some clarinet makers don't even make mouthpieces at allbut instead contract with mouthpiece companies to make them. So it is okfor the mouthpiece to be marked differently.Sometimes people will buy specialty barrels so that could also be acceptablein some cases. There are even specialty bells but this is somewhat rare.The two main sections of the clarinet (i.e. the upper and lower joint)should be the same brand and model and preferably the same serial number(high quality instruments are match drilled which is why you would want thesame serial number). If these are different brands and models, then you youhave an "illegitimate" horn. Such an instrument really should not be usedfor playing but instead be used to scrounge replacement keys and other partsfor a repair person.Leblanc's Normandy, Noblet, and Vito instruments are all separate modelswith different bore designs. The sections from one should *not* be usedwith the parts from another.There was one really hilarious instrument on one of the auction sites. Onejoint was from an old Albert system instrument and the other joint was froman old Boehm system instrument. Of course the seller didn't have a cluethat this was not what the instrument was supposed to look like.Dee HaysCanton, SD

To return to the original question, does anyone happen to know whenLeblanc began to distinguish between _different_models_ of the Nobletwooden clarinet? Would anyone be able to hazard a guess approximatelywhen a serial number 46,xxx Noblet would have been built. Even knowingthe _decade_ would be useful. Thanks in advance.--David LechnerIn article , "Dee D. Hays" wrote:>> I received your [David Lechner's] email at work but could not reply to

Aha -- that information changes things. You've got a Normandy, not a Nobletand probably not a mutt. Having a mouthpiece of a different model than therest of the clarinet doesn't make a clarinet a mutt. Most people do use adifferent mpc than the one that came with the clarinet. Since the case is marked "Leblanc" and the mpc is also a Leblanc model, itought to be a pretty good bet that the clarinet is the Leblanc Normandy. That's interesting that you've got a Leblanc case, because I've seen severalclarinets at flea markets with "Normandy" markings but no "Leblanc" marking. In each case, the clarinet appeared to be pre-WWII, looked like a basic studentinstrument and came with an old-looking, no-name case or a case with a storename on it. I don't know anything about the relationship of these instrumentsto the Normandy that's unquestionably the Leblanc Normandy made by at least themid-1950s. It could have been a situation similar to that with Selmer andBuescher, for instance, where Buescher started out as an independent company(founded by Gus Buescher, who had worked for Conn, back in the days when"American" Selmers with a New York mark on them were actually made by Conn!)but later had a variety of relations with Selmer until Buescher finally became,in essence, a model name for Selmer. It's possible (I have no good evidenceexcept for the fact that Normandies without Leblanc brands do exist) that atsome point early in the 20th century, either there was an independent"Normandy" company that Leblanc bought out, or Leblanc used that name for itsstudent-grade clarinets considered not worthy of the Leblanc logo at the time-- although these may be good student or step-up models by today's standards.As for the Noblet clarinets, my younger brother owned a wooden Leblanc NobletBb clarinet that my family bought used in about 1961, from a woman in hermid-20s, whose parents had bought it for her new about 10 years earlier. Inother words, his Noblet must have dated from the early 1950s. His Noblet hadthe Leblanc logo on it and came with a Leblanc case. Though sold as a studentmodel, this Noblet was a considerably better clarinet than my 1958 wooden ConnDirector. The Noblet's intonation was far superior to the Conn's.When our parents tried to find information about the Noblet, a Leblanc salesperson said that the wooden model was the high end of the Noblet line. Thecompany also sold a plastic Noblet that cost less, and had recentlydiscontinued a metal Noblet. Sorry, but we don't have that clarinet in the family any more, so I can't helpwith dating the serial numbers, but if you go to the web site,,in the section on serial numbers (where there's no information about Leblancnumbers and dates), there's a name and e-mail address posted for someone whoapparently has that information. I'll see if I can find it and put it here ina different message. My computer hasn't got enough memory for me to go to aweb site and use a newsgroup at the same time!

As Lelia has indicated, this instrument is a Leblanc Normandy clarinet witha Noblet mouthpiece. So you are looking for a 46,xxx serial numberNormandy.If you believe the case is original and can describe the style, material,color, and latch style of the case that can also help narrow the time frame.When Leblanc introduced the Vito, they upgraded the Normandy to wood andmade it a step up horn. This appears to have been around the early 1960s.One thing is certain, since it is definitely pre-1964, you will not be ableto get help from Leblanc. They, like many other makers, did not keeprecords of what serial numbers by year at that time.I would speculate that your instrument is late 1950s or early 1960s sinceyou said it was only lightly used but it is just speculation. This is basedon the ones that I have seen on eBay. None of them had case styles thatwould indicated them to be older than the 1950s. Still this is not soliddata.Dee HaysCanton, SD

Purely coincidentally, this morning a fellow member of the local civicband with whom I was practicing duets on C melody and alto saxes,brought his clarinet to show me. His clarinet is virtually identical tothe one I'm considering buying, but with a slightly newer serial number(52,xxx). He purchased his used in a garage sale situation in 1986, soboth horns are clearly a fair bit older than that.Interestingly, both have an identical metal cap/reenforcing ring on thetop tenon of the upper joint (but nowhere else). My first thought when Isaw that was that the upper joint was cracked, but I could not find anyevidence of a crack anywhere, and -- as I indicated -- if it were arepair done afterwards, it was done with precisely the same materials.Seems like an incredible coincidence....So I guess the plastic clarinet is a plastic Normandy/proto-Vito and thewooden clarinet is an old (pre distinct models 40/45) Noblet. Now tostart woodshedding with it....--DavidIn article ,

"For LeBlanc instruments call 1-800-558-9421 and ask for Dave Surber. (Accurateas of July 1997.) "I've never tried this number and don't know whether he has a list of serialnumbers with dates. Since Leblanc apparently hasn't got that information, itwould be useful if Mr. Surber or someone else has tried to correlate knownpurchase dates with serial numbers to put together an approximate guide. Ifanyone has made progress on such a list, posting it here or on www. sneezy.orgwould help future buyers a lot.

I called him on my Leblanc Symphonie II and he was able to provide theinformation that this model was produced from the early to mid 1950s. Hewas not able to provide the year even though I had the serial number.Dee HaysCanton, SD

They have béen positioned below thé Leblanc professional cIarinets That above Iist came from GandaIfe but the Nórmandys were not párt of leblanc untiI 1978 and they maintained their own line of clarinets until that time.

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