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Leblanc Model 7182 Contrabass ClarinetVito model 7182 contrabass clarinet is pitched one octave lower than the bass clarinet. Its deep, dark tone adds incredible richness to the bass section of any ensemble.It is in the key of Bb and features a 1.182" bore, one-piece body, Resotone wood-like finish, nickel-plated keys, and a range to low Eb.
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Of all the instruments I play, I must say this is one of my favorites. I love improvising jazz on mine that I am renting. The key work moves smoothly for such a big horn. The lower notes really do make some things rattle. I also love to play it in concert band; it really adds richness to the overall sound. Difficult to play very loud, but when used correctly it can have somewhat of a soothing tone in slow passages. The only drawback I find is the size of the case, it makes it a bit hard to transport. But I say the reward of playing it makes up for the difficulty of transporting it.
This giant instrument definitely provides a bottom to any musical group. It takes a fair amount of wind, and yet produces a rather soft sound (difficult to play this horn loud). I play with a Clark Fobes mouthpiece, #2 Vandoren BBb contra reed, and Rovner-type fabric ligature. The high register and middle to lower notes have a very nice tone, and I find the lowest notes (below low G) tend to "rattle". It is also somewhat difficult to play these lower notes in tune. Playing in a symphonic community band, it has required the mouthpiece neck to be pushed nearly all the way in to be in tune with the group. Playing "over the break" is rather smooth; an easy transition. The largest drawback is that the case is nearly six feet long, so can be a hassle to transport. In addition, one must sit on a stool just the right height because there is no way to adjust the playing height of the instrument. I recommend using a wooden, cushioned stool to increase the comfort level; the legs can be cut to provide an exact height fit for the player. Overall, this is an impressive instrument fun to play that definitely gets noticed, and musically adds to even a large ensemble. It does not have to play loud for its presence to be known. Our symphonic band director much prefers this instrument to the bass saxophone I previously played with the group.
I got this contra last year to help me with my prospective college music program admissions. I waited and waited and when it finally came, it played beautifully. The resonance of those low notes, especially that bottom Eb is wild, it doesn't just play, it rumbles, its wild. I've had flute players in front of me say it makes their chair shake. The height of the instrument takes some getting used to, along with transport of the case. I absolutely love this instrument, and it is always reliable, even for its large size (the posts and bars are very resilient against bends and such). Plus, how often can you say that you are playing an octave below the tuba in standard tuba concert band parts.
I purchased my Leblanc contra bass clarinet from Music & Arts, a part of the WWBW umbrella. During the process of waiting for it to be delivered into my eager hands, I learned a lot about this instrument. Based upon information I discovered, this instrument is made in Conn-Selmer's facility in France and there is a 16 month wait for it to be delivered to customers, which made it remarkable that I took delivery of this instrument in about 6 months. Now about the instrument: It is a fine clarinet despite it not being the top of the line $22,000 one advertised on this website. It is easy to play although it does take a lot of hot air to sound off its notes, which will vibrate your chest and lips when tooting on the low ones. You'll need some Loctite Blue to keep some of the adjustment screws from backing out because of the vibration made by this musical monster. Also make sure you get a Rovner Dark ligature since the stock ligature is basically useless, a fact that Leblanc is aware of. I highly recommend this instrument for purchase.
I am a student and my band director got this and asked me to play it. I accepted, and WOW. This instrument has a nice dark rich tone to it, just like in the advertisement. My band director wanted a contrabass clarient badly but couldn't afford the super expensive ones. Overall, a great deal for the money. TOTALLy recommend it.
? over all I give it a 5 star because it is affordable and sounds good.
I bought a contrabass clarinet back in 2003 and I fell in love with this instrument. I had wanted a contrabass for a long time but I could never afford it. So I shopped around and all I saw were these expensive leblanc contras that were the price of a car, but i eventually found this and decided to give it a go. I LOVED IT!!! This instrument spoke clearly and when i used it in school, it really added some depth and bass to my wind ensemble.Now for the bad parts. It is just a little big, hehehe but I like it. It causes attention. And its hard to get it in the car, but thats part of the fun. It is pretty easy blowing when you get the right reeds. I used a vandoren 2.5 and I was always a little flat so I bought a vandoren 3 and it was pretty much on pitch and still easy blowing with hardly any resistance. A GTREAT BUY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
I found this used on ebay - I have been wanting a Contra for a long time, and this one fit into my budget (for the most part ha ha). I debated a metal paperclip and a plastic straight model back and forth over and over.
Wow - this thing is a beast! It plays and projects beautifully and really rumbles! It doesn't have as many features as the Selmer Rosewood, and the low C would be nice - but... really? How "professional" does a Contrabass clarinet need to be??? If you need a good contra for your ensemble, or just like collecting clarinets, this one is a great investment!