F. Arthur Uebel Clarinets

Midwest Musical Imports is very excited to introduce our new partnership with F. Arthur Uebel Clarinets and Moe-Bleichner Distribution!

Ricardo Morales - Principal Clarinet of The Philadelphia Orchestra is now an Uebel artist. Come learn and try for yourself why Morales made the switch to these amazing clarinets!

Event details:

Saturday, October 5, 2019 1:30pm-4:00pm at Midwest Musical Imports

The event will start at 1:30pm with an introduction of the clarinets by an Uebel representative.

The remainder of the event will be an open house with the chance to:

  • Meet and greet with Uebel representatives
  • Learn more about the history and unique details of their production process
  • Trial several Uebel clarinet models

To learn more exclusive details about the clarinets, listen to the Clarineat Podcast with Sean Perrin and CEO Victoria Moe and instrument maker Andreas Moe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TME-bifXgDg

History of Uebel Clarinets: The company was founded in 1936, but within the past 10-15 yrs the clarinets have been reinvented with modern improvements.

Wood Selection: Wood is hand-selected, aged for 5-7 years and another 2+ years after the bore is drilled. Other manufactures now kiln dry their wood, taking it only 5 weeks from tree to completed clarinet. The Uebel clarinets have lesser chance of cracking due to their selection and aging process.

Selection process includes looking for wood density, where the wood comes from and if the drying process is slow enough. Each joint of the clarinet is matched in wood density, weight and grain direction. These factors contribute to an even tone throughout each register.

Durability: The wood of every Uebel clarinet is hand-selected and includes multiple layers of silver plating on the keys which results in a very durable clarinet inside and out.

Clarinet bore: As with most German clarinets the bore is larger than French clarinets. This provides a thicker wall and in turn has a larger, darker sound. The modern Uebel clarinets have a hybrid bore that is smaller than a traditional German bore, but appeals to those most familiar with a French bore system.

Ergonomics: Due to the larger bore, the tone hole placements are also different from French clarinets. The feedback has been that the reach, particularly in the pinky keys, is easier. Those with smaller hands or younger students have an easier time getting around the clarinet; especially on their very popular bass clarinet!

 

 

 

Custom Clarinet Set-up

Did you know that we put extra time and care into each instrument we sell?

MMI specializes in working with world renowned clarinetists to hand-select our professional line of clarinets. 100s of clarinets are played and we look for the following qualities in selecting the best:

•         Tonal center with a consistent tone throughout a wide dynamic range

•         Evenness in response and resistance in all ranges of the scale

•         Exceptional tuning throughout the instrument

Once selected the clarinets are setup by our repair technicians that have over 30 years of combined experience working on woodwinds.

The customized MMI setup includes:

•         Resurfacing tone holes as needed to eliminate unnecessary friction/fuzzy notes

•         Upgrading pads to Valentino Masters, cork and/or leather and replacing select key silencers

•         Reseating and leveling pads to create a proper seal

•         Key fitting, balancing spring tension, adjusting key venting and tenon fitting

•         Cleaning and play-testing

 

Other companies charge extra for the setup of a new instrument. We are offering the setup at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE. Our setup includes 3-4 hours worth of work valued at $450 and to you it is FREE!

Graduate to Yamaha!!

 

Purchase a qualifying Yamaha instrument between April 1, 2019 and June 30, 2019 to receive a rebate!

 

Qualifying instruments include:

CLARINETS $50 REBATE:  Models 4xx, 5xx
CLARINETS $100 REBATE:  Models 6xx, 8xx, Cxx, Sxx

OBOES $50 REBATE:  Models 4xx
OBOES $100 REBATE:  Models 8xx

BASSOONS $100 REBATE:  Models 8xx

SAXOPHONES $50 REBATE: Models 3xx, 4xx, 5xx
SAXOPHONES $100 REBATE:  Models 6xx, 8xx

To view above selected models, please click below:

Yamaha Clarinets

Yamaha Oboes

Yamaha Bassoons

Yamaha Saxophones

 

If you have purchased a qualifying instrument already, please submit visit https://usa.yamaha.com/promotions/graduate_to_yamaha_2019/index.html  to submit your rebate!

Featured Clarinet--Selmer Presence Bb Clarinet: Serial R038xx

I am the newest member of the Selmer Paris family and I'm called the Presence. Some people consider me to be on the cutting edge of clarinet bore design as I have been compared to the highest level of clarinet models that Selmer has to offer. This is an amazing accomplishment in my design!

I have a smooth and even tone across all registered and can be played with the utmost of ease. My rounded silver-plated keys allow your fingers to move quickly and easily. The tone hole size and placement allow for impeccable intonation. This will rival most clarinet models from any manufacturer. I come standard with Valentino pads, which are preferred by many clarinetists and repair technicians because they seal, are stable and durable. Watch this amazing video of me being performed on! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iraQnsqGMqo

For more information click -> Selmer Presence Bb Clarinet

 

Featured Clarinet--Buffet RC Prestige Bb Clarinet: Serial 686XXX

Are you looking for a warm, centered and velvety clarinet sound? Do you want a clarinet that has the ability to keep up with demanding clarinet repertoire? Then look no further than ME! I'm different than the typical Buffet R13 or Festival because I have a different bore. I'm versatile by design: I can project through an orchestra, play in tune exceptionally well and play delicately in a chamber music setting. I was hand-selected by Richie Hawley and have received exquisite reviews by prominent orchestral players in Cincinnati, Washington D.C. and Dallas.

My clarinet repair friends have taken exceptional care of me. They treated me to a repair spa day with upgraded key silencers, select pads and lots of key fitting. I'm in the best shape of my short 3 year life. I've toured the country at MMI's clarinet day events but I'm ready to find my next playing partner. Take me home for a trial and let me show you how your clarinet playing can be elevated to the next level!

For more information:  https://www.mmimports.com/product/used-rc-prestige-bb-clarinet-679961-9-18-17/

Featured Oboe--Demo Loree Royal Oboe #UH52

Bonjour Mes Amis and hello! I was born in Paris in 2017, hand made by the wonderful people at F. Loree. As a Royal Loree oboe, I am known for my big rich sound, flexibility, and unmatched projection. My type is the most popular orchestral instrument in the United States…Incroyable!

I came over from Paris to the wonderful oboists here at Midwest Musical Imports. I have spent most of my time as an ambassador of my kind traveling to various double reed events and exhibitions. I am what we know as a ‘demo’ instrument. I have never been owned by anyone other than Midwest but I’m now retired from the touring life and ready to find my forever home. The technicians here have taken spectacular care of me and I’m basically brand new. I’m ready for trials so why not give me a play?

For more information: https://www.mmimports.com/product/loree-regular-royal-uhxx-demo-instrument/

Featured Saxophone--NEW Yamaha YAS-62III Alto Saxophone

I was brought to life in 2018 and like all my brothers and sisters, I went through our repair shop after arriving at Midwest Musical Imports for a thorough checkup. I’m happy to report that I received a clean bill of health. Yay! I am considered to be one of the most affordable and consistent instruments Yamaha has ever produced and some players even prefer me over the more expensive models. 🙂  Versatility is my middle name and I feel equally comfortable playing Classical, Jazz or anything else!

I’ve received some upgrades in recent years and I would love to share them with you. For starters, my new 62 style neck provides a faster response and greater control. Yamaha has also given me a bit of a makeover with some beautiful hand engraving on my bell. Finally!! I would love to become a part of your family and I come in a very nice semi-hard case with backpack straps so you can comfortably take me wherever you go.

For more information: https://www.mmimports.com/product/yamaha-yas-62iii-alto-saxophone/

Featured Bassoon of the Week--Fox 680 #56XXX

I’m just a young whippersnapper at only 5 years old!  My physical health has been given an A+ after my recent checkup with the bassoon doctor and I’m ready to run my next scale and etude practice marathon.   I have a powerful voice that projects very well, yet still I’m quite flexible.  If you are looking for a partner to help you keep up with the levels of the trombones and trumpets in group settings, I’m the one for you! I also have an Ab-Bb trill key for pesky passages in the Ravel Piano Concerto or the Mozart Bassoon Concerto. My right hand Eb trill key will make trilling your next favorite activity after scale and etude marathons! 😉

My dream match is a new Fox B2 bocal--I know we would make the perfect pair!! (I also really like matching with a Heckel bocal!)  Are you ready for your next bassoon marathon?  Take me home and let me show you how I can make your bassoon playing so much more enjoyable and fun! (And if you do, ask Nick to send one of my preferred bocals, too!)

For more information and photos:  https://www.mmimports.com/product/used-fox-680-56xxx-bassoon/

Featured Clarinet of the Week--Yamaha SEVR (NEW) (Bb)

I was born in 2018 and have traveled far and wide refining my skills as a clarinet. I was professionally setup at the Yamaha artillery in California and was hand-selected at the 2018 Midwest Clinic in Chicago.  The fine folks at MMI have taken me in and introduced me to wonderful new people, but I'm still looking for my forever home.

I sparkle with all silver keys and travel well with a compact case and cover. I have been described as having a warm and centered tone, similar to a Buffet Festival. I might not be most clarinetists first choice, but I am must try. You will be amazed at how easy I am to play and you will enjoy my ability to stay in tune!  Will you take me home on trial?

For more information and photos: https://www.mmimports.com/product/yamaha-custom-v-series-sevr-bb-clarinet/

Featured Oboe of the Week--Fox Maple Sayen

Fox Maple Sayen (NEW)

I was born in South Whitley, IN and the first maple Fox oboe of my type made its debut at the IDRS conference in 2018!  I’m made entirely of maple with a liner in both the top and bottom joints to prevent cracking.  If you prefer an oboe that feels light in your hands, I’m perfect for you!  I will help eliminate any wrist pain or stress caused by the weight of the oboe.  Let me lighten your load!  I’m very flexible, versatile, and perfect for chamber music, solo literature or orchestral playing.  I’m so excited to be part of the new oboe line up at Midwest Musical Imports!  I would love it if you were to take me on an oboe trial to see what a perfect duo we can be.  Bonus, I’m a lovely red color that will be admired every time you play me!

For more information and photos: https://www.mmimports.com/product/fox-maple-sayen-oboe/

Introducing Opinel Folding Utility Knives for Reedmaking

Recent trends in the world of bassoon reeds have introduced one of the great debates for a new reed-maker: knife or file? There are many advantages to both tools; while files can remove cane very quickly over a broader surface area, a sharp knife is able to make a precision scrape without compromising the structure of the blade to the same extent. Knives do, however, require more time to master the skill of scraping.

The other main issue with today's reed knives is the cost. The most recommended type of blade is the double hollow ground, which even at MMI will run you at least $40. With the cost of bassoons already so high, a young initiate to the world of reeds can't help but question the wisdom of the choices they've made. Personally, I balked at first at the cost of reed equipment and very often it still shocks me how costly some tools are.

Enter the Opinel knife

Opinel is a French knife manufacturer that produces quality blades for all types of purposes, from regular table knives to steak and chef's knives, as well as outdoor knives for camping, hunting, and much more. The blades are made of either carbon or stainless steel. The handles of most of their products are made of high quality wood and feel comfortable in the hand.

The best part is, at least for a reed-maker, the price. Now, of course, this brings to mind several questions for the more discerning reed enthusiast: is it made well? Will it keep from wearing out and rusting? Will it hold its edge? And the answer to all of those is yes, and remarkably so.

I was first introduced to the Opinel knife when I participated in an orchestra festival the summer of my junior year of undergrad. It was in a quaint seaside town in British Columbia. Every night after rehearsals we enjoyed exploring the town or heading to the beach right on the edge of the Puget sound. One day, for our "masterclass," the bassoon teacher took us aside to show us his reed-making process - pretty standard fare for a 2-week festival. The big takeaways from his lecture were to have cane ready in every step of processing, and to obtain one of these Opinel knives. He informed us that he'd been using one knife for several years without needing to sharpen it. While an oboist would cringe at the mention of such a fact, I was fascinated; because, naturally, I didn't like having to sharpen my reed knife every couple of days.

Blade grinds and their shapes

Image from Wikipedia

The most important aspect of any knife is, perhaps obviously, the blade. But what goes into a blade? How does it maintain its edge and what factors determine this? For reed-makers, one of the most advertised features of a knife is the grind of the blade. Reed knives are generally made with a hollow (#1) or chisel (also known as bevel, #4) grind. The bevel grind makes for a very effective cutting edge - it is a typical blade grind for Japanese kitchen knives. Conversely, the hollow grind, often used for shaving razors, makes a blade that is exceptionally sharp but structurally weak. This means that it will need to be sharpened more often, and consequently will need to be replaced more frequently as well. As a side note,  they should actually be sharpened using stropping, as opposed to using hard stone or glass (take note, oboists!).

Opinel knives, in contrast, have convex blades (#6). This is basically the opposite of the hollow grind, where the blades curve outward instead of inward. This means that the blade is structurally stronger and is able to hold its edge well while maintaining a good amount of sharpness. To me, this is the perfect marriage between practicality and utility. Bassoonists do not strictly speaking need blades that are as sharp the hollow ground knives - we don't dig into the cane the way an oboist does because of a bassoon reed's tapered slope. Rather than sharpness, longevity becomes the name of the game; I've been using my Opinel No.8 for five years and I've never looked back. The handle feels comfortable in to grip, much more so than any reed knife, and I've only needed to sharpen it a handful of times.

Opinel also has a fantastic variety of woods for their handles, and a plethora of other color options and even some etching patterns that look really amazing. In the future we hope to carry a greater variety of these types of handles. I think any practically-minded bassoonist will really fall in love with these knives, just like I have!