Pruefer Festival HR
PRUEFER WOODWINDSPROVIDENCE, R.I. U.S.A. FestivalThanks to Greg Groleau who allowed me to work on this instrument. Evidently players have really liked this model, and I can see why. The keys are extra thick and sturdy, and the construction shows careful design. (All the pad cups come down flat onto the tone hole.) Extra love for this horn was shown by the last owner. The keys may have been re-plated, then repadded with stunning bright red calf skin pads. Or perhaps the first two owners only played it a month each. I am told that the red pads were what were on the Festivals originally. The two owners are named on the case as Kassandra McIntire (probably the first owner) and Janice Perrealt. This hard rubber unibody clarinet has a brass sleeve that extends all the way along the keyed joint to the third finger of the right hand! (See the picture of this at the bottom of the page.) This instrument is way better than Pruefer's Silver Throat.Serial #69895Barrel: 66.3mm
Bore LH joint top: 14.8mm
Bore LH joint at bottom: Not measured because this model is unibody construction. There is no middle tenon. Unfortunately there is no articulated C#/G# key as I expected with the one-piece construction.
Intonation results taken when playing loud and not lipping. See how to interpret these results on the Model Comparison Page.
For the first test, I pulled 0 at the barrel and one cannot pull in the center for this horn, when I tested this using my B45 mouthpiece.
I made a second test using Greg’s Perfectone (Elkhart Indiana) mouthpiece. For the second test, I needed to pull 1.7mm. I used the same 3 ¾ Signature Series Legère reed for both. My chops are not jazz chops and the reed I used is way harder than what Greg will probably use in his jazz context. So he will have different results, and probably will not need to pull like I did with this mouthpiece. This does show that different mouthpieces will get different results. I was not able to pull at all with the B45. I loved the feel and dark tone of the Perfectone mouthpiece.
Intonation summary: Terrific! I tried to test very carefully. I noticed quite a difference when the horn was cold, so these numbers represent warmed up values. Fantastic! [Revision Jan2017: The sharpness in the Chalumeau register would make this Intermediate Intonation by today's standards.]
Key work quality: So heavy that it becomes clunky looking. (Check out the pictures! Note that because these keys are so shiny that I didn’t say they are ugly, like I did for the Pruefer Silver Throat!) In spite of chunkiness, these keys are great quality. It would take a significant collision in marching band to bend them. The keys have the same big ridge on the back of key cups. The pad sizes are .5 to 1mm wider in diameter almost everywhere. Some keys are slightly different shapes than the Pruefer Silver Throat. The Silver Throat did not have an adjustment screw on the G# key, and the Festival does have one.
This clarinet is most appropriate for: Anyone, beginning to pro. But jazz players are going to love this. It plays very open and freely, although starting at 14.8mm, it probably isn’t as open as some wide bore clarinets. Certainly plays freely and with a big sound.