Couesnon S.A.

Serial # none, but there is a batch mark: 10A. Thanks to Frode in Norway for giving me the opportunity to review this clarinet!Barrel: 65.7mmBore LH joint top: 14.3mmBore LH joint at bottom: 14.65mm This is the reverse of poly-cylindrical!The S.A. was probably a student-level Couesnon product. I wonder if the “A” stands for Army, as there is a built in hole for a marching lyre and the bell is made of hard rubber. I would also say that the S.A. was made around 1935.Couesnon traits include

  • a batch mark under the keys consisting of a letter and a low 2-3 digit number
  • some have a factory installed lyre holder for marching
  • The tenon-protecting rings are wide, except for the top of the barrel.
  • throat tone G# does not have an adjustment screw,
  • and the A and G# keys share one post (perhaps not on all, if the Monopole was made by Couesnon).
  • The A throat tone key has a short rod, because there is a socket to accept the screw.
  • some have one post for the two top left-hand pinkie keys, and newer models have two posts. The left pinkie keys do not have the pronounced downward hook-shape at the top touch-point of the key.
  • the right hand bridge linking part is straight, without a flare
  • there is a chiselled out area under the right pinkie keys.
  • The spring under the throat tone F# is on the first post pointing down, not on the second post point up.

Intonation results taken when playing loud and not lipping. See how to interpret these results on the Model Comparison Page.For this test, I pulled 1mm at the barrel and 1.7mm in the center for this horn.

Intonation summary: As long as this is pulled out in the center, this is not bad intonation. For the era in which this clarinet was made, this was quite good intonation. A smart player will be able to adjust to play in tune.

Key work quality: OK quality nickel silver keys as far as appearance and sturdiness. However the three larges key cups on the right hand are not designed well, so that the the pad must fit down more into the pad cup on the outer edge than on the hinge side. Take care in assembling and disassembling.

This clarinet is most appropriate for: Beginning to intermediate players.