La Chapelle

The LA CHAPELLE logo is stamped only on the bell.Serial #60030 stamped only on RH joint, and at the very edge below that is “MADE IN GERMANY.” Interestingly, someone wrote to me about a LaChapelle made in France, and there was also a LaChapelle clarinet made in the USA. I am taking a guess that this horn was made in the early 1950s.How do you like that? Clearly a French name on a clarinet made in Germany. Finding that clears up a lot of questions! I couldn’t understand why some holes on the LH joint were smaller than normal. (Qtips didn’t fit in like normal when cleaning.) And various odd characteristics: The screw for the register key comes in on the opposite side from normal (right side). The LH left pinkie F/C key has a spring at the upper end. If a clarinet has a spring, it is virtually always at the bottom. The spring that opperates the LH F# throat tone ring is on the opposite post from normal, and inserts into a hole in the key. There was the barest of batch marks under the keys on both keyed joints, which was simply ||||.Barrel: 63.4mmBore LH joint top: 14.9mmBore LH joint at bottom: 15.1mm Wide bore!David W writes: “The one you have on your site is made in Germany, and the metal one [which was David's] was made in USA. I also have a wooden one made in France; I have also seen a wooden one on eBay made in Czechoslovakia. Seems like LaChapelle was a really international company!”

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 2mm at the barrel and 0 in the center for this horn.

Intonation summary: This is pretty impressive intonation for a horn that was certainly made as a student instrument. The low throat tone F and high C and above will improve when I do some undercutting on that F tone hole. There is room also to undercut the mid-register E, which I will do also. Even with these faults, this clarinet has better intonation than many Selmer Signets.

Key work quality: The key work is odd. It is quite heavy and sturdy enough, but a bit rough, and some of the keys have unusual spoon shapes on the underside. The rings feel comfortable. It has pin in hole keys for the two left pinkie keys, which are on two posts. One of the trill keys has a thin area, but it is in a place where it would seldom get bent. The pad cups are deep, requiring thick pads and most were .5mm larger in diameter than what I normally use. The key work does not work as smoothly or easily as a high quality instrument. This is the main reason I don’t recommend this for upper intermediate or advanced players.

This clarinet is most appropriate for: Beginners. Also adults wanting to play jazz enjoy the way this wide bore instrument handles.