Penzel-Mueller Studio Recording

Previously I didn't have a review here, but only pictures of this upper joint. But now— thanks to Kevin Moore, I have had the opportunity to review a complete Studio Recording model, even with its original mouthpiece!

The model name is again in cursive like the Empire:Studio Recording MODELPENZEL-MUELLERNEW YORKTORONTOPARIS

Serial #SR5323B

Barrel: 61.6mm and 57.25mm

Bore LH joint top: 14.72mm

Bore LH joint at bottom: 14.67mm There is no significant taper in this joint, and this clarinet shows intonation like a straight bore clarinet.

The original Penzel-Mueller 3 mouthpiece plays with a lot of resistance. It is either more open than my mouthpiece, or is warped.

It is interesting that the two keyed joints and the bell list cities NEW YORK, TORONTO, PARIS. The RH joint is very faintly stamped FRANCE. So this clarinet was not made in PM’s New York factory, but it is basically a French stencil clarinet. It has the wide and comfortable rings on the right hand, and I am thinking this could have been manufactured by Thibouville. In that case, the Studio Recording model would not have been PM’s top of the line instrument. And it would seem that this model was discontinued before the 1949 catalogue on the PM history page.

Intonation results taken when playing loud and not lipping. See how to interpret these results on the Model Comparison Page.

For this test, I used the 61.6 barrel pulled 1.14 mm at the barrel, and .7 mm at the center tenon.

Intonation summary: This is excellent intermediate intonation by today’s standards. It would have been professional standard back when it was produced. I like it when the mid-register E is a bit flat on straight bore clarinets, so that the low A can be in tune.

I was going to write that this was just beginning level intonation. But my mouthpiece was not going into the barrel all the way. I found that a clarinet is VERY SENSITIVE to a gap between the mouthpiece and barrel! I improved three things that helped bring the intonation to the level shown above. I undercut two tone holes and a added a bit of Poster Tack in the upper side of the D tone hole (the left ring finger hole that doesn’t have a ring).

Key work quality: Typical for clarinets of this period. Good quality for that day, but not as sturdy as many clarinets today.

This clarinet is most appropriate for: Any intermediate or advanced clarinetist.

Condition issues noted: There is a crack beginning to form in the bell.