Selmer Series N

Many thanks to Paul Jenson for giving me the opportunity to review this clarinet.

Paul found this helpful information: The N series was made between 1945-51. In 1947 they made serial numbers 1000 to 2800. How does this compare with the dates for the Centered Tone model? Note that the register key hole is massive like on the Centered Tone, but has a different shape.

And here is where he got that: Uark Selmber serial numbers

Serial #2219, from 1947.

Barrel: 66.6 mm

Bore LH joint top: 15.0 mm

Bore LH joint at bottom: 15.0 mm

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 1.97mm at the barrel and 1.30mm at the center tenon.

Intonation summary: This is very nice intonation for a wide bore clarinet! Note that some sharpness in the clarion register was traded for better intonation in the Chalumeau register.

Key work quality: I found quite a few somewhat bent keys on this. It seems to have been used hard, and then was stored for eons. The key work is hard enough metal. The key design was not done as well as normally found on Selmer instruments or any modern clarinets. The key cups are not centered over some tone holes. (Positioned too short, not bent to one side.) This is OK if one uses traditional pads that stick out past the key cup. It was more difficult for using Valentino pads, because they don’t stick out like traditional pads do. I used oversized pads and cut them on the top side, so that it created the desired hang.

This clarinet is most appropriate for: Anyone, especially those who want a nice wide bore instrument.

Condition issues noted: There were lots of problems due to the long storage in a mildewy case. The clarinet seemed to have difficulty getting over the shock of being handled and worked on. It’s fine now. Spring tension was critical on this on the right hand joint.