Find out about the different models of LeBlanc Normandy clarinets to give you a good idea of whether or not you are interested in purchasing one. LeBlanc bought out the Normandy company in 1978, but the designs of Normandy clarinets were similar to those made by LeBlanc anyway. LeBlanc has continued to put out some Normandy models, such as the Normandy 4 , which is now known as the Noblet 4. Other LeBlanc Normandy models include the 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10. Normandy also had a Special model clarinet.
Most Normandy clarinets feature similar designs, and only cosmetic differences can generally be used to separate the different models. Most Normandys are medium with a straight cylindrical bore, and a large number have a plastic bell. Some Normandy model clarinets had a plastic barrel as well, which often has a detrimental effect on the instrument's tone. Specific differences between models are usually related to key material and style and bell material.
The Normandy 4 has a wooden bell, unlike many of the models which feature a plastic bell. The barrel of the Normandy 4 measures 2.6063 inches (66.2 millimeters), and the bore left hand joint at the top and bottom measures 0.582 inches (14.8 millimeters). A detailed intonation summary by Clarinet Pages determined that the Normandy 4 doesn't feature poly-cylindrical bore technology and that it is most suitable for intermediate players. The instrument also has a hump on the top right hand trill button.
The Special line of Normandy clarinets all have wooden bells and barrels, apart from occasional exceptions, which feature a plastic or ebonite bell. The trill keys on these clarinets are "Buffet-style," which means they have a hump in the middle. The two top trill keys are also attached to the same post on these clarinets. The top of the barrel of these instruments measures 0.584 inches (14.85 millimeters) and the middle is the same. The keys of the Normandy special are also occasionally silver-plated. Some of these instruments also have a "Made by Noblet" stamp at the upper part of the top joint.
Normandy 5 and 7
The Normandy 5 and 7 model clarinets are representative examples of the differences across other models in the Normandy range. The differences between these clarinets are negligible. The Normandy 5 features a plastic bell and barrel (negatively impacting the tone) and has inline trill keys. The Normandy 7 had "Buffet" style keys and offset trill keys.
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