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Selmer Privilege Low C Bass Clarinet - Black Chrome

Selmer Privilege Low C Bass Clarinet - Black Chrome

The Black Selmer Privilege Low C Bass Clarinet to Low C. These came out in 2015, after I personally nagged Jerome Selmer for over 10 years (TEN!) to make a black bass clarinet. Why black? Because I've always wanted a bass clarinet that was totally "stealth." The black is not paint; it's actually black chrome plating, which is a much harder metal than silver. Then, Selmer puts all of the keys, neck and bell into a machine that sand-blasts it to a matte texture, which make the keys feel just amazing. Seriously, you've got to feel it to believe it.

Does it sound different? Yeah, maybe. Does it look bad-ass? Yeah, definitely. And there are fewer than 25 Selmer Privilege black chrome bass clarinets in the world. So it's pretty rare—I get one instrument shipped each year.

Like it's silver-plated brother (sister?) it plays with an open, free sound that is flexible and full of color. Which means it's not everyone's cup of tea; many people who grew up playing Buffet bass clarinets often find it weird at first, because the keys feel different (ergonomically) and the instrument is much freer-blowing than any Buffet.

Anyway, like every instrument I sell, it gets totally set up and adjusted before you get it. I send the horn to my tech upstate (NY), where he takes the whole thing apart and looks for issues in the wood (see what he finds here). Then I ask him to reduce most spring tensions, because these instruments show up sprung way too tight. (Note: instrument manufacturers ship horns with tight springs to help the instrument pads seal, but they are much harder to play because your fingers have to press down those sprung keys!) But when the spring tensions are reduced, the instrument doesn't seal as well, so when he reassembles it, many pads need to be reseated, and keys adjusted. Finally, he evens out the scale by adjusting pad heights, which improves intonation, response and overall sound. It's a lot of work, but the process is TOTALLY worth it, because each instrument sounds perfect, and the bass clarinet key action feels like a Bb. Seriously.

The total cost of the "earspasm setup" (for want of a better term) and tweaking of this instrument is included in the price—even though I pay out of pocket for it. Yes, it reduces my profit. Yes, people have told me I should charge a premium for doing it.

But I don't like the idea charging more for something that should come standard. So I won't.

All earspasm instruments come with a 7-day trial. Please read my trial policy before pulling out that credit card.

The instrument comes with:

  • Standard Selmer case with hideaway backpack straps
  • Neck strap, shoulder strap (for case), cork grease, warranty card


Q: What if I'm in New York and want to try it in person?
A: Contact me to set up an appointment, and let's do it!

Q: Does the instrument come with a warranty?
A: Yes, it comes with the standard Selmer warranty against cracks, etc. If you ever have any problem with the instrument, I'm your quarterback. I'll take care of the whole process, just let me know you need help, and I'll take it from there.

Q: What happens if it's damaged during shipping?
A: Inspect the package before you sign off at delivery! If there are any issues resulting from shipping, we have taken out an insurance policy to cover damage (and loss). But we need you to document this damage or we can't do anything to help.

Q: If I decide to return it, do also I have to pay return shipping costs?
A: Yes. And you will also want to insure it!

Q: Do you ship internationally?
A: Yes. You can add your shipping address when checking out to see what the shipping costs will be before taking the plunge. Note that VAT and Customs Duties are not included in this cost.

Q: Can I at least hear it first??
A: But of course! See below.

Regular price $20,819.00
Regular price Sale price $20,819.00
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