Clarinet tone holes can be a tricky thing. Many players & technicians don't keep in mind the number of maladies that can effect the tone hole of a clarinet. First off, wood is by no means a stable & consistent material. The natural grain in the wood can effect the quality of your tone holes and as time goes on, the shifting due to humidity & temperature can change the surface of your tone hole.
Combined with the fact that manufacturer's are not always great with surfacing and profiling of the tone holes during manufacturing, you can quickly see how easy it is to have bad tone holes on your clarinet. When you have a bad tone hole, you have a bad pad seal. When you have a bad pad seal, you have bad performance!
Below are before and after photos from a clarinet that we had to repair a tone hole. We are not going to name the manufacturer as that is not relevant (since they all can have this problem). What is sad to note is that this is not a used instrument but a brand new professional instrument that sells for well over $3,000!
In the first photo, you can see a chattered tone hole edge going from the 12 o'clock position to the 2 o'clock position (relative to the position of the tone hole in the photo). The second photo is the same tone hole after we have leveled and re-profiled the tone hole edge. As you can see, the tone hole has a defined edge and shape that is now ready for a proper pad seal.
Our professional tone hole filing is included at no additional charge with our Professional Level overhaul services. Intermediate Wood overhaul services will include up to 2 tone holes for free, additional tone hole filing quote after estimation of clarinet.
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