Untitled Document
Advertisement Click to advertise with us!

Are horizontal angled necks available for Vito Bass Clarinets or will a tech have to bend it?

I'm new to Bass Clarinet but am a long time sax player. My main horn is tenor although I play alto with equal facility. I would prefer a more tenor-like neck entry and have actually seen some on YouTube videos, so I wonder about the chances of finding a used one to fit my Vito Resotone BC. Actually the neck with it is not that extremely angled upward but the horn is uncomfortable for me due to my short stature and the design of the Vito. Basically it has the ergonomics of a Stanley Steamer, which make playing it at 5'6' with large hands very uncomfortable. Regardless of sitting high or low (extending or shortening the peg as needed)'when I have the upward angled mouthpiece in my chops, my right hand is basically on my right thigh and has to bend down and inward to get into playing position, something which is quite uncomfortable and actually painful after a short time

To modify the clarinet to my ergonomic needs I had to remove the tiny crappy thumb hook that came with the Vito and replace it with a Ton Kooiman one that is adjustable in two ways. I placed the plate that holds it lower than the stock one so my right hand would clear and not brush all those keys right above there on the back of the body tube. In fact, I have to do that also so my right pinky can reach the E, F, and Eb keys comfortably. That often happens because my right thigh keeps my hand higher than where it needs to be lower down between my thighs. As a result my hand has to bend down unnaturally, something that is uncomfortable. If I had a neck that was horizontal like a tenor sax neck the entire body tube of the clarinet would be up higher on its foot peg thus allowing my right hand to likewise be higher up and free to move because it would not be down pressed against my big thigh.

My question therefore is if such a more sax angled neck is something that is made and sold as an aftermarket item or if I will have to get one custom-made or take mine to my tech to have him heat and bend it straighter?. Whichever is better but not probably be prohibitively expensive is what I want....LOL....as this horn is a double for me and not my main instrument. I am learning it for the fun of it but I don't want to be tortured either. I have modded all my saxes as needed to make the key work and thumb hooks etc fit more ergonomically to my hands and body, because I am handy in that way, However, bending a neck is not something I have either the tools or the capacity to do.

Any info and/or advice will be gratefully welcomed. Thanks folks.

Does anyone have any ideas?


Staff member
You may want to contact Dave Spiegalthal. He is quite the bass clarinet expert. He does all kinds of modifications to bass clarinets.

Dave is a member here but rarely posts. He is more active on SOTW, so I would PM him there.
I have seen in the past where BC necks were modified for more angle. I suppose the same idea would work for less angle. The method cuts a section out of the middle of the neck then flips it around and resolvers it in place. You plan out the cut angles to get the result you are looking for.

Charles Bay used to do this but then went on to sell his own replacement neck. Later, several makers started selling their BCs with more neck angle. You can now find a mix of models with standard or angled necks. But not both options from the maker. I personally like the more traditional angle Coming from a sax background. I never wanted it more or less angled.
Thanks guys. Actually it is not the angle itself because I have no problem with the neck angle on the Vito. Plus by angling the body of the clarinet more under my legs or more straight upright I can get any angle I want and have experimented with that a lot already. The main reason is that the angle of the neck tube causes my right hand to be so low it is right on my thigh and that pressure is uncomfortable. I looked at some contrabass clarinets and being much taller the right hand position is almost straight out from your chest. I don't expect it to be that higher up but for short people there is no avoiding having to do man-spreading with your legs so your hand can get lower down on the body to be able to play the low Eb key. Even the E and F down there are a stretch if my hand is too high up. So I figure with a straight angled neck like a tenor sax on the Vandoren B44 mpc I have my right hand will be above my leg and thus not suffer the cramping it is getting now. How that straight angle will effect the voicing of the horn is of course the other question, which I don't have enough Clarinet experience or knowledge to know about.
Go to Youtube and check out earspasm. Mike knows everything about bass clarinet.

(Pete: edited your spelling)
Last edited by a moderator:
Top Bottom