Restoring this clarinet provided a good opportunity to explain, and illustrate with pictures, the advantages to investing in old and neglected instruments.
A lot of people will say, "Wait a minute, this junky clarinet is fifty years old and has been sitting around collecting dust. Is it even worth it? Shouldn't I buy a good new one? I found one on line selling brand new for $130? In fact there are several advantages to investing in an old instrument.
Let's start with the financial advantages. The manufacturing world is not what it was fifty years ago. There is a huge demand for cheap goods, and a seemingly endless pool of cheap labor. As the market demands even cheaper goods, the manufacturers find an even cheaper labor pool elsewhere. And the pressure to make bigger profits leads manufacturers to find less expensive materials and reduce labor costs. That means using materials of lesser quality, and cutting corners in manufacturing. Or pressuring workers to produce more, in less time, while reducing the work force even further to decrease labor costs.
There is a deluge of instruments made in this fashion. They do end up in the hands of kids who otherwise might not afford one, providing them the opportunity to learn music. But these instruments often come with bent keys, due to soft alloys, intonation problems, poorly made mouthpieces that blow hard, and any number of other manufacturing defects. Some repair shops are not willing to work on these instruments and when they do, the cost of the repair quickly exceeds that of the instrument.
With an instrument like this Conn Zyloid you avoid many of these common pitfalls. This instrument was made by a reputable company at a time when the search for ever cheaper materials and the need to satisfy stock holders and consumer demands had not yet undermined workmanship and product quality.
It produces a good tone and intonates evenly throughout the entire range of the instrument. The brass used to make the keys is stable, will not bend easily and as such will hold up in the field; even in the hands of a student.