If anyone has any information they wish to share about any item on or not on this page please contact SteveSklar@gmail.com
Selmer USA information is sketchy at best. Please contribute information. If anyone has any information they wish to share about any item on or not on this page please contact Steve
Quick Clik [ Quick History ] [ Manhatten - NY models ] [ Pre WWII Signets ] [ wood Bundy's ] [ Signet Specials ] [ Mazzeo ] [ Soloist ] [ Omega - engraved bell ] [ CL200 - gold plated ] [ Serial Numbers Approx ] [ Signet 100 ]
Alexandre clarinets (from Alexandre Selmer, Henri Selmer's brother who returned to france to help in clarinet production) also supported F. Barbier clarinets. Florentin Barbier factory was sold to Selmer paris at one time. Later on it was noted that Barbier instruments may have been SML stencils (identified by the metal lower joint socket) when they were stamped Sponsored by Selmer and made in Paris. Later Barbier production was moved to Elkhart, and resembled the earliest Signets.
Selmer USA has manufactured various clarinets under the Signet brand since about 1945 and going back to the early 1920s. Selmer USA actually manufactured Signet clarinets before World War II (per customer 2/18/2012). The pre WWII Signet was quite interesting as it had several pro features (swoopy keywork which allows ease of adjustment). Please see the new pictures below. These have almost always been inferior to the Selmer-Paris models, but during WWII, Paris clarinets were, for obvious reasons, not available here
The Selmer USA serial numbers for the forties, in the list that I have, show a gap between 30,000 (10/15/40) and 33,000 (6/1/47) presumably because of the war.
Selmer USA began making (or selling) Manhatten metal clarinets and Manhatten wood clarinets in the 1920s and/or 1930s.
Selmer USA models are from lowest to highest model: Signet 100, Signet Special and Signet Soloist
Selmer Manhatten - Manhatten clarinet sponsored by Selmer
This lines of clairnets was primarily a student and intermediate level.
There were made during a time when Selmer USA was still headquartered in New York which they then moved to Elkhart, Indiana.
I do not have much information about these lines yet gathered, email me for more information or come back at a later date.
Check out the register key. The register pip is raised like Leblancs but the register key is very recognizable in it's shape.
Pre World War II Signet - 8892
Clearly stamped "MADE IN U.S.A" on the bell.
Click on each below picture to see a full sized image
Wood Bundys started production in 1941.
Plastic Bundys started production in 1948.
With World War II cutting off the import of Selmer Paris instruments George Bundy started the line of of Bundy student instruments then added the Signet intermediate line. But some of the first Bundy wood clarinets were apparently Selmer Paris factory owned instruments in disguise. So production of Bundy clarinets would have started before their supply was cut off (or after the war ?). Keep in mind that Selmer Paris had their own Selmer Paris factory in addition to 2 other factories such as Barbier. I'm "guessing" the Bundy's were from the Barbier or other plant and not the authentic Selmer factory.
But these cannot be "Selmer Paris" factory instruments because at the same approximate time Selmer Paris had 4 posts for the throat keys, and this one has one shared post. I would guess this is from the Barbier or the other factory.
Signet Specials started production in 1941 or 1946. The early Signet Specials has the insignia on the barrel as well as on the other pieces. The barrel insignia was stopped around 1955. The early Signet Specials had a guide for the top trill key which was gone in 1955 but reappeared in 1960. In 1955 the tan leather cases were introduced but the inside arrangement and outside label was different. The badge on the 1960 case had Selmer in red letters. By the late 1960's the case was black plastic or fiberglass and had Signet in a circle.
Serial Number 74991 Signet Special: Barrel pivot screws, except for the UJ lower ring keys. Straight gauge steel needle springs, the throat Bb uses a needle spring which going width-wise instead of the normal flat spring seen on most clarinets.
.590 = 15.00mm top / .575 = 13.83mm lower bore
1958 Selmer Special (SN 33609)
Selmer Special sn 65168 - approximately 1967
The Signet line (Soloist, Special, 100) use barrel pivot screws. The idea behind the barrel screws is that with and exact fit of the keywork between posts that the keywork would just pivot on the exact fitness of the barrel screw to the bore of the keywork. The "A" throat key also uses a needle spring in this example.
Mazzeo - Sometime in the mid 1960's the Mazzeo Signet Special models (see the brochures below) were produced along with the regular model with the serial numbers being the same series as the regular model.
Mazzeo Brochure #1
Mazzeo Brochure #2
The Mazzeo mechanism on the Signet allows the player to switch between "Mazzeo" mode and regular Boehm. The first picture has a Bundy Mazzeo (on the bottom) and a Signet Mazzeo (on the top)
The Signet mechanism (left) shows it in the Mazzeo position. It has a knurled end "plunger" mechanism to turn the Mazzeo system on/off. To dsconnect you simply push the mechanism in. To reconnect you pull it out.
Mazzeo information, brochures and pictures provided by S. Page, UK
Signet Special 100 evolved from the Signet Special sometime in the 1970s with the serial number list continuing as before. Around this time the Signet Resonite was also produced.
The Soloist possible had their own set of serial numbers starting possible in the 1950s.
Selmer USA supposedly was not making clarinets from 1944 through 1946
The Soloist had some nice features such as
 the thumb hole was a screw in cap. This allowed technician to easily properly align it inside the bore and more importantly the "cap" part made a nice tight seal. Normally many are push in and one has to use wax to seal it as an extra measure.
 the register vent was also screw in and sealed very well without having
to use a wax to seal it.
 A rarity which is found on the Soloist and Special is that the A throat
key uses a needle spring versus nearly every other manufacturer and model uses a
 Later Signet Soloist had a nicer deeper imprint of the emblem and name than above.
Approximate Serial Number list
Signet special serial numbers
Looks like they must have started at end of WWII (1946,7 ?) or possibly 1941
3500 initial annual production /200 = 17/working day or about 2/hr
26000 ~ 1955 (John O's is 26754) no guide on highest trill key
30354 case and clarinet still look like 55 model
33608 - no guide on highest trill key, puchased new, per owner 1958
40403 - bought used in 1962
41297 Seller thinks 1965 purchase
42984 - DEC 1960 ? 17000 in 5 years (~ 3400/yr) (3300/yr for 13 years?)
48863 case etc. like 70s (no metal on center tenon ? replaced?)
57918 bought in 1968, per original owner
62135 - bought in 1968, per original owner
64176 - Signet Special Mazzeo
65000 ~ 1967 (3200/yr for 20 years?)
71436 bought Dec. 9, 1967 per receipt
72216 Aug 1969 30000 in 9 years (~ 3300/yr) (72000 in 22 years? 3100/yr)
803XX - bought new in 1970 per owner
84273 Mazzeo that fairly knowledgeable seller claims was made in 1965 (more likely 1975)
85703 (100) seller says 1975 (but also claims age of 35 years making it 1969)
90276 (100) seller says 1973
111610 seller says approx 1976
151462 ~1980 74000 in 11 years (~ 6700/yr) (about 4/hour) 125000 in 25 years ~ 5000/yr (151000 in 33 years? 4000 + /year?)
Soloist serial nos
Looks like they have own set of numbers
16115 - bought new June 1966 (D Cheeseman) entered 7/2011
13028 bought early in 1960/per paperwork
16228 ? (has features of specials above say 35000)
25846 purch 4/13/76 w/paperwork
37795 owner told suzie ray it was purchased new in 1994
100 serial nos: are these a separate series or are specials, soloist, and 100s intermingled ? Plastic Signets?
85703 seller says 1975
one seller says purchased in 1973
120912 Sellers husband says new in 75
180052 - 1979 (probably wrong)
235888 (bought used in 1994)
247832 about 1995
260037 (seller claims 1999)Looks like these things may sit around music stores for years.
263889 seller says 1997 (sounds reliable) (264000 in 50 years? ~ 5300/yr?) possible
266510 seller says 93, 94
Thanks to John O. for his contribution to Selmer USA information
|Selmer USA Emblems|
|Selmer CL200 - special gold plated keys (posts
and rings) and unstained wood and a Selmer Paris mpc. Made in the late 1980s
and early 1990s. Retail price was around $3,000 USD.
Click on the pics to the right for a full size pic.
|Omega - This was a special Selmer USA clarinet
in the 1950s around the same time as Selmer Paris had their Omega (but their
was Centered Tone based and a professional instrument).
This was a regular USA model with some really nice bell engraving. It would look better if it gets guilded.
|Selmer Signet Soloist (top of the line Selmer USA) Good
value instrument. Quality close to a Noblet 45.
at least 1991 to
metal tenon joints top and bottom of upper and lower stack. May be constructed from Selmer Paris body tubes.
|Selmer Signet Special (2nd from Selmer USA)
- metal tenon joints upper and lower stacks
(left from ebay)
|Selmer Signet 100 (3rd from Selmer USA)
Visually identifiable by no metal tenons on the upper joint (unless repaired) and a metal tenon on the lower joint for the bell.
(from Cindy Chastain)
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