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Better modern plastic clarinet or old wood clarinet?thanks

Discussion in 'Clarinets' started by pasquale_sim, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. I play clarinette since 1 year,and i want to buy clarinet,but I am afraid that the sound of plastic clarinette will get me bored.Anyway 1 modern plastic clarinet cost 150e-200e second hand and also old wood clarinet cost around 200 e,in good mechanic and wood condition,like selmer signet 100(or 100 special) intermediate clarinet or if i am lucky I can find 1 yamaha 34 intermediate wood around 300e,or the buffet pre r 13,profesional but 60 years old!!!.what do you think about?Thanks
    First reason that I preffer wood,is because of better sound.I feel that plastic makes little toy sound,for children
  2. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Since you prefer wood then I recommend that you get a wood clarinet.
    At that point it then depends upon a few items.
    1 - age of that wood clarinet.
    2 - condition of that wood clarinet. Not only the surface, but the condition of each tonehole, the tenons, etc. But this is for all wood clarinets.

    As the age of the wood ages more and more I've found that I have to seal each tonehole on the inside to prevent any air penetration especially through the finger chimneys where I've found air leakage through the chimney.

    The mechanically where the keys are quick action and smooth. Many will simply tighten screws and the speed (rebound from the springs) will get muted/slowed. Also if there is any movement up and down of the keywork which shows a loose setup.

    But it's always stated buy the best clarinet you can afford.
    Whether that is an older more professional clarinet, or a newer intermediate clarinet all comes down to how it plays for you and feels in your hands. Sometimes the pinky keys are a reach on one clarinet by not another, etc etc.

    So in the end it's money and how it feels in your hands and how it sounds to your ears.

    Personally I really do not like the Selmer Signet 100s.

    I like Selmer Signet Soloist
    Noblet 40/45
    Buffet Evette-Schaeffer K prefix serial number's which are Buffet made

    but over all I'd try to get a Noblet 40 or 45
    though I prefer the Noblet 45s double diamond emblem only clarinets.
    a slightly easier to play clarinet (smaller toneholes and less money) is the Normandy 4 wood clarinet.
  3. Oh really thanks.i saw some evette buffet, but is made by plastic. In my city 1 man sells selmer signet 100,150e, is enough cheap .Otherwise I have to buy the Yamaha 26ii, 150 e, same cost, good plastic clarinet, famous in past for beginning students.in your opinion the sound of selmer is more nice than plastic Yamaha? Other fact is that clarinet wood risks to crack also if I give big care and is strange that this signet se l me r never cracked .probably has more than 30years
  4. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    I would get the yamaha plastic over the Signet 100 wood clarinet.
    The mechanics are far superior
    and probably sounds better on top of that.
    But you mentioned you don't like plastic to well, so it's still up to you.

    Maybe you should look for a Normandy 4 wood clarinet.
  5. ok,thanks
    also people adviced me Marigaux sml
    So do you think that Normandy 4 or noblet and 45 have for sure better sound than yamaha 26 plastic?
  6. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Student instruments normally have smaller toneholes than intermediate and professional instruments.
    The smaller toneholes affect the overall tone.

    So when you ask me about student instruments I normally disregard "tone" as a deciding factor.
    Young players have smaller fingers and with the smaller toneholes are more easily able to learn to play the instrument.

    I have small hands and small fingers so I notice these things immediately, For instance when I had my 1950s Selmer Paris Centered Tone clarinet, those have very large toneholes. I could literally stick my Right Hand 3rd finger INTO the lower 3rd tonehole.

    Setup is also extremely important. A very slight leak up top can affect the tone immensely though not all techs pick up on very minute issues with a clarinet setup.

    A Marigaux SML also may be above your budget.
    It's all down to budget and right now you are leaning towards the lower end of your budget.

    A Pre-R13 clarinet are very wonderful clarinets when properly set up. It was mentioned in your first post.
    Personally, with my experience (and I'm a tech so the rest doesn't matter) I'd opt for the professional Buffet.
    Then the yamaha 34 you mentioned above.

    But if you also have to spend money after a purchase to get it set up properly then that may affect your overall budget.
    You have not been clear enough, nor provided links to existing clarinets, to make much more of a determination of which is good and which isn't. Descriptions may include "cracked" or something like that. Which if not properly repaired may not be a good option at all. Keywork may get pitted (which I've found a lot of Signer 100s like that).

    So it all depends.
    If you were comparing brand new clarinets that went through the same set up with the same tech then it would be easier to compare/correlate various clarinets.

    Its like buying a used car. Think of all the pitfalls of a used car over various sellers/dealerships and clarinets aren't far behind.
  7. thanks a lot.I will look on ebay for this other clarinets that you said.

    ok thanks
  8. so I will look on ebay for the other clarinets that you adviced me.if are very expensive,I will take the yamaha 26 plastic.If the selmer signet 100 maybe has worse sound than yamaha 26,no sense to risk.I did not know that modern plastic can have better sound than some old and low quality wood clarinet .so thanks.I saw many groups of musician,that play plastic clarinet inside bar,during their performance.so it means that for sure plastic clarinets are not toys.some people says that wood clarinets have more nice sounds than plastic,but only if they are modern and well made .wood clarinets after 20-30 years lose quality in sound.no compare with the modern wood clarinet
  9. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Actually many prefer the older wood clarinets believing the older wood is of much better quality than more modern clarinets. That's also one reason why, for instance Buffet has the "Prestige" line which has a higher quality wood than the non-Prestige.

    I know from making wood items that a block of african blackwood can vary in weight considerably between 2 same size blocks.

    It also is highly dependent upon the person restoring a vintage clarinet to properly compare it to a modern clarinet.
    There's also a reason why the "golden years" of Buffet R13s are considered in the 60's. Buffet made slight design changes which some people prefer the older ones.

    So there's more to it than just the year it was made.
    But a student instrument is still a student instrument by DESIGN.
  10. Don't be put off by the fact that an instrument is plastic rather than wood. A well made plastic instrument in good playing order can play just as well as a wood instrument. I suggest that you stay with the major manufacturers, some of the older instruments from smaller makers are of very questionable quality. There are exceptions, but you need to know what you're looking at. Personally I don't much care for the Selmer Signet, it's not much of an improvement on the Selmer Bundy. Look at the Leblanc Vito, it's a plastic instrument that's readily available, plays very well and won't cost you a lot. If you can find a Yamaha 34 in good condition you'll have a very good instrument. I'd avoid the Buffet B12, it's probably the worst of the big-name student instruments. Good luck with whatever you end up with.
  11. today 1 shop man of my city said that he has yamaha 26ii at 150 euro
    buffet b12 at 150 euro also

    yamaha 34 at 250 euro
    yamaha 450 or 457 at 350 -400e
  12. so in your opinion yamaha 26ii is better than buffet b 12
  13. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    ==> I recommend staying away from unknown brands. You simply do not know exactly what you are buying. Simply because it looks like a clarinet does not mean the entire thing is built like other known clarinets. If the keys are made of pot metal then it's a repairperson's nightmare.

    ==> I'm not a fan of Selmer 100s (Signet being an older used name)

    ==> if you look at the upper joint you'll see crack repairs. The crack is still visible on the upper joint going through a tonehole. This was not repaired 100%. The instrument will have playing problems once warmed up. I would avoid.

    ==> lower joint, lowest tonehole. You'll see a chunk of missing wood. If you look to the right you'll see what looks like a crack going to the lowest post. I'd avoid.
  14. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    I really do not understand your reasoning?

    drop the lower instruments and get the Yamaha 450 intermediate
    If you don't have the money, then don't include it as an option.

    My recommendation in order of preference
    Yamaha 450
    Yamaha 34
    Yamaha 26ii
    Buffet B12

    But play test them to make sure they are well playing instruments. If you feel that one thing is askew ask them to correct it. Don't get stuck in the stigmata that everything plays well. In the used market you have to make sure it plays well.

    The 457 I believe is a german system. DO NOT EVEN consider this. You should have noticed a vast variation in the keywork.
  15. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    ==> it looks okay. BUT read the description
    Clarinet may need to be serviced. The case has a strong odor from storage. The case is damage
    I'd skip over this one.

    ==> I just don't like the cheaper Selmer USA clarinets. But you seem to be gravitating to them.
  16. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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