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Choosing a Barrel

Discussion in 'Clarinet Ligatures, Mouthpieces and Reeds' started by Agomongo1235, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. I am a bit torn between getting the Fobes Cocobolo barrel or the Fobes African Blackwood. The kind of tone I want is like Martin Frost's (I know I will never sound like him, but I want to be close). I want a tone that can go from dark to bright and while being warm and light on the notes. I have an R13 and an M30 mouthpiece with the Rico Classic. Also, has anyone tried the Hard Rubber Line?
  2. I don't know a lot about barrels, but I do know one thing that can instantly improve your tone. If you are using the regular Rico reeds, they suck. Go buy Vandoren or Mitchell Lurie. Rico Reserve classics, I'm not sure about, but my experience with Rico reeds and tone is very bad. I would definitely recommend Vandoren reeds or Mitchell Lurie reeds.
  3. I think you're making something of a sweeping statement here. I get better results from Rico (now Addario) than from Vandoren or Mitchell Lurie, and a much higher ratio of good to bad reeds. Sometimes a specific mouthpiece may perform better with one than the other, and that may be your experience. That's no reason to state that they suck. To the original poster, The barrel can have a major impact on sound, but they're not a sure-fire way to get an improvement. The mouthpiece is in my opinion more important in this regard. I've found cocobolo to give a brighter sound than grenadilla.
  4. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Actually, the one thing that can always improve your tone is to take more lessons.

    Regarding reeds, Rico has several levels of reed available, from bargain-basement to really decent. You get what you pay for. In my experience, the bargain-basement pack of 25 reeds had probably 60% that I'd feel very comfortable using. Go up to Rico Royal, and it went into the 80% range -- which is about what I'd get with normal Vandoren reeds. I've not used Mitchell Lurie reeds in 25 or so years. I didn't like them, at the time, because they seemed to cut the reed in kind of a "V" shape, with the most narrow part at the tip of the mouthpiece.

    I also know that some folks like to fool around with sandpaper or scraping reeds with a reed knife. I've occasionally used both, mainly on Vandoren because they tend to be harder than other manufacturers' reeds.

    Anyhow, the reason to go with whichever manufacturer has the most reeds in a box that you feel comfortable with is to save money. I played mainly bass clarinet, baritone sax, and Bb contrabass clarinet. Those are expensive reeds, at $4 to $5 a shot. Bb clarinet? They're cheap enough (little over $1 per reed for a Rico box of 25) to try multiple brands.

    Oh. BTW, these comments are a bit off topic, but considering the thread's two years old, I don't really mind morphing it into something related.
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