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Discussion in 'Bb (Soprano) Clarinet' started by gforster, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. I've been out of the clarinet game for some time. I'm mainly a sax guy, but am looking to pick up some more clarinet doubling opportunities (church, community band, etc.). Problem is that I no longer have a clarinet. A bit has changed since I last played (new models & materials).

    I'm looking for something in the intermediate range. Maybe something I can keep an eye out for on craigslist (I don't have a large budget). I know Buffet, Leblanc, Selmer, Yamaha are still the better brands, but I don't know which models are which. I previously had a Leblanc Dynamic. I may be able to find a used equivalent, but I am just not up to speed. Maybe there is something better/cheaper.
  2. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Admin and all around good guy. Staff Member Administrator

    YMMV, but everytime I go cheap on an instrument I end up regretting it. That doesn't mean you can find a great name-brand instrument (like those you've named) for a great price. If you purchase from an auction you may find that a overhaul is long overdue for that instrument. It doesn't matter what the seller sez unless you know the seller personally. Also, try some mouthpieces once you get your chops back--it can make the difference between you giving up and sticking with the instrument. Ping me if you want more suggestions.
  3. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

  4. Thank you for the thread link. Maybe I should have been a bit clearer - I'm not looking to get a cheap instrument - just the best bang for my buck. I am looking for something in the intermediate/pro range. The linked thread helps in giving me a breakdown of what is what for Yamaha & Buffet. Is there any similar information out there for Leblanc and Selmer? Are there other brands that I should look for/try?

    When it comes to saxes, I know what is out there, which makes and models I am looking for. I'm just out of touch with the clarinet world.
  5. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    I have a little experience with Leblanc instruments and a bit more than that with Selmer.

    If you don't mind an older clarinet, you've got a ton of choices, especially if you're talking about Selmer and Leblanc. However, if you're looking for relatively recent, check out eBay for those Yamaha models. Custom-series horns go for under $1000. The last CX sold on eBay for $775.

    FWIW, I used to play student and intermediate clarinets before I bought my vintage Selmer Centered Tone. I think the best bang for the buck for me was a Yamaha YCL-34 and a rather nice Selmer C85 mouthpiece. The clarinet is an intermediate, wooden horn and the mouthpiece is a step-down from the top-of-the-line Selmer 'piece. That was maybe $500 for the clarinet, new (1989), and I traded a Vandoren B40 for the Selmer 'piece. Admittedly, my main horns were bari sax and bass or contrabass clarinet. However, I did start out on clarinet.

    The last flavor-of-the-month here was the Couesnon horns and/or the SML Symphonie. The Selmer Signet Special has also been mentioned. While you may not be as lucky as tictactux and get an SML Symphonie for $150 (I think I remember that number right), the Signet Specials generally sell for well under $200 on eBay.
  6. tictactux

    tictactux Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    Latest I bought was a Marigaux in A for $70ish, being the sole bidder. People here don't seem to appreciate them very much... ;-)
  7. saxhound

    saxhound Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    You might also want to look for an Evette Schaefer Master Model. A good high end intermediate - not made any longer. Some information on these from Steve Sklar's site:


    These can often be found in the $500 - $700 range, perhaps less depending on condition. I have one of these bought new in 1966, and it is still quite a fine horn. I don't like to take my R-13 out on the Chicago cold, so it is my "winter gigging" clarinet.
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