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Second-Hand Bass Clarinet

#1
[SUB]​[/SUB]Hello all. I am new to this forum, sorry for my complete lack of knowledge as well as I am trying to build this up for my son, who has started to learn to play the Bass Clarinet. Now he insists it won't be a passing phase so we have decided to try and buy him one to practice with at home. I don't know where to start though, only that a used or second-hand instrument would be best because they would be cheaper and less of a waste of money if he decided he doesn't want to play it in a year or two. Again, I know next to nothing. He is 12 and fairly tall for his age if that helps in any way? I have read a little around this forum and there seems to be a hell of a lot of knowledge, so I am hoping that somebody can help! Thank you kindly.
 

TrueTone

Clarinet, Sax, Oboe, History
#2
Getting a used Vito, Bundy, Yamaha 221, or Noblet would work well, though take it to a tech and get it in very good condition.
Someone else here can probably recommend another good student level horn.
 

saxhound

Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#3
You may want to contact Dave Spiegelthal. He is a member here, but not very active. He is more active on Sax On The Web, and also on some clarinet forums. Dave is a tech and rehabs a lot of older bass clarinets.
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#4
Where are you located - Country, state, region, major city?
If we knew more about your location we may be able to recommend a shop or person in your area to visit.

Other options are online markets such has eBay, etc. though, as mentioned, you may have to take it to a tech to get it tweaked / fixed up.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#5
Steve might have some info, too, as he's a repairman and he's one of our Content Experts. However, I think the best resource is the person he's taking lessons from.

Some things to note:

* Post an idea of how much you want to spend and where in the world you are. Note that used student horns start around $500, according to a quick eBay search I jut did.
* Note that most modern non-pro bass clarinets go down to low Eb and most modern pro bass clarinets go down to low C. The low C models are about twice as much as the low Eb models. I can also say that I've never played a bass or contrabass clarinet part that went down below low Eb. Mind you, I didn't play in pro orchestras.
* You might ask your son what he's currently playing and if he likes that make/model.
* A good mouthpiece will help.
* Note that some schools specify that you have to buy a specific make/model instrument or your kid's not allowed to play it in the band. You might want to check this before going hard into what to buy and how much you want to spend.

You also might want to re-verify that it's a bass clarinet you want, not a contrabass or contralto. When I played baritone sax in high school, I know my parents only knew that I played saxophone, not which pitch.

FWIW, if your kid does plan on doing music in college, he'll also need a regular Bb clarinet and possibly an A clarinet. I can say that owning your own bass clarinet instantly makes you more hire-able for gigs.
 
#6
Thanks for all of the replies folks. I am based in LA, USA. I have had a look on some sites, and come across a few within our price range, on the following page http://www.used.forsale/bass-clarinet there are a couple of "Selmer" and one "Jean Cartie Artiste" Are these reputable brands?... He informs me that it is definitely a Bass Clarinet and not a contrabass. We have a budget of around $800ish, could possibly go a little higher, and wow some of these instruments are extremely expensive. I hope he starts saving soon, haha. I will also look on the other forum that was mentioned "Sax on the Web". Thanks again for all of your help.
 
#7
I did a post earlier that said I had to wait for the moderator??? Does anyone know how long that will be and why??? It had my location information and a link to some clarinets I have been looking at!
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#8
As you have noticed, prices can vary a lot.
There are different level Student instruments
different level Intermediate
and different level Pro instruments.

Of course the prices used can range from a couple hundred on the absolute LOW end to MANY thousands of dollars on the HIGH end.
It all depends upon your budget and what you are looking for.

As mentioned earlier "Vito, Bundy, Yamaha 221, or Noblet"
are good brands to look into.

If you read that Jean Carter one this is the small print
"Jean Cartie Artiste Bass Clarinet Made in France. Used clarinet has worn spots and a crack between the two pieces. Might be missing a piece. comes with hard case."

Those 2 items .. a crack and might be missing a piece ... basically I would AVOID this instrument

The same with that Selmer .. a crack

The VITO Resotone bass clarinet doesn't state problems.

Any time there is a crack in an instrument it's resale value is less than HALF of what it is without a crack or damage. And unless you want to put in much more $$ to have it repaired (think more than HALF of what you think you saved) then I wouldn't bother.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#9

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#10
Thanks for all of the replies folks. I am based in LA, USA. I have had a look on some sites, and come across a few within our price range, on the following page http://www.used.forsale/bass-clarinet there are a couple of "Selmer" and one "Jean Cartie Artiste" Are these reputable brands?... He informs me that it is definitely a Bass Clarinet and not a contrabass. We have a budget of around $800ish, could possibly go a little higher, and wow some of these instruments are extremely expensive. I hope he starts saving soon, haha. I will also look on the other forum that was mentioned "Sax on the Web". Thanks again for all of your help.
If you're buying off of Craigslist or eBay, the standard rule of thumb is that you should set aside at least $300 for any instrument that is "In good/perfect condition." That means your budget is $500. That's going to be difficult to find.

This Vito is probably the best one available on eBay that's within shouting distance of your $500 budget. It's $700 and doesn't have a mouthpiece.
 
#11
Ok well we can up the budget a touch if that's the case. I will take a look at the one you have mentioned. Many thanks, the forum has been a great help. Managed to have a chat with his tutor as well so we have a much clearer picture than a week ago!! :)
 
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