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Upgrading a student clarinet

Discussion in 'Clarinet Skills Development and Instruction' started by Ssquish, Apr 24, 2015.

  1. Hey everyone, I'm new to the forum and unsure where exactly my question should go.

    i have an Étude CL-100 Bb Clarinet and was wondering what parts I should upgrade. I replaced the mouthpiece with a Vandauren B40 and the sound already has improved. Where can I go from here?

    Thanks for any input!
  2. Carl H.

    Carl H. Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    My first thought was take some lessons, but I hadn't heard of your clarinet model before so I googled it and found this:

    Based on the cost of the instrument and the lack of hits on a google search I'd say you would definitely be best served to take lessons and not to invest any more into this instrument. It may play fine, but it has little resale value and no support for accessories. If you feel the need to upgrade look at buying a used intermediate instrument. You could upgrade to a better instrument for the price of an upgrade upmarket barrel and would much better served than if you invested further in your current clarinet. Play it as is and see how it goes. If you still feel the need for something, there are many decent used clarinets which can be found for very reasonable money, which when set up properly can play very well.
  3. Thank you for the help! I'm actively looking for a good place to take lessons, my main instrument is sax but I've always gravitated to the clarinet, so I'm picking it up and having a blast. This model clarinet I have was the best bang for my buck and used a little Christmas money to invest in it. I have been trying out different kinds, I like the Yamaha YCL-255, it was on display at a local music store, and I could feel the difference right away. I thought maybe I could beef up the one I have along with an inkling to upgrade to a better horn, so it seems I'll go with the latter.
  4. This was probably a good low-cost method of testing the water, but it's a pretty basic instrument of unknown quality. The Yamaha YCL255 is a good choice for a student instrument, but if you wanted to try a used instrument a Yamaha C100 or YCL250 will offer much the same performance for a considerably lower cost. There are plenty of them around at very moderate prices. Also consider the Leblanc Vito, it's widely available and is almost bulletproof.
  5. Carl H.

    Carl H. Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    For the same money as a new 255, you could buy a better model 2nd hand and have it overhauled. I have a YCL34 that my total investment in is roughly what you have into your clarinet and mouthpiece - including having it repadded and adjusted by a very good tech. I have much nicer instruments, but this lowly Yamaha does what I need and gets the largest share of playing time. It's not the best at anything, but it is very good at everything.

    For now, get a good teacher and play your clarinet. It's paid for and probably a decent enough instrument to start with - your teacher can confirm this. Get a few years (give or take) under your belt and see what you like and don't like about your current instrument and take it from there. You may already have all the clarinet you will ever need.

    If it turns out your clarinet is not good at all, I know a couple fellows who can make a dandy lamp of it for you, so no-one else is stuck with trying to play it...
  6. Than you guys very much for the help. I've seen those lamp clarinets, very classy haha
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