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Help selecting a clarinet

#1
I hope this is the right place. I played in band all through high school and loved every minute of it. It was my passion and joy, but I despaired ever being able to make a living at it. Then I had a special needs child and was on my own with him. Between working 40-60 hours a week and helping my boy I just didn't have time for music anymore. Now I have the time and opportunity to start playing again after 20 years. My lovely hubby has offered to buy me a clarinet, but I find myself lost trying to pick one. Can anyone give me some suggestions about what would be a good maybe intermediate level instrument that would not be too expensive? In school I had a Selmer Bundy that I played from fifth grade all the way through my first semester of college so I have never shopped for one before. This is probably the one and only time I will ever get to pick my own and it will have to last me for the rest of my life. Thanks in advance and sorry if I posted in the wrong place or gave too much/little info.
 

Gandalfe

Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
Administrator
#2
Do you have a budget? Here are some brand new models that my boss is selling:

All of these instruments would easily last you the rest of your life, you just get to decide what you really want.
 
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#3
My absolute highest cost is 1000 euros but I would need to get everything I need for that. I was looking at someone selling a buffet bc 20 for 650 euro but not sure if it is a good one. Would go and try it out before buying. The advantage if living in the Netherlands is there is really nothing too far away to go and check it out.

The description translates to:

Wooden Buffet Crampon Clarinet Bb BC20, built in 1985. I bought a slightly newer A + Bb-set, so someone else can play on my old clarinet. It's a shame if he remains in the closet, he's in good condition, has a warm round sound, I have 25 years with much fun and convenience played. He is well maintained, no cracks or other defects. Complete with mouthpiece and case. Of course you can come and try it before you buy it.
 

jbtsax

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#4
That appears to be a good deal. If you can take it to be inspected by a qualified instrument repair tech before completing the sale, that would be the best way to go. That is a fair price---especially if a good mouthpiece comes with it. If the seller is an accomplished player, you might ask him to play it for you to hear how it sounds.
 
#5
Thanks. Those are good tips. I think I am more likely to get him to play it for me than let me take it somewhere before purchase. I am so excited to start playing again. I have really missed it.
 
#6
Do you have a budget? Here are some brand new models that my boss is selling:

All of these instruments would easily last you the rest of your life, you just get to decide what you really want.
I'd have a problem with describing the B12 as a high quality student instrument. It is inferior to just about any of the Yamaha student offerings. The YCL255 comfortably outperforms it and a used YCL450 or YCL650 could possibly be within your price range. You might also look at the Buffet E12F, which is a very good instrument for its price. The Buffet BC20 is a fine instrument in good condition, but it is basically quite an old design and technology has moved on. The Yamahas or the E12F benefit from these advances.
 
#7
Thanks. I am going to cgeck out the BC20 and if I like how it sounds and plays I plan to buy it. If something is wrong I will definitely look into the others you recommended. I did a quick search and didn't find any of those models within my price range at the moment, but you never know what will pop up. Thanks everyone for taking the time to help me out.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#8
I'd have a problem with describing the B12 as a high quality student instrument. It is inferior to just about any of the Yamaha student offerings. The YCL255 comfortably outperforms it and a used YCL450 or YCL650 could possibly be within your price range. You might also look at the Buffet E12F, which is a very good instrument for its price. The Buffet BC20 is a fine instrument in good condition, but it is basically quite an old design and technology has moved on. The Yamahas or the E12F benefit from these advances.
Allowing everyone to be right, I *think* that it might be that Buffet used/uses different model numbers for different parts of the world. I base this on the fact that I owned one of those funky clear Buffets with the copper keywork. I'm fairly sure it was a B12. Other people report that Buffet also made a clear E11. But ... an E11, using conventional wisdom, is a B12 that's wooden, so a clear E11 doesn't make sense, even though we've got pictures of clear B12s and E11s.

References:
http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?65084-Buffet-Perspex-Transparent-Clarinet
http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=423243&t=423243
http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=343751&t=273205

I know someone out there's got bore measurements of the B12 and E11. I also wonder when the B12 switched to being an A=442hz instrument.

Anyhow, a) I recommend a really nice mouthpiece, too. That will help probably more, unless you're playing a Chinese Clarinet-Shaped-Object (CSO). I loved my Selmer C85/120. And, b) I used my sooper-sekrit admin powers to determine where Christa was from, before I saw she posted "Netherlands." In any event, I jumped onto eBay.nl and there's a Yamaha 34II at Buy-it-Now for 518 Euro. That's a solid intermediate clarinet -- and I traded my clear Buffet for a Yamaha 34, so I should know :).

FWIW, I really didn't have a problem playing either horn. The 34 was just better, all-around, and it was a straight-up trade, my used couple-year-old Buffet for a new Yamaha 34. The 34II is an improved version of the horn I had, so it's even a tad better. (This also tells you a bit more about how old I am.)
 
#9
Yamaha 34

Allowing everyone to be right, I *think* that it might be that Buffet used/uses different model numbers for different parts of the world. I base this on the fact that I owned one of those funky clear Buffets with the copper keywork. I'm fairly sure it was a B12. Other people report that Buffet also made a clear E11. But ... an E11, using conventional wisdom, is a B12 that's wooden, so a clear E11 doesn't make sense, even though we've got pictures of clear B12s and E11s.

References:
http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?65084-Buffet-Perspex-Transparent-Clarinet
http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=423243&t=423243
http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=343751&t=273205

I know someone out there's got bore measurements of the B12 and E11. I also wonder when the B12 switched to being an A=442hz instrument.

Anyhow, a) I recommend a really nice mouthpiece, too. That will help probably more, unless you're playing a Chinese Clarinet-Shaped-Object (CSO). I loved my Selmer C85/120. And, b) I used my sooper-sekrit admin powers to determine where Christa was from, before I saw she posted "Netherlands." In any event, I jumped onto eBay.nl and there's a Yamaha 34II at Buy-it-Now for 518 Euro. That's a solid intermediate clarinet -- and I traded my clear Buffet for a Yamaha 34, so I should know :).

FWIW, I really didn't have a problem playing either horn. The 34 was just better, all-around, and it was a straight-up trade, my used couple-year-old Buffet for a new Yamaha 34. The 34II is an improved version of the horn I had, so it's even a tad better. (This also tells you a bit more about how old I am.)
Thanks for that, I didn't think of the Yamaha 34, and I own one. The 34 or 34/2 are good intermediate/entry-level pro instruments and would serve very well indeed.
 
#10
I will have a look for that model. I don't really use ebay because most of the listings on the Dutch site are outside the country. The specific one you listed is in UK and the seller does not have a very good rating and no return policy. I mostly use marktplaats.nl. If you are bored and want to have a look clarinet is spelled klarinet in Dutch. The advantage of this site for me is that most of them are for willing to have you come and look at in person before buying and there's not really anything in NL more than a couple hours drive away. There is a yamaha ycl450 listed there for 495 euro that looks interesting. I think it is anyway. Need to call and verify. It says Yamaha type 450. This afternoon when hubby can call and speak Dutch to them after he finishes work will see. There is also a ycl340 for 575 euro new that was already on my list of people to call.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#11
The specific one you listed is in UK and the seller does not have a very good rating ...
105 sales and two negatives -- and one of those was a return. That's an over 99% satisfaction rating.
 
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