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Recommendation

#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.
 

Gandalfe

Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
Administrator
#2
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.
 
#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.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#5
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.
 

tictactux

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#6
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.
Latest I bought was a Marigaux in A for $70ish, being the sole bidder. People here don't seem to appreciate them very much... ;-)
 

saxhound

Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#7
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:

http://www.clarinetperfection.com/clsnBuffetES.htm

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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