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Renewing my playing after 35yr break

Hi I am starting to play clarinet again after a 35yr break mainly as my 10yr old daughter has just started to learn.
I want to buy a wooden intermediate and have tried an Armstrong 4028 at a local music shop but it's been sitting around for many yrs and I can't find any info on this model
Should I stick to a well known brand ie Buffet E11


Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
I think the Armstrongs are Artleys, which are a standard Selmer USA brand.

The E11 is a good clarinet, especially a more modern Shreiber version (they have a "made in germany" stamp above the serial number.
Yamahas are also extremely well made, great keywork, intonation, etc.
I've always thought that the Buffet E11 is an over-rated instrument, suffering from quality assurance problems and variable build quality. If you do buy one, avoid the French-built E11 and look for the German-built one. There are good E11's, but you have to look for them. Far better is the Buffet E12F, which is a more modern instrument built to a higher quality standard. Personally I find Yamaha's products to be better built and more likely to play in tune.
After much searching and reading this forum and others I found out about Hanson Clarinets that I hadn't previously heard of and Decided to try the
Grenadilla Black wood Hanson SE
I have recently tried the Buffet E11 and the E12F and considering the cost here in Australia was $2000 AUD for either of these clarinets in the Perth music stores I decided to take a chance on excellent reviews for the Hanson
I am also originally from the UK which helped I know the quality of British goods is usually excellent,
so I am now awaiting the arrival of my Hanson SE Grenadilla Blackwood clarinet


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
I've read some good things about Hanson.

FWIW, I've only seen a reason to buy new if there isn't any other alternative -- e.g. I bought my Yamaha bari new (around 1987) because I didn't have much choice. $2000 AUD (around $1440 US) can buy some very nice used clarinets.


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Or Triumph ...