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What is your Clarinet setup ?


Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
I have three primary clarinets.

a mid 1950s Buffet R13 (the one with the chimney toneholes and flat G# spring),
a Leblanc LL and
a Selmer Centered Tone.

All have their own nuances and flexibilities. I love all of them but my hands prefer the ergos of the LL.

I use a variety of mouthpieces with them such as:
WC Sumner 3, old B Selmer crystal, Woodwind K9, 3 selmer 1920s - 1930s mpcs, early 1930s Buffets/Cheds and a few others that i can't think of in my "A" box
I have three sopranos that I brag about.
  • A Buffet R-13 Festival with a Morgan mouthpiece
  • A Selmer Paris Silver clarinet (1918?) with a Hite mouthpiece
  • A Buescher TruTone (1904?) Albert Silver clarinet
I spend more time talking about clarinets than playing them though.
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1950's Noblet with either a Conn Steelay mouthpiece or a Selmer Crystal.
1950's Conn - see above
I use my wife's 1981 Selmer Signet 100 Wooden with the Selmer C120 hard rubber mouthpiece.

It's a pretty good horn, actually. Needs a repad.
I have a:

Buffet R13 soprano, recently acquired, for which I have no other information because I haven't taken the time to research its specific pedigree;

and a

Noblet 45 (1950's) Paris which I've owned for a couple of years and know not much more about than the R13 above.

I have a variety of clarinet mpc's, ligatures and reeds, but know so little about how to play the instrument that I'm still trying to determine which combination is best for me. So far, I prefer my Morgan piece (can't remember the model #) followed by a Jody Espina piece that I find relatively easy to play.

After a short test-play, it was obvious to me that the R13 was the better of these two clarinets although the Noblet is a fine playing instrument. I guess I'm blessed with two excellent torture sticks, but the R13 is the long-term keeper as of now.
I feel a little inferior with only one clarinet! ;)

Buffet R13, Vandoren 5RV Profile 88 mpc., FL lig. and V12 3 1/2 reeds

I'm going to call up Walter Grabner when I get back to the States and try a couple of his mouthpieces.
Leblanc Paris Symphonie VII, Vandoren 45dot, Vandoren V16 3.5 (Bb and A)
Leblanc Paris C
Backup: Leblanc Paris Opus II, Vandoren 45dot, Vandoren V16 3.6
I have lots of clarinets, but I use three sets for most of my work. My main set are Leblanc/Backun Symphonie A/Bb clarinets that I use for orchestra and opera gigs. I use Backun cocobolo mouthpieces with BG Super Revelation ligatures on the clarinets. My barrels and bells are Morales/Backun cocobolo (fatboys).

I have a Buffet R-13 Bb and Eb clarinet that I use for band work. If I use this set for orchestra, I add a Selmer 10S A clarinet. I have MOBA (Morales/Backun) cocobolo barrels and beel on the A/Bb clarinets, and Backun traditional barrel and bell for the Eb clarinet. I use a Backun cocobolo mouthpieces for the A/Bb and a Backun hard rubber mouthpiece for the Eb, and BG Super Revelation ligatures with these clarinets.

My third set are Patricola rosewood clarinets that I use for chamber music. There are four clarinets in the set - A/Bb/Eb/C. They all have Backun traditional barrels and bells. I use Lomax Classic cocobolo mouthpieces for the A/Bb/C clarinets and a Lomax Classic hard rubber mouthpiece for the Eb clarinet. I use BG Super Revelation ligatures on all of these clarinets.

I also have an Evette and Schaeffer Bb clarinet that is a wonderful back-up. It was my first clarinet. I use a Hite custom mouthpiece made for me in 1982 with a Rovner ligature. I have a MOBA (Morales/Backun) cocobolo barrel and bell on this clarinet.

For jazz work, I play a pink Vito Dazzler with an O'Brien OB* crystal mouthpice and a Harrison "X" silver ligature. I use a Backun fatboy-style ivorywood bell and ringless barrel.

I use #3 Glotin and Rico Grand Concert Evolution reeds for all clarinets except the eefers. They get #4 traditional Vandoren Eb reeds.

Primary: 1970's Couesnon Monopole, Grabner K14 mouthpiece

Back Up: 1960 Couesnon Monopole, Grabner K11e mouthpiece

#3 Legere Quebec reeds and Vandoren Klassik string ligature are used on both.

I am deeply impressed with vintage Couesnon clarinets and feel lucky to have two of them in such fine condition. Whenever my repair tech sees my Couesnon clarinets he raves about the quality of their grenadilla wood and overall craftsmanship. For me, Couesnon clarinets are kindred spirits to vintage Buescher saxophones.

Gandalfe said:
SteveSklar said:
secondly .... a pink Vito Dazzler ?
Yes that caught my eye too. And I thought I was really out there with a Silver Selmer clarinet for jazz!
I believe the model name was officially called "Jubilee" (Steve, please correct me if you know better), but I owned one of those Buffet clear plastic clarinets with the copper keywork in about 1990. Actually not a bad little horn. I kept on being told that I should have a Runyon red or blue mouthpiece with it, not my C120.

I found out that Marigaux also made a clear plexiglass oboe.
Traded it in for a YCL-34, IIRC, about a year after I bought it. But I made a splash at every gig I played: at least one person would ask me what kind of instrument it was.
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My main clarinet is a Buffet RC Prestige with a Vandoren 66 mouthpiece, Fibracell soft reed, and Buffet two-screw metal lig. I have an R-13 with foggy nickel keywork (great sound though) as back up, a Silver King metal Boehm clarinet, and two Alberts.

I was really impressed with the Patricola display at NAMM last weekend. Loved their Rosewood models. DAVE
I recently retired my faithful, but very worn Selmer 10s. I'm playing a Jupiter Parisienne clarinet with a barrel made by Pascal Veraquin of Montreal. I also have a very nice cocobolo barrel by Orsi & Weir.

The mouthpiece setup is in a bit of flux on this horn. Vandoren B40 has been my staple for years, but I have a Ron Caravan piece that seems to be working better on it lately. #3 Vandoren blue box, #3 V12 and Legere Quebec cut #3 are all working well. Ligature is usually a Vandoren Optimum or inverted Bonade.
Buffet R13 Bb/A set with a Borbeck custom mouthpiece and Rovner EDII ligature. Right now I'm using Vandoren V12 #4 reeds, but I want to seriously try some Gonzalez in the correct size.

Aside from reeds, I'm very happy with this setup.
Buffet R-13 (79,xxx)
John Pierce for Jazz
Morgan RM-28 for classical
A box full of others!
Luyben lig
LaVoz MH

Evette & Schaeffer Master Model (22,xxx)
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