Untitled Document
     
Advertisement Click to advertise with us!
     

What Kind of Clarinet Should I Get?

tictactux

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#21
FWIW I got some rough sketches for clip-on plateau key extensions for virtually any make of clarinets. They would be made of some kind of plastic and could be installed in a couple of minutes, even on rental instruments, as they leave no traces when removed (even on Terry's vast Alto collection). However I don't really see a mass-market opportunity to justify the prototype production cost.
 

tictactux

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#23
3D printing may make that remote possibility a reality...
Yes...however, what most people don't immediately realise is that you need a good electronic representation of the to-be-printed item first...which is rather time-consuming to render...
I think I start with a good old-fashioned hand-sawed ABS or wood model. Tomorrow, or maybe next year...
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#24
We could do a Kickstarter.
 
#25
Know less than little about a clarinet!

You should, of course, read http://www.woodwindforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2547.

While there are a lot of cheap clarinets on the market, there is no guarantee that cheap = good.

As an introduction, modern clarinets are made of wood (a few different kinds), plastic or metal. The metal horns that are currently available are either expensive professional horns or really low quality instruments, with no in-between. Avoid these. Plastic clarinets are your standard cheap student horns: we'll get to those in a few seconds. Wood is generally reserved for intermediate and professional clarinets.

Additionally, you want a Bb clarinet. There are approximately a dozen other members of the clarinet family.

But we're talking inexpensive beginner horns.

First, it's very hard to go wrong with Yamaha. A new YCL (stands for "Yamaha Clarinet")-250 sells for around $700 US. However, you can sometimes get older, warrantied and overhauled Yamaha student clarinets for under $250 (again, see http://www.woodwindforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2547 for some ideas of where to buy an overhauled, warrantied horn).

Let's simplify the Yamaha model names, though. First, remember that it'll be in the form of "YCL" for "Yamaha Clarinet" and then a number. Here's what those numbers mean:

2x or 2xx: Plastic student horn, where "x" is any number.
3x (generally 32 or 34): Wooden intermediate model.
450: Wooden intermediate model; replacement for the YCL-32.
6x or 6xx: Wooden standard professional models.
7x or 7xx: Wooden custom professional models.
CSx or CSxx: Wooden custom-built professional models, where "x" is any letter.
SEx or SExx: Wooden custom-built professional models, where "x" is any letter.

The idea is that if you walk into a store to buy a Yamaha clarinet and have a choice between, say, a YCL-20 and a YCL-34 and the 34 is slightly more expensive, get the 34: it's a better horn.

Again, if you're going to buy used, you want to get a recent clarinet that is fully overhauled and preferably with a warranty. If you're getting a wooden clarinet, if the ad says that it has cracks or pins, or has been cracked and repaired, SKIP IT.

===========

Buffet also makes some really decent student clarinets. The Buffet B12 (NOT the B10) is a fairly decent horn that has been described as a plastic version of Buffet's flagship R13 professional horn. Yes, they're $600 new, but under $250 for a warrantied, overhauled instrument.

Buffet's model chart is much more complex than Yamaha's. I'll try to simplify it.

B10: Plastic student model. Don't get this one (someone will ask "why": the keywork's plastic and it's an A=442hz horn).
B12: Plastic student model.
E11: Intermediate wood clarinet.
L-Series "Limite" Advanced intermediate horn made out of blackwood.
C-Series "Conservatoire": Advanced intermediate grenadilla wood clarinet.
R13: Professional wood clarinet.
R13 Prestige: A step higher than the R13 (additional keywork)
RC (Robert Carree): Essentially a custom professional wood clarinet.
RC Prestige: Essentially a custom professional wood clarinet.
Vintage: Essentially a custom professional wood clarinet (for those saxophonists out there, it's essentially a "Reference" version of a 1950's R13, per http://www.buffet-crampon.com/en/instruments.php?mode=productDetails&pid=95).
Festival: Essentially a custom professional M'pingo wood clarinet.
Tosca: The highest-end Buffet clarinet. Grenadilla wood. Non-R13 bore. Full Boehm keywork.
Greenline: This isn't a selection of models, but how some models are made. It's a resin of grenadilla wood.

Buffet also had a line of clarinets under the Evette (and earlier, Evette-Schaeffer) name. These are fairly old horns.

So, if you step into a dealership and you see a B12 for $244 and a C-Series for a couple dollars more, get the C-Series.

Again, if you're going to buy used, you want to get a recent clarinet that is fully overhauled and preferably with a warranty. If you're getting a wooden clarinet, if the ad says that it has cracks or pins, or has been cracked and repaired, SKIP IT.

============

I do not recommend any other make student clarinets than Yamaha or Buffet. Someone else may have a different opinion ....
"Additionally, you want a Bb clarinet. There are approximately a dozen other members of the clarinet family."

I have just bought a second clarinet, while knowing very, very little about them, for my granddaughter. Bought her an Étude last year, but her sister broke it, bought her a replacement Étude yesterday. An after the fact question hit my mind: are the beginner clarinets all Bb? Also, looking at a Yamaha Advantage -200AD. Is it any step up for her, for next year? She will be trying out for marching band in 3 weeks, and seems to be sticking with the clarinet. But, it is hard to put ...$300.00 or more into an instrument for her, as she has 2 small siblings that could get into it and damage it beyond any value of restoration.

Really appreciated your breakdown and descriptions of the different numbers associated with different models!! Thanks, Gloria
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#26
Making a long thread longer, Quinn the Eskimo, our forum sponsor, is currently selling new Buffet B18s for all of $299 US. You really can't find a cheaper price on a halfway decent new student horn for less than that. That's even cheaper than renting, in some markets. Get a good mouthpiece and you're all set.

Summarizing from the original thread that this was posted in, you can easily find a better used clarinet under $299, but I couldn't guarantee you that you wouldn't need $150 in repair. I'll also say that if you want to spend that $150 or so more, there are some much better used horns out there.
 

Aulos303

_•_ •_• __ •_•_ •____|
Banned :(
#27
How about Boosey and Hawkes?
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#28
I'm pretty sure that B&H hasn't produced clarinets in quite awhile.

B&H did make their own clarinets for a bit, but they probably stenciled -- i.e. bought them from another manufacturer and just stenciled their name on them -- an awful lot more horns. This would, then, quickly get us to the place where I'd (and/or others) would have to look at each individual horn to give you an idea of the horn's quality.

Again, if you want to take a chance on a really cheap eBay horn, it's quite possible to find one for under $299 -- but you might need repairs that would exceed that overall $299 price. Possibly by a lot.

FWIW, many years ago, someone gave me a Pan American metal clarinet. I think it cost $5. It could have used new pads, etc., but it worked as-is and had a surprisingly decent tone when combined with a halfway decent mouthpiece. Smelled pretty old. However, I'm not going to recommend someone go online and find a 80 year old horn and say it's gonna play fine right out of the box.
 

Aulos303

_•_ •_• __ •_•_ •____|
Banned :(
#29
I'm pretty sure that B&H hasn't produced clarinets in quite awhile.

B&H did make their own clarinets for a bit, but they probably stenciled -- i.e. bought them from another manufacturer and just stenciled their name on them -- an awful lot more horns. This would, then, quickly get us to the place where I'd (and/or others) would have to look at each individual horn to give you an idea of the horn's quality.

Again, if you want to take a chance on a really cheap eBay horn, it's quite possible to find one for under $299 -- but you might need repairs that would exceed that overall $299 price. Possibly by a lot.

FWIW, many years ago, someone gave me a Pan American metal clarinet. I think it cost $5. It could have used new pads, etc., but it worked as-is and had a surprisingly decent tone when combined with a halfway decent mouthpiece. Smelled pretty old. However, I'm not going to recommend someone go online and find a 80 year old horn and say it's gonna play fine right out of the box.
A friend of mine on facebook told me she got her cl. from Aldi for £50, brand new, I didn't ask her the brand but she said its chinese and I wouldn't think it could be much good!
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#30
Aldi. That's a kind of supermarket + department store, kinda like a Super Target, if I remember properly. (I'm in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. One of my grandmothers was from Yorkshire -- and I watch Doctor Who and TopGear.)

Amazon and Rakuten do sell some higher-end instruments, but they also sell a lot of bargain-basement instruments that aren't necessarily that good. The price you mention is rather a too low price for any kind of decent instrument.

Chinese and Taiwanese (especially) instruments are gaining in quality. However, it's still a lot of "you get what you pay for."
 
#31
I'm pretty sure that B&H hasn't produced clarinets in quite awhile.

B&H did make their own clarinets for a bit, but they probably stenciled -- i.e. bought them from another manufacturer and just stenciled their name on them -- an awful lot more horns. This would, then, quickly get us to the place where I'd (and/or others) would have to look at each individual horn to give you an idea of the horn's quality.
That's true of their saxophones but not their clarinets. B&H made their own clarinets up till about 1980 when they stopped production and bought Buffet Crampon. There are a few stencilled B&H clarinets from their later days (models 400 (amati) and 78 (selmer bundy)) but the vast majority were made in England at their Edgware factory.

The British made models go

Regent (beginner instrument)
Edgware (step up)
Emperor (bigger step up)
Imperial 926 - Professional instrument medium bore.
Symphony 1010 - Professional instrument Large bore.

They had different names for the ones sold in North America but the above are what you'll normally find in the UK.

They are all quite old now so you need to know what you are doing if you buy one. They were all excellent instruments in their class in their day.
 

Aulos303

_•_ •_• __ •_•_ •____|
Banned :(
#32
I've noticed a lot of B&H clarinets on sites and they have made for Boosey & Hawkes on the bell. Yet the seller lists them as _by_ B&H. Stencils.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#33

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#34
Making a long thread longer, Quinn the Eskimo, our forum sponsor, is currently selling new Buffet B18s for all of $299 US.
IIRC, Quinn sold like 550 of these.

He's now selling Buffet S66 horns, which are B12s with a different name. These only have the stock mouthpiece, though. Hey, Jim and/or Matt, if you're reading this, can you get an upgraded mouthpiece?
 
Top