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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000184.txt from 2010/05

From: K S <krsmav@-----.com>
Subj: [kl] Ridenour Low C Bass
Date: Wed, 19 May 2010 12:44:02 -0400

Nancy -

I have not tried Tom Ridenour's bass, but I've tried his other
instruments and know his ideas.

The bass is made in China. The build quality was said to be erratic
at first, but is now said to be good, and Tom adjusts each instrument.

The body material is hard rubber, not wood.
http://ridenourclarinetproducts.com/pricing.html. Frankly, I think
this is an advantage, particularly on the large instruments.

The big issue for me is Tom's philosophy about playing qualities. He
believes that a clarinet should have comparatively strong resistance.
Read http://ridenourclarinetproducts.com/stability.htm for more. This
is a popular idea. Steve Fox makes his instruments the same way, and
most German clarinets have high resistance.

My way of playing is exactly the opposite. I prefer a free-blowing
setup and an instrument that responds to variations in voicing and
blowing by making different colors. For me, clarinets that follow
Tom's design philosophy -- the Leblanc Opus and Selmer Signature, and,
presumably the Lyrique -- are inflexible, numb and frustrating. For
what it's worth, on at least one occasion Robert Marcellus said the
same. http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=324049&t=323764.

Therefore, you need to play Tom's instruments before you buy. If his
designs work for you, the Lyrique bass the way to go. Otherwise, save
your $100 dollar bills for a Buffet or Selmer.

Ken Shaw
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