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 bass clarinet shopping
Author: vollkommen 
Date:   2006-08-20 03:16

I am looking at getting a bass clarinet. I would like something substantial, but not necessarily a professional quality low-C instrument (I don't want to spend that much money). The two basses that I've found that seem as if they would fit the bill are the Buffet 1180 and the Amati 692. I've been trying to do some research on the Amati, but it's been a bit difficult since it isn't very prevalent (at least in the US). I was able to find some useful information in past postings on this board, but I was wondering what everyone thought would be the better buy between these two. I do want to keep in mind resale value, since I am not absolutely positive that I will keep it forever.

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 Re: bass clarinet shopping
Author: David Peacham 
Date:   2006-08-20 19:45

I have asked myself the same question; not with great urgency because I have enough to do at present without learning bass as well.

From what I have read, I get the impression that the real differentiator between student and professional basses is not the low-C (which seems to be of limited usefulness) but rather whether the instrument has a double register key.

I *think* I am right in saying that the Buffet 1180 does not. Don't know about the Amati. If the Buffet doesn't, I wonder if it is really much superior to plastic basses like the student Yamaha or even the Jupiter, both of which are around half the price of the 1180.

I guess this is much the same question as whether a (wooden) E11 is worth roughly twice as much money as a (plastic) B12 - a subject which is endlessly debated.


If there are so many people on this board unwilling or unable to have a civil and balanced discussion about important issues, then I shan't bother to post here any more.

To the great relief of many of you, no doubt.

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 Re: bass clarinet shopping
Author: vollkommen 
Date:   2006-08-20 20:22

Thanks for the information. I have read many postings about the single vs. double register key also and tend to agree with you.

As for the E11 and B12 debate, I used to think that the B12 was a better buy and that there wasn't much difference between the two, but I pulled out my E11 yesterday and it changed my mind. I could play better on my E11 with the stock Buffet mouthpiece (which is disgusting) than I could on my newer B12 with a Vandoren mouthpiece (I think it was my 5RV, but I'm not sure). If Buffet hadn't instituted their pricing controls, I would say the E11 is a better choice than the B12 (assuming there aren't any environmental concerns). But I can't see myself spending twice as much for an instrument that isn't remarkably better. Thankfully I already own both and don't have a need for a new student clarinet.

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 Re: bass clarinet shopping
Author: CEC 
Date:   2006-08-20 20:47

The only significant criticism (and that may be too strong of a word) I've read about the Amati is that the toneholes aren't undercut, which may lead to a smaller sound overall.

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 Re: bass clarinet shopping
Author: bill28099 
Date:   2006-08-20 22:06

I test drove an Amati 692 a couple of years ago and then took it to my local tech who put the camera in it and examined the bore and tone holes. Lots of flaws and a couple of potential cracks. Also looked at the keywork which is weak in places. I thought it was an OK playing horn and the tone holes could have been undercut for a couple of hundred bucks. However, the horn was returned because it was already cracked and poorly repaired. The next Buffet Prestige to low C that came up on our favorite auction site was bought for not much more then the Amati. I'm happy.

A great teacher gives you answers to questions
you don't even know you should ask.

Post Edited (2006-08-20 22:07)

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