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 REVIEW. Jupiter 631 Student
Author: Barry Vincent 
Date:   2010-07-16 17:22

REVIEW. Jupiter 631 Bb Student.
This is one of a number of good quality modern plastic student Clarinets that are being made these days. The one that I have (serial # K89616) I purchased from the local music shop where I teach. It was ready to play straight out of the case , no adjustments required. The case it comes in is remarkable in that I don't think they can come any smaller. It's a wonder that a Bb Clarinet could fit in it. There's hardly room for anything else.
This is a plastic (ABS Resin) Clarinet with a matte finish and nickle plated keys. It's a standard 6 ring / 17 key instrument . It comes with the usual molded plastic mouthpiece and one 65mm barrel. The key work (nickle silver) is quite solid and well sculpted. It is claimed to be ergonomic The needle springs are blue steel and the pads are the usual double skin type. It has a heavy duty crow's foot for the right-hand keys, an important feature. There is a recess in the body of the instrument under the 'crows' foot that is suppose to eliminate accidental bending of this part of the mechanism. It also has an interesting detail in that the linkage has a nicely made tiny ramp both sides of it which means that you can actually twist on both sections without depressing the second ring of the top joint. No more torn off adjustment corks.
This Clarinet has a very well made adjusable thumb rest . The set screw clamps down on a rod that also has a ring for a neck strap if needed. This Clarinet weighs in at 726g.( minus reed and ligature) The thumb rest itself is oriented towards the hand , a nice feature.
The tone of this Clarinet is the usual plastic tone, light and bright with average projection. It has the usual 15mm bore. It is suppose to have undercut tone holes but it's difficult to see if this is so . The tone can be darkened and the projection improved somewhat by matching it up with a quality mouthpiece and barrel. I use a Vandoran B40 Lyra and a fat Tom Ridenour barrel with good results.
The intonation is quite good for a plastic instrument , but it's the usual 'set' intonation with not all that much flexibility using the mouthpiece that comes with it. It is tuned to A440. My method of testing for good intonation is to play along with a CD orchestral backing. I use the 'Guestspot' series. There is no problem playing in tune with this Clarinet , obviously the quality of this brand has improved considerably.
This is a nice 'safe' instrument for a learner to start on and it is to be had at a good price ($AUS595) ($US517) It is well made and sturdy. It also makes a good 'knock-about' instrument for those outdoor playouts where you don't know what the weather is going to do. I have added it to my small collection of quality 'knock-abouts


Post Edited (2010-07-18 13:51)

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