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 Student Horn Prices
Author: Matt74 
Date:   2017-09-13 05:35

I have sold horns on two different sites. I'm having a hard time understanding why horns go for the prices they do. It seems that mostly they go for the brand name, more or less irrespective of condition.

I had this bright idea that I was going to put a nice package together, with a good mouthpiece, ligature, reed holder, good cork grease, and swab. Inexpensive things, but nice. All necessary stuff. I figured this would be attractive to a parent. It was a newer Selmer 601 Aristocrat, with polycylindrical bore and silver keys, completely overhauled, all new pads and corks, nice case. It had been finished extremely poorly from the factory, but after a lot of work it played great. I was impressed. It sat for a more than a month on one site, eventually went for $150 at auction (last minute bids). It had nice clear pictures and a good discription. It looked great. Last time I try to sell a Selmer student horn.

I also had a Vito, completely overhauled, with a new mouthpiece and new case, that looked great and played better, with great pictures and description, that I had a hard time selling for $200.

I always mention that I have formal training in clarinet repair.

I haven't bought any Yamahas to fix, because they're impossible to get in any condition for less than $100. Buffets are out of the picture.

I put my R-13 up for $2,000. I didn't even replace all the pads. I had an interested buyer the next day, then two more, and it was sold by the end of the week for asking price. R-13s aren't even trendy. The price was too low. I even said the throat E and F were flat. Sold it with the Buffet mpc.

Is this "brand snobbery", ignorance, bad common wisdom, or just ultra-low priority on the part of parents? I'm sure a lot of parents pay hundreds of dollars for sports equipment each year. Is there any way to communicate the importance of having a good horn in good condition? Don't they instictively know that a cheap new horn is cheap? Or, is it the throw away anything old mentality? Do they assume it's bad because I'm selling it online? Do the buyers I'm looking for shop elsewhere?

I thought some of you teachers or techs might have some insights.

- Matthew Simington


Post Edited (2017-09-13 19:31)

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 Re: Student Horn Prices
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2017-09-13 06:45

Matt,

As to the student clarinets, it may simply be a matter of timing. The kids have been in school since probably late August. Their parents probably did their clarinet shopping in June or July. This is simply an assumption on my part. Parents may also be skittish about buying higher priced student horns because so many give up after a few months.

IMO, as to the "holy grail" R13, this instrument appears to have a very solid reputation and it appears that buyers are always on the lookout for them.

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 Re: Student Horn Prices
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2017-09-13 07:02

Not really to be honest, Dan. I am a high school senior. I remember when I was in 6th grade, I was the only one who bought my clarinet a few weeks before school started. Everyone else bought it sometime in September, given that we started school around the middle of August. My band director took time in welcoming us in, demonstrating every instrument, etc.

I really do think it is a lot about brands. At the start of 6th grade, I played piano and was planning on playing the clarinet in band. I had no idea what clarinet I should buy. Luckily my piano teacher also taught clarinet and later became my clarinet teacher, and he selected an instrument for me (happens to still be Buffet). But when my parents did research for me back then, they saw that Buffet was the most popular brand, and were about to buy me one as well.

Beginners really don't know how to choose instruments. They will go for what's popular...

-- Ray Zhang
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"The point is not to take the world's opinion as a guiding star but to go one's way in life and working unerringly, neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause."
-- Gustav Mahler

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 Re: Student Horn Prices
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2017-09-13 07:32

zhangray4,

Thanks for your informative response. As I began wondering how a parent tries to find out which clarinet is the most popular, I thought about the research your parents did.

So, if you don't mind, what kind of research did your parents do to find out Buffet was the most popular? How did they come to that conclusion?

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 Re: Student Horn Prices
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2017-09-13 08:15

Just asked my parents, Dan. They couldn't remember what they searched for exactly, but they said they went to our local music store (Nick Rail) as well as searching online. My parents asked me (and I remember this) if I was going to actually spend time practicing the clarinet to get good at it and not mess around like I did on the piano. I promised them I would. So my parents asked Nick Rail for "clarinets made of real wood," and the people at Nick Rail just told them Buffet is the best brand since it is the most popular brand and also because all the top players use them. (Obviously now I know this is not entirely true)

I just did a Google search right now. I typed in "wood clarinet." The second link for me was WWBW's "Clarinet Buyer's Guide & Comparison Chart." It mentions Buffet in there many times:

"Most clarinets, including the best-selling Buffet Crampon R13, are a standard 15mm bore which allows players to select mouthpieces from a variety of manufacturers."

"A popular Bb model perfect for beginning players, the Buffet Crampon B12 Student Clarinet is made of a resin that captures the sound and appearance of Grenadilla wood, but is more durable."

The third link that appears on the Google search is WWBW's "Professional Bb Clarinets." Most of the clarinets are Buffet as well.

Maybe the combination of all of this made my parents feel that Buffet was the best option. Both my parents are researchers, and yet doing much study, they feel like Buffet is the best brand haha

-- Ray Zhang
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"The point is not to take the world's opinion as a guiding star but to go one's way in life and working unerringly, neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause."
-- Gustav Mahler

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 Re: Student Horn Prices
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2017-09-13 09:36

Ray,

I just did a little research myself. Wikipedia states that Buffet started making clarinets in Paris, France in 1825! Selmer also started making clarinets in France but started much later in 1898. Georges Leblanc and Mr. Vito didn't start importing clarinets until 1946. So, IMO, Buffet has almost a 200 year history of making their awareness known.

Yamaha is coming on very strong, however, IMO, they arrived at the manufacturing party pretty late in the game. (Hence, their brand name is not as well known.)

Anyway, I think you are absolutely right...brand name.

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 Re: Student Horn Prices
Author: Matt74 
Date:   2017-09-13 21:05

Ray and Dan: Thank you for your responses. I shared a similar viewpoint even while I was in college. The truth is that there are a lot of fine horns out there, both for students and pros. Some of the best horns today are made by Backun, which is only 17 years old.

You are part right about Vito and Buffet. Actually, Noblet was founded in 1750, which became LeBlanc, and then Vito (as you mention) began importing and making LeBlancs after WWII, until he began his own company. Instead of names just being bought and sold, my understanding is that Vitos are descended from Noblets. The important thing is that Noblets, Normandys, LeBlancs, and Vitos are all good horns. Vitos should be recommended to any beginning student.

- Matthew Simington


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 Re: Student Horn Prices
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2017-09-13 21:51

Matt: I agree with you. However, on another thread there was a discussion concerning "peer pressure" and "fitting in" with other players in a school band.

I believe that, unfortunately, some to many students "cave in" to peer pressure to feel accepted by the group. (And possibly by the band director also.)

Now, concerning Backun, almost all of the Youtube videos I see of their synthetic student clarinets are played with cocobolo barrels and bells. Why are they doing that? This gives me the impression that without them...they really don't sound that good.

Just my opinion...

p.s. It took me quite a while of searching to find the 1750 date tied to Noblet. Now I have the impression that they were the first manufacturers of clarinets not Buffet.

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 Re: Student Horn Prices
Author: MichaelW 2017
Date:   2017-09-13 22:52
Attachment:  Denner.jpg (98k)

"p.s. It took me quite a while of searching to find the 1750 date tied to Noblet. Now I have the impression that they were the first manufacturers of clarinets not Buffet."

Not quite, see diagram from Wikipedia.

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 Re: Student Horn Prices
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2017-09-13 23:17

MicaelW,

Thanks for the diagram. Very informative and I stand corrected on my clarinet history.

One thing though, the picture appears to be from a previous BB posting. I'm curious as to how you used the search function.

Much appreciated!

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 Re: Student Horn Prices
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2017-09-13 23:46

Another point to consider:

Affordable student clarinets are available everywhere: Craigslist, eBay, classifieds, through friends, yard sales, etc.

Used Buffet R13's are not.

James

Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: Student Horn Prices
Author: TomS 
Date:   2017-09-14 00:00

Ridenour Lyrique RCP-576BC is probably the best value ... designed in the USA, produced in Asia, set-up and tweaked in Texas. They are non-quirky and play well in tune, don't crack and hold up well ... less than a grand, and you can finance through Ridenour ... you can find used ones or a less expensive version in a cheaper case with only one barrel ... one of Ridenour's clarinets should be in everyone's arsenal ...

For a beginner/intermediate wooden clarinet, the Yamaha 450 or 650 is more expensive, but play well and fit and finish are very good.

Not sure about Buffets' latest offerings for students ... might be really good ... I like their pro models ...

Tom

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 Re: Student Horn Prices
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2017-09-14 00:33

TomS,

Here is what the Buffet Prodige sounds like with a Vandoren BD5 mouthpiece.

For a rental clarinet, I absolutely love the sound.

The video, IMO, is a bit on the quirky side, so I suggest closing your eyes and just listen...(I consider the player to be of amateur status. Just my opinion)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk1V-c9cy_E



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 Re: Student Horn Prices
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-09-14 02:24

I listed a Leblanc LL full Boehm on the famous auction site and set a minimum price of £1200 which I thought was attainable as I ideally wanted around £1400 for it.

I fully overhauled apart from the tenon corks which were still good (as it was for my own use) and cork padded it down to the Ab/Eb pad, so therefore in far better form than when it left the factory as it still had the original skin pads when I bought it.

Because it was a Leblanc, it didn't generate much interest and I had even been contacted by several timewasters and bargain hunters telling me it's not worth that and they'll do me a favour and take it off my hands for £400.

So I got fed up and let the listing run its course and didn't bother again as it was more hassle than it was worth. Then a former colleague mentioned she was after a pro level clarinet as she wanted something better than her Noblet. I told her I had this LL full Boehm and if she wanted to try it, I'd post it to her so she can see how it plays. I also sent her a Selmer Series 9 so she had the choice of two full Boehms so she could see which one she liked best. Naturally she chose the Leblanc as it was more familiar than the Selmer to her and she paid the full asking price plus the postage and didn't even quibble.

So sometimes it's a case of having the right person and the right instrument there just at the right time and everyone's happy.

Chris.

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 Re: Student Horn Prices
Author: MichaelW 2017
Date:   2017-09-14 02:59

I have to correct myself: The source of the diagram wasn`t Wikipedia but "die-Klarinetten.de": http://www.die-klarinetten.de/content/deutsch/klarinette-geschichte.html
-a quite elaborate site worth looking at, if only for the pictures, or of course if somebody reads a little German .
I wonder what that early Noblets might have looked like- probably they were similar to the Denner two key type.

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 Re: Student Horn Prices
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2017-09-14 04:39

Wurlitzer beats them all... They claim to be "fine woodwind instrument makers since 1659" but I don't know if that's accurate

http://www.wurlitzerklarinetten.de/Wurlitzer_Clarinets/Why_Wurlitzer.html

-- Ray Zhang
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"The point is not to take the world's opinion as a guiding star but to go one's way in life and working unerringly, neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause."
-- Gustav Mahler

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 Re: Student Horn Prices
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2017-09-14 05:53

Oh by the way Michael, here is the English version of the site you mentioned. I love the website, contains a lot of info, although written by a German clarinetist.

http://www.the-clarinets.net/english/clarinet-history.html

-- Ray Zhang
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"The point is not to take the world's opinion as a guiding star but to go one's way in life and working unerringly, neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause."
-- Gustav Mahler

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 Re: Student Horn Prices
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2017-09-14 07:29

>> Some of the best horns today are made by Backun, which is only 17 years old. <<

I know he reads this forum sometimes... I met him once and, no offense to him, but he looked kind of old for a 17 year old :)

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 Re: Student Horn Prices
Author: YT 
Date:   2017-09-14 11:10


"Now, concerning Backun, almost all of the Youtube videos I see of their synthetic student clarinets are played with cocobolo barrels and bells. Why are they doing that? This gives me the impression that without them...they really don't sound that good."

Hi Dan, I am probably not the best one to write about French clarinets as I normally play on German system. But I have just bought a Backun Alpha because I now teach some students that play french clarinets and I wanted at least know how they "feel". So I bought a Backun Alpha and I have to say I simply love it. It has perfect intonation, it plays very easily and the sound is really nice. Maybe it sounds even better with cocobolo barrel and Bell, but even without I have to say this instrument is just great in every aspect.

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 Re: Student Horn Prices
Author: gsurosey 
Date:   2017-09-19 06:10

I have a Backun Alpha that I use in the pit and outdoors. I use a 66mm Pereira barrel on it as the included 65mm barrel was too short for me and I wanted to keep it all synthetic. That is, after all, the reason I bought it. My R13 was cracked a few years ago playing a musical and now has 5 pins in the upper joint.

----------
Rachel

Bb/A: Buffet R13
Eb/Bass: Bundy

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