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 Which clarinet should I choose?
Author: Ebony 
Date:   2017-11-20 07:14

I've played clarinet for a little over 4 years and I've always used a cheap plastic Bundy clarinet. I don't want anything too expensive, but Here's what I'm looking at so far:

Backun Alpha Clarinet - not wood but I've heard good things. I'm not sure because I'd like to try wood actually.

Jupiter 1100 Series Clarinet

Backun Beta Wood Clarinet

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 Re: Which clarinet should I choose?
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2017-11-20 07:38

I really liked the Jupiter 1100 I tried out recently. A few years ago Jupiter clarinets were no better than most Chinese instruments, but they've really stepped up their quality in the last couple of years. Not only is it one of the best instruments in its price range IMHO but the LH Ab/Eb is also super handy. Given that the beta is over 200 more with nickel keys and no Ab/Eb lever I would absolutely go with that.


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 Re: Which clarinet should I choose?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-11-20 16:18

Instead of a new intermediate level clarinet, how about looking for a used pro level clarinet?

There should be plenty of them available at a reasonable cost in either fully overhauled condition or in need of a service to get them up to playing condition or full overhaul if they're worse for wear.

Former oboe finisher
Howarth of London
1998 - 2010

The opinions I express are my own.

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 Re: Which clarinet should I choose?
Author: Hank Lehrer 
Date:   2017-11-20 16:43

Chris P is right on track.

I sold my backup Yamaha CS Custom recently right at your price point. It was a tremendous instrument but I am starting to reduce my clarinet inventory. The instrument was in tremendous condition and needed nothing since it was regularly maintained by Eric at Meridian Winds.

A used Yamaha 650 (if you can find one) would be a great instrument.


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 Re: Which clarinet should I choose?
Author: FwLineberry 
Date:   2017-11-20 18:23

The Backun Beta is a very nice instrument.


Backun Beta, Lyrique Libertas, Lyrique 570C
Ridenour RAmt36, Vandoren 15RV Lyre mouthpieces
Rovner Dark and Rovner Versa ligatures
Legere reeds

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 Re: Which clarinet should I choose?
Author: ssterling 
Date:   2017-11-20 20:36

I'm apt to sound cliché, but I'd recommend trying out most anything and everything you can get your hands on. For each clarinettist is a different clarinet; what works for one might be weird for another. Of course, you should watch out for shoddy build quality and cheap fakes, but as long as you get your 'net from a reputable dealer, that shouldn't be too much an issue. Try before you buy.

Seth Price (Sabine Meyer wannabe)

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 Re: Which clarinet should I choose?
Author: richard smith 
Date:   2017-11-20 21:03

Try any Ridenour model if tuned and adjusted by him, including the TR147. Also, try before buy .

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 Re: Which clarinet should I choose?
Author: gavalanche20 
Date:   2017-11-20 22:42

If you’re planning on keeping the Bundy I would say probably not the Alpha. I have one and it’s a fantastic horn (I managed to snag a year-old used model for the equivalent of $300 usd), but depending on how you’re progressing I would say it wouldn’t make much sense to have two plastic/synthetic clarinets.

Going a higher model seems to be what a lot of people here are saying, although obviously you would have to allow for possibly doing repairs. I would also add that it would be good to look at demo models. Here where I am there are Demo Protégés going for a little bit less the Jupiter.

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 Re: Which clarinet should I choose?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2017-11-22 08:07

I second Ridenour. He puts a lot of work into his horns. It is very close to a good pro level horn. He offers a trial so you can't ask for a better deal.

Some places will charge you a restocking fee if you don't like the horn, up to 40 persent. So be careful where you buy and ask what the return policies are.

Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist 2015

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 Re: Which clarinet should I choose?
Author: Clarineteer 
Date:   2017-11-22 12:05

A virtually brand new Ridenour top of the line rubber clarinet was selling on Ebay so I asked the seller why he was selling it and he replied that it was to resistant and did not project well.

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 Re: Which clarinet should I choose?
Author: ClarinetRobt 
Date:   2017-11-22 21:55

Ridenour plays with a tad more resistance perhaps compared to other horns. It’s up to the clarinetist whether that’s a good or bad thing.

As for projection, from personal experience I’ve never had an issue. But rubber certainly has different acoustical properties compared to grenadilla. Everything is a compromise. With its impeccable intonation I’m willing to tolerate any perceived differences.

~Robt L Schwebel
Mthpc: Behn Vintage
Lig: Ishimori, Behn Delrin
Reed: Legere French Cut 3.75/4, Behn Brio 4
Horns: Uebel Superior (Bb,A), Ridenour Lyrique, Buffet R13 (Eb)

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