Advertising and Web Hosting on Woodwind.Org!

Woodwind.OrgThe Clarinet BBoardThe C4 standard

 
  BBoard Equipment Study Resources Music General    
 
 New Topic  |  Go to Top  |  Go to Topic  |  Search  |  Help/Rules  |  Smileys/Notes  |  Log In   Newer Topic  |  Older Topic 
 Tips for Trying Out Clarinets?
Author: Exiawolf 
Date:   2018-02-14 04:34

This coming Monday I will be driving to Los Angeles to try out some Clarinets from RDG Woodwinds. I'm getting ready to go to College and my current old R13 has an extremely uneven scale, as well as detrimental tuning issues.

I will of course be trying a few new R13's as well as a few Traditions and Festivals however I was looking for some tips on how to go about selecting a new Clarinet. I have never been through this process before and I imagine I will be overwhelmed with the amount of choices there. How would you go about the process?

Furthermore, I am possibly looking to try out a few different Vandoren BD5's while I'm there because my current one was chosen at random and ordered off of WWBW, however I very much like the mouthpiece facing and model. Would that be too much to change/check? Thanks!!!

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Tips for Trying Out Clarinets?
Author: jonathan.wallaceadams 
Date:   2018-02-14 06:04

Choose the mouthpiece first as it will affect intonation.

Make sure to be warmed up and use one GOOD reed with your preferred setup.
1.Intonation is most important, followed by evenness and the "feel."
2.Have something you can play from memory, like a few bars of an etude, orchestral excerpt, or solo repertoire.
3. Of course, check the intonation across the instrument, but pay careful attention to the throat tones and clarion g and up. Can you use a comfortable fingering to get these notes in tune?
4.Next, play an excerpt that has dynamic contrast. Do your pianos have presence and poise? Do you fortes feel free? Is it free-blowing or have the resistance you feel comfortable with?
5. Next, try some articulation and chromatic and major scales. Does it have the right response?

After you do this on all of the instruments and you have a paper marking all of their pros and cons, you can make your decision. If you don't feel like any of them are "the one" don't feel pressured to purchase an instrument that doesn't "scratch your itch."

I'm not super experienced, so take my words with a spoonful of salt.

Just an aspiring student.
Buffet Tradition
Mpc.: Hawkins "G", Barrel: Moba, Reeds: Reserve 3.5+

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Tips for Trying Out Clarinets?
Author: GenEric 
Date:   2018-02-14 06:33

If you're going to college and planning to continue playing, I would first wait and see what your professor thinks. He/she might have some mouthpieces to try out that might be more suited for you.

Regarding instruments, I think that the R13 is good enough. Another $4000 instrument isn't going to solve all your problems and make you a better player. I would see if you could get your instrument overhauled by a professional so that might even play better than a new horn.



Reply To Message
 
 Re: Tips for Trying Out Clarinets?
Author: Exiawolf 
Date:   2018-02-14 06:51

Im looking for a new instrument on recommendation of my teachers. My R13 is old and was not well maintained before I got it.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Tips for Trying Out Clarinets?
Author: jonathan.wallaceadams 
Date:   2018-02-14 07:19

Look for a handpicked R13. The Traditions and Festivals aren't worth the price increase in my humble opinion. Getting your instrument overhauled is also a good idea, but only you can make a decision to please you.

PS, try to bring your instructor along to test the instruments with you.

Just an aspiring student.
Buffet Tradition
Mpc.: Hawkins "G", Barrel: Moba, Reeds: Reserve 3.5+

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Tips for Trying Out Clarinets?
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2018-02-14 10:23

Good advice so far. I hope when you say 'teachers' you are including whoever you will study with in college. They are likely to have strong opinions that may contradict your current teacher. Is this why you are limiting yourself to Buffet? If money is no object I'd also look at Backun. If it is, and regardless, I'd also look at Selmer and definitely Yamaha. There is no one universal best instrument.

No matter what, don't buy a horn that doesn't play well in tune regardless of how much you may love everything else about it. Check the scale and also the 12ths. Best to have another good pair of ears with you and to do blind tests to avoid bias.

Personally I really like the RC and Divine among the current Buffet models. They are quite a bit different from the ones you mentioned, so even with the Buffet line be sure not to limit yourself. So many choices! Take your time. RDG is a good place to start as you know the instruments will be set up well.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Tips for Trying Out Clarinets?
Author: Exiawolf 
Date:   2018-02-14 10:40

Thanks for all the advice!

I fully agree with most everything that’s been stated, I just want to clarify that I’m not looking to upgrade my clarinet believing it will magically make me better. I’ve played with this R13 for about 5 years and understand its strengths and limitations. One of the biggest problems with the instrument is that the 12ths are worse in opposite directions, and there’s not much I can do about that (For example low C# is about 30 cents flat, whereas clarion G# is around 20 cents sharp). I’ve worked around these issues for the time I’ve used it and it’s made me a better player, however I feel like the instrument is making my life unnecessarily difficult and I would benefit from selecting a horn that will serve me better.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Tips for Trying Out Clarinets?
Author: gwie 
Date:   2018-02-14 11:08

Just keep in mind that whatever is in inventory may have already been picked over, especially at a big shop close to big schools.

More recently, I have been sending students looking for R-13's to check out the work done by Jonathan Copeland, who is an expert technician and player and does complete restorations on R-13's that then sell around the $2000 price point. In many cases, they outplay new instruments simply because of a superior setup that many new instruments just don't have.

Also, the issues you describe with your current R-13 might not be unfixable. While it might seem easiest to just buy a new horn, if there are characteristics of your instrument that might make it worth holding on to, you might be surprised at what folks like Lohff & Pfeiffer can accomplish with a major overhaul, including pitch correction, voicing, etc.

And as others have mentioned, times have changed. Maybe twenty years ago the R-13 was really the only choice out there, but today you could go out and get any one of the following clarinets at the $3500-$4000 price point and they would be competitive in this segment:

Buffet R-13
Backun Model Q
Yamaha CSVR
Uebel Superior

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Tips for Trying Out Clarinets?
Author: Wes 
Date:   2018-02-14 11:09

Would it be possible to find a clarinet repairperson/tuner who could fix those tuning situations? One could suspect that there is something fishy in that C#/G# tone hole.

I bought a new R13 Prestige clarinet from the Netherlands a few years ago at about 1/2 the regular cost, without trying it. It is so fine and the tuning is perfect, after warm up. Few posters here would recommend buying in that fashion. My old R13s play well, but this one is exceptionally good.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Tips for Trying Out Clarinets?
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2018-02-14 11:35

It would be a shame if you only try Buffet clarinets and only try Vandoren mouthpieces

-- Ray Zhang

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Tips for Trying Out Clarinets?
Author: gwie 
Date:   2018-02-14 22:27

Factor in though, that while some of us work in areas where we enjoy a relative diversity in instrument brands in both education and performance areas, there are still many places where showing up with a professional clarinet other than an R-13 (with allowances for others in the same bore family, e.g. Festival, Tosca, etc.) invites all the usual nonsense about "oh, our tuning is not going to work" and "are you sure that is going to blend well with this section" and "real professionals only play Buffet," ad nauseam.

There's nothing wrong with going with tried and true. If a student shows up at a lesson with a decent R-13 and a Vandoren mouthpiece that functions (and isn't a 5JB or something on the extremes of facings), then we can forget about discussing hardware and work on fundamental right away. I often tell parents, "if you don't want to go down this rabbit hole of instrument trials, you can simply go with the mainstream standard and not worry about it." Peer pressure at K-12 schools can really suck, and while I could not care any less what anyone thinks about my own hardware, I'm not comfortable getting my students to wave that banner as well, given the social pressures they have to put up with.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Tips for Trying Out Clarinets?
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2018-02-14 23:23

The irony is that Buffet IS the brand that requires the biggest plunge into the 'rabbit hole' due to their inconsistency. I tell parents in that situation to go find 2 or 3 CSVRs and pick the one the student likes the sound of best because all the other factors will already be as they should. Spending several hundred extra dollars or more due to peer pressure for an an instrument that is going to be as good or likely worse is, shall we say, silly for most families. Nobody gets asked what brand clarinet they play during an audition, and any other concerns during rehearsal should quickly be forgotten once the playing goes well. That is not to say that Buffet is not an excellent choice for some people, it's just going to require more money, time, and possibly luck - especially if looking at new instruments that haven't been set up up well.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Tips for Trying Out Clarinets?
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2018-02-15 00:53

This may sound totally unnecessary, but, no matter what clarinet you are going to try out, have them do a magnehelic leakage test on the instrument while you watch! Even the slightest leakage can make an extraordinary clarinet seem problematic. Please don't assume that because thousands of dollars are involved, that the instrument is air tight.

Just my opinion...



Reply To Message
 
 Re: Tips for Trying Out Clarinets?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-02-15 06:36

I hate that place. You can't hear anything. You might want to consider getting a hand picked, hand selected horn form someone like Greg Smith with the Chicago Sym.


NEWLY DESIGNED - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist




Reply To Message
 
 Re: Tips for Trying Out Clarinets?
Author: gwie 
Date:   2018-02-15 07:13

I've advocated most heavily the past year for students to try out and acquire a Yamaha CSVR, as the half dozen or so that have passed through my hands recently have all been excellent. Intonation, keywork, tone quality...it's the best bang for the buck for a student who isn't planning on dropping thousands of dollars for overhauls on new instruments.

Reply To Message
 Avail. Forums  |  Threaded View   Newer Topic  |  Older Topic 


 Avail. Forums  |  Need a Login? Register Here 
 User Login
 User Name:
 Password:
 Remember my login:
   
 Forgot Your Password?
Enter your email address or user name below and a new password will be sent to the email address associated with your profile.
Search Woodwind.Org

Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale

The Clarinet Pages
is sponsored by:

For Sale
Put your ads for items you'd like to sell here. Free! Please, no more than two at a time - ads removed after two weeks.

Accessories
Accessories that every clarinetist needs - reed makers and shapers, ligatures, greases, oils, and preservatives ... and more!

Instruments
Retailers and manufacturers of clarinets, both modern and early replica

Service
Instrument repairs, restorations, adjustments, and overhauls.

Mouthpieces & Barrels
Fine makers of mouthpieces and barrels, from wood to crystal to hard rubber and plastic

Reeds
Great reeds available from around the world

Music & Books
CDs, Sheet Music, and some of the greatest reference books ever written!

Events
Major events especially for clarinetists

Miscellaneous
Services and products too varied to categorize! Repair, recording, news

 
     Copyright © Woodwind.Org, Inc. All Rights Reserved    Privacy Policy    Contact charette@woodwind.org