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 intermediate (professional) clarinets
Author: warden91 
Date:   2018-04-07 20:16


I am researching clarinets for a student who needs to upgrade. She has done well to get to Grade 5 distinction level playing on a Buffet B12. Her parents are willing to invest in a better instrument. She's a good student who I expect/hope to reach Grade 8 level before she leaves school. I don't have much experience in buying instruments for students at this stage so thought I would seek your suggestions.

I see from Howarths website that new intermediate level instruments cost in the range of £1000-1500 (Buffet E12 and E13, Yamaha 450 and 650, and so on). I think most likely these would be the upper end of the family's budget. I'm aware that these instruments can be had more cheaply second hand also, for well under £1000. I've then also been thinking that for not too much more than £1000, it's possible to find older professional standard instruments such as Selmer 10S or older Buffet R13. How do the current modern intermediate level instruments compare with these older professional ones? For example, would a good condition 10S be better (as well as possibly cheaper) than an E13 or YCL 650 (which also might well need to be upgraded in the future anyway)?

Are there any other instruments or angles that would be worth exploring?

Obviously the student will need to try some clarinets for herself, at the moment I'm just collecting information so that I can pass on to the family to give them an idea they can start to budget (I will recommend to allow for a new mouthpiece as well). Any thoughts, suggestions or pointers are much appreciated.

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 Re: intermediate (professional) clarinets
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2018-04-07 21:44

I use a Ridenour Libertas on professional jobs.

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 Re: intermediate (professional) clarinets
Author: Caroline Smale 
Date:   2018-04-08 00:31

There are often good Leblanc clarinets to be found.
They were not "fashionable"in the UK and so are usually competitively priced.
The Esprit is arguably a better instrument than the Buffet E13 and frequently found for well under £1000
The Concerto is every bit as good, if not even better than the Buffet R13 or RC and again usually much cheaper.

I play really old Leblanc LLs myself and they are beautiful instruments but even more "unfashionable" these days and sometimes sold for silly money.

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 Re: intermediate (professional) clarinets
Author: TomS 
Date:   2018-04-08 01:17

Yamaha YCL-400 or YCL-650 for a wooden clarinet ... the 400 is the same bore family as the CSVR and the 650 is the same bore family as the SEVR ... Excellent workmanship and tuning.

Otherwise, the Ridenour RCP-576BC for less than a grand. A bargain.


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 Re: intermediate (professional) clarinets
Author: Jeroen 
Date:   2018-04-09 13:28

I think it is worth exploring. Selmer 10S and 10G can be good clarinets for the money. But the E13 is also a good instrument. They are all very different, so it is also a matter of taste.

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 Re: intermediate (professional) clarinets
Author: Hurstfarm 
Date:   2018-04-09 18:22

Looking at new, I'd agree the Yamaha 450/650 are a good bet. Also look at the Selmer Prologue and Backun Beta (the latter stocked by Dawkes in Maidenhead). I've also been impressed by Hanson instruments, made in Yorkshire, where the T5 is available at around the budget you've indicated. Have a look at (googling Hanson Clarinets links to a much less informative website!). They also hold ex-demo instruments. For second hand try Alex Allen at Clarinets Direct (he's in S. London).

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 Re: intermediate (professional) clarinets
Author: MartyMagnini 
Date:   2018-04-10 19:47

I have played both the Backun Alpha (same as the Beta, but not made of wood) and the Lyrique Libertas in professional situations. They are both outstanding instruments for the money - great intonation, great sound, even scale. When paired with the right mouthpiece/reed combination, no one(in my opinion) could tell these are not professional wooden instruments.

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 Re: intermediate (professional) clarinets
Author: warden91 
Date:   2018-04-12 12:48

Thank you for all these helpful responses and ideas.

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