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 Amati C Clarinet
Author: beadgcf 
Date:   2013-11-03 05:12

I play tested an Amati C clarinet on a whim today. It was their intermediate model, and I was quite impressed! Great intonation, nice sound, and it felt comfy with my Mouthpiece.

Anyone have any positive or negative experience with Amati clarinets? I have always been a Buffet girl and never gavethem a chance before.

Board-Certified Music Therapist

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 Re: Amati C Clarinet
Author: bradfordlloyd 
Date:   2013-11-03 09:50

I have a Forte C clarinet (which is made by Amati and has many similarities) and I love it! Wonderful feel, tone, and very good intonation (I did need to replace the barrel with a custom version to achieve this).

It's not quite as good as my R13, but it more than meets my needs....and at a price significantly lower than a Buffet!

Now, if only I could find opportunities to play it more often.....

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 Re: Amati C Clarinet
Author: BobD 
Date:   2013-11-03 12:46

I owned an Amati Bb. The workmanship was first class as was the wood.

Bob Draznik

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 Re: Amati C Clarinet
Author: Simon Aldrich 
Date:   2013-11-03 18:03

I have an Amati (Forte) C clarinet and use it all the time.
We are about to start Falstaff at the opera and most of the part is for C clarinet.
I just did Schubert 6, which is all C clarinet.

I got the C clarinet with the initial intention of using it to get me out of difficult transposition situations, like in fast opera passages in E major (transposed into F# major) unison with the flute. But I have ended up using it whenever the part calls for C clarinet (except for the slow mvt of the Beethoven violin concerto).

The tone and pitch of the instrument improved *greatly* when I got a barrel made by Allan Segal (a contributor to this list).

The instrument is designed to use a Bb mpc.

A quality of the C clarinet that clarinetists often claim not to like (a perceived brighter, narrower tone) has turned out to be a quality other musicians in my orchestra like. The principal horn and bassoon in my orchestras like it when I use the C clarinet, saying it sounds effortless and sweet. Because of its brighter tone, projection is indeed effortless, its tone floating above everyone else's without pushing the sound.

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 Re: Amati C Clarinet
Author: donald 
Date:   2013-11-03 19:20

I regularly search various online auction sites for a Forte C clarinet, and only missed out on buying one early this year as the seller wouldn't sell to an international bidder.
The Amati C clarinets for sale are not the same instrument. That said, they are quite good... if you take the price into account, they are very good. A friend of mine plays the Amati C that is wood/silver keys and sells for around $800 to $1,000 US$. I would prefer this instrument over the Buffet RC prestige C clarinets that our local symphony owns.
The cheaper Amati C student clarinet is actually quite good for a student instrument, a store here in NZ stocks them as student rentals and once the mouthpiece has been replaced they play quite well. I'd be curious to see how well these play after a quality repad job, and some fine tuning details like pad heights, new barrel, and tone hole work if needed. The padding work done at the factory is not impressive, but functional, and I have a feeling that attention to this detail would help a lot.
My background, to put my opinion in perspective= I teach a number of students playing the student Amati, play professionally in ak and have had to negotiate the buffets mentioned above, played a Buffet R13 C clarinet (that was a very nice example) for some years in USA so understand that playing C clarinet can be quite rewarding and doesn't have to be a struggle.

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 Re: Amati C Clarinet
Author: 2E 
Date:   2013-11-04 03:42

I played Strauss' Alpine Symphony on a friends Amati C clarinet last year. It was also the intermediate model and I too was very impressed with it. I actually ended up using a custom Backun Fatboy C clarinet barrel with my regular Backun Bb clarinet mouthpiece. Sounded fantastic. The wood was great, keywork was nice and the intonation was fine after a little experimenting (much less than playing Eb though, was quite manageable).

I liked my friends one so much that I'd considered buying one myself but I just wouldn't use it enough. Perfect for an opera/ballet orchestra musician though.


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 Re: Amati C Clarinet
Author: MSK 
Date:   2013-11-04 16:32

Anyone have experience comparing the current Amati C with the Ridenour C which is probably the next closest in price point.

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 Re: Amati C Clarinet
Author: donald 
Date:   2013-11-07 04:46

I have played the Ridenour C, and despite really WANTING to like it i wasn't really that impressed... I found it quite stuffy. My colleague has used it a number of times in concerts (playing professionally) and likes it, and can play it in tune, but I was not at home on this instrument.
Today I play tested an Amati student C clarinet (wooden bell and barrel, plastic body) and was very impressed. The intonation was not as good as my Buffet Festivals but was quite predictable and never more than 5-8cents either side of 0 on the tuner. Many of the little quirks would be easy to fix (for instance, no need for a 5c difference between throat A and G, and 3rd space C was sharper than the B natural below, which can be addressed a number of ways).
Even without any customisation this clarinet was no worse than the high end pro Buffets I have access to here in Auckland, if tweaked it would easily be better (though, no one has done any tweaking/tuning on the Buffets)

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 Re: Amati C Clarinet
Author: gemini-clarinet 
Date:   2013-11-08 23:07

I own an Amati C Clarinet (ACL351 Series II - Wood body, barrel and bell) which I play frequently in several groups in Tucson AZ. I am extremely happy with the instrument and would not hesitate to recommend it.

The only quirk on my clarinet is that the high F (above the staff) is flat. If I finger an F#, it is perfectly in tune. (For F#, I just use the same fingering as normal and add the first right hand side key) Just takes a little getting used to and I have had no problems.


Tucson, AZ

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 Re: Amati C Clarinet
Author: Ralph Katz 
Date:   2013-11-09 01:02

I have a 13-year-old Stephen Fox C and like it a lot.

Perhaps 8 years ago, I played duets with a friend who has an Amati C. At one point we traded instruments, and the results were not appreciably different, although we each were more comfortable with our own instruments.

3 years ago, I was booked at a dance where the other reed guy had a Ridenour C. He was gracious enough to let me try it, and I was impressed. I like my Fox, but, let me say, I was depressed at what a bargain the Ridenour was. At the same token, I don't Mr. Ridenour's Bb instruments, but that is just me, as I know some truly fine players using them.

Looking at any group of perfectly good musicians, some will be more flexible and some less flexible in terms of what they need from their instrument. Every instrument will have its quirks, and you have to decide whether you can live with them. I can live with the Fox, Amati and Ridenour C instruments, but this won't be true for everyone. Play them, then pick.

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 Re: Amati C Clarinet
Author: LaurieBell 
Date:   2013-12-26 00:40

I just purchased an Amati C clarinet and so I've only tested it out over the past two days. I've been playing Christmas carols with my husband who plays piano, and I noticed some intonation problems so I did a little checking with my electronic tuner.

The middle B (all fingers down) is flat -- extremely flat. Other than that the instrument plays uniformly sharp, but if I pull out the barrel it's fine.

But still, I'm concerned about the middle B. I read where someone had a custom barrel made, which helped with the intonation, but I'm not sure if that would help me since it is just the one note that is out.

Just to make sure it wasn't me, I checked my intonation on my Buffet standard Bb clarinet and it is fine. Any advice? I think I have 30 days to return this if I don't like it.

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 Re: Amati C Clarinet
Author: Simon Aldrich 
Date:   2013-12-26 01:26

My Forte C clarinet came with a hole in the bell to correct its flat long B. However the B was too low, even with the hole in the bell. In light of the fact that, on the inside of the bell, the hole was close to the bell's socket, it was apparent that if I opened the hole concentrically, the hole would collide with the bell socket. The only option was to open the hole elliptically, which raised the long B.

If you put a hole in your bell or have a tech do so, make sure the hole is far enough down the bell that should the hole need enlarging, there is room to do so without causing the enlarged hole to impact the bell socket.

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 Re: Amati C Clarinet
Author: Barry Vincent 
Date:   2013-12-26 01:44

Ridenour's Lyrique RCP-570C has that hole in it's bell (5.5mm) and 31.5mm down from the top of the tenon ring to the hole centre.

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 Re: Amati C Clarinet
Author: Hurstfarm 
Date:   2013-12-26 23:00

The flat B (and to a lesser extent low E) is not uncommon on C clarinets. I have found the hole in the back of the bell below the tenon is a decent fix for most, including the Amati.

In answer to Donald's question, I once bought an Amati C as a project to see what could be done with a nice piece of granadilla with comfortable keywork attached. After a full re-pad, some limited tuning tweaks, proper regulation and some improved cork buffering the result was good enough to give pause for thought whether a mainstream professional instrument at three times the price is worthwhile, and raised some eyebrows amongst professional colleagues who play-tested it!

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 Re: Amati C Clarinet
Author: EbClarinet 
Date:   2019-06-16 01:32

I've been watching this topic for a few years. So glad to finally add my $.2 worth. I have the Amati C Clarinet as well. I use a Pyne crystal mouthpiece and V12s as my reeds. Once I'm warmed up, I have EXCELLENT tone quality for a C Clarinet. I haven't played with a tuner 2 much but I "think" my altissimo notes are flat. I can play all the way up to an altissimo G# but I haven't checked all of this with a tuner. Since I record this clarinet, I try to make sure I'm in tune with the other instruments and the recording. This is what's most important to me. I paid just a little over $700 for mine. I see this clarinet is now available from the same music company for $899.

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 Re: Amati C Clarinet
Author: Bennett 2017
Date:   2019-06-16 01:56

I've a Forte C clarinet. When I've an opportunity to play it in my amateur orchestras I always end up finding or creating a transposed part for Bb clarinet. The reason is that my stand mates don't have a C clarinet and the blend is not good. Folks have mentioned the C's brighter sound - fine when only 1 clarinet is playing but when paired with a Bb I think it's a poor match.

I wonder whether others, pros in particular, always have stand mates that also own C clarinets or consider C+Bb together not an issue. (I find the sound of A and Bb clarinets identical.)

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 Re: Amati C Clarinet
Author: Roxann 
Date:   2019-06-16 04:52

I have a Ridenour C clarinet that I used for one week and haven't needed it since. Would love to sell it if you're interested.

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 Re: Amati C Clarinet
Author: Erez Katz 
Date:   2019-06-16 04:52

When I lived in Prague a few years ago I tried 2 C clarinets: an Amati and a Ridenour.

The Ridenour was immediately sent back because the intonation was unacceptably poor at the bottom notes.

I contacted Amati and they sent one unit to their Prague dealer. No intonation problems but it felt stuffy and not particularly enjoyable to play. Seeing @hurstfatm's comment above, it could very well have been a padding issue. I recall the pads in the upper tenon were bulky and the corks were set such the pads were very close to the tone holes when open, either to keep tuning down or just an assembly oversight.

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 Re: Amati C Clarinet
Author: John Peacock 
Date:   2019-06-16 15:25

Quite a lot more material on Amati C clarinets (of which I am a highly satisfied owner) here:

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