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 Plastic clarinet vs. Wooden clarinet
Author: kj2008 
Date:   2019-11-25 22:30

Recently, when I found that I needed a service for my E13 (out of tunes), I pulled out my old B12 and resumed my daily practice until I get my E13 fixed. Surprisingly, I got B12's sounding as good as E13's. This led me to wonder what the real difference between this two types horns. May be, I am not good enough yet to distinguish the difference between two (I am retired and obviously the hearing isn't as good as when I was 20's). This also reminded me of reading an article long ago where even professional players play plastic horn with no issues/problems.
I would like to get board members' opinions on this.

Kijoon Kim

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 Re: Plastic clarinet vs. Wooden clarinet
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-11-25 23:32

I have tried several B12s and they were the most hideously out of tune clarinets that I've ever played. I speak of internal pitch, which is to say you can get one set of notes to play relative to a tuner but then another group goes way out of tune.......HOPELESS.


That isn't to say that plastic (or other than wood) is inferior. The point is the same that I made in the plastic mouthpiece thread. Plastic is cheap and easy to work with. Therefore, when you have an instrument that is made on the quick, without any time taken for the niceties of intonation or any sort of craftsmanship, it is usually made of plastic. The cheap horns therefore just happen to be plastic.


There are top of the line Buffets made of epoxy like stuff with wood dust thrown in called Greenline. These horns have proven that wood is not a necessity for the production of good sound. There are old silver bodied instrument (some even double walled that look just like a regular clarinet) that are said to also be just as good as the best wood instruments.


Truth is, that the minutia of creating all the correct measurements and doing the finishing (correcting for pitch even when the dimensions fail) takes many many hours and talent. This is really where the expense lies in creating a musical instrument.


I'd toss the B12 in the trash if I were you.





.................Paul Aviles



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 Re: Plastic clarinet vs. Wooden clarinet
Author: EbClarinet 
Date:   2019-11-25 23:57

It is so much of PERSONAL preference!!!

My Eb Clarinet is made of hard rubber and was cheap 2 buy ($299). How ever, when I began pricing the other wood 1s that come apart in the middle, this was way out of my price range.

Turns out that my horn is in tune with all the ensembles I play in. Tuning on the Eb is always a problem but I have excellent tone quality on it. It sounds like a high pitched Bb. So this is a case of the player vs. the instrument. I made a post about that last month. Check it out.

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/mbtldsongministry/

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 Re: Plastic clarinet vs. Wooden clarinet
Author: kj2008 
Date:   2019-11-26 00:44

To Paul - I am surprised and puzzled to hear about negative pitch/tones on B12. As a DIY learner, I heavily rely on the Tuner and Metronome (Korg TM-50) for my daily practice. What I get from it is: All notes from E3 to F6 (the range I can play) are pretty much in tune - the needle is right at the middle, or one dot off from each side with green light on at all the time during long tone and scale practices.
I just wonder I happened to get a kind of gem among B12 sold out there (I got it from Muncywinds through mail order).

Kijoon Kim

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 Re: Plastic clarinet vs. Wooden clarinet
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-11-26 01:33

I'm surprised as well. Perhaps it may be worth far more than most clarinets since it is likely one-of-kind and quite frankly an accident. The B12s I played were appalling.



Don't get me wrong I like Buffet's R13, I have one myself. But as far as the least expensive decent clarinets out there, I'd go with the old plastic Leblancs (can still find them in music stores for around $400 US dollars).


I did forget to mention hard rubber (my fault). Tom Ridenour has engineered some fine clarinets for around $1000 US dollars.







................Paul Aviles



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 Re: Plastic clarinet vs. Wooden clarinet
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2019-11-26 07:35

"I'd toss the B12 in the trash if I were you"

Even though the original poster is happy with the sound he's getting? That seems rather harsh.

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 Re: Plastic clarinet vs. Wooden clarinet
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-11-26 08:35

I'm just sayin'. You can't advance on an instrument that won't allow you to accomplish simple tasks. If you're just beginning, you may not be aware of the issues but where will that point come when you realize that you are handicapped? How much damage will it do to your fundamental learning?



I helped a student during a coaching session at a high school that got a cheap Chinese clarinet off the internet......for Christmas. It was a gift of support from his parents and he was very excited about it. I did not feel it was my place to let him know what a piece of crap it was. So I let it go. A year later I did the same thing for that high school and saw the student again with a different horn. I asked as diplomatically as possible what happened to his other horn. He told me that it was broken all the time.



Lets speak to Kijoon Kim again in a year.




.............Paul Aviles



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 Re: Plastic clarinet vs. Wooden clarinet
Author: kj2008 
Date:   2019-11-26 21:31

Well, I have not used B12 for more than 2 years after I bought E13. I was fine with B12 at that time, but everyone on the board said it's student & beginner's horn and I felt I was at beyond beginner level and bought E13. I just picked it up for practice while I am waiting for E13 to be serviced (many notes, low ones, in particular went way out of tunes). And to my surprise, B12 works just fine too (tuner needle right on the spot in the middle for all of notes except two high notes, E6 & F6). That was the reason I posed to get an opinion plastic vs. wood. In a matter of a few weeks at the most, I will be back to E13.

Kijoon Kim

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 Re: Plastic clarinet vs. Wooden clarinet
Author: Robert N. 
Date:   2019-11-27 00:24

I have a Buffet Prodige the successor to the B12. I added a Behn hard rubber barrel to it. With the addition of the barrel I feel that it has become a nice instrument. I do feel that the barrel makes quite a bit of difference.

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 Re: Plastic clarinet vs. Wooden clarinet
Author: kj2008 
Date:   2019-11-27 03:54

To Robert N.
I googled the site for this and found two types: Svelte and Classic. Which type do you have? Also, anyone knows where I could buy it in U.S.? Amazon don't have it.
Also, I wonder whether Backun new Traditional does the same job which is cheaper.
Those barrels would give good improvement for any clarinet, I guess?

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 Re: Plastic clarinet vs. Wooden clarinet
Author: Robert N. 
Date:   2019-11-27 05:59

I got the Svelte model. I am very happy with it. It plays nicely and has helped to improve the intonation of the clarinet.

The only place I know to purchase this is from Brad Behn himself via his website: www.clarinetmouthpiece.com

Brad is very helpful and will answer any questions that you might have.

One thing about the Behn barrel is that it is hard rubber, not wood. This way I have one wooden clarinet, and one that is a combination of plastic and hard rubber, but no wood on it to worry about.

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 Re: Plastic clarinet vs. Wooden clarinet
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2019-11-28 09:51

>> You can't advance on an instrument that won't allow you to accomplish simple tasks. <<

More than a few B12s I've tried never had the serious problems you mentioned. I wouldn't say it's the best clarinet and the Yamaha basic model is better, but the B12 was one of if not the most popular student model here for a while and it worked fine.

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