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 Which £2000/$2800 Clarinet Would You Buy?
Author: RussellUK 
Date:   2021-01-01 18:15

I'm seeking advice on behalf of my 21 y.o. daughter. She's studying music performance and plays flute (her first instrument), piccolo, sax and more latterly, clarinet. She's just about to take her clarinet grade 8 but exceeds that standard in her other instruments.

She's not really into jazz, her interests lay in musical theatre, classical and big band. She's been advised by her tutor that she's outgrowing her current student/intermediate clarinet.

So the family has clubbed together to fund a clarinet to take her through to hopefully a professional level.

She'll be seeking advice from her tutors but I'd also welcome any advice or suggestions from the members here. Our budget is about £2000 / $2800, we could go a little higher... and of course lower! Otherwise, no preconceptions regarding make, model, age. I guess the instrument will choose her in the end, but recommendations for instruments she should try are most welcome.

Thank you in advance for any assistance you provide.



Post Edited (2021-01-01 18:16)

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 Re: Which £2000/$2800 Clarinet Would You Buy?
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2021-01-01 18:59

In your price range, I would recommend the Yamaha YCL-650 and the Uebel Advantage. Both are solid instruments with good quality control, intonation, and comfortable key-work. I would say they fit right between the categories of excellent intermediate and entry level professional instruments. The Selmer the Yamaha CSVR and SEV models sell for a bit more and are attractive pro-level clarinets (that may be discounted if you shop around).

Be sure to try the instruments and select well before you buy. The four models I have recommended usually play well "right out of the box" without any expensive or elaborate set-up by a technician. Buffets can be very good too, especially if you are looking for a certain "Buffet sound," but they tend to be inconsistent and need extra post-purchase tinkering. For Buffet, you could test out the E12f, E13 (too expensive?) and the new Gala (also too expensive?) Buffet models and see how they compare to the Yamaha YCL-650, the Uebel Advantage, and the Yamaha CSVR.



Post Edited (2021-01-03 20:30)

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 Re: Which £2000/$2800 Clarinet Would You Buy?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2021-01-01 21:30

Brand new I'd second the suggestion of the Uebel Advantage........a wonderful horn. Also, (the last time I checked.....a few years ago) the Patricola Artista should be around that price, maybe.


Many professional classical clarinet players gravitate toward the Buffet R13 and you should be able to find used ones (very nice ones too) for that price range.





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



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 Re: Which £2000/$2800 Clarinet Would You Buy?
Author: fbjacobo 
Date:   2021-01-02 03:07

I would advise my students with the same needs to buy a used professional instrument on the level of the Buffet R-13, etc. You'll get a better instrument than the Yamaha 650 (no insult to Yamaha here - they make fine horns) or its counterparts for the same price or even less. Those used instruments are common, and you can often get them at reputable music stores too. If you're worried about the instrument not being in good shape, it's similar to a used car: get it checked out. The difference is that these instruments are every bit as good as new ones when they are put in good condition.

CASE CLOSED Musical Instrument Case Repair Service
Jacobowitz/Larkin Duo

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 Re: Which £2000/$2800 Clarinet Would You Buy?
Author: m1964 
Date:   2021-01-02 12:41

fbjacobo wrote:

> I would advise my students with the same needs to buy a used
> professional instrument on the level of the Buffet R-13, etc.
> You'll get a better instrument than the Yamaha 650 (no insult
> to Yamaha here - they make fine horns) or its counterparts for
> the same price or even less. Those used instruments are common,
> and you can often get them at reputable music stores too. If
> you're worried about the instrument not being in good shape,
> it's similar to a used car: get it checked out. The difference
> is that these instruments are every bit as good as new ones
> when they are put in good condition.
>

And they do not lose resale value as much as the new insteuments do.

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 Re: Which £2000/$2800 Clarinet Would You Buy?
Author: ACCA 
Date:   2021-01-02 13:00

A leftfield choice if you're UK based would be to try a Ridenour Libertas from Leslie Craven. If the instrument will primarily be used for musical theatre pit and (outdoor?) big band, this hard rubber option will not crack. Consensus is that it holds up well to pro instruments that are 2x its price, in terms of general quality, tone, and tuning, although it does feel different exp from the R13. Definitely worth a try, especially if this is more for a doubling instrument.

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 Re: Which £2000/$2800 Clarinet Would You Buy?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2021-01-02 14:02

You could probably find a decent used set of older pro level clarinets for around the £2000 mark. While Buffet are the most popular make, there are also older Leblancs, Selmers and Yamahas that are well worth the money - Buffet aren't the be all and end all no matter how popular they may be.

Chris.

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 Re: Which £2000/$2800 Clarinet Would You Buy?
Author: jim sclater 
Date:   2021-01-02 15:40

I would second Chris P's suggestion to buy a used instrument or a set of used instruments. There are sellers in the UK that can help you select quality instruments at significantly less cost than a new instrument.

jsclater@comcast.net

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 Re: Which £2000/$2800 Clarinet Would You Buy?
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2021-01-03 09:03

Chris makes a lot of sense, but Uebels are also pretty decent and cost-effective.

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 Re: Which £2000/$2800 Clarinet Would You Buy?
Author: gwie 
Date:   2021-01-03 10:34

Howarth has a couple used Buffet clarinets available from 1550 to 2300 GBP, including a Festival model. A brand new Uebel Advantage with the extra Eb lever is 1598 GBP.

Clarinet and Flute London (owned by sax.co.uk) has the Yamaha CSVR for 1999.17 GBP.

All worth a try!

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 Re: Which £2000/$2800 Clarinet Would You Buy?
Author: Hurstfarm 
Date:   2021-01-03 11:23

Also worth a look would be the Hanson T6 - a professional level instrument made by a British family firm in Yorkshire. I was very impressed with them when I tried a pair a few years ago, and my daughter ended up with one of their student instruments. They are available directly from the manufacturer on a 14-day trial, currently on a sale price: https://www.hansonmusic.co.uk/instruments/clarinets/hanson-t6-bb-clarinet--grenadilla__19725

There’s a useful and detailed review here, which bears out my own experience: http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/Reviews/Clarinets/hanson_T6_clarinet.htm

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 Re: Which £2000/$2800 Clarinet Would You Buy?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2021-01-03 14:19

If you are buying any brand new wooden instrument, then PLEASE wait for the weather to get better and between late March/early April to late August/early September as that's when the weather and humidity levels are favourable.

Plastic, ebonite and metal instruments can be bought and played from the word go at any time of year with no playing-in period.

It's important that brand new wooden instruments or used ones that haven't been played for years are played in gently within the first few weeks of them being bought.

While cracks on new instruments are usually covered by a warranty depending on their nature, a replacement top joint is effectively getting a brand new instrument and will also need to be played in. I think it's much better to stick with the original cracked top joint and get that repaired rather than a new top joint as you'll still have the same instrument you originally chose, whereas a new top joint may not have the same properties as the original which was the reason why you chose it.

Chris.

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 Re: Which £2000/$2800 Clarinet Would You Buy?
Author: Djudy 
Date:   2021-01-06 14:24

Here in France a Buffet E13 can be had new for around 1700€ but I would not suggest it as, while a nice instrument, it is not a professional grade and is , to me , too bland. A used recent Buffet Prestige, either RC or R13, can be had for around 2000€, with the advantage that the instrument has been broken in and is more settled. That said, there is still a difference in character even within the same model so do try them out. Also, if used, look for a more recent instrument as the keywork will be more comfortable and have less wear than a 'vintage' of the same model. I have heard good things about the TOTL Yamahas but have only tried one new and it didn't jump out at me; you can give them a try but watch the price.





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 Re: Which £2000/$2800 Clarinet Would You Buy?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-01-11 02:23

I bought a clarinet for this sort of price recently at a shop where I could try lots of them. From my experience I would say the most important thing is to actually try the instruments before buying as I found they were really radically different from one another, both in sound and in the position of the keys. I tried lots of different brands and different models including the Yahama 650, custom CX and the CSVR, and also the Buffet R13 and the RC, and several other brands too.

For me the Yamaha Custom CX was the hands-down winner, just because the keys fitted under my fingers best and the sound was far better than all the others.

Having said that, I've played a bit in an orchestra alongside semi-professional players and I notice the most wonderful bewitching sound seems to come from old clarinets. The two I am thinking of are both Boosey and Hawkes, along the lines of this one:
http://www.clarinetsdirect.biz/1010Bb-NC.html

I also have an old clarinet which has a sound that is just out of this world, but unforunately it is the very old kind that plays at the wrong pitch, so too old is also not good.

I think the thing is to try before you buy though. Good luck!

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 Re: Which £2000/$2800 Clarinet Would You Buy?
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-01-11 02:30

Actually, now I think about it, maybe one of the really nice sounding old clarinets was a very old R13. It sounded much nicer than the new R13 that I tried.

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 Re: Which £2000/$2800 Clarinet Would You Buy?
Author: Hugues Fardao 
Date:   2021-01-11 03:32

You can try :

- Seles (by Selmer Paris) "Presence" (a "low cost" Selmer but with a great sound)
- Leblanc Bliss L210S (versatile instrument) if they are still in shops.

And as some said previously :

- Yamaha 650 (comfort, eveness)
- Buffet Crampon E12F (not a rich sound but a round and nice personality)
- Buffet Crampon E13 (a standard, but try more than one : there are issues with some of them)

https://www.facebook.com/clarinettesolo/

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 Re: Which £2000/$2800 Clarinet Would You Buy?
Author: Shanesax/Clar 
Date:   2021-01-18 01:52

Which Clar. she buys is FAR LESS important than getting the best guidance from another doubler who is also a serious clarinetist! However I found that having a Buffet made me LOOK more like a serious Clarinetist than any other make. I suggest the R 13 Greenline as a doubler is not as likely to care for it as OVERLY carefully as a clarinetist AND the Greenline is much safer as an investment as they do not crack!

That's after only 50 years of experience in these things! LOL
S.N.

S. Nestruck
Saxology Canada
204-474-2588
shanedn@shaw.ca
Winnipeg Canada

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