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 Most expensive clarinet?
Author: kjeks 
Date:   2012-08-21 17:35

What is the most expensive clarinet one can buy? I read somewhere that Brannen flutes can go for upwards of $40,000, so I became curious of how much a clarinet can go for.

With new clarinets, the manufacturer's suggested price doesn't count because that's typically not the price you actually pay. I'm talking about the price you actually pay for a new model.

With used clarinets, it should be the usual price range of the clarinet. Pricing is not as precise as with new clarinets because the individual seller decides the price. I could list a broken, moldy Buffet B12 for $1 million, but nobody would buy it. So please, the usual price range only.

So, how much?  :)

Edit: I'm going to make it clear that only Bb/A soprano clarinets count. No low clarinets of any kind, though it would be interesting to know how much a subcontrabass would cost...

Post Edited (2012-08-21 19:38)

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 Re: Most expensive clarinet?
Author: William 
Date:   2012-08-21 18:20

Somewhere between "i'll pay you to stop playing" on up to "what's it worth to you".

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 Re: Most expensive clarinet?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2012-08-21 18:21

If a B12 was owned by (eg.) Michael Jackson I bet it would fetch some ridiculous price at auction for that reason.

As far as production models go, the Buffet Divine's recommended sales price is one of the highest I've seen (even though there will be discounts offered) - about as expensive as a prestige level oboe.


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 Re: Most expensive clarinet?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2012-08-21 18:24

As to clarinets being owned by top players, a local player bought Jack Brymer's B&H 1010 (the one he broke the middle tenon on) for a pretty low sum.

I myself bought a beautiful set of Selmer Series 9* clarinets (with consecutive serial numbers) previously owned by Gino Cioffi's pupil who bought them from the man himself in the late '60s for an average price of £1500.00.


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 Re: Most expensive clarinet?
Author: MarlboroughMan 
Date:   2012-08-21 18:29


How do those Series 9's handle/play, compared to the CT or 10S? I have a BT, CT, and 10S, but have never played the 9*...I'm wondering where it fits in the continuum...


The Jazz Clarinet

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 Re: Most expensive clarinet?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2012-08-21 18:49

It's a narrower bore than the regular Series 9 but not as tiny as the Series 10S bore - unlike the Series 9, they have undercut toneholes. I think you'll like them if you like the others.

I've played them in rotation with my CT and Series 9 while on a show and they didn't do anything I wasn't used to compared to when I played my Leblanc and didn't feel comfortable with it.

As for expensive clarinets, the Wurlitzer reform Boehms are up there, but they are something very different. I wish I had the money and could justify buying another set of clarinets.


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 Re: Most expensive clarinet?
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2012-08-21 19:49

Rossi's are $6,000.
Buffet's top options are $6,000 and $8,000 (Divine -- approx?).
Schwenk and Seggelke -- $6,000ish aren't they?
Doesn't Backun have horns in the $8,000-10,000 range?

And there are some really small boutique makers in Europe.


Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: Most expensive clarinet?
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2012-08-21 20:02

Edit: disregard, I just saw that the OP restricted us to Bb/A instruments...

Nevertheless, wwbw has the Selmer Contrabass for roughly $25,000.
But hey, it comes with free shipping!
(the Eppelsheim Contrabass is at ~$19K nearly a bargain. :-) )


Post Edited (2012-08-21 20:06)

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 Re: Most expensive clarinet?
Author: curiousclarinetist 
Date:   2012-08-21 21:22

I think the Wurlitzer reform-Boehm is the most expensive, coming in at 7400 euros or $9,227, though the site lists the estimated dollar value at $10,700.

Either way it beats Backun's MoBa, even with gold keys it comes in at $8,600.

Curious Clarinetist

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 Re: Most expensive clarinet?
Author: SteveG_CT 
Date:   2012-08-22 04:45

Honestly if we want to extend the argument to custom built clarinets instead of off-the-shelf models there is no real upper limit to cost. There are a lot of minor "upgrade" options that can significantly add to the final cost. Hanson for example offers optional platinum plating for the keys that adds ~$750 to the cost. Non-standard keywork options can also be expensive. I suspect that if you were willing to pay enough you could get someone to make you an exotic clarinet like say a full marchi system.

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