P Mauriat
Antigua Winds
Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Whats a good wood intermediate clarinet?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    rural USA
    Posts
    554

    Default Whats a good wood intermediate clarinet?

    Hi. Im playing on a Buffet B12 now, and dont have the money for a R13, is there a middle ground? How about Selmer (usa)?

    Thanks

    Matt

  2. #2
    Forum Contributor 2014
    Distinguished SOTW Memberb
    Roger Aldridge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Maryland, USA
    Posts
    2,615

    Default Re: Whats a good wood intermediate clarinet?

    Matt,

    In terms of new clarinets, the following are in the 1K price range and I've seen good reports about them:

    Buffet E-11
    Yamaha YCL-450
    LeBlanc "Bliss" LB210

    There are other options. David Speigelthal is a member of this forum and often has reasonably priced clarinets that he's worked on. I trust David's quality of work and judgement. He might have a good quality wood clarinet. I'd suggest that you contact him through a message on the forum.

    I've found some good deals on ebay -- including my treasured 1970's Couesnon Monopole clarinet -- but one needs to know their instruments, know what instruments to avoid, and try to spot scams or bad deals. Typically, one also needs to factor in the price of repair work on the instrument to the total cost. In this way, determine if it makes sense to buy a new instrument versus an old instrument that will need some amount of work. I got my Couesnon Monopole for only $450 on ebay and then the cost of my repair tech was around $200+ (can't remember the exact amount). Therefore, I was able to get an exceptionally good pro-level clarinet for only $650. But, I was lucky. I've also run into not-so-good deals in buying old horns.

    A final thought is to consider upgrading your mouthpiece and keeping your B12. It's been my experience that a high quality mouthpiece on an inexpensive clarinet can sometimes result in a better quality of sound than having a cheapo mouthpiece on an expensive clarinet.

    As an example, I have a vintage Pruefer Silver Throat Deluxe clarinet that I got for cheap on ebay. This clarinet has hard rubber barrel, body, and bell; with a coin silver bore insert in the upper joint. My plan was to use it for outdoor gigs. It took some amount of effort to become comfortable with the clarinet. It needed some work and one of the guys on the forum did a really good job on it. I also found the clarinet to be rather mouthpiece picky. Happily, I found a good mouthpiece match for it -- a Walter Grabner K14. This is a $200 pro-level mouthpiece. I'm using #3 Legere Quebec reeds and a Vandoren Klassik string ligature. With this set up the clarinet sounds REALLY GOOD. Its sound is dark and fat. And, intonation is quite good. This clarinet does not have the resonant "ringing" sound of my Couesnon Monopole. However, it sounds so good that most people who hear it will think that it's a wood clarinet.

    So, upgrading your mouthpiece may give you more bang for the buck. Some of the highly regarded clarinet mouthpiece craftsmen include: Clark Fobes, Walter Grabner, Gregory Smith, Richard Hawkins, Bradford Behn. There are others. But, these guys come to mind. I don't think that one can go too wrong with one of their mouthpieces. If you are looking for a dark "ringing" sound, I'd suggest checking out one of their Kaspar-style mouthpieces. That would be Clark Fobes Ciecero series and the Kaspar-style mouthpieces by Walter Grabner and Gregory Smith. Whereas, if you don't want to go as dark then check out one of the Chedeville-style models.

    Please let us know how it works out for you.

    Roger
    1936 G.H. Huller alto saxophone, Ralph Morgan 6C mouthpiece, #3 1/2 Legere Signature reeds, Theo Wanne ligature
    1969 Couesnon Monopole Bb clarinet, Walter Grabner K14 mouthpiece, #3 Legere (old) Quebec, Klassik string ligature
    Yamaha bass clarinet, Walter Grabner LB mouthpiece, #3 1/2 Legere standard tenor, Optimum ligature
    Yamaha flute, diMedici alto flute

    Visit my website and listen to my originals: http://www.rogeraldridge.com

  3. #3
    Distinguished SOTW member, musician, technician & columnist clarnibass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Jerusalem, Israel.
    Posts
    4,372

    Default Re: Whats a good wood intermediate clarinet?

    Yamaha is excellent, maybe try the 450 or even 650. Or Buffet E11 (made in Germany) or the new E11 France. Also the Leblanc Bliss (the wood version). I prefer the Yamahas overall. The older E11 is pretty good, but mechanically not as good as Yamaha IME. Newer Buffet E11 France plays nice but has IMO a terrible position for throat A key (at least when I tried a few months ago). Leblanc Bliss is also good, though I didn't like it the most (especially the PRAG system, though I don't see that mentioned so maybe they changed?).

    However a Buffet B12 can play pretty nice (though not as nice as the models mentioned above), at least the ones made in Germany (though they usually have some adjustment problems from factory). I haven't yet tried a newer one that is not made in Germany so I don't know how these play (I don't know which one you have either).

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Fullerton/Redlands, CA
    Posts
    297

    Default Re: Whats a good wood intermediate clarinet?

    From my clarinetist friends my suggestion would be the Buffet E11. Its has a wood body but nothing too fancy.

  5. #5
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2010 DixieSax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    South Central PA
    Posts
    4,993

    Default Re: Whats a good wood intermediate clarinet?

    If you know what you are looking for, and you know or have access to a good tech, there are some great bargains to be had out there. I have a Leblanc LL special for example with articulated G# and in silver plate that is just an incredible jazz clarinet. I prefer it over my Buffets when I'm out with the dixieland combo or doubling in the big band. I got it for under 200 on flea bay and paid my tech 150 to do his magic (which included a repad, complete adjustment, and polishing up the keywork).

    It's a great instrument in beautiful condition, and spectacular considering what it cost. But to go that route, again, you need to know your instruments and what you are looking for or enlist the help of someone who does, and you need to be patient and vigilent in looking for the right deal.

    Any of the instruments Roger mentioned would be excellent choices if you have the resources and desire to go with a new clarinet.

  6. #6
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Forum Contributor 2013
    Enviroguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    5,488

    Default Re: Whats a good wood intermediate clarinet?

    Buffet E11, E12 or Masters Model and the Selmer Soloist. All these can be great clarinets.
    Good Luck,

    Enviroguy
    _____________________________________________
    Buescher 400 Tenor, Pre-War Big-B Aristocrat Tenor, True Tone Alto, Conn New Wonder Bari, Antigua 590 Soprano

  7. #7
    Distinguished SOTW Member and Forum Contributor
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    4,380

    Default Re: Whats a good wood intermediate clarinet?

    I realize you asked about wood, but the Ridenour Lyrique hard rubber clarinet is true professional quality, excellent intonation and sound, and sells new for less than $1000. http://ridenourclarinetproducts.com Tom Ridenour was the chief designer for Leblanc.
    "Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your intelligence to buy a drink ..." e.e. cummings

  8. #8

    Default Re: Whats a good wood intermediate clarinet?

    Buffet E11 wins the popularity contest and the sound quality contest
    soprano-cannonball knight (black nickel) rascher mpc two-screw lig and vandoren traditional 4s
    alto- cannonball stone series alto (silver plate) vintage buescher mpc vandoren optimum lig and v12 4s

  9. #9

    Default Re: Whats a good wood intermediate clarinet?

    I got a Selmer Series 10 for well under $1000 even after an overhaul and I really like it.
    Clarinet: 1967 Selmer Series 10, Vandoren B40 lyre 13 mp, Rovner Eddie Daniels II Lig, Vandoren V12 reeds
    Sax: 1966 King Zephyr tenor, B&S Soprano

  10. #10

    Default Re: Whats a good wood intermediate clarinet?

    I have a Noblet 45 that has served me well, and I saw one on Ebay for $899, you can probably find one even cheaper.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Whats a good wood intermediate clarinet?

    The intermediates can be nice, but I never really have seen the benefits over a student instrument. It is better, but not that much. If it was my choice, I would most likely try to find a used R13, Selmer series 10, Yamaha 72 series, etc. You can find lots of good used pro instruments that would serve you really well.

    If you wish to get intermediate, I really like the Yamahas.

  12. #12
    Forum Contributor 2011
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Nefertiti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    8,632

    Default Re: Whats a good wood intermediate clarinet?

    I have a few students that have the Yamaha 450 and sound great on them. When I play them I really like them a lot. Great wood intermediate clarinet without breaking the bank.

  13. #13
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 jicaino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Posts
    4,507

    Default Re: Whats a good wood intermediate clarinet?

    Penzel Mueller brilliante or super brilliante. Often found under 500 bucks "fully loaded". Great, GREAT clarinets.

    Or, Selmer Paris clarinets. Series 10, series 9, Centered TOne, they're all more lively than your average buffet. If you're doing popular music, jazz, etc. then buffet is not what will make you happy (my 2 cents)

    Yamahas are really nice clarinets too, outstanding craftsmanship, nice tone, killer intonation.

    I would stay out of new wooden clarinets... I prefer aged woods (ok, I prefer that somebody else already spent countless nights rocks in his/her bed dreaming of snakey cracks)
    Juan Ignacio Caino
    "The more you sweat during practice, the less you bleed during combat"
    I prefer e-mail messages to PM
    my email adress is jicaino@gmail.com
    www.facebook.com/jicaino

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    1,185

    Default Re: Whats a good wood intermediate clarinet?

    Yeah, The Yamaha intonation is great - even on the student models.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Whats a good wood intermediate clarinet?

    I play a Yamaha 650, but before I bought it I played to death a 450 at a local store.

    As much as it pains me to say it, I can't appreciate a huge difference. Some people have said that the 450 is simply a wooden 250 - but I don't think that's true. I have a 250 as well, and while it's a fine clarinet, using the same reed and mpc (and obviously player), the 650 sounds like a completely different beast. Of course it's more "woody" and "richer" as a function of the material, but it's got real quality as well. Comparing the 450 and 650 is very tough. I would say the only thing I noticed was improved finishing on the instrument itself - for me, the sound was the same.

    So - I found the 650 hugely better than the 250, but I can't appreciate a difference between the 450 and 650. Ergo, the 450 can't be bad at all. The throat notes on the 450/650 are a step above the 250. The keywork.....well, maybe the wooden ones use better materials, but given a professional setup, they're all solid.

    In the end, I got the 650 at a bargain price - less than a 450 sells for, but if I were paying list prices, I would definetely go with the 450.


    If (and it's a big if) I ever buy another clarinet, it would probably be an R13, but if something happened to my 650, I don't think that I would ever buy an intermediate Buffet like an E13 - I'd always feel that I'd gone on a date with the less attractive sister.

  16. #16
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    2,856

    Default Re: Whats a good wood intermediate clarinet?

    hey dixie-i have that same model leblanc LL but mine has solid silver keys and gold springs. increadeble jazz axe
    runyon mouthpeices-no need to look elsewhere

  17. #17
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2010 DixieSax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    South Central PA
    Posts
    4,993

    Default Re: Whats a good wood intermediate clarinet?

    Quote Originally Posted by super20dan View Post
    hey dixie-i have that same model leblanc LL but mine has solid silver keys and gold springs. increadeble jazz axe
    Yes.. It's a wonderful clarinet. These have been tremendously underrated.

  18. #18
    Forum Contributor 2014
    Distinguished SOTW Memberb
    Roger Aldridge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Maryland, USA
    Posts
    2,615

    Default Re: Whats a good wood intermediate clarinet?

    Matt,

    I don't think it's been mentioned on this thread (forgive me if I missed it), if one has a decent basic clarinet -- and assuming that one is not a beginning clarinet player -- it's possible to take your existing clarinet to a higher level by upgrading your mouthpiece.

    As two examples, one of my Bb clarinets is a vintage Silver Throat Deluxe (hard rubber) and my bass clarinet is a Yamaha 221 II. With a Walter Grabner K14 mouthpiece my Silver Throat sounds so good that fits in beautifully with a wind ensemble clarinet section. In a similar way, with a Grabner LB mouthpiece on my 221 I'm often asked what kind of WOOD bass clarinet I'm using.

    Please understand that I'm NOT saying a plastic clarinet can have the same quality of sound as a pro-level wood clarinet. My Couesnon Monopole clarinet has a noticably more resonant and "ringing" sound than my Silver Throat. However, with a really fine mouthpiece, one can sound quite good on a non-wood clarinet.

    Personally, if I had to chose, I'd rather have a "world-class" mouthpiece on a less expensive basic clarinet than a cheaper mouthpiece on an expensive clarinet. Of course, it would be great to have both!

    Roger
    1936 G.H. Huller alto saxophone, Ralph Morgan 6C mouthpiece, #3 1/2 Legere Signature reeds, Theo Wanne ligature
    1969 Couesnon Monopole Bb clarinet, Walter Grabner K14 mouthpiece, #3 Legere (old) Quebec, Klassik string ligature
    Yamaha bass clarinet, Walter Grabner LB mouthpiece, #3 1/2 Legere standard tenor, Optimum ligature
    Yamaha flute, diMedici alto flute

    Visit my website and listen to my originals: http://www.rogeraldridge.com

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •