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  1. #1

    Default bass clarinet purchase question

    My daughter will start high school next year and she plays bass clarinet in addition to soprano (both first chair). She uses one of the school's student Yamaha's and is quite happy with the sound but the instruments could be maintained better. In high school they have Yamaha and Vito student instruments to rent and one Buffet (pro model) available for wind ensemble performances. She was selected to the district mid-level honor band and is quite a strong player. I'm considering the purchase of a bass clarinet for her and am trying to decide between a an older wood clarinet (Noblet and others you see on Ebay) and a new Yamaha 221. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: bass clarinet purchase question

    Bass clarinets are extremely sensitive to mishandling. I'm sure your daughter's careful, and her teacher is doing his/her best to keep the instruments maintained, but it's a losing battle. Serious students need their own instrument. Noblets are excellent intermediate instruments. That said, they haven't been built in decades, and anything you get on the internet you have to assume needs several hundred dollars' worth of repair. If you can get it for, say, $400-$500, it might make sense to buy and fix. Leblanc is about the same quality and should be the same price. Newer Buffet pro models are good, but pricey. Very old Buffets tend to be out of tune. Older Selmer (Paris) basses are excellent, and can be gotten for $1200-1500 on eBay, but with repairs, costs add up. Yamaha 211 II is the safe bet, and an excellent instrument. If you can afford to upgrade the mouthpiece, that would make a difference, Fobes, Grabner, Garrett all make nice bass mouthpieces, and Garrett and Fobes have models under $100.

  3. #3
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    Isle of Jazz's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
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    Default Re: bass clarinet purchase question

    Mouthpiece upgrade for sure!
    Yamaha TS62 - Warburton LA; P. Mauriat 66R - Sakshama FL; Legeres
    Vito (Beaugnier) Baritone/HR Berg 105/1/M
    Buffet Greenline Clarinet; Yamaha 221-II Bass Clarinet

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