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2011 SOTW Contributor
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Discussion Starter #1
I know there are subforums for Clarinets for sale, but I was wondering if there was a good primer for a good cheap maybe intermediate level Clarinet out there. What are the caveats to look for if someone is selling one used and what or who does repads on these and what is the general charge for that service?

I see clarinets from Buffet to Yamaha seemingly selling for cheap compared to saxes, but since my knowledge on clarinets are nil, I'd like a little knowledge before buying something.

I saw someone on here selling a Yamaha YCL-34 for $195 shipped. Not sure when they say it will need regulation and some pads but they themselves in their ebay listing mentions that they do set-ups/repairs.
 

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I think it depends on your budget. I bought a new Buffet E-11 from Dave Kessler last year. That is the one Buffet had made for them in Germany. It suited my needs perfectly (to sit out on a stand all the time so I could pick it up, run a few arpeggios and practice without having to dig out my gigging clarinet and assemble, then disassemble). Based on a recent experience with a new Yamaha German System clarinet, I probably would not go the Yamaha route for an inexpensive clarinet. My Buffet from Kessler came at under $1K - good horn for the price.

Used? Make sure you are buying a Boehm System (unless you specifically want Albert or Oehler); if an old horn, make sure it is low-pitch (not high pitch - or HP); buy a wood clarinet as opposed to metal or plastic or hard rubber (I know, I know - I have those too and they play for me); no cracks in the wood; and be prepared to do the overhaul (always a consideration with used instruments off eBay - and other sources).

I know there are many older clarinets of various brands that are decent, but for someone who doesn't know clarinets, I'd stick to the big names like Buffet, Selmer, LeBlanc - and pay more. Few things are worse than buying a good-looking junker and then wondering why you can't play it. Might as well start out on the right foot. DAVE
 

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I would agree that sticking with the major brands is a good idea - Buffet, Selmer, Yamaha. Don't get a super-old horn; clarinets are different than saxes, in that they generally got better in the '50s and have largely stayed better, and wood tends to not hold up as well as brass.

I would consider a plastic clarinet, depending on how you are going to use it and your budget. Since you put CHEAP in all caps, you are probably best off with a plasic horn, especially if it is for casual personal use, or bar/outside/occassional use, or just to check it out. While wood horns are nice, a really cheap wood horn is likely to have some sort of problem, and plastic horns can sound surprisingly good.

I personally like the Buffet horns (their student horns used to be sold under the Evette label). My daughter had a plastic school Yamaha and a plastic Buffet/Evette at home, and remarked (unprompted) that the Buffet sounded better. Similar to saxes, though, it is best to try them and see what works best for you.

There are some reputable sellers of used clarinets out there, who sell ready-to-play horns, and they are probably your best bet. I got my daughter's Buffet from Clarinuts, who was easy to deal with, had reasonable prices, and the horn was ready to play, although I have to say I have not been impressed with the quality of the pads they used. I am sure folks on here can probably recommend other sellers.
 

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2011 SOTW Contributor
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769 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
There's a Buffet B12 on Craigslist for $69. I know it's a student clarinet, but I'm just looking for something to mess around with and maybe use in my band for select songs. I have a metal clarinet my guitarist gave me that plays but it is in shoddy condition needing a full repad.
 

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The Buffet B12 is fine for those uses. It is a good solid student horn - not bad at all. That price is great if it is in playable or close-to-playable condition. The cost of repairs seems to vary a lot by location, so I don't know how much repads, etc. cost where you are.

And hey, I hope the 10M is still working well for you!
 

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There's a Buffet B12 on Craigslist for $69. I know it's a student clarinet, but I'm just looking for something to mess around with and maybe use in my band for select songs. I have a metal clarinet my guitarist gave me that plays but it is in shoddy condition needing a full repad.
To mess with!!..that will serve you very well!, it maybe student, but the B12 is one of the best student models out there, very good!..thats a good price too!.
 

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2011 SOTW Contributor
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Discussion Starter #7
I'll have to call up and see if it works and has the case as it just shows it fully assembled and the seller is a pawn shop which I usually avoid for music gear
 

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fair enough, but honestly look around for a B12,they are well worth it for general use!.
 
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