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Hi,

I know a lot of people ask the impossible question of "which one is better" and I've read a lot. I don't play the instrument, but want to learn. Where I'm from (South Africa) I've been looking for a rental or a 2nd hand bass for years and haven't managed to find one.

I'm currently looking at a 2nd hand Yamaha YCL 221 and a 2nd hand wood Noblet. Both similar price, both look to be in very good shape from the pictures.

The impossibility of calling one unseen instrument over another the better one, is there a glaring reason I should be going for one and not the other?

Appreciate the advice!
 

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Yamaha would be a safe choice in general. But you might want to contact Johan Jonker in the Netherlands; he services many bass clarinets, and has a good selection of beginner and intermediate instruments. He's also pretty knowledgeable about vintage Noblet clarinets, so he might be able to advise you there. Johan ships internationally as well.

No financial interest from my side, just a satisfied customer!
 

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Both brands would be fine for a beginner. Either would be a good choice if in good playing condition.
Noblet basses haven't been made in a very, very, long time, but they are very nice instruments. Buying sight unseen is never a good idea, but if I had to, I'd choose the Yamaha. For one thing, it's likely decades newer.
Find a good repair tech while you're at it. Basses are finicky.
 

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Ugh.

I'm not much of a clarinet player, but if you ask me the safest choice, not knowing anything else, would be the Yamaha if for no other reason that it was made out of resin rather than wood. You are simply less likely to have problems.
 
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