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Clarinet Refurbishing Advice Please

3639 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Gordon (NZ)
I am thinking of trying my hand at refurbishing old clarinets. From my side this is a retirement hobby- I have no delusions about making a living doing this. I've always enjoyed working small wood projects and more recently stereo electronics and I love playing the clarinet since I started 9 months ago.
My question is - What is a good clarinet to start on. One that will not present any weird complications. That is reasonably straight forward with parts readily available. I was thinking B&H or Noblet or Selmer Signet. I am playing a Signet, but I don't know if that's much of a consideration. Cost to buy an instrument is certainly an issue my pension doesn't stretch very far. That's why I'm considering these horns.
I would certainly appreciate any advice you folks might have [rolleyes]

cheers- preston
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I'd say it depends upon what your final goal is. Do you want to tinker for its own sake? Do you want to refurbish student horns and then flip them for profit? Do you want to get a good personal horn out of it all?

Whichever path you choose will alter your choice of "victim," but your best bet would be to get a cheap Vito, Yamaha, Buffet, Selmer student model and slowly work your way through from strip down to full replacement of all corks, springs pads, etc. The first time will take forever and the results will likely be very average. Do it again and again and again and after a few dozen attempts it will be good enough to sell to a local student or school band program and you're off and running. That said, I think it's very hard to make a decent return on refurbishing low end student horns to sell on. You either go the high end route or you do student stuff and work on high volumes.
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