For years I was an advocate of the E11. We would have all our beginners start on that wooden clarinet and I would recommend it to my private sax students interested in doubling. Saw a big drop in quality over the past 4-5 years - namely the wood. I have to say that IMHO, the Yamaha 450 clarinet trumps that horn now - the original E11 (Schreiber made). Our local dealer made me take some 450's home to try. The Yamaha has beautiful wood and the 5-6 that I have played had a very even scale with consistent response one note to the next and with no buzzy/fuzzy notes. My daughter, and E11 clarinetist in high school, wouldn't part with the 450 when she tried it and wanted to trade. Again, I am referring to the former E11 (Schreiber) that we all have come to know. The new E11 France is strong but at a much higher price point. As I understand it, the new E11 France is made in the former Leblanc factory that Buffet bought in France a few years ago.