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Well my first woodwind experience was a clarinet, Yamaha's cheapest model. Alto sax is nice, but I've been getting more and more into clarinet. However, my old plastic model seems to be holding me back to a degree, so I've decided to get a nice(ish) wooden clarinet.

I went to a local music store to look at some, and they (to my surprise) let me play some clarinets. I wrote down the serial numbers so they could look them up in their database, but they wouldn't/couldn't give me the model numbers. I'd like the model numbers so I can read reviews about them and compare them to other clarinetists' I know.

This is all of the information I found. Does anyone know how to figure out the model? If anyone has some general advice, I'd appreciate that too :).

Buffet "Professional Clarinet" - $2899 - 566617
Buffet "Clarinet" (a rental return) - $594 - 921783 [I think this was an error, but the S# is right]
LeBlanc "Regency Step-Up" - $1479 - D54758
LeBlanc "Regency Vito student" - $735 - A18089 [I think there was an error, but the S# is right]
Yamaha "Allegro Wood" - $1499 - 103557

That's as descriptive as it got. My favorite was probably the first LeBlanc, even over the Buffet.

Any assistance?
 

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KJSatz said:
My favorite was probably the first LeBlanc, even over the Buffet.
Well, Buffet isn't THE only clarinet maker that can produce the goods, no matter what you're lead to believe.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I said that because the Buffet (the first one) is $2900 as opposed to the half-the-price LeBlanc, not because of inclination towards Buffet.

Anyone know how to figure out the model numbers? Especially for the Leblanc ones.

It appears the Yamaha Allegro line was discontinued (based on Yamaha's website). I can't find any Leblanc Regency clarinets online.

Otherwise...I'm thinking I want a clarinet in between the "intermediate step-up" clarinet and the "full-on pro" clarinet. Suggestions?
 

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KJSatz said:
Otherwise...I'm thinking I want a clarinet in between the "intermediate step-up" clarinet and the "full-on pro" clarinet. Suggestions?
Consider a 600 series Amati (or wait till fall for their new lineup with the Maestro models). You would get a between-intermediate-and-pro clarinet (by our standards), at a fraction of the cost.
Yes, far off the beaten paths.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have not tried a Yamaha CSG. That's the one with the shorter barrel and no bell right, correct? I can't seem to find them for sale online (aside from a used one that might be in A from wwbw?!). Did the CSG "replace" the CSV?

Someone else mentioned to me the Leblanc Cadenza LB130, with its two colorful barrels. But to me, that's sort of a turn off. Why aren't they black like the rest of the clarinet? Also, how does the Cadenza LB130 compare to the Leblanc Sonata L1020?
 

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The Sonata is an intermediate level wooden clarinet, pretty much the same as a Noblet. The pro level Leblancs start at the ConcertoII and then the OpusII.

The CSG has a long top joint and short barrel, and no bell ring. Almost like a German clarinet in it's proportions (hence the 'G' in the model name). Keywork plating is either in silver or Hamilton plate which is a gold/nickel alloy. But don't get taken in by all the blurb on how Hamilton plating enhances the tonal qualities of a clarinet - keywork material and plating has absolutely NO effect o how a clarinet plays or sounds. The only benefit for Hamilton plating is it's hard wearing quality which will be better for people that react against silver (ie. acidic perspiration or allergy).

The thing with fancy barrels and bells is like different sax crooks and cor anglais crooks - you can try them all out and may not settle on one or the other, and then wish you tried others out after you bought the one that felt right on that day. Bit no-one else that has heard your playing is going to be any the wiser of any benefits they may have to you - you'll still sound the same to anyone listening if you play on the original barrel or an aftermarket one.
 

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There have been at least four rosewood Leblanc Symphonie VIIs, a discontinued model, on eBay this month. This assumes you like the alternate Eb/G# (left hand) keyworks. I've been told the Symphonie ranked with the Opus or higher. All these are under $2000 a piece, comes with two barrels and a double case.

I've been eyeing these even though SuzySax is trying one of these in A but hasn't committed to buy yet. The rosewood and the silver keys are stunning.
 

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The Leblanc Symphonie VII was the top model Leblanc at one time, above the Opus, although there were some rosewood bodied Opus clarinets as well for a while until they got rebranded Symphonie VII. They have plastic bushed toneholes as well.

I reckon you can't go wrong with one of these, and having the LH Ab/Eb key is always a bonus.
 

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Having owned one of the rara avis rosewood-bodied Opus clarinets (which I have since bequeathed to our very own Razzy), I have to say that it was quite possibly one of the best clarinets I have ever played, and WAS probably the best clarinet I'd played up until I got my cocobolo-bodied Howarths.

I am BEYOND drooling over the Symphonie VII pair on eBay right now...but alas, I do NOT need any more clarinets. :-\

To address your barrel question, KJ, the barrels that come with the Cadenza are made of cocobolo wood and unstained grenadilla (which is the wood your clarinet is made of). The grenadilla one is what the wood is SUPPOSED to look like...and on most of the new Leblanc/Backuns I've played, the bodies are similiarly unstained (as they damn well SHOULD BE). Not everyone likes the aesthetic of the cocobolo, but Morrie makes EXTRAORDINARY barrels, and it's worth giving it a chance.
 
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