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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2012
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,
has anyone here evaluated the new line of soprano Bb clarinets made by Selmer Paris, including the intermediate Odyssée model ?
How do they compare to Buffet's well established horns ?
In Switzerland, the clarinet market (shops and teachers) is outrageously dominated by Buffet and Yamaha, but as a sax doubler, I'd like to consider Selmer. I'm thinking of upgrading my 40 years old Buffet BC 20.
I had an opportunity to play a Selmer Bass, and was very impressed by it's projection and "saxish" feel. So: how about the Bbs ?
 

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If you have the funds... The Signature is the most AMAZING clarinet I've ever played in my life.
It is a bit more resistant than many others in the Selmer line. I use a Portnoy, C85, or a Knox on it and it blows as easily as my old Buffet Evette Master Model.
It has a very even scale and intonation issues are nowhere near those of many Buffet clarinets. It has the Alt. Ab/Eb key for the right pinky which gives you a little more flexability in that area.

I"m a clarinetist of 40 years. I tried MANY horns before deciding on the Signature.
I would have to say I tried ~10 R13s', Several different Leblanc Concerto, and every Yamaha Custom within driving distance.
None of them gave me the tone and response of the Signature. In the 8 or so years that I've owned it I have never regretted my decision.

Being a doubler... It may be too much horn for your needs. :)
 

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Selmer makes really fine clarinets that don't get the attention that the Buffets do. I would say that they are well worth considering. I have tried a number of them over the years and have liked them very much. Those that I have played have been very even and with great tuning.
 

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Selmer makes some very good modern clarinets. My clarinet teacher in HS was ex-met opera and is a Selmer artist. The signature clarinets are really nice horns...comparable to the higher end buffets like the prestige. I also know someone who played on a recital for a few years but switched back to buffet, so hard to say. The recital clarinets have a much thicker body though and fell kind of odd to play.

I personally play R-13's primarily but my backup clarinet is a selmer series 10G and it is perfect for playing jazz.
 

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Distinguished SOTW member, musician, technician &
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I've tried several of each new Selmer model clarinet and also their bass clarinets (current and older models). For bass clarinets many play Selmers regardless of what they play for sorpano (or if they play soprano clarinet at all). For soprano clarinets Selmers are less popular but still many play them.

Objectively I would say the new Selmer clarinets are excellent. Some of the models are very heavy (I forgot which, but I think all, with possibly the Recital most). They have a great tone, intonation, etc. Several of my favorite clarinetists play new Selmer models and sound great with no problems. Subjectively I just don't like them. They don't feel good to me and they don't play in a way that is comfortable to me, regardless of how great they are.
My conclusion was that they are definitely worth trying.

Re the bass clarinet, I wouldn't say there is necessarily a connection. Although I prefer the Buffet bass, I also really like the Selmer bass clarinet and don't have the same "issues" with it that I do with their soprano clarinets.

If you want to hear some of the best players playing Selmer clarinets and bass clarinets check out Jacques Di Donato, Michel Portal, Louis Sclavis.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member and Great Bloke.
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I sold my Buffet RC prestige and have been using a St Louis model for the last 2 years or so........phenomenal clarinet, big sound, lush and dark but with huge projection. I thoroughly recommend checking them out.......you will be very pleasantly surprised.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2012
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Discussion Starter #9
Nice to read all your comments. Thanks to all of you.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2012
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Discussion Starter #11
Michael, keep us updated. Patricola is also on my list, considering they are manufactured 300 km (200 miles...) from my home.
 

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I'm getting 4 Selmer clarinets in my store {hopefully soon}
Two Priviledge models and Two Signature 442
I'll post our reviews!!
Sold a new Priviledge bass clarinet to low C to a University
that was the best bass we ever played.
 

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Michael, keep us updated. Patricola is also on my list, considering they are manufactured 300 km (200 miles...) from my home.
I really like the Patricola Eb and my Selmer bass. The Patricola is very responsive, the resistance is just right and it's fun to play. My Buffet RC in contrast although a quality horn I've never really got on with. Got a few different pieces but it makes no odds..it's very resistant too. I wish I'd kept my old R13. I think I'm going to try a Patricola Bb as soon as I can.
 
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