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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My niece in England (12 years old) wants to learn the clarinet. Obviously I am very pleased and I offered to give her one. I can't give her one of mine because I only have German ones, and in England and the rest of the world they use Boehm.

I don't know which brand to go for, since in Germany we use German brands. I would get her a student model to start with so she doesn't feel under pressure, even a used one if I can find a good one.

So I need some advice on this, please...?

Also, they live in Bedford, so is there a good reliable music shop I could use to organise this?
 

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Yamaha, Jupiter, Buffet, Vito, etc. They're all good student models. Pick one up off Ebay and spend the $ you save getting it serviced by a reputable tech.

I played duets today with a very good player. She had her Yamaha pro clarinet and I had my student model Buffet B-12 that I use to run around from school to school. Both of us had Clark Fobes mouthpieces. She sounded better. The Yamaha pro clarinets have a fantastically even scale and a really nice tone. maybe a little bright up top but that's a matter of taste. The student Buffet sounds quite bright and brash in comparison. Mainly though, and this is what concerns your situation, my playing partner sounded nicer not because of the better clarinet, but because she's a very good player.

If you want to get a really nice sounding "student" clarinet, try to find a Vito V-40. I teach kids all day every day and having tried most of the beginner models, the Vito V-40 comes closest IMO to the sound of a pro model clarinet.

One final thought. More important than the equipment itself, it's really hard to get a nice clarinet sound if you've never heard a nice clarinet sound. Buy your neice a CD of one of the top clarinet players to go with whichever clarinet you decide upon.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Is there an English version of Thomann?

Actually I am sceptical about Thomann, they once delivered something bad (a reed-holder that was of such nasty plastic that the reeds burned my tongue) and were not interested in my complaint. Though I suppose if it was a Yamaha or so they couldn't get it wrong, surely.
 

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The buffet B12, is an excellent beginners clarinet!..and if you look on ebay there are several good options to be had.
I also use the clark fobes mouthpiece thats a debut! its a student piece but delivers more in the way of quality,sound etc..
I mention the buffet, as it is as good as most others, easy to play, simple..
 

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I ordered (and received) a Yamaha German System clarinet (Bb soprano model YCL 457-20) from Matthews Music in The Netherlands. They ship all over the world and have competitive pricing. You may want to contact them for advice. I agree with you that Boehm is much more popular (and frankly makes little difference in tone, although the arguments there are never-ending). My Boehm clarinets (Buffets and an old Silver King) and my Conn Albert have much better tuning than the new Yamaha. DAVE
 

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If you think your niece would prefer something that looks like a 'grown up' clarinet and not a 'kids' clarinet you might want to see if there are any Selmer Signet 100's floating around in really nice shape.
They are classified as a 'step up' instrument but they play quite nicely, and are wood. If it has it's original mouthpiece it probably is an HS*. No need to swap out mouthpieces if this is the case. I personally prefer the HS* over the B45.
A Buffet Evette is also another good option.

Yamaha student/intermediate clarinets are decent as well and I'm pretty sure they are available in the Boehm system in Germany.
A German exchange student brought her Yamaha Boehm with her so she could participate in a 'real American marching band' while she was here.
 
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