Best Clarinet Reviews 2019 Top 10
When you’re in the market looking to buy a new clarinet, the first question that might come to mind is which clarinet is the best? The answer to this would depend heavily on your needs.
The best clarinet for a novice student will differ from that of a professional musician who makes a living out of playing the clarinet. With that being said, identifying your needs as well as your purpose will help you identify which clarinet is the most ideal for you.
Where to Buy Your Clarinet
Today, getting a clarinet is not that difficult with the number of local music stores or second hand musical instrument shops at your disposal. You can even shop online at Amazon, Ebay, and other online stores. Shopping online is more convenient because you can do it in the comfort of your own home but there are certain limitations that come along with it. You won’t be able to personally see and feel the clarinet that you want to purchase with your own hands compared to purchasing from a brick and mortar shop.
But you can do a little combination of both by maximizing their inherent strengths. You can try going to a brick and mortar store and see how different clarinets perform in person.
If you have determined the one that suites you, you can make a final purchase online and take advantage of the potential savings and additional options. This way, you can get the most out of both worlds and maximize your purchase for your clarinet of choice.
Best Clarinet Reviews
Deciding What You Want in a Clarinet brand
In the end, choosing the best clarinet for you and your needs will boil down to identifying what kind of features will give you the most bang for your buck. And a lot of that starts by looking at the kind of material that the Clarinet is made of.
Majority of clarinets in the market today are going to follow either a wood or plastic construction. Deciding on which material construction would be best for you will depend on what you want the instrument to perform, the kind of tone you’re looking to achieve, and what you’re hoping to accomplish throughout your growth process as a musician.
Plastic possess a decent sound if you go along with a good quality instrument coming from a prominent brand name. Its more durable and resilient to cracks compared to wooden clarinets and require minimal maintenance overall. Plastic clarinets are common choices for people in marching bands or groups that perform outdoors because of their resiliency against the weather and outdoor elements.
Wooden Clarinets, meanwhile, are generally more expensive because wood is more costly to produce than plastic. Naturally, they also produce better and richer sounds than plastic ones and have a longer life span in general. But because they are prone to damage from weather and outdoor exposure, they are best played indoors.
The Top 10 Best Clarinet Models in the Market Today
Now that you know where to purchase , in brick and mortar shops or through online stores, and have a basic understanding of material construction and their inherent strengths and weaknesses, we will now proceed to the top options that you can consider. Here are the 10 best clarinet models that you may want to look into that can cater all levels of play from the beginner, the intermediate, to the professional.
Nuvo Clarinets, known also as Clarineos, are smaller and lighter making them perfect for beginners. As a matter of fact, elementary students won’t have a hard time playing them for long hours. Because of their smaller size, smaller fingers can also cover the tone holes and reach the little-finger (pinky) keys more easily. This makes the Nuvo clarinet the perfect choice for kids.
Another reason why this clarinet is perfect for kids is because it is virtually full proof when kids play on them and can sustain treatment that would inflict destructive damage on conventional clarinets. Its entire body and keywork are built out of resilient materials (ABS and Delrin) that can last virtually a lifetime of use and defy extreme temperature and outdoor elements. To ensure superb durability and resiliency, the body is then moulded in two transverse halves, that are then ultrasonically welded. If one of the keywork is damaged, it can be detached easily from the body and replaced by a new key. Repairs can be accomplished at a small fraction of the cost of the same repair with other clarinet models.
The drawback with this full-proof Clarinet is that it is not a non-traditional C clarinet, which means music not intended for C clarinet use would have to be transposed. Beginners will need to have their music adjusted before playing with others who use what would be Bb clarinets.
Jean Paul USA CL-300
Jean Paul USA clarinets are priced all over the world for their superb quality and excellent performance. And when we are talking about the best clarinets for beginners that the market has to offer today, the Jean Paul USA CL-300 is arguably the best in terms of price for the kind of sound quality that it offers.
One of great things about the USA CL-300 is that while it is not that durable compared to the Nuvo clarinet because of its ebonite construction, it does provide better sound effects than plastic models but is stronger and requires lesser maintenance compared to wood. This gives the clarinet that much needed versatility that is perfect for novice players. And when you factor in its very affordable price tag, there is no wonder why the CL-300 is considered by many to be the perfect all around clarinet for students. The clarinet is also a standard Bb clarinet which means it can cater different performances including any school bands and genre of music.
The biggest drawback about the Jean Paul USA CL-300 is its questionable durability. Beginners, specially kids, can be pretty rough with clarinets specially when it comes to the keys. With its price and sound quality, however, the clarinet is still an amazing option for students but not those that are too young to handle extra care in using it.
Buffet B 12
The Buffet B12 is another beloved clarinet in the novice market. It belongs in the elite spectrum for student clarinet choices because of its durability, excellent sound, and user friendly design. The thing that makes the B12 durable is because it is made out of brushed resin material which is a lightweight plastic that is far stronger than ebonite or wood. With that being said, kids can still mess around and be kids while they are playing this instrument and you won’t have to worry about the possible damages.
The Buffet B12 is a standard Bb clarinet which means its versatile and is known to be very easy to tune and finger. Put into the equation its excellent sound quality and beginners will surely have a great time playing this clarinet. The only thing that can discourage people from buying the B12 is its expensive price. But if you are willing to put up for its price for quality and long lasting use, then this clarinet won’t disappoint.
The Yamaha YCL-225 is a standard Bb Clarinet constructed out of ABS resin body, nickel-plated silver keys, 65mm barrel, and an adjustable thumb-rest with strap ring. When your purchase it, a CL-4C mouthpiece is included. Following Yamahas advance manufacturing techniques and premium features, the YCL-225 is one of the best entry-level instruments in the market today capable of creating warm, resonant tones that is remarkably similar to that of a wood clarinet.
But not only does it replicate the wood clarinet’s rich sound qualities, but also its exquisite style. It’s ABS resin body comes with a matte finish that imitates the look of a wood clarinet and an adjustable thumb-rest with a neck strap ring that makes it very easy to use even for smaller hands. What’s more, the clarinet also has a strap ring that allows players to hold the instrument with relative ease and convenience.
When it comes to durability, the Yamaha YCL-225 has plenty to offer with firmer screws and silver soldered ring. It’s ABS resin material not only fosters better durability but also improved response. The Clarinet’s bell is also equipped with a resonance chamber that facilitates projection and better intonation in lower notes. The 65mm barrel is based on high-end Yamaha clarinet designs that aid in creating more précised tones. The YCL-255 also comes with robust Valentino pads that are easy to repair and resilient to temperature changes.
Yamaha YCL250 Clarinet
The Yamaha YCL-250 Clarinet is another student model clarinet that integrates a number of the renowned qualities of Yamaha’s professional and custom models. The designers of the YCL-250 know full well the challenges that students face when mastering notes and fingerings for the very first time specially when they are playing it with an out of tune instrument. With that being said, the YCL-250 was built to address these crucial concerns by following a design that follows better sound projection and improved intonation in lower notes.
The designers also understand that beginners will naturally be quite care-free in using their clarinets and scratches, bruises, and damages are a norm. That’s why they have built the YCL-250 to be durable enough to withstand potential damage from beginner use and those from weather and outdoor elements as well. Not only that, they also ensured that the plastic material is stylish enough to replicate the more expensive wood models due to its matte finish. What you get is a stylish clarinet capable of generating quality sounds and durable enough to withstand constant use.
With all these great qualities, however, comes great price. The Yamaha YCL-250 is a bit pricy and if you are looking for something more affordable then this clarinet is not the one for you.
Yamaha YCL 450/650
The previous 5 models where the best choices for beginners and students alike. If you are looking for a clarinet that caters the needs of intermediate level players, two of the top options that you can consider are the Yamaha YCL-450 and YCL-650.
In intermediate level clarinets, rarely do you see plastic models because of the high-level of sound quality and performance that intermediate level players normally demand from their instruments. Both Yamaha models are built from rosewood and this in turn gives the instrument a distinct capability to generate enhanced sounds. While its more complicated to play with and less durable than their plastic counterparts, it’s not a problem with intermediate players who are already adept in playing the clarinet and are careful enough to maintain their instrument’s structural integrity.
The only problem you will see with both models is their expensive price tags which is quite typical with Yamaha models because of their distinct quality and reliability. If your working on a tight budget, you’re better off looking for other options.
Most buffet models for intermediate level players are made out of wood which instantly tells you that their clarinets offer superb sound quality, great feel, as well as exquisite style and finish. The best in their line are the the E11 or E12 models which are priced a little less than Yamaha models but possess the same structural and sound quality. For many intermediate players, the Buffet E11 and E12 are the versatile clarinet models that are ideal to their needs.
The drawback with these models is that they are still expensive even though they are a bit cheaper than the Yamaha YCL450 and YCL650. And just like the two Yamaha models, they are also quite fragile primarily because of their wooden material. But for many intermediate level players, durability is not often the issue which makes the E11 and E12 still superb choices without their expensive price tags.
While both Yamaha and Buffet Clarinet models are superb in their own right, their relatively hefty price tags can easily scare away even the most serious intermediate player. If you are looking for a more affordable option, then the Mendini MCT-30 is the one for you.
It is still crafted out of wood, which means you gain access to superb sound quality for an affordable price. But because it is cheaper, it also lacks the features that more advanced players seek with their clarinets. Its mouthpiece can also be a source of concern which means you will have to buy a new one of for your own if you want to experience better from this particular piece…
If you are a professional, one of the top options for you to consider is the Yamaha YCL-CSV. The clarinet is a magnificent wooden instrument, hand crafted purely for sound quality and perfection. What the professional gets is an instrument that can deliver rich, full sounds made possible by intricate designing particularly in its custom bell design that was carefully crafted to facilitate in the overall sound quality of the instrument.
The thing that you need to consider though, is its expensive price tag. But if you are a professional, it would be easy to invest on a pricey instrument as long as it delivers the kind of performance that you expect from it and that’s what the Yamaha YCL-CSV is guaranteed to give you.
Buffet Greenline 1193
If you are a professional C bass clarinet player, the Buffet Greenline 1193 is a superb option. Hand crafted from wood, it is designed to produce quality sound at good volume. What’s more, it was build to defy temperature changes which is a bit of a concern with other brands which means you can play it outdoors if needed. The Greenline also has an Eb/Ab lever that allows for a wide range of sound. The only drawback is that its simply super expensive.