Author Topic: "Carbon Fiber" clarinet?  (Read 116 times)

Online DaveLeBlanc

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2840
  • Clarinet-ing since 2012
    • View Profile
    • Watson Musical
"Carbon Fiber" clarinet?
« on: June 20, 2019, 11:42:43 AM »
Backun recently popped out "the world's most technologically advanced clarinet."

This is made of cocobolo with a carbon fiber "shell." Looking at the pictures it appears to be at least 75% wood (and 100% wood where it matters, namely the bore). Only the outer "shell" is carbon fiber.

https://backunmusical.com/products/cg-carbon-bb-clarinet?variant=12299511201845

My question is - does the carbon fiber shell do anything at all for overall sound, tone, or timbre? Since it's mostly wood anyways, I feel like this will sound indistinguishable from a standard cocobolo wood clarinet from Backun.

What are your thoughts about the newest development in the clarinet world?
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages

Offline Dibbs

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 72
    • View Profile
Re: "Carbon Fiber" clarinet?
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2019, 06:13:30 AM »
If the wood cracks, it'll be out of sight and out of mind.

Offline modernicus

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 310
    • View Profile
Re: "Carbon Fiber" clarinet?
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2019, 02:17:05 PM »
Maybe it's lighter?  That would be nice.  Even better if it were just a carbon fiber tube like a single wall metal clarinet.  I have sketches for that in my idea notebook....
« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 03:33:40 PM by modernicus »
If you ain't got 'em, that's why you need 'em...

Offline BLMonopole

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 311
    • View Profile
Re: "Carbon Fiber" clarinet?
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2019, 06:39:30 PM »
I don 't get it.  You can get a great sound from a professionally finished instrument made from a number of different materials, including wood and carbon fiber as companies like Buffet prove daily. 

I feel like true progress would be eliminating the wood (some types of which some are endangered, and it's a material that cracks with some regularity) or fixing the issues with carbon fiber (i.e., that it breaks when submitted to sideways pressure).  This doesn't seem to fix either of those things....does it?

Where are the space age polymers or hard rubber compounds or something new entirely that brings clarinetting to the next level?




Offline LarryS

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 332
  • I'm getting there...
    • View Profile
    • My Music Tree
Re: "Carbon Fiber" clarinet?
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2019, 12:02:10 PM »
Seems a shame to hide that lovely wood grain!
You don't stop playing when you get old, you get old when you stop playing.
Clarinet Pages are go!

Online DaveLeBlanc

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2840
  • Clarinet-ing since 2012
    • View Profile
    • Watson Musical
Re: "Carbon Fiber" clarinet?
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2019, 08:38:28 PM »
Seems a shame to hide that lovely wood grain!
My thoughts too! It's a lovely cocobolo which should never be covered up, since it's so preetty!
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages

Offline philpedler

  • owner of this site
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 473
    • View Profile
    • ClarinetPages
Re: "Carbon Fiber" clarinet?
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2019, 07:05:51 AM »
As Monopole said, “Where are the space age polymers or hard rubber compounds or something new entirely that brings clarinetting to the next level?”

The current Chinese hard rubber is not the same as the old French/USA hard rubber. In my opinion, the new Chinese hard rubber composite is about as good a material as one can get. We may be playing recycled Chinese tires, but it sounds so warm and dark. The thing that needs to go to the next level is attention to details in manufacturing, keeping the instruments consistent to specs for bore and things like the position and size of tone holes.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 06:06:47 PM by philpedler »

Offline Djudy

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Newbie!
    • View Profile
Re: "Carbon Fiber" clarinet?
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2019, 09:31:20 AM »
What are the (or are there any)  good brands of hard rubber clarinets coming out of China these days ? Anybody have one yet ? (just askin' for a friend...)

Online DaveLeBlanc

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2840
  • Clarinet-ing since 2012
    • View Profile
    • Watson Musical
Re: "Carbon Fiber" clarinet?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2019, 11:55:39 AM »
What are the (or are there any)  good brands of hard rubber clarinets coming out of China these days ? Anybody have one yet ? (just askin' for a friend...)

I hear that Ridenour products are manufactured in Taiwan, and then finished here in the States by Tom Ridenour himself.

Windydankoff finishes Chinese clarinets to a fantastic level too.

As far as off-the-shelf, yet high quality clarinets from China - it's very much a crapshoot. Quality control isn't very good, so instruments one serial apart could vary tremendously in finish and quality
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages