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Author Topic: advice on buying bass clarinet?  (Read 102 times)

Offline shinhanga

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advice on buying bass clarinet?
« on: January 05, 2023, 12:12:18 PM »
hi, I'm a string musician who knows very little about clarinets. My daughter played a (borrowed) bass clarinet in middle school band and now (several years later, post-COVID) she would like to try playing bass clarinet again in her small high school band. I'm supportive of this plan and would like to find her a decent playable instrument, but am unsure what to look for, especially in bass clarinets. Also, my current budget is unfortunately pretty low - I would like to spend $500 or less, if possible. I have looked around and found listings in the $200 - $1000+ range, but the cheaper bass instruments invariably need some work or have some broken part(s). If anyone can give me some suggestions, that would be great. thanks!

Offline brigaltman

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Re: advice on buying bass clarinet?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2023, 09:06:22 PM »
I hate to be the barer of bad tidings, but any instrument you find for that price is going to cost more to fix than you pay for it, unless you get really lucky. I have an old Leblanc wood, which I would describe as a cheap bass that would go for somewhere in the $2000 range. Best of luck with your search.
SW Michigan Clarinets

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: advice on buying bass clarinet?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2023, 10:53:16 PM »
I have purchased several perfectly serviceable bass clarinets for less than $500. Cheapest was an Evette (Malerne) hard rubber for $200.
I bought an M. Lacroix wood for $327. Then I bought a Conn hard rubber for $500. The most I ever spent on a bass was $1,050 for a brilliant extended bell, low-C Moennig bros wood from the 1930s. The pads were about that old, but they all sealed and worked perfectly.
I never had to do any work on any of those, and I sold them all for a profit, except for the Moenning which I still retain.

This was all about 10 years ago, so I'm sure things have changed, but when you look at every new listing in the clarinet category on eBay, every single day for over 10 years, the deals find you.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
Irvine, California, United States