Backun clarinets are versatile with a rich tonal projection and resonance made from grenadilla or cocobolo wood. This article gives a detailed review of the best Backun barrels for clarinets.
Last week, I used my clarinet teacher’s barrel and it blew my mind. The tone produced was dark, warm, and flexible. Without having to mess with my clarinet mouthpiece, the barrel produced a soft mellow and tonal projection that could fill up a room. I knew then that I had to get myself a Backun clarinet barrel. I did my research on the best Backun clarinet barrels.
Here’s what I realized:
The best Backun clarinet barrel includes Fatboy, MoBa, new traditional, and Lumiere clarinet barrels. These barrels are versatile and can be used interchangeably for a dark, and rich tone with more resistance and flexibility. Backun barrels can be used by both Bb and A clarinets. They are made from grenadilla or cocobolo woods to prevent warping caused by fluctuating weather conditions.
Backun clarinet barrels are made from unstained Cocobolo or Grenadilla wood naturally aged to produce beautiful grain patterns responsible for their rich color. A varnish is applied on top to give the barrel a glossy finish and enhance its durability.
Backun barrels have a dark rich tone and offer a higher resistance suitable for solo performances, orchestras, and concerts depending on the barrel you choose.
You can also use the barrels with both Bb and A clarinets interchangeably.
Talk about versatility!
Below is a detailed review of the best Backun barrels to choose from depending on your skill level.
Best Backun clarinet barrel comparison table
|Fatboy Backun clarinet barrels||Lumiere Backun clarinet barrels||MoBa Backun clarinet barrels||New traditional clarinet Backun barrels|
|Material type||Grenadilla/Cocobolo wood||Cocobolo/Grenadilla wood||Grenadilla/Cocobolo wood||Grenadilla/Cocobolo wood|
|Interchangeable instrument keys||Bb/A keys||Bb/A keys||Bb/A keys||Bb/A keys|
|Availability||Check the price on Amazon||Check the price on Amazon||Check the price on Amazon||Check the price on Amazon|
Best Backun clarinet barrels review
Backun clarinet barrels are versatile and can be used by professional musicians. Backun uses exotic wood selections such as the Grenadilla or Cocobolo wood that are naturally aged to produce their rich colored clarinet barrels. Backun barrels are aged in a climatically controlled environment to produce their dark and light rich tones.
Grenadilla barrel has a characteristic darker color and produces a bright sound with more tonal projection. This barrel is mostly preferred by jazz, band, and orchestral players.
Cocobolo clarinet barrels are lighter in color and less dense. They produce a warm, dark, and soft sound. The standard-fit for a Backun clarinet barrel ranges from 60 to 69. This barrel length is important when you need to adjust the pitch of the sound produced by your clarinet.
Below are the best Backun clarinet barrels for the perfect sound.
1. Fatboy Backun clarinet barrel standard fit 66mm – Best for versatile professional players.
The Fatboy Backun is a quality barrel used by professional musicians who play jazz, orchestra, classical, and contemporary music.
The Fatboy Backun clarinet barrel is a quality professional barrel that produces a versatile, focused, and controlled sound. The barrel produces a robust tone with ease of articulation to produce a beautifully focused sound.
- Ring less design
- Standard fit: 66 mm
- Material: grenadilla or cocobolo wood
The Fatboy barrel is made from an exotic wood selection like grenadilla or cocobolo woods naturally aged to produce their characteristic deep colors and grain stains.
A barrel made from grenadilla wood will produce a brighter sound with more projection. Fatboy barrel made from Cocodilo wood produces a soft, dark, and warm tone ideal for chamber or solo music.
A standard fit of 66mm helps to adjust the pitch on your clarinet.
What we liked:
- Versatile for all genres
- The larger size to control pitch variations
- High-quality grenadilla wood for professional use
- Suitable for both Bb and A clarinets
What we didn’t like:
- Not durable. Last at least 2 years
This barrel has a free-blowing feel to it mostly preferred by versatile performers who need to project. The barrel is perfect for you if you play jazz, orchestra, classical, and contemporary music. Customers love it for its robust tone and projection that can fill up a room. You can also choose the shorter or longer barrel depending on whether you want to play a flat or sharp tone.
2. MoBa Backun clarinet barrel – Best for solo and orchestral performers.
The MoBa clarinet barrel offers resistance and sound focus with ease of articulation. This barrel provides players with a robust and confident tone essence while also giving artists immediate feedback and response coupled with the power to project.
This barrel is often complimented by most customers as producing a dark, focused, pure and mellow sound that has great power. This barrel is ideal for classical orchestra players and people looking for more resistance.
- Standard fit 62-67
- Material: grenadilla or Cocobolo wood
- Voicing groove
The barrel has a standard fit of 62-67 mm. The Cocobolo wood barrel has a dark warm tone. While the grenadilla produces a brighter tone and ping sound. A MoBa barrel with a voicing grove lowers the pitch of lower join notes. The barrel is dark and focused and improves overall intonation.
What we liked:
- Pure, mellow, and focused sound
- Great projection and intonation
- Interchangeable for Bb and A clarinets
- The standard-fit is between 62-69 mm
What we didn’t like:
- looser on other clarinets e.g. Yamaha clarinet
- High resistance. Not ideal for students players
The MoBa barrel is the most resistant barrel with a robust tone. This barrel maintains a precise articulation with a great tonal projection and produces a dark focus sound with great intonation. This is the perfect barrel if you are a solo or chamber musician.
3. New Traditional Backun clarinet barrel – Best for professional chamber music players.
The new traditional Backun clarinet barrel is ideal for solo and chamber music and players looking for a more traditional barrel. This barrel features an exotic wood body integrated with wooden rings. The new traditional barrel is a new and improved second-generation barrel that produces a clear tone, and stable intonation while also offering an improved tonal articulation.
- Standard fit 65-67mm
- Material: wood
- Weight: 2.2 pounds
- Integrated wooden rings
The barrel is available in both grenadilla and cocobolo wood selection that helps to produce either a sweet mellow sound or a dark, focused tone. It has a lightweight body integrated with wooden rings on both sides that allows it to vibrate freely. The barrel has integrated wooden rings that reduce weight and allow it to vibrate freely.
What we liked:
- Medium resistance
- Wooden rings
- Interchangeable between Bb and A clarinets
- Polite and reserved sound
What we didn’t like:
- Not durable. Lasts at least 2 years
- Sizing differences that cannot be foreseen
The new traditional barrel produces a polite and reserved sound with ease of articulation. When fitted on a student clarinet, this barrel produces a superb tone. This is the first barrel to transition to if you play a synthetic clarinet.
4. Lumiere Backun clarinet barrel – Ideal for orchestra musicians and chamber musicians
Lumiere is a French word meaning light. The Lumiere clarinet barrel offers a rich resonant sound and offers artists both ping and projection. The rich resonant sound produced by the Lumiere clarinet barrel should be your first option if you want a musical instrument that fills up the entire concert hall.
In terms of customer reviews, the Lumiere clarinet barrel is praised for its great flexibility and warmth of tone. The barrel has a standard fit and various lengths to bring a sense of focus when playing your clarinet instrument.
- Standard fit: 62-68 mm
- Material: wood
The standard-fit for a Lumiere barrel ranges from 62-68 for Yamaha, Buffet, Selmer, and Leblanc clarinets. This clarinet barrel is available in both grenadilla and cocobolo wood which allows it to produce a more projected sound.
What we liked:
- Refined and balanced intonation
- Rich resonance
- Used in both Bb and A clarinets
What we didn’t like:
- Notes feel more stuffy compared to other barrels
The barrel is versatile and can be used on both Bb and A clarinets interchangeably. This clarinet is best suited for an artist looking to emulate the human voice and fill the concert hall. Backun ensures they test their barrels before distribution so you can be assured of quality.
Buying guide for Backun Clarinet Barrels- what to look out for
When purchasing a clarinet barrel, there are a few factors you need to look out for to make sure you get the ideal barrel for your clarinet. Backun return policy allows you to test the clarinet barrel and return for a refund if you are not satisfied with the barrel fit, sound, and how it pairs with your instrument.
Factors to consider before purchasing a clarinet barrel include:
1. Barrel size
When choosing a clarinet barrel for your instrument, you should consider the right barrel length and size. The size of your mouthpiece bore size, and barrel length will affect the quality of the sound produced by your instrument.
The Fatboy Backun clarinet barrel is larger. This helps it to produce a beautifully focused sound with great ease of articulation. We recommend testing out the barrel to ensure it is the right size and fit for your instrument.
2. Barrel length and Standard fit
You should keep in mind the length of the clarinet barrel before purchase. The length of the barrel helps to adjust the pitch of the tone on your instrument. Ideally, the standard fit for a clarinet barrel length should range from 65-67 depending on your instrument as this is considered the typical length range. A longer barrel makes the sound of your instrument flatter in pitch.
3. Barrel material
It is important to consider the material your barrel is made from. Most Student players prefer to purchase plastic barrels are they are inexpensive and stay consistent in fluctuating temperatures, unlike wooden barrels. If you wish to achieve a better sound quality, then you need to consider purchasing a wooden barrel as they are more consistent with a rich tone.
Ensure that your barrel material matches the clarinet body material. Wooden barrels are made from a variety of wood such as grenadilla and cocobolo wood. Barrels made from grenadilla produce a brighter sound and is most ideal for players who want to project the sound such as orchestra players.
Cocobolo barrels produce a sweeter, mellow, and darker sound. They are suitable for chamber musicians. Backun clarinets are made from both grenadilla and cocobolo kinds of wood and naturally aged to produce their rich and unique color. We recommend you choose the grenadilla or cocobolo wood as they are more resistant to warping and fluctuating temperatures.
You should also consider the shape of your barrel and your instrument before making a purchase. When purchasing a barrel, there a plenty of shapes you can choose from. Clarinet barrel shapes range from cylindrical, conical, and reverse taper. The backun Fatboy barrel has a thicker and ring less shape. This larger size enables it to produce a warmer, fuller, and fully-focused sound with ease of articulation.
5. Sound focus
Before purchasing a clarinet barrel, you need to consider the sound that you wish to achieve. Sound is an important aspect when it comes to playing a musical instrument. An unfocused sound is very undesirable and affects how your instrument sounds. You should focus on the quality of tone the clarinet barrel produces before purchasing it.
Do you want to achieve a darker, more articulate sound, or a brighter sound? Having a clear idea of the sound you want to achieve is a key factor when choosing the right clarinet barrel for your instrument. Clarinet barrels made from grenadilla wood produce a brighter sound with a greater sound projection. This should be top of the list for you if you are an orchestra player as it will project the sound during a performance.
Barrels made from cocobolo wood produce a dark, warmer, and sweet sound. You should pick this if you are a chamber musician looking for a sweeter sound.
The cost of a clarinet barrel is determined by the material used. Custom-made barrels for your instrument are more expensive. The prices of the custom-made barrels will vary depending on the materials you choose to use. Woodwind barrels are more expensive than plastic barrels but they are of greater quality and produce a versatile tonal range. Backun clarinet barrels while generally expensive are the best quality barrels for your instrument.
The best clarinet barrel to choose from will produce the best sound focus and resonance. This enhances the clarinet’s playability. A barrel with high resistance will be more difficult to control, thus, you should consider a clarinet barrel with slightly less resonance. Choose the barrel that produces the best resonance and playability for your clarinet.
To control your clarinet intonation, the most important part to consider is the clarinet barrel. Therefore, you should ensure you purchase a barrel with the right tuning. You should also consider the tuning frequency of your physical location before making a purchase. In the US, professional orchestras tune to 440 while European countries tune to 442 frequency.
Knowing the tuning frequency of your physical location will help you to narrow down the options you can select for your clarinet barrel. This can also help you to determine the right size for your clarinet barrel before purchase.
Before you purchase a clarinet barrel, make sure to test it out first. Check with your music store to see if they can allow you to test out a barrel before purchase. If this isn’t possible, you can purchase them from an online store and test them out yourself.
The best Backun clarinet barrels include Fatboy, MoBa, Lumiere, and New traditional barrels. They are versatile and offer a wide range of tonal variations. You need to ensure you research the brands before making the purchase.
Backun barrels produce a dark, warm, brighter, richer, and pure sound that is well articulated with a greater projection. They are also ideal for orchestras, jazz musicians, chamber musicians, and concert bands.
When choosing your ideal clarinet barrel, consider factors such as the standard-fit, barrel length, material, sound, skill level, and the performance you want to achieve. Consider the performance you want to achieve before purchasing.
1. Are Backun clarinet barrels interchangeable?
Yes, Backun clarinet barrels are interchangeable. You can optimize your barrel and use them on both Bb and A clarinets to produce a better sound result.
2. Why does my clarinet have 2 barrels?
Normally, clarinets such as the student clarinet come with one barrel. This is to ensure that they are not playing below the standard pitches. The 2 barrels, however, are shaped differently for different tuning and sound quality.
3. Where are Backun clarinets and barrels made?
Backun clarinets and barrels are made in Burnaby, British Colombia. Backun is a Canadian manufacturer that makes both Bb and A clarinets and barrels that can be interchanged. Backun barrels can be used on Buffett, Selmer, Leblanc, and Yamaha clarinets.