Best Selmer Clarinets

Selmer is one of the most recognized brands when it comes to clarinet models. The French based company is well known for building high quality musical instruments built to last a lifetime. Selmer clarinets come with the distinction of being easy to use, elegant look and high quality sound output.

Many professional and intermediate clarinet players attest to the quality of Selmer clarinets. If you are thinking of getting a piece for yourself or a loved read on for the Best Selmer Clarinets.

Best Selmer Clarinets – A Comparison Table

ModelMaterial Keys Availability
Selmer CL 211Unstained granadilla woodB FlatCheck Price
Selmer Paris Recital ModelGranadilla woodB FlatCheck Price
Selmer USA 1400BPlastic resinB FlatCheck Price
Selmer Paris Saint LouisGranadillaB FlatCheck Price
Selmer Student Model CL301PlasticB FlatCheck Price
Selmer Aristocrat CL601CompositeB FlatCheck Price

Reviews of the Best Selmer Clarinets

Selmer CL 211 – Best Intermediate Bb clarinet

The Selmer CL 211 is an ideal Bb clarinet for beginner and intermediate players. The instrument is made from granadilla wood which makes it durable and less susceptible to cracks. The piece also features a tampered bore measuring .573 inches.

Selmer CL 211 is the perfect choice for those thinking of playing in an orchestra or for solo performances. For your keys you have the Boehm 17 key system. To improve the response the tone holes in the clarinet have been undercut and this helps in playing of songs and etudes.

The clarinet uses high quality pieces all through. For example, the springs on the instrument are made from blue steel which gives it added tensile strength. The springs are also rust resistant hence quite durable. Players will have at their disposal an adjustable thumb rest which eradicates strain during long performances. The Selmer is produces a warm and well controlled tone.

What we liked:

  • Undercut tone holes for a smoother polished scale
  • Made from unstained aged granadilla wood
  • Medium small bore clarinet suitable for intermediate players
  • Durable blue steel springs

What we did not like:

  • A bit expensive


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Selmer Paris Recital Model – Best Elegant clarinet

The Selmer Paris is a clarinet for those players who desire a rich and dark sound. It features a small bore and can be used for those players who have attained advanced level and are looking for something better. The Selmer is made purely from granadilla wood, which increases its appearance while at the same time remaining sturdy.

Using granadilla wood has some benefits like the material being water resistant. The instrument keys have been positioned in a standard format with silver coatings to improve finger contact. The Selmer Paris keys are made from stainless steel which helps maintain the clarinets durability.

The Selmer Paris comes with a standard 17 key Boehm system which is responsible for quality sound output and fast responses. You can use the instrument for playing orchestras. The bore size for the instrument is .565 which is a perfect size for producing the right resonance. The Selmer pads are made from leather and you have a carrying case for added protection.

What we liked:

  • Weather resistant granadilla wood construction
  • Elegant appearance
  • Standard 17 key system that is silver coated
  • Stainless steel springs

What we did not like:

  • Hard to maintain


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Selmer USA 1400B – Best Student Bb clarinet

The Selmer 1400B is an ideal clarinet for students as many do use it. The clarinet is affordable as it is made from plastic resin. It is also durable and lightweight hence the suitability for students. To complement the plastic body are silver coated keys which are durable and rust resistant. They also offer a shiny gloss when properly polished. The instrument is known to serve users for long periods as they are weather resistant.

The Selmer 1400B keys are made from stainless steel while the pads are from leather. The plastic construction should not worry you much as the clarinet produces some high quality sounds. The clarinet is B Flat piece which makes it suitable for students and beginners. The pitch for this instrument is of a good quality and this makes it ideal for instrumentalists.

You can use the Selmer to play low and high B and C notes. The instrument comes with a double barrel that helps players achieve the right intonation.

What we liked:

  • Made from durable plastic resin
  • Affordable and lightweight
  • Suitable for student and beginner players
  • High quality sound output

What we did not like:

  • Key work easily bents


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Selmer Paris Saint Louis – Best A Clarinet

The A clarinet is one of the most popular types of clarinet after the Bb. It is widely used for classical plays and you will often find players carrying the two pieces. The first thing you notice about the clarinet is that it has a branded Selmer Paris C85 120 mouthpiece. The clarinet comes with a good host of versatile features which makes it ideal for producing a variety of tones.

The Selmer Paris Saint Louis is made from granadilla and this gives it a classic look. It is offered with two barrels and is quite resistant to cracks and extreme weather. You can tune the clarinet to the A key. The Selmer also features adjustable springs which helps the player make a variety of customized sounds.

The clarinet is lightweight hence making it ideal for someone who travels a lot. You also have solid thumb rest and keys and this prevents you from moving around during lengthy playing sessions. The keys are silver and nickel coated and this gives the clarinet its shiny appearance. To help players with a variety of etudes the clarinet comes with a special Eb lever. The Selmer operates on a 17 key Boehm system and this helps it reach the right intonation. It has a bore size of .573. The pads are made from leather. Overall, this is a great piece for a variety of purposes.

What we liked:

  • Silver and nickel plating give it a shiny appearance
  • Made from durable granadilla wood
  • Special Eb lever for a variety of etudes
  • 17 key Boehm system
  • Branded Selmer mouthpiece

What we did not like:

  • Can be complicated to play


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Selmer Student Model CL301 – Best Bore ream

The Selmer Model CL301 is a classy looking clarinet ideal for students and intermediate players. It is designed in such way as to help students learn their etudes. The sound quality on the piece is excellent and is varied from the low and high B keys. You also experience different intonations for a variety of keys.

The Selmer is a lightweight clarinet that is designed to be durable plastic. This also makes it easier to maintain than the wooden clarinets. The finishing on the clarinet is also great as it gives it a classy look.

To help players get the right response when playing songs and etudes, the clarinet bore has a ream. It is notable to note that this ream is handcrafted. The Selmer bore measures .573 which is an ideal size for a student clarinet. The size of this bore is ideal for improved resonance and sound output. You can use the Selmer clarinet for extended performances and practice sessions.

During purchase the clarinet is accompanied with its own case and cleaning materials.

What we liked:

  • Highly versatile clarinet
  • Made from durable plastic
  • Comes with its own handcrafted bore ream
  • Suitable for student and intermediate players

What we did not like:

  • Some questions in regards to durability


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Selmer Aristocrat CL601 – Best Easy to play clarinet

The Selmer Aristocrat features a slender design with some distinguishing features like well positioned keys and mouthpiece. This makes it ideal for use by students, and advanced players. Due to the simplicity of its design children clarinet players can also try out this instrument.

The clarinet is made from a composite body with the keys coated with nickel and silver. This ensures they remain shiny and durable. Coated keys do come in handy during extended practice sessions as you they do not have to fear of the keys bending. The Selmer aristocrat keys have also been well positioned is such a way that they are easier to play.

The Selmer pads are made from leather and this helps in the functionalities of the piece. They are also securely sealed and this allows them to withstand pressure. During purchase you get the clarinet with a carrying case for extra protection.

What we liked:

  • Well positioned keys and mouthpiece
  • Coated nickel and silver keys that do not bend
  • Leather pads that can withstand pressure
  • Easy to play instrument

What we did not like:

  • Needs lots of care


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Buying Guide for Best Selmer Clarinets

Selmer is a well-established brand in the music industry. Their clarinets are used by student, beginner and advanced players. The Selmer uses the French key system which makes it quite distinctive. It is necessary that you consider the level you are in before purchasing a clarinet. If you are student get something you find easy to play. Most of the beginner clarinets tend to be made from plastic. The material is readily available and makes the clarinet to be cost effective. Here are some key factors to consider when purchasing a clarinet:


The first thing you need to consider is the materials used. Clarinets can either be made from plastic or wood. The most common clarinet is the plastic one as the materials are easily available. This brings the costs down hence the preference as a student clarinet. Plastic clarinets are also easier to maintain than the wooden ones and you do not need to worry about warping or cracks. Professional players mostly use wooden clarinets due to the sound produced. The most commonly used wood type is granadilla or African blackwood. The wood has a high density and gives an unmistakable sound. Wooden clarinets while elegant looking do need lots of care. Too much or too little of humidity will cause the instrument to warp or crack. The other option is Buffet Crampon hybrid clarinets that are made from 95% granadilla wood fiber and 5% mixture of carbon fiber and epoxy resin. This material is the best as it offers benefits from both sides. The material is capable of withstanding a variety of climatic conditions while still retaining that classy look. It requires less maintenance and does not crack.

Keys and plating

Clarinets key can be made from silver, nickel or gold. The most common material is nickel as it does not tarnish easily like silver. It has a somewhat shiny appearance and is used in many student and beginner clarinets. Silver plating is a good alternative due to its warm and brilliant appearance but it has the downside of tarnishing easily when not properly maintained. Gold is rarely used by you will find some professional clarinets using the material.

Types of clarinets

The clarinet family consists of different kinds of instruments each suitable for a particular music level. The clarinets are tuned differently, have varying bore sizes, and styles. The most popular type of clarinet is the Bb clarinet. It can be used for producing a variety of musical tunes like Mozart, swing and jazz. The clarinet is popular with students due to its ease of playing. The Bb clarinet has being used to write a wide repertoire of music. It is often a great crossover instrument from the flute or saxophone.

The A clarinet follows in the popularity after the Bb clarinet and is widely used by classical players. In fact you will often spot them carrying the two instruments together and they will often use switch in between songs with the instruments.

The Eb clarinet is a bit complicated to play and is largely used by players with more advanced fingerings. The instrument is largely used for concert bands and orchestras. This is because it is used for the production of higher melodies and may be more difficult to play than the Bb or A clarinet. The Eb is not usually recommended to students but is an excellent choice for advanced players.

Bass clarinets are in a class of their own due to their large sizes. It is used to produce a sizeable repertoire that can be heard in jazz, orchestras, classical music and even pop. Due to its large size the bass clarinet is mainly positioned on the floor with its own thorn. You can also see some players using it with a strap to ease the weight. The bass clarinets differs significantly from other clarinets in that it has the bell tuned upwards. It is used for producing low Eb and low C notes. The Bass clarinet will produce a deep, sweet tone.


The ligature is a small part of the clarinet that holds the reed and mouthpiece in place. The ligature is very important as it determines the kind of sound produced. The ligature will impact how a clarinet vibrates and this directly influences its tone and playability. Most of the ligature is made from metal but you can have occasional leather ligatures. When purchasing a clarinet you will have the standard ligature that comes with the piece but you can always upgrade to something better. A good ligature also serves the purpose of preventing premature wear and tear of the clarinet.


Selmer is a French company that has a reputation for producing high quality clarinets. The clarinets are made from either wood or plastic. Selmer clarinets have a distinctive elegant look and tend to be easy to play. They are available for use by students, intermediates and advanced players. Since the basic design of the instrument varies you will need to carefully identify one that meets your sound quality. The clarinets are differently priced from budget ones to more pricier professional clarinets.


Should I purchase a wooden or plastic Selmer clarinet?

It will depend on your budget and what level you are playing in. Plastic clarinets have the advantage of being budget friendly while still remaining easy to use. This makes them ideal for students and beginners who may not have found their playing style. The wooden Selmer clarinets are classy but more expensive and are more preferred by professional players. Wooden clarinets tend to be harder to maintain as you need to keep the wood with the right humidity.

Are nickel plated keys better than the silver ones?

The nickel plated keys are the most common because they do not tarnish that easily. They are also durable and the keys do not bend. The silver plated keys are better looking but silver tends to tarnish when not well taken care of. The other option is to get a gold plated key but this are often found in professional clarinets where personality matters a lot.

Which is the best clarinet for student?

The most common type of clarinet used by students and beginners is the Bb clarinet. This is easier to play and a great clarinet to start with.

Charlotte Moore is a Clarinetist by profession and has over time offered lessons on how to play the clarinet among other musical instruments. And while a majority of clarinet players are well versed with the process of settling with a good clarinet among other accompanying features. There is little information about clarinets. The reason why Charlotte prepared comprehensive experts touching on the various facets of the clarinet. The consolidated information will offer more insight on everything clarinets including the best stand to use, and the best plastic clarinet that you can invest in, among other information. Charlotte Moore is a devoted mother of two and a professional clarinet player.

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