Jean Baptiste CL290 vs. Jean-Paul Plus CL350 – Which is better for Students?

Are you tired of always renting a clarinet and are ready to own one? If yes, you should focus on student clarinets. Some of your options include Jean Baptiste CL290 and Jean-Paul Plus CL350.

When my son joined a band, I bought him a student clarinet, but it did not last him through his first year. Since I paid more attention to the price during purchase, I bought one made from cheap plastic. We were disappointed when it broke quickly, and I took my time before getting him a replacement. I began comparing student clarinets that were made from durable models. Here is everything I learned about Jean-Paul Plus CL350 and Jean Baptiste CL290.

What are the differences between Jean Baptiste CL290 and Jean-Paul Plus CL350?

Model Jean Baptiste CL290 Jean-Paul Plus CL350
Body ABS plastic ABS plastic
Keys Nickel-plated Nickel-plated
Thumb hook Adjustable Adjustable
Blue steel springs Available Available
Accessories Mouthpiece, soft case, cap, ligature Upgraded case, cork grease, swab, cleaning cloth, Rico reed, ligature, foldable stand, and glove
Weight 3 pounds 5.62 pounds
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Jean Baptiste CL290 vs. Jean-Paul Plus CL350- How do they compare?


Though both clarinets are made from a similar material, Jean-Paul Plus CL350 has more to offer than Jean Baptiste CL290. It comes with numerous accessories that can prevent you from spending more cash purchasing them later. They include cork grease, ligature, mouthpiece, Rico reed, glove, cap, foldable stand, and swab. On the other hand, Jean Baptiste CL290 has a mouthpiece, cap, and ligature.

Jean-Paul Plus CL350, therefore, wins in this category since it has more accessories than Jean Baptiste CL290.


The manufacturers of both clarinets add cases to make them more portable and protect them while on the move. Despite this, the cases these clarinets use are not similar. Jean Baptiste CL290 comes with a standard case, while Jean-Paul Plus CL350 has an upgraded case. Though this clarinet is heavier, its quality case makes it easy to carry around. It also offers better protection compared to the Jean Baptiste CL290 case.

Jean-Paul Plus CL350 wins in this category since it has a better quality case than Jean Baptiste CL290.


Jean Baptiste CL290 is designed for a student with no prior experience playing the clarinet. On the other hand, Jean-Paul Plus CL350 is a student plus clarinet. It appeals to students that are not completely new to this musical instrument.

Jean-Paul Plus CL350 also wins in this category since it is a bit advanced compared to Jean Baptiste CL290.

Jean Baptiste CL290 vs. Jean-Paul Plus CL350-A comparison overview

Jean Baptiste CL290 overview

You should begin with a beginner-friendly clarinet if you are just starting out. Jean Baptiste CL290 is an ideal model that does not disappoint. It comes at a low price and has a solid design. It is made from ABS plastic, one of the quality materials used in most clarinets.

The body makes it possible for the clarinet to withstand rigorous playing. Feel free to use this model in a marching band. It also comes with an attractive matte finish that makes it look like a wooden clarinet. This clarinet also comes with nickel-plated keys that deliver excellent key action.

The keys are durable since they do not tarnish quickly and are easy to maintain. Some people, however, get allergic reactions to nickel plating after some time. If you notice skin irritation after playing this clarinet for some time, you should break from playing this model.

The barrel and bore of this clarinet improve intonation and playability. Since the barrel of this clarinet does not have tenon rings, sound can resonate more and lead to a better tone. Unlike student clarinets that feature a fixed thumb rest, this model contains an adjustable thumb hook. It will therefore remain comfortable in your hands.

Jean Baptiste CL290 is equipped with blue steel springs that provide precise action. Some of the accessories you should expect with this clarinet include a ligature, mouthpiece, case, and soft carrying case. Since this clarinet also comes in a compact design, it is easy to carry around.

Some users are disappointed by the mouthpiece that this clarinet comes with. Fortunately, you can replace this feature after some time to boost the performance of the clarinet.


  • It is durable
  • The clarinet is easy to play
  • Most users find it comfortable
  • It is affordable
  • The model has great intonation


  • It comes with limited accessories


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Jean-Paul Plus CL350 overview

Do you have some little experience with a clarinet but are not yet in the intermediate stage? If yes, this model is for you. It is a clarinet that can grow with you and offers more than most student clarinets. Like the previous model, Jean-Paul Plus CL350 is made from ABS material, making it a long-lasting model.

You can depend on this clarinet for a long time without it breaking. Most users are also impressed with the sweet and high-quality sound that this clarinet produces. The manufacturer designs it to mimic a wooden clarinet in terms of performance.

This clarinet also uses the Boehm French key system and features 17 keys. You can use this model effortlessly in a band since it comes with nickel-plated keys that let you move your fingers easily. The key material also prevents them from bending or getting damaged as you set up this clarinet. This student clarinet also features an adjustable thumb rest that enables it to accommodate players with different hand sizes.

You can start playing this clarinet right out of the box since it comes with all the accessories you need. Some include a mouthpiece, a Rico reed 2.5, cork grease, swab, ligature, and an upgraded carrying case. It is, therefore, a portable clarinet that is easy to maintain.

Unlike most models, this clarinet includes a foldable music stand that you can use while playing different styles of music. Your package may also include a glove. Once you purchase this clarinet, you should expect a one-year warranty for it.


  • Made using durable materials
  • Come with strong and comfortable keys
  • Numerous accessories
  • Includes an upgraded carrying case
  • Delivers sweet sound


  • It comes with a standard mouthpiece that needs replacing.


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Verdict: So, which is better? Jean Baptiste CL290 or Jean-Paul Plus CL350

Though I found a lot of similarities between the two clarinets, they are not equal. Jean-Paul Plus CL350 has an edge since it has more accessories, accommodates more advanced players, comes with an upgraded carrying case, and uses the Boehm 17 key system. Jean-Paul Plus CL350 is, therefore, the clear winner and the better option for students.


Can I purchase replacement parts if the Jean-Paul Plus CL350 breaks?

This depends on when it happens. If the clarinet breaks within one year of purchase, you don’t have to buy replacement parts since the warranty may cover it.

Can Jean Baptiste CL290 get damaged if I leave it in the sun?

No. Since this clarinet is made using ABS material, it will not be affected by the sun. It would get damaged if it was a wood clarinet since this material is sensitive to harsh weather conditions.

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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