Leblanc has produced high-quality clarinets for years, and it is obvious that the Leblanc Opus II A clarinet is equally good. This clarinet is classic and great for professionals. Keeping reading to know whether it’s the one for you.
I have been a great fan of Leblanc due to its track record in instrument production. The Leblanc Opus II is a perfect example of LeBlanc’s finesse in the music industry until its acquisition by Buffet in 2010, who have continued to carry on the legacy that began with Noblet and then Leblanc. The most interesting bit is that renowned musician Larry Combs was part of the design team of this instrument. I was not privileged to get a new Opus II, but I got a clean, well-maintained clarinet online, and I cannot complain. It has become a precious treasure, and I will review it in this post, so keep reading for all the fine details.
Leblanc Opus II A Clarinet Overview
This classic might not be in production anymore, but its rich memories linger on. The first thing that you will notice is the impressive keywork that is well aligned to produce a rich, well-rounded dark tone. The clarinet comes with an original poly cylindrical bore of 14.61mm, but it’s hard to find one with all the original accessories intact. However, there are great fits that work with this clarinet. It features raised and tampered tone holes that produce a balanced sound. It also comes with an inverted tapered barrel.
I liked the sturdiness of the Grenadilla wood that makes the most of this clarinet and nickel-plated keys. I would recommend it for intermediate and advanced players, who are ready to handle a wood clarinet. This instrument can pose a challenge for beginners as it has hard reeds. The expressive, rich tone is what grabs any person with a good ear’s attention. It has a revolutionary keywork that surpasses all the older opus models. They are ergonomic and easy to play, and the 18-key design features the LH Ab and Eb. The keys are more fluid than other Opus models, making it a preferred instrument among many professionals.
My clarinet came in fish skin pads, but if you are thinking that they are made with actual fish skin, you are among the many people who are misled by the name. These pads are leather and waterproof, and they are airtight to keep your tone aligned and with no crankiness and screeching sounds. I also got four interchangeable barrels that are 64.8mm, 66.4mm, 66.5mm, and 66.0mm. These barrels work to produce the tone that you desire for a particular session or music. I enjoyed how this instrument fitted in my hand and how comfortable it felt to play. On the flip side, the price tag is a great disadvantage to many players, but its quality and sound are worth every penny.
We were also impressed by the adjustable bridge mechanism and the pleasant design of the keys. It is appealing to the eye, and when you begin to play, the outward appearance matched the quality produced. The key style we keep going on about is an offset trill keys design and auxiliary Ab-Eb keys. The unstained aged Grenadilla remains crack-free and damage-free as long as you store it properly. It also graces your world with an original Leblanc Larry Combs Ebonite mouthpiece. I got mine in a nice wood shell case that is anti-warp with spacious compartments for every accessory and even miscellaneous items.
What we liked
- The sleek keywork
- The rich, dark sound
- The durable aged Grenadilla wood
- The hardy wood shell case
- The original mouthpiece and other accessories
What we didn’t like
- The price is high for most players
Leblanc Opus II A Clarinet Specifications
|Model||Leblanc Opus II A Clarinet|
|Material||Grenadilla wood, Nickel-Plated keys|
|Sound||Dark, Rich Tone|
|Mouthpiece||Original Leblanc Larry Combs Ebonite|
Leblanc Opus II A Clarinet Features
Design and Build
This clarinet is made from Grenadilla Harwood, which is aged to make it durable. The wood comes unstained for that natural look of pure wood. The keys are nickel-plated to give a shiny silver finish. The wood is well-polished for a fine finish that showcases Leblanc at its finest. Your eyes will be treated to a stunning keywork enhanced with an adjustable bridge mechanism that saves you from unending trips to the repair shop.
The dexterity of these keys and endurance are a treat to your fingers. It is well-designed with 18 keys and six rings, and the cup pad style is rounded. This is an original French instrument by a top brand in the world. It only weighs 7.59 pounds, making it a lightweight instrument that will not be strenuous to carry and play. Its dimensions are 23.2 x 13.6 x 6.69 inches.
The acoustic sound of the instrument is as great as its predecessors in the opus series. It is rich, dark, precise, and well-tuned. This is greatly attributed to the magnificent keywork and the material of the clarinet. Grenadilla is known to enhance tone and enrich the sound of an instrument.
The wood barrels do exactly what they are meant to do, and you can hear the difference they make in articulation and precision. It is a favorite due to its left Ab/Eb key, and most professionals pick it over other Opus models for this sole reason. The 14.61mm bore was deliberate to make this model better in tune and easy to control than its predecessors.
The original Leblanc Ebonite mouthpiece is one of a kind and works great for this instrument. It is long facing with a tip opening of 1.14mm to make the right restriction for a professional player. The hard rubber material is dubbed ebonite and works perfectly with hard reeds. It is called Leblanc Larry Combs as the latter was a collaborator in the design of this instrument and its accessories. A hard rubber mouthpiece requires a developed embouchure to have an easy time. Beginner clarinets are advised to use plastic mouthpieces as they develop their embouchure.
The clarinet comes with a luxurious wood shell case for maximum protection and ample storage for the instrument and all its accessories. This clarinet features a unique moennig that has a reverse taper bore. This bore is designed to improve intonation and notes in all registers. The consistency and tone are out of this world, and it explains why this instrument has been used by the world’s best musicians like Larry Combs, who also happens to be a partner in its design.
Who it’s best suited for
This classic instrument is best for professionals who are looking for a great quality addition to their musical instrument collection. It comes with an original ebonite mouthpiece that is designed in collaboration with Larry Combs. This instrument is suitable for professionals who can handle reeds with a strength of above 3.5.
Are there Alternatives to Leblanc Opus II A Clarinet?
Yes, there are some great competitors out there that are as good, if not better than this opus model. A good product enjoys some healthy competition, and this keeps the company on its toes. Some of the worthy competitors of the Opus II are Buffet Crampon Tradition Professional A Clarinet Nickel Plated Keys, which comes in Grenadilla wood and weighs 12 pounds, Yamaha YCL-CSVRA Series Professional A Clarinet that is made with Grenadilla wood and plays in the A key and comes in a hard shell case, and Buffet Crampon Tosca Bb Clarinet Grenadilla that comes with two barrels an unstained Grenadilla material.
Features of Alternatives
|Model||Buffet Crampon Tradition Professional A Clarinet Nickel Plated Keys||Yamaha YCL-CSVRA Series Professional A Clarinet||Buffet Crampon Tosca Bb Clarinet Grenadilla|
|Material||Grenadilla wood||Grenadilla wood||Grenadilla wood|
|Sound||Pure, Precise||Clear, Focus||Consistent, velvety sound|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
This clarinet is on top of the best A Clarinets list due to its superb craftsmanship and revolutionary keywork. It becomes more prestigious due to the collaboration of Larry Combs in its design. The instrument is carefully developed with aged, unstained, and handpicked Grenadilla wood from France. The Leblanc brand has made a mark in the musical instruments world and continues sot supply musicians with top-quality accessories and instruments. If you are looking for a dark, rich tone with amazing keywork, this is the clarinet you need. The difference between this and the Bb is that it is tuned to the A key. If you are a professional looking to add to your collection, this is a great addition.
Is the Leblanc A clarinet a soprano clarinet?
Yes, it is. The only difference between Opus II and the Bb is that it is set at key A while the Bb plays at B flat.
Is Leblanc still producing instruments?
Yes, the company has limited its production to Clarinets and Saxophones.
Is the Leblanc brand good?
Yes, it has been around for decades and has kept a track record of high-quality instruments.
Does LeBlanc produce clarinets in France?
No, the company does not have a factory in France.