If you are looking for a wonderful vintage clarinet without breaking the bank, the Noblet Paris Bb Clarinet wood is your best bet. This clarinet is rich in tone and is reliable for intermediate and advanced users, as we shall see below.
I had been on the verge of giving up my passion for the clarinet after purchasing a highly glorified modern clarinet online. I was in for a rude shock when its sound standard was way below what I had expected. I asked my college teacher what he could recommend, and he asked me to try the Noblet Paris wood clarinet. I wasn’t skeptical because I knew the experience my teacher had, and true to his words, I found my perfect instrument and spent a significantly low amount of money. In this post, we shall look at this gem in detail, and by the end, you will learn all there is to this clarinet, so keep up.
Noblet Paris Bb Clarinet Wood Brief Overview
This clarinet is made of wood and is a vintage style from France. It has such a simple structure and looks classic. It comes in black and works as great as it looks. This Leblanc classic barely loses its logo and appearance even after years of vigorous use. The company that was once known as Noblet was acquired by Leblanc, who continued producing clarinets under this name before fully converting to their brand name, Leblanc. Grenadilla wood is the main material used for this clarinet due to its durability.
This is a wonderful instrument for an advancing student transitioning from plastic clarinets to wood clarinets. If you are intermediate or advanced, the reeds of these instruments are hard and work best for people with well-balanced embouchure. The intonation of the Noblet Clarinet is great, and the keys are solid for people who have had some experience playing. When it found its way into the market in 1970, the Noblet clarinet was well-received due to the high standard it came with.
If you are lucky to come across one, you will receive it in its original case, complete with a hard rubber mouthpiece. This means that it will last for years before making a mouthpiece replacement. The sound is richer and darker than most intermediate modern clarinets. The difference in sound is apparent, and the sweet intonation stands out among other clarinets. When paired with cork pads in the upper joint and leather pads on the lower joint, the sound expands to produce a rich, broad range even in large rooms.
This clarinet is easy to play. The keywork is solid, and it is easy to maneuver. I found that it easily fits in my hands and made playing smooth. If you have a good ear, you will notice a boldness and darkness similar to an old Buescher saxophone.
The availability of these clarinets is limited as they are no longer produced. The available clarinets are under the brand name, Leblanc. However, you can still find amazing pieces in music stores or online on eBay and Amazon. The price value depends on the specific seller, but it is nothing exaggerated.
What we liked
- The solid keywork
- Fits well into the hand
- The dark and rich tone
What we didn’t like
- It is challenging for beginners
- They are no longer produced under the name, Noble
Noblet Paris Bb Clarinet Wood Specifications
|Model||Noblet Paris Bb Clarinet|
Noblet Paris Bb Clarinet Wood-Features
Design and Build
The clarinet is made with hard Grenadilla wood. This was the prevalent clarinet wood material in the 70s and is still widely used to date. The material is durable, and it is apparent as these clarinets are intact to date. The best part is that wood does not degrade with time if well stored. You will be surprised to find that the engraved logos and serial numbers are still intact after years of use.
The clarinet comes with a mouthpiece, a 660mm barrel, and a hard plastic case. The first thing that one notices is how easy it fits into the hands and its comfortable thumb rest. The keywork is solid and makes it easy to maneuver with undercut tone holes. The keys are nickel plated for a nice and durable shine. The Noblet clarinet has a narrow bore, which makes its sound tuned and balanced. The bore size of between 14.67mm and 14.7mm is what most professional clarinet players use. This makes it fit into the category of advanced playing.
The clarinets come with a hard plastic case for storage. When one is done playing, the next step is to disassemble the instrument and store it in the case. These cases have compartments for each item. They are made in an anti-warping design to prevent breakage and bending of the reeds. These cases are also washable to prevent dirt accumulation. You might come across a case with external wear that still protects the instrument well.
The clarinet comes with a durable hard rubber mouthpiece. Hard rubber is best for advancing students whose embouchure has become controlled. The clarinet also comes with hard reeds, which best work with this mouthpiece. Hard reeds work best with hard rubber mouthpieces to give the desired sharpness and tone. Hard reeds in modern clarinets are classified as strength 3 and above. This clarinet will open up an intermediate student’s embouchure. The mouthpiece is close-faced, and it is rare to find it in modern clarinets. As you browse through the internet, you might bump in those that have a different mouthpiece. This is nothing to worry about if the new brand is high-quality and reputable.
Sound and intonation
The sound is dark and rich. This difference in sound is apparent even for those with little experience with clarinets. The modern Bb clarinet is sharp and precise, but this has a dark allure to it. This dark tone is great for ensemble and solo performances alike. The shape of the mouthpiece is responsible for the dark tone. In closed-faced mouthpieces, the blowing is a little hard, but the player gets more control.
They work perfectly in the upper register, and the preciseness is clear. For this reason, this clarinet needs an advancing or professional user to play. Old clarinets were made with care and to perfection. This translated into their rich sound and tuning. However, the Noblet clarinet requires proper adjusting and advanced skills to produce its best sound.
Alternatives to the Noblet Paris Bb Clarinet Wood
There are great alternatives to this precious vintage clarinet still available on the market. However, most will be used or second-hand. Some of the best alternatives to the Noblet Paris Bb clarinet are Selmer Bundy 577, the rare Depose Henry Selmer Clarinet, and the Vintage Auguste Buffet Clarinet. These are all vintage and might be rare to come across, just like the Noblet Paris Bb Clarinet. Some of these instruments date back to the 1920s and are still found in good shape and sound great. These alternatives are as good as, or better than the Noblet and can be played at different levels, as we shall see in the features below.
Features of the Noble Paris Bb Clarinet Alternatives
|Model||Selmer Bundy 577||Depose Henry Selmer France Ebony Bb Clarinet||Vintage wood Auguste Buffet Paris clarinet|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
The Noblet Paris Bb clarinet wood is undoubtedly a classic that still has a mark in the music industry. If you have plans of acquiring this vintage piece, you should go ahead and get it. You will appreciate the low price and also the incredible sound. The instrument comes with its accessories, but this does not mean that you cannot upgrade with modern ones. If you are into vintage and sentimental instruments, this will be a great addition to your collection. The sound is great, and the intonation will be pleasant to your ears. Most of the online Noblet clarinets will be used, but a well-maintained instrument is worth every penny.
Are Noblet Paris clarinets good?
Yes, they have a rich and broad sound, and their keys are solid if you find one in good shape.
Does the wood degrade with time in vintage clarinets?
No, the Grenadilla wood is a cured hardwood and can last for years without damage, but it all depends on how well it’s stored.
Do old clarinets sound better than new ones?
Yes, they do. The older versions were made with care and precision, while the modern ones are mass-produced for the market.
Does Leblanc still produce the Noblet Paris Clarinets?
No, their clarinet is all produced under the brand name Leblanc.