Top 10 Best Clarinet Brands

The number of clarinets in the market is quite large and it can be hard choosing one for your career or child. Branded clarinets are those that come from established brands in the market. These come with the benefit of an assurance as to their quality.

The clarinet has undergone some improvements since it was first introduced to the market in the 1700s. Today, you will find musical schools that drive the demand for clarinets as students take up playing instruments as a career. If you are looking for clarinet for a marching band or simply want to train yourself on how to play it, the following brands should come up for consideration.

Top 10 Best Clarinet Brands – Comparison Table

ModelToneMaterial Availability
Jean Paul USA CL 300B FlatEboniteCheck Price
Jupiter JCL 700NC; GABS plasticCheck Price
Mendini MCT-SB+SD+PBB FlatABSCheck Price
Yamaha YCL 255 Standard BbB FlatABSCheck Price
Buffet Crampon E11 Bb clarinetB FlatGrenadillaCheck Price
Yamaha YCL 221Low E FlatABS resinCheck Price
Buffet Crampon E12B FlatGrenadillaCheck Price
Yamaha YCL-650B FlatGrenadillaCheck Price
Selmer CL211 Intermediate Bb ClarinetB FlatGrenadillaCheck Price
Buffet Crampon Greenline 1193CGrenadilla compositeCheck Price

Reviews of the Top 10 Best Clarinet Brands

Jean Paul USA CL 300 – Best Overall Clarinet brand

The Jean Paul CL 300 is a popular clarinet for students, beginners and intermediate. The clarinet is affordable and built with quality in mind. The Jean Paul body is made from ebonite which some sort of hard rubber material that makes it both durable and lightweight. It also gives it that elegant look that resembles a wooden clarinet. The use of ebonite helps keep the manufacturing costs low while not compromising on the quality of the instrument.

The Jean Paul CL 300 is a B flat clarinet with a 17 key Boehm system. It comes with nickel plated keys which allows it to retain a silvery look on it while being wear resistant. You should treat the nickel keys with care as they are susceptible to bending as they are a bit thin. The bore of the instrument is standard and allows for the instrument to project quality sounds.

The clarinet comes with a carrying case, and 2.5 Rico reed. You also find a cleaning cloth and cork grease. The Jean Paul is an affordable instrument but it may lack some features you will find in high end instruments hence making it ideal for students.

What we liked:

  • Made from durable and lightweight ebonite
  • Affordable hence making it ideal for students
  • Offers 17 Key Boehm system
  • Nickel plated

What we did not like:

  • Lacks some features found in expensive models

 

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Jupiter JCL 700N – Best Student Clarinet

The Jupiter JCL 700N is constructed from an ABS body which is some sort of plastic polymer. This material makes the clarinet lightweight while still ensuring it is capable of withstanding temperature changes. The model follows after the Jupiter company reputation for producing high-quality instruments.

The clarinet comes with nickel-plated keys and also has an adjustable thumb rest. The barrel measures 65mm while the bore is .58 inches. With these two the instrument is capable of producing a warm sound. You will also notice a nice nickel silver edge towards the bell. To maintain its high quality built the instrument comes with offset thrill keys with undercut tone holes.

On the downside, the instrument is slight heavy at 5 pounds and you may want to put this into consideration if you are using it for long hours. The Jupiter CL 700N is a great piece of equipment for any student just getting started in their musical career.

What we liked:

  • Made from durable ABS material
  • Comes with adjustable thumb rest
  • Great bore and barrel size for optimized sounds
  • Offset thrill keys

What we did not like:

  • Clarinet is a bit heavy at 5 pounds

 

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Mendini MCT-SB+SD+PB – Best color option

The Mendini range of instruments are produced by renowned Cecilio company that is known for excellence and quality. The Mendini is made from ABS and this makes it lightweight and durable. The latter is a hard plastic material that is made from thermoplastic polymer. You have nickel-plated keys and standard 17 keys.

The main tone for the clarinet is the B Flat which comes in handy when you are playing orchestras. The clarinet also comes with trill keys and adjustable rest for your thumb. With these you are able to get into the most comfortable position while playing. The trill keys come in handy as they allow for interchangeability of notes from full tones to semitones.

Included with the purchase is a box of reeds size 2.5”, zipper case, mouthpiece and cap, pair of gloves and cleaning cloth. You will also be supplied with cork grease to ensure all your moving parts are well oiled.

What we liked:

  • Cost effective
  • Adjustable rest for thumb
  • Made from durable ABS
  • Great number of accessories

What we did not like:

  • Some complaints on the quality

 

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Yamaha YCL 255 Standard Bb – Best Barrel sound

Yamaha is well known for its craftsmanship when it comes to musical instruments and the YCL 255 is no exception. The clarinet operates on B Flat which makes it ideal for students and beginners. The company has used an ABS construction which makes the instrument lightweight and durable. The clarinet also has a matte finish which gives it that glossy look.

The YCL 255 has silver plated rods and nickel keys. It has also been fitted with durable Valentino pads and comes with an adjustable thumb rest. Courtesy of a 65mm barrel the YCL 255 produces some warm tones that bring memories of a wooden clarinet. This model is affordable hence its suitability for students just starting out. During purchase the clarinet comes with a case and mouthpiece.

What we liked:

  • Affordability
  • Great sounds
  • Excellent build quality
  • Silver plated rods

What we did not like:

  • Not feature rich

 

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Buffet Crampon E11 Bb clarinet – Best for professional players

Buffet Crampon is well known for its wind instruments especially its clarinets. You will find its instruments being used in orchestras all over the world. It is a brand that ensures quality is maintained in all their instruments and the E11 is no exception.

The E11 is B flat instrument that has being made with the highest standards in mind. The body material is grenadilla which is some type of African wood. This particular model has been designed in Germany and takes its design from the Schreiber company that was acquired by Buffet Crampon. With this in mind, you should note that the clarinet produces tones that are warm and rich.

The levers and keys and silver plated and this gives them their glossy look. You also have stainless steel springs with adjustable thumb rest, and felt bladder pads for the 17 keys.

What we liked:

  • High quality craftsmanship
  • Silver plated levers and keys
  • Made from grenadilla
  • Adjustable thumb rest

What we did not like:

  • A bit expensive for student

 

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Yamaha YCL 221 – Best E flat bass clarinet

The Yamaha YCL 221 is a low E flat bass clarinet ideal for students and beginners. It is packed by Yamaha long history of producing high-quality musical instruments. The YCL 221 is made from ABS resin which allows it to withstand some damage while producing a decent sound. To boost its appearance it has a matte finish with the keys being silver-nickel plated. You also have cool leather pads that are also long lasting. The resonators are made from plastic.

The YCL 221 neck has been improved so that it now resembles that of other professional clarinets. This gives it a more comfortable playing position and helps beginner students to adopt the right posture. There also have been improvements for the rounded bridge connector and tone hole. These have been placed with rubber rings on the cork joints to prevent any cases of leaks.

On the downside the YCL 221 is a bit heavy weighing in at 14.5 pounds. This can be a hindrance if you are purchasing it for a small child.

What we liked:

  • Warm and rich sounds
  • Improved tone hole and bridge connector
  • Rubber rings on the cork joints help prevent leaks
  • Made from durable ABS resin

What we did not like:

  • It is quite heavy and the price is a bit high

 

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Buffet Crampon E12 – Best Intermediate Brand clarinet

The E12 is a clarinet that can be used by both intermediate students who are moving towards professional. The product is made from expert craftsmanship that is synonymous with the Buffet brand. The body structure is from grenadilla which gives it an exquisite appearance. It comes with six rings and 17 keys. The keys are nickel and silver plated with an adjustable thumb rest. You also get leather pads and blue steel springs for fast response.

Since the E12 is made from wood it is not heavy as you would expert and this makes it an excellent choice for students. The clarinet is capable of producing some rich and warm sounds with superb intonation.

What we liked:

  • Brilliant sounds
  • Exquisite craftsmanship
  • Leather pads
  • Lightweight

What we did not like:

  • A bit expensive

 

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Yamaha YCL-650 – Best cylindrical Bore

This great Yamaha clarinet is ideal for intermediate and professional musicians. The clarinet is known for its excellent resonance which distinguish it from the rest. The unique bore size of the 650 enables it to project perfect sound intonation.

The YCL 650 is made from the very best grenadilla wood which influences the kind of tone produced by the instrument. The levels and keys are silver plated and this gives them a shiny appearance. Due to the quality of materials used this is a product to serve you for a lifetime. However, like any other wood clarinet you will need to take extra care to maintain it so that it does not crack. A 4C mouthpiece made from Yamaha as well as a case accompanies the clarinet.

What we liked:

  • Built from high quality materials
  • Produces some awesome sounds
  • Cylindrical bore makes it easy to practice on sounds
  • Natural finish gives it a classy look

What we did not like:

  • The instrument is a bit pricy

 

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Selmer CL211 Intermediate – Best for Keys layout

Selmer is another top clarinet marker. The company with origins in France was established in Paris sometime in 1885. The company has built its brand on producing high quality orchestra instruments. The Selmer CL211 is built upon this heritage. It comes with some French styling which makes it quite exceptional.

The Selmer CL211 is made from grenadilla wood with additional silver plated keys. This gives it a glossy look. A traditional French Boehm system has been used to lay out the keys with the bore slightly smaller than other traditional student clarinets. The clarinet also features an adjustable thumb rest, undercut tone holes and steel springs.

You should note that since the clarinet is made from wood you should take great care for it. This is unlike plastic clarinets that requite little maintenance. The sound on this piece of equipment is warm and rich. During purchase you will find included cleaning essentials, mouthpiece and ligature.

What we liked:

  • Great wooden construction
  • French Boehm system used in the keys
  • Slightly larger bore
  • Undercut tone holes

What we did not like:

  • Since it is made from wood it does require more maintenance

 

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Buffet Crampon Greenline 1193 –Best clarinet to withstand varying temperatures

As you can tell anything from Buffet tends to be high quality with great tones and the Buffet Crampon Greenline is not exception. This clarinet plays out in C rather than the popular B flat. The body construction is some sort of hybrid between grenadilla wood and powder composite. This gives it some unique qualities like making it water resistant while still retaining that classy wooden finish. The construction consists of exposing grenadilla wood grains to some sort of high compression. This results in some dark tones.

The compression process used in the manufacture of this instrument means it is capable of withstanding temperature variations better. It also makes the wood tougher hence some tonal attributes. The sound from the Greenline is rich dark and yet remains powerful.

The Greenline is not a lightweight instrument and weighs 31 pounds with a length of 36 inches. This is an instrument that will exceed your expectations.

What we liked:

  • Rich dark tones
  • Superb sounds
  • Can withstand unfriendly temperatures
  • Made from grenadilla composite

What we did not like:

  • A bit heavy

 

View price on Amazon

 

Buying Guide for Top 10 Best Clarinet Brands

Purchasing a branded clarinet has the benefit of you getting something that is guaranteed for quality. While the instruments maybe pricier than others they are worth it in the long term. Here some factors to consider during purchase.

Budget

Your budget will certainly play a big role in purchasing a clarinet. Since the market has products from all manner of designs you may want to factor in how long you intend to use the instrument. If playing music is long terms than it makes sense to invest more for the best clarinet.

Materials

Clarinets can be made of wood, or plastic. The plastic clarinets tend to be the most common and come with the advantage of being cost effective. They also require less maintenance. The wooden clarinets tend to be better looking but taking care of wood can be challenging. The best are those which are a composite of wood and some other synthetic material. The Buffet Greenline is an excellent example for this.

Accessories

Different brands offer a number of accessories with their clarinets. It is imperative that you go with one that has more accessories. This will save you some cash in the end.

Purpose of purchasing instrument

A clarinet for a student and a professional player varies. A student may not need a very expensive instrument because they are learning and moving along the stages. However, for a professional player price is not the determining factor but quality. You should also decide whether you are going to be playing your clarinet outdoors or indoors.

FAQ

What is a grenadilla composite?

This is a hybrid between wood and some plastic or other material. During the manufacturing process the wood grains are exposed to high temperatures and this causes it to better perform under varying temperatures. It also gives it a rich dark tone.

Which is easier to take care of – wooden or plastic clarinets?

The wooden clarinets do look nice and elegant but you need to maintain the wood constantly so that it does not crack. Plastic clarinets tend to be less expensive and are low maintenance

Conclusion

Branded clarinets tend to come with the advantage of quality. This is because the brands have been established for a long time and this ensures they are able to carry out quality controls. Our winner for this round is Jean Paul USA CL 300.

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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