Looking for a good clarinet for a student clarinettist can be difficult, but this Vito USA 7212 might be just what you need. It is a sturdy instrument designed for learners that includes all the features you may require. Read on to find out more.
My daughter has always wanted to learn how to play the clarinet. Fortunately for us, we live next door to a music teacher who is good with the clarinet and loves teaching children, so it has been easy to send her over for lessons. The teacher gave us a list of beginner-friendly clarinets, from which we ended up buying the Vito USA 7212 student clarinet. Other than the first few days of bearing with the “orchestra” squeaky noises around the house, lately, we have started enjoying sweet, clear notes coming from her room as she practices, made using this modestly priced instrument.
Vito USA 7212 Student Clarinet Breakdown and Review
Vito clarinets were named after Vito Pascucci, the founder of Leblanc USA, a renowned clarinet maker. The Vito brand was the company’s way of making instruments specifically for beginners, and the details on this Vito USA 7212 demonstrate that.
For starters, the body is made of ABS resin, which is hard-wearing and resistant to chemical corrosion and breakage from physical impacts. You will also not need to worry about playing in extreme temperatures because, unlike wood, this instrument will not crack.
The instrument has a standard Boehm 17 key fingering system with 6 rings, which makes it easy for the student clarinettist to control and play. The keys are also made of hard-wearing nickel-silver alloy, all meant to withstand a bit of rough handling. The special key design meant for students is not only resistant to bending, but the key work is also designed to fit well under the small fingers of a young learner. That nickel-silver also has the advantage of producing a bright and robust sound quality is a bonus.
With a medium-large cylindrical bore that measures 0.583 inches or 14.83 mm, the learner can easily free blow and achieve a well-controlled sound.
One challenge that clarinet students have to deal with is the alignment of the bridge mechanism, so one of the things we liked was that this instrument has a Positive Radial Alignment Guide that makes it that much easier.
Accessories include a specially designed student mouthpiece, ligatures, and caps. Cork grease and some cleaning materials to use after playing to make sure that it doesn’t collect moisture are provided. All this is in a sturdy case that can protect the clarinet from damage when traveling or stowing when not in use.
What we liked
- It is easy to play.
- Sturdy materials and build
- It produces a clear tone.
- Low price
What we did not like
- Need to replace it as the player advances.
Vito USA 7212 Student Clarinet Specifications
|Model||Vito USA 7212 Student Clarinet|
|Instrument Key||B Flat|
|Key System||Boehm (17 Keys / 6 Rings)|
|Material||ABS resin plastic body, Nickel silver keys|
|Item Dimensions||16 x 9 x 5 inches|
||Check price here|
Vito USA 7212 Student Clarinet Features
Although acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene—simply ABS resin—is generally used in making cheap instruments, we liked that this instrument is made out of this material for its hardiness. If the student is young, accidental falls and general rough handling are inevitable, so having a clarinet that will not break even after numerous falls is a blessing. The Vito 7212 body has a wood grain finish, and the density of the ABS used is like that of wood, so the instrument also bears identical qualities to a wooden one. In the Vito 7212, you get an instrument that is beautifully made and has the feel and sound characteristics of an instrument made of wood.
You will find some more advanced clarinets made of ABS resin because it is not only cheaper than, say, Grenadilla wood, but also more elastic and resistant to shock.
It features nickel-silver keys, a material that is an alloy of nickel and silver that is more corrosion resistant and harder compared to traditional brass keys.
The ligature and cap are also nickel-plated, in keeping with the hardy theme that this clarinet has going all around.
Our clarinet came with a pack that included a specially designed mouthpiece, cleaning swab, cork grease, and all in a durable plastic protective shell case that has rubber ribs and feet, a large handle, and a removable shoulder strap.
The Vito 7212 follows the Boehm key system, which is the most commonly used system and is more in the custom of the chamber tradition, which is the best for your child to learn. This clarinet has 17 keys and 6 rings, which makes for easier fingering and better playing.
You will notice that the bore is relatively large, a design feature that is meant to help the learner free blow and easily achieve a clear, bright tone quality that is well controlled and excellent for playing in learner-level ensembles. We found this design to be a great tool in the child’s learning as it was positive feedback that encouraged her to rehearse and practice more. This clarinet has no bell ring, which helps enhance its resonance.
The Vito 7212 comes with the Leblanc student mouthpiece, which was designed specifically for young students. It is shaped to not only promote better centre of tone but also to encourage good embouchure habits, making it a great first clarinet for the student.
Leblanc also built-in an alignment guideline that they refer to as P.R.A.G., which we found helpful when we needed to align the bridge mechanism, a task that I found complicated to accomplish not just for the student, but also for non-clarinet playing adult members of the family. The inclusion of a stationary thumb rest is also a nice touch.
One of this clarinet’s best qualities that distinguishes it from competing beginner instruments is its ability to play over-pitched notes. They are distinct, and they have outstanding power. That is why, in our assessment, we rated the sound quality as this clarinet’s best feature. That it is a product by Leblanc, who has many years of experience in making clarinets, is evident in the powerful sound it produces. That, together with its thick body, gives it great stability.
The notes are clear and bright with great volume, and the changeover between passages is gentle. It is easy to learn how to perform techniques like trilling through practice, despite the unsophisticated key system. The shifts between fast passages are excellent, the notes dynamic and nimble, and you can perform sixths that will be clear if you breathe properly.
The only things that are comparably weak are sustain and reverb, but those are not some of the qualities expected by a beginner or intermediate musician. If you have more advanced skills, you can still get powerful reverb with high-quality tuning and, with perseverance, be able to solve the deficits in the resonant nuances.
Who is it best suited for?
As the name suggests, the Vito USA 7212 Student Clarinet is meant for beginners and learners. It is best suited for children and adults who are just beginning to play the clarinet and has features that offer good support to anyone aspiring to start playing the clarinet.
Are there alternatives to the Vito USA 7212 Student Clarinet?
Yes, there are. It is possible to find student clarinets that are just as good as this one. In place of the Vito USA 7212 Student Clarinet, you can get the Mendini by Cecillio B Flat Beginner Clarinet, the Jean-Paul CL-300 Student Clarinet, and the SLADE Bb Clarinet for Beginners.
Features of alternative clarinets
|Model||Mendini by Cecillio B Flat Beginner Clarinet||Jean-Paul CL-300 Student Clarinet||SLADE Bb Clarinet for Beginners|
|Type||Student clarinet||Student clarinet||Student|
|Brand||Mendini by Cecillio||Jean Paul USA||SLADE|
|Instrument Key||B Flat||B flat||B flat|
|Key System||Boehm 17 Keys||Boehm 17 keys||Boehm 17 keys|
|Item Dimensions||14 x 4 x 10 inches||15 x 6 x 9.5 inches||15 x 5 x 9 inches|
||Check price here||Check price here||Check price here|
Verdict: So, should you buy the Vito USA 7212 Student Clarinet?
Yes, you should, if you get a new one or a second hand one from a reliable seller. We found it to be well centred, play with great fluidity, and be quite responsive. The instrument can also withstand some rough handling that you’d expect with younger students and comes at a good price considering its build and sound quality.
Can I play my Vito USA 7212 Student Clarinet outdoors?
Yes, because the Vito USA 7212 is made of plastic ABS, it can be played in extreme temperatures without getting damaged.
Can I get a new Vito USA 7212 Clarinet?
No, sadly, Vito stopped making new 7212 clarinets. However, you can get a used one online from auctions or sellers who have outgrown theirs. The parent company, Leblanc, still makes more advanced B-flat clarinets that are a good step up from this one.