I am currently trying to buy a clarinet for my son who is in “beginning
band”. The school requests only wooden instruments. After searching the net for days, I am still a little confused as to which brand to buy and whether to purchase a used instrument or brand new. Is there much of a difference between the Yamaha YCL-450 and a Selmer 100? Do used instruments sound any different to a brand new ones? Would a used instrument require more maintenance than a brand new one? What is the working life of such clarinets? I have tracked down a brand new Yamaha YCL-450 for approximately $650 US. Is it wise to consider buying this instead of a used Selmer 100 for $395 US.
I appreciate your time in considering my questions. I hope you can help me out.
Your note poses some complex questions but to sort them out, first, the request for wooden clarinets “only “is really not intelligently placed. A beginning clarinet student can play on an ebonite or plastic clarinet and sound just as good as he or she will on a wooden clarinet. More importantly, the mouthpiece much less expensive than the clarinet and,it is really the crucial issue here.
There are several good mouthpieces made and I need only mention a very few, Selmer HS* is one, and Van Doren B45 is the other and they are played by more than any other mouthpiece and it can make a much bigger differenc than does the clarinet itself.
You can get a piece of junk made of wood or a reasonably decent clarinet of plastic. BUT, if it must be wood, I would not
necessarily buy the 450, rather a Model 34 which is wood, will suffice is much less expensive, or I would prefer you buy the Selmer 100. It is that simple. The mouthpiece is where the difference really lies in a beginning
band , beginning student or anything beginning, the rest is of little
Good luck , sincerely, sf