First of all, I want to thank you for your help back in the 2004/2005 winter in guiding me through the process of picking out a clarinet for my college bound daughter. Since then I have just been a reader of your website and still enjoy your wit immensely.
Now for the long winded set of questions for you. While my daughter was home during her summer break after her freshman your I was surprised by the harshness of her clarinet playing on high notes. I did some research and had her Buffet R-13 fitted with cork pads on the upper joint and purchased an O’brien number 3 crystal mouthpiece on ebay and thought the sound on the high notes vastly improved. Now she has gone back to school and her teacher wants to take it to the next level (I don’t think she likes the crystal as well as I did) and is suggesting a Larry Combs mouthpiece. I was checking out your site for some past articles on mouthpieces and the name Ridenour came up and that struck a chord with me.
After checking out his website I am intrigued by not only his top of the line mouthpieces but also his theory and subsequent building of Rubber clarinets.
Questions for you.
1. Any comments on the Ridenour mouthpieces (models MT-36 and MT-40) versus the Larry Combs model LC1 or LC3?
2. I am curious on your opinion on the Ridenour Clarinet as well, if you have had the chance to work with them?
3. Anything else you may want to comment on about these subjects.
Many thanks for your kind words; they are deeply appreciated.
It is always difficult to commet without hearing your daughter or son play.
I hope she is doing well at College and is enjoying her clarinet .
Commenting on Larry Combs mouthpieces, they are probably a good mouthpiece. Year ago, I had a number of them and used them exclusively. And I will tell you: they are all completely different one from the other, as are most mouthpieces of the same name and facing.
There are times when I think mouthpieces are similar to fingerprnts or maybe DNA. No two are the same.
This goes right up to the most expensive and the most unique. The Woodwind Company has been making mouthpieces for years and I believe they make the LC mouthpiece, or perhaps Leblanc owns them now. I have played some good ones.
Having said that, I would turn you in the direction of Mr. Ridenour.
Why? This is not an advertisement. He just knows more about mouthpieces, reeds and clarinets than anyone I know. So, I would write to him and tell him about your daughter and he will send you a couple for her to try, I would think.
I have tried and own several of Ridenours clarinets. They play better than any grenadilla clarinet made, and they cost about 1/10 of what a Buffet, Selmer, or Leblanc cost.
Tom is the designer of the Leblanc OPus and Sonata clarinets. This is the horn played by Larry Combs and Eddie Daniels, the two most well-known names in the business in the USA.
It is not money that propels them. It is the
quality , intonation and sound of their instruments.
Hopes this helps. Regards to your daughter.