To repair or to replace an old instrument?

Hello and thank you for your time and response.

I have an old Bundy that I have had for close to 20 years, and we bought used from an older gentleman when I was a kid. Now my son is interested in playing but the poor instrument needs re corked.

Would it be worth it to service this one or buy a newer clarinet for my son to learn on? The Serial number is 568524. The instrument looks to be in good overall condition it came in an old fashioned tweed case.

I just wanted to know about how old it is and if it is worth re-corking as opposed to getting a new(er) one.

Thanks again, ES


and thank you for writing about your old Bundy clarinet. The exact value cannot be determined because it is mainly intrinsic.The serial numbers do not date-correlate
Which of course, brings up the replacement or overhaul cost of such an instrument.
It is important that we understand the terminology and it’s meaning.It is incorrect to use the word “service” for repair and overhaul. It is never a matter analagous to changing ones oil on an automobile. General overhaul means all pads, corks,replaced and adjusted, on wood, wood treated with oil, sometimes springs replaced as well and it is time-intensive and can cost anywhere from 100 for a very poor job to 500 and more for a rather perfectly adjusted clarinet
Therefore theses prices charged for overhaul on instruments which have no value as antiques can be prohibitive, and it is better to replace the instrument with a new one. These can be obtained at about the price of an overhaul and the good thing about it is that you have an instrument that will last another 20 years or so, and should come perfectly adjusted.
Beware of instruments with names like Mareeno, Iguana, Merengue, and the like, costing about 99.00 brand new, and with the question, “Why buy used, when you can buy new?” Why?, because the 100 dollar clarinet plays without a scale and the temperament has caused more band directors to end up on Skid Row because of madness caused by these terrible worthless, though “new” instruments. Please, always remember, CAVEAT EMPTOR. Find out about what you may be buying.
Yamaha is one of the best student clarinets, by far, exceeding most others.
A friend bought a Yamaha model 20 clarinet, which has been discontinued and replaced with the model 250, for about 250 dollars, new in the box with a warranty and it plays beautifully. The 250 model costs about 750, but one should never ever pay list price for a new clarinet, actually no more than about one third less for brand new.
However one can get a nearly new instrument that will also be perfect for a very good price, but how do you know what you are buying?
You do not, and so, there is an element of chance, always the case.
So finally, I would suggest that you explore the prices for overhaul, which can sometimes not be great or very very good. Or you can buy new, but you should not pay too much.
I am sorry that I cannot be specific, but on ebay, there are literally thousands of “bad deals” and some very good ones. Of course, at this point a good private instructor is very important, and it is better to work with your son’s teacher.
Good luck.
best regards,
sherman friedland


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