Perhaps the best person to judge the instrument is the player, at least this is my opinion. My feeling is that when you have something that you know:
1. is intune
2. is responsive
3. allows one to play at all dynamics
4. allows the playing of desired intervals with apparent ease,
then what happens is a kind of comfort, or stability, or self-assurance allowing you to make the clarinet do your own personal bidding. You are not bothered by any part, or series of notes that you see, or better said, your are sure of what the horn will do, and …….
you play the horn where it is, so-to-speak. Of course the setup and the reed in the setup are important, but one knows with experience what a horn will do for you, all things considered.
The Ridenour instruments I have tried and played for the past several months apparently give me this assurance and confidence, therefore I am an advocate..
The fact the the material is so much more stable than any wood certainly is part of the equation. One cannot say that they do not like the sound of rubber or the sound of wood or vice-versa; it is the ease with thich the sound is produced.
As one plays a rehearsal or concert one experiences so many reactions, so many emotions, makes so many notations to remember, it can become incomprehensible. That is why players improve with experience.
How many times did I play the Brahms Sonatas before they became as perfect as I, a mere mortal, can make them? Many, many. And still when they come my way, it is never a thoughtless endeavor. Ridenour’s instruments free my mind and ear as much as any.
stay well, Sherman Friedland