I am currently searching for a good, professional level wood clarinet for my girlfriend for Christmas. She has played a vintage LeBlanc all through school and college and plays everything from jazz to classical. The LeBlanc was borrowed from an aunt and she had to return it after graduation and hasnít had the money to buy a new horn. Iíve found two clarinets that Iím looking at seriously, both fully refurbished (corks, premium pads, wood treated, springs, keywork cleaned and buffed, and play tested). One is a Selmer Paris Centered Tone which has two flush bands on the upper joint and two repaired cracks on the bell, but I have been assured that it is tight and plays great. The other is a Selmer Paris 10 which has one repaired crack in the bell and is otherwise perfect. The 10 comes with a Gregory Smith mouthpiece which is an ďold chedeville style w/ 1* facingĒ. The CT comes with a mouthpiece as well- not sure what (probably Selmer Paris HS*). My questions are:
Which horn would be a better fit for what Iím looking for?
How will the Selmer Paris be compared to a LeBlanc of the same era as far as adjusting to the new horn?
Will the Gregory Smith mouthpiece be a good fit for the Series 10 for an all around setup?
———————————————————————-Of the two Selmer Clarinets you mention, I would unquestionably recommend the Series 10. It is a better, smaller bore than the Centered Tone, which generally has developed a reputation as being good for playing jazz, though it is a good clarinet and I played a set of them for years playing nothing but orchestral and chamber music.
The Series 10 is more like the Leblanc she has been used to and it is generally considered to be one of the first of the smaller bored Selmer instruments.
I have played several of these instruments and am playing on one presently, while I also have a 10s, which is a trifle less bright sounding than the 10.
The other issue is the cracks, which really can give you difficulty at any time depending upon where you live in the climate and /or the time of year in which it was banded, something of which you do not know. This can be a long story, so the choice is quite definite in my mind.
So, all in all, go with the 10.
As fars as the mouthpiece is concerned, they are all quite different, one from the other, same brand, facing, etc, so you will have to make that decision.