I was wondering if you might be able to help explain what the difference between a Leblanc Concerto II Bb Clarinet and a Leblanc Opus II Clarinet. I also was interested in your opinion what the best Leblanc Bb Clarinet is. And I was also hoping for a suggestion as to whether in your opinion a Professional Model of Leblanc is better than a Professional Buffet R-13 because I am really torn between the decision of getting either of the two. Thanks GL
First, there is very little difference between the Leblanc Concerto II and the Opus II.
If I were you, I wouldn’t worry about the difference between the Buffet R13 and the Leblanc Opus or Concerto instruments. The Leblanc instrument is basically in tune right out of the box and the Buffet simply is not. One has really to try perhaps 5 or 6 Buffets to get the one of those that is best, while the quality control of the Leblanc instrument is very much superior, not just better. The latest Buffets already have a history of flaking of plating on the keys, and the historic failure of the material used for the dowel in the lower keys, it being plastic, has traveled everywhere and is truly an accident waiting to happen, simply a poor choice to fix a problem, that of noise between the keys.
There is simply no contest between the two, only the reputation of Buffet being a professional instrument surpasses that of Leblanc.Two of the undisputed highest echelon of US clarinetists play Leblanc, Larry Combs and Eddie Daniels, and there are now many orchestral musicians who play Selmer as well.
Good luck with your new clarinet.