Dear Sherman. I have been enjoying your website very much and would like to get your knowlegeable opinion concerning the Bb and A Amarti Kraslice clarinets that I have now owned for about 14 to 15 years now (I forget exactly how long). The A is an ACL 675 with the serial #201209 and the Bb is an ACL 605with the serial #304655. Both are full Boehms and I have had no trouble with them going out of adjustment. Both these pipes are very free blowing in the entire range but they work best with a moderately soft reed. (I use Rico Royal or Rigotti Gold on Rico mouthpieces) One both these instruments the bottom Eb extension is somewhat sharp and so is the long fingering on the Eb / D# just above middle C. The rest of the compass presents no problem for me. I would certainly like for you to give your honest opinion of these two pipes. I have been reading your assessment of the Lyrique instruments that are made of Ebonite. If ever I change to a new set of instruments these may be the ones that I would like to own. However, as I live in Australia there would be a substantial import duty on these items on top of the initial cost of them. After adding this all up I have come to the realization that at the moment I cannot afford to get them. So it looks as though I am stuck with the Amati Kraslice instruments for now. It would be nice to know exactly what I am in possession of. Yours Truly B V
I too own an Amati Full Boehm Bb Clarinet, which is very much like new and plays very well indeed. (304654,)
I have not played it in public, it is true both to my ear and to my tuner. I do not play it because its weight exascerbates the pain in my right hand, which I guess is arthritic. I also have an Amati C clarinet, which I purchased recently new and it is a lovely sounding instrument as well. I enjoy plaing the Schubert Sonatinas for Violin on this horn. They are amenable for the C and I recommened them to any player. They are very beautiful.
I also own a set of Lyrique clarinets made and designed by Tom Ridenour and those are the best tuned clarinets , the most even sounding I have ever played. Ebonite has a more mellifluous quality than does any wood of which I know, but more than anything it is his ability to tune the instruments that is most striking.
Of course, the Amati clarinet is much maligned in the US, but so too are most, all except the Buffet, which is unquestionably the worst, unless of course, you try perhaps six and then have the best one tweaked by a technician who happens to have both the ear and the ability to bring his ear to the horn acoustically.
(There is a review of my Amati C on this site.)
The Lyrique and all of his others have the commonality of being even and in tune, really quite uniquely so, and simply as well. Ridenour has the ear and the ability to bring his knowledge to the instrument..
As far as import duties are concerned I have no knowledge.
I hope this has been of some help to you.
Best regards, Sherman