SW wrote in to ask about the Ridenour clarinet, one which he favors buying. However he has some of the facts a bit out of order. I wrote to TR and this is his response.
“Yes, Sherman, thanks for giving me a chance to clarify–this fellow is confusing my clarinets with the Ridenour 147 sold years ago by Brook Mays.
Dear Mr. Friedland:
Hi, I am looking to buy a new clarinet since I’ve had my Yamaha YCL-250 for years now. I don’t know if I should get a Buffet E-11 or a higher end Yamaha, etc. My strongest choice so far is the Lyrique RCP-146 but I’m still not sure about it because I’ve heard both good and bad things about it. I’ve heard that since it’s hard rubber it won’t crack or anything and the tone is good.
The RCP-146 is ABS body with a hard rubber barrel. The sound is remarkably good and it plays extremely evenly. It is more of a Buffet style clarinet, but much, much more even and an excellent scale–very good 12ths. The 576 has more warmth and depth and tonal core over all. This clarinet has nothing to do with the TR147 of years ago.
All the accurate info can be found at:
But I’ve also heard that the lower notes are a bit off, also that the A is not lined up correctly (I’ve heard this to be a problem on many, but it doesn’t effect performance at all so I’ve heard) and some problems with the thumb rest.
This is nonsense– misinformation. One customer (in hundreds) writes something on the internet about one thing not being to his or her taste and all of a sudden that becomes “a problem” with the model—even though no one else has ever complained. In fact, I’ve never hear of this. in regard to “the lower notes”–they tune much better than any Buffet I’ve ever played.
I don’t really want to spend a lot, I want a durable good clarinet.
Why do so many people believe that wood clarinets are better than ABS or Hard Rubber clarinets?
Because they’re not educated to the facets of hard rubber—
Is there going to be a new model soon and I should wait a bit?
None is planned.
Also what is the difference between the custom made 576BC and the RCP-146? Sorry for asking all these questions, I’ve never really looked into buying a clarinet before, I’m still in 8th grade and want a clarinet that can last me and perform well compared to other clarinets throughout High School and College.
Either the 576 or 146 would fill this bill.
I would recommend that all who have not, read the article “The Myth of Grenadilla”, by Tom Ridenour.
All will be explained in that article and , while ebonite has been around for years, he is the first to design an ebonite instrument which is really in tune. The sound or response of hard rubber is more dulcet and dark than is wood, which is a fact. Wood has been in vogue for years; this quality hard rubber instrument design and horn is relatively new on the market. While people who play wood are not necessarily “idiot”, there are many idiots who play rubber and many that play wood, so the idiot factor is even.
Keep practicing. I favor Mr Ridenours horn because they are best in tune and the best response and the biggest bargain in the industry. Take that to the bank!