‘Tis the Season to be….wary

Ah, the Christmas season, and buying is “in” so-to-speak, even when not affordable. That’s OK, for in these times the definition of “affordable” is very wide indeed, and we all acquire goods not needed immediately, but my concern is that what we do buy is at least….what we buy.
Like many of you, I look at the auctions on the internet with great frequency and I am rather dismayed to see for instance, many Yamaha,(in quotation marks) 250 clarinets for sale , bids starting at 99 cents.
As to the Yamaha 250, the actual one, it is nothing more than the model 20 with an added zero and several hundred dollars added to the price. In itself, that is a high price for a plastic clarinet, Yamaha or not. I bought a brand new model 20, in a sealed box for 260 dollars before they switched the number to 250.
In thinking about that inflated number, it can easily be justified by the comparably low cost of their best instruments, the CSG or whatever, which is way under the french ripoff and is much better in tune, and also better finished. So, they may make their money by boosting the low end price, of which they sell many more , in order to compete with the French clarinets, which they undercut totally.
That may be, therefore, a reason.
Bt these 250s advertised today, all at a staring price of less than a dollar, are slightly suspicious to me, and I would suggest staying away, if you’re interested. There are many many Yamaha dealers in this hemisphere a place to try first, whether or not the are shipping charges. Stay away also from the Yamaha clarinets which have another name; frequently they are nothng more than an ordinary 250 with a bag of tricks, adding up to more money.
I purchased an Orpheo 450 hard rubber clarinet for 135.00 US dollars, no shipping and a two year warranty.I did not think I could go wrong and I didn’t . The clarinet came with a couple of barrels, a nice case, a mouthpiece, cap and ligature.
And it had a good adjustable thumb rest , but most of all,responded very well.
Only the tuning was off in the second register, it all being sharp and getting sharper as it proceded. But, I repeat, a very nice response, well fitting parts and for the price, with no shipping, it was terrific.
Somehwere in Taiwan or China, they are making a very good sounding ebonite instrument.
With the Ridenour treatment, you could have a great horn.
I would also be quite wary of the “Buffeee “clarinet being touted as well, for this is more of the same kind of thing  from which we stay away.
There are many bona-fide used clarinets out there and a  bunch of new ones as well, but please be wary of the horn that is simply “too good to be true”, for it is frequently in that place.

best regards for the holidays,and let your practice be true.
Sherman

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