Dear Mr Friedland
I have a Martin Clarinet that needs some repair work. Is it worth repairing? I have been reading your comments about the Lyrique Clarinet ( which I confess I have never heard of) and the older Buffet Clarinets ( of which I have a fifteen year old one !) Would appreciate your comments.
First, it is quite difficult to respond to your general questions about clarinets without seeing them, playing them and listening.Sometimes, I can be helpful with seeing close-up photographs, however I cannot comment on the quality of the instrument with no information.
As far as the Martin clarinet, it may or may not be worth repairing. A lot of that decision remains with you, the owner/player. I remember the Martin Company very well, but I remember them as a company making brass instruments mainly, though they could have produced clarinets as well. They were finally bought out by Leblanc, much before the incorporation of Leblanc into the company now called Conn-Selmer.
Of the “15 year old Buffet” of which you speak, in order for a comment, I would need to know the model number, which will tell me country of origin and purported quality, but without anything else, establishing value is difficult. Buffets are very inconsistent as a clarinet.
The Lyrique clarinet was designed and is imported by Tom Ridenour, one of the foremost clarinet designers, having designed all of the french imported high end models of Leblanc, the Opus and the Concerto. He left Leblanc to return to his native Texas where he designed the hard rubber clarinet, made and imported from China, to his design. The clarinet is remarkably similar, one to the other, the tuning unusually good, better than any other clarinet being made today, regardless of price. I can recommend that instrument to you with no reservations,simply because it is better and, it is made from hard rubber which will remain stable and will not be compromised as mich as is wood by contrasts in temperature, and/or humidity .
Hope that I have answered your questions.