The 45 day guaranty

October 27, 2011

Again and again, one hears of regrettable clarinet purchases. Either the instrument was too expensive, or was inferior for tuning or material, or was just not the right material and was too expensive. There follows a series of endless questions, all of which pertain to making the wrong choice in the first place, or just blind buying with no preparation, and making the judgement after the fact. To be frank, there is always an element of chance in the purchase of an instrument, sight-unseen. For some this can be part of the attraction, however, whatever your expectations, there is little chance that you will stumble into one of Richard Muhlfeldts clarinets in an auction.

The first thing one must know, is what you the potential buyer actually wants and needs. If you want an eb clarinet, try to determine why you want such an instrument.Years and years ago, I used to require an eb for specialized works, the most formidable of which is the Hindemith Quartet for Clarinet, Eb clarinet, and string quartet. It is a difficult ,long and complicated work. In fact there are two movement s of which one is the exact version of the other, backwards. I would never ever play that piece without either my own professional instrument, or one of the best.borrowed from a music store, specifically for the purpose.It is a very good idea to own a fine professional Eb mouthpies   That way, you have one important aspect of playing the instrument already in your possession. If you cannot afford purchase of an excellent instrument, at least own a fine mouthpiece, which can be half the battle.

If you have an opportunity to play Eb in a band, it may be better to rent a clarinet, rather than to buy one in plastic at an exorbitant price. If you do nuy an instrument online,make sure that the instrument may be returned within a period of time with no cost except for postage, your money being immediately returned. The purchase of a plastic instrument without a return option is just a mistake. You must have recourse in case of poor or inferior merchandise.

The so-called “big-box” stores always give you a 45 day period in which to try the instrument. Let that be you first choice.

The student bought a particular clarinet, one that they had never played, nor heard of . The horn was bought from the internet, bought bllnd and with no preparation whatsoever.

This is certainly not the way to buy an instrument, as it was stated that cost was the biggest factor. 400 was paid for the used eb clarinet, which, for a plastic instrument is truly  too expensive.

There are many suggestions that I can make , based upon a lifetime of experience. As a rule, buying any instument online is a mistake , unless you can try the instrument for a minimal period of time. Buying blind , and for price, is also a mistake. Investigation at least into the general quality of the model, the reputation of the maker, and that all-important trial period.As I have mentioned, the big-box music stores have a very liberal trial period of 45 days. If you are not satisfied, you simply return the instrument for a full refund.

I have bought literally dozens of clarinets online , returned most, and received acomplete refund immediately, no questions asked. Yes, and kept many.

Simply , investigate the seller and the product, and the trial period, prior to making the sale. It is also important to see the instrument prior to purchase. If you do not do these things, you are simply taking a chance on throwing out a good amount of money.Further, if a person plays a make of instrument which has a good amount of integrity, and you like the instrument, don’t just go and buy something you don’t particularly like,especially , a plastic horn., which always means a lower quality and Plastic means always, less expenwsive, lower on the product list. They do not play as well, especially the smallest of them. Buy wood or hard rubber, costing a bit more but far higher in quality. Plastic has a strident response.

Hopefully , this will provide some support in your purchase. Read descriptions carefully, and remember, the guiding principal of online buying is “Caveat Emptor”. meaning buyer beware.

stay well, sherman