“Which C clarinet to buy”?


GM, retired ,in Florida

I’m interested in purchasing a C clarinet. I read a couple of your posts about the Amati “C” clarinet which also made passing reference to the Ridenour.

After reviewing a couple dozen sites that discussed one or the other of these two brands of C clarinets, I have learned the following:

Amati seems to be a good buy in its price range ($849 at most places today) but is accused of being extremely sharp at altissimo D, E F, to the extent of requiring alternate fingerings. One lady in Australia said she corrected (most) of that problem with the purchase of a Buckun Fat Boy barrel (another $250).

That brings the Amati up to $1,100.

What I read about the Ridenour 570c listing at $1,195 (I assume that is the newest model – older ones are the 146 and 147c which sell for $899 some places) give the impression that the intonation is a bit better than the Amati, but still 10 to 15 cents off on a few notes.

So, that leaves a good apples to apples equivalency, price wise. Between these two instruments, what would be your recommendation for a 67 year old guy who plays his Buffet R-13 (love it – great intonation and nice tone using 5RV Lyre and a Fobes barrel) in several local groups (grade 3 not much stress, but 4 to 5 requires some pain), but wanting a “C” for church and occasional orchestral use.

Is there much difference in tone quality?
Is there much difference in intonation?
Is there much difference in key layout and playability?

How difficult are intonation problems to correct via available technicians short of going to a 1 in a thousand expert tweaker?

Thank you for your experience and expertise on these matters and especially your continuing passion for helping us novices.

This is an evocative letter and problem, and I will respond in the coming days.

Stay well, all, and the very best Christmas.



Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: