QUOTE(Fenix @ Oct 15 2009, 08:36 AM)
Hi all. I spoke to the music shop in Harrogate over the phone yesterday and asked if they have E13 in stock. They do and I will go and try it soon. However, the lady there suggested that simply replacing the mouthpiece and ligature could yield good results in terms of improved sound. Has anyone tried this and if so what was the result?
Don't know if we are going to Banks today. If the E11 is only a wood version of the B12 I might decide to push the boat out and go for the E13 anyway. My friend has a problem with her ears at present so won't be the best judge of what I sound like anyway!!
Thanks for any advice and input.
I think the right mouthpiece and ligature set up can make a world of difference to your instrument. I upgraded my mouthpiece and ligature earlier in the year and have been really pleased with the difference in my sound. Mouthpiece set ups (like instruments) are a very individual thing and what suits one person or instrument won't necessarily suit another, so I wouldn't like to make any particular recommendations. However, I have a Vandoren B40L (and also a B45, which I use from time to time) and a Rovner Dark leather ligature.
For what it's worth, although Buffet make fine clarinets and are highly regarded as instrument makers, I understand that their mouthpieces often come in for criticism. There are lots of really good mouthpieces but Vandoren mouthpieces, like their reeds, are generally quite highly regarded, particularly at this level. The website is worth a look, just to see the range of mouthpieces available and the descriptions of their sound etc. Do consider what size reed you would normally play on when choosing and also consider what kind of a sound you are looking for (smooth and mellow or 'bright' and jazzy etc) and what kind of music you prefer to play. It is worth listening to some clarinet players, just to hear how much the sound and playing style can vary. Find one you like and think about what kind of sound they have - you will be amazed at how different the instruments can sound!
I would also add that I have no idea what level you are playing at or whether you are looking for a long term upgrade or just an improvement to your instrument to help you progress. I had always understood that once you reached Grade 5 it was recommended that a plastic student instrument should be upgraded to a wooden one but I have heard many people say that they have gone right through to Grade 8 on a plastic instrument. I think perhaps that mouthpieces and instruments at the entry level have now improved to such an extent that it is possible to achieve the quality of sound on a well made plastic instrument which might at one time have only been possible to achieve on a wooden one.
Good luck whatever you decide to do!
Ha ha - it took me so long to write my response that you've beaten me to it, Barry-clari!
Glad you're in agreement about the Buffet mouthpieces! Suspect that's why the lady in the shop mentioned it!