Luckily for every music enthusiast today, we live in a time when we can play any instrument that we want. And even after all these years, clarinets still retain their appeal and popularity. What’s also really surprising and heartwarming is that the instrument found its way in many different genres, even rock and metal music where it strangely fits really well. But if you’re looking to step up your clarinet game, you’re definitely want to look into top best clarinet brands and models that are available on the market these days.
Based in the USA, Jean Paul is one of the most respected manufacturers of wind instruments. Of course, they also have clarinets in their arsenal, and these are very popular among beginners and intermediate players. There’s also one higher-end model that’s intended for more experienced players which we’ll cover here. As for other instruments, they’re respected for their trumpets, saxophones, trombones, and flutes, as well as other accessories that come with these instruments. The main idea is to have reasonably-priced instruments that would last for a lifetime and still bring great tone and other performance characteristics. If you’re a beginner or intermediate player, Jean Paul is a brand that you can’t go wrong with.
Website: Jean Paul USA
Jean Paul CL-400
The company’s CL-400 is quite an interesting model. Intended for intermediate players, it’s made so well that it can come in handy even for some advanced players, most notably as a spare instrument. Being a standard clarinet, it’s tuned to B-flat. Another trait that’s common for its price level is the body made of ABS resin. However, the CL-400 model features a matte finish that will not only make it feel good under your hands but that will also make a slight impact on the overall tone. We also quality silver-plated keys that make it very reliable sound and that adds some smoothness to the tone.
Jean Paul CL-800
Now, Jean Paul’s CL-800 is just something else. Going over in the higher-end price categories, it’s a professional-level clarinet that brings all the premium features. Sure, it’s not exactly the cheapest one, but when you look into the specs, it’s pretty obvious that it’s worth the price. The trait that makes the most attractive is the body material. With the CL-800 model, we have a special aged wood from Mozambique that’s 10-year-old. It comes with 17 silver-plated keys, as well as 6 rings and an adjustable and very ergonomic thumb rest. It’s all rounded up with nice fish skin pads.
Of course, Yamaha is an unavoidable brand on the list of numerous acoustic or electric instruments. As far as their clarinets go, they mostly focus on the intermediate stuff but also have a few high-end models as well. The company was initially founded back in the late 19th century in Japan by Torakusu Yamaha. First producing pianos and reed organs, it eventually turned into a gigantic multinational corporation that produces more than just musical instruments, but a wide variety of hi-fi audio equipment, electronics, semiconductors, and even motorcycles. But while we’re at clarinets, you can’t ever go wrong with their wide array of models. In fact, these are some of the most respected woodwind instruments and are well-known for a great combination of price and qualities that come with them.
Website: Yamaha USA
Made after pro-level models, YCL-255 is an intermediate “stripped-down” clarinet that even comes in handy for more ambitious beginners. Aside from a matte finish on its ABS resin body, we have a 65-millimeter barrel that helps you bring a more piercing and focused tone. It also comes with Yamaha’s 4C mouthpiece and a great thumb rest.
The YCL-450 is the company’s professional clarinet, bringing some of the most luxurious features that you can find on this instrument. Featuring a Grenadilla body, silver-plated nickel silver keys, and a meticulously designed 65-millimeter barrel, you just can’t go wrong with it if you’re a solo clarinetist.
Going all the way back to the 19th century France, Buffet Crampon is a company with a long-lasting tradition. Focusing on wind instruments and related accessories, they’re pretty well-known for their clarinets. But although these are the instruments that they’re the most famous for, Buffet Crampon have a lot of other woodwind instruments to offer as well. Aside from clarinets, they have flutes, saxophones, bassoons, and even English horns.
Founded back in 1825, they grew from an exclusively French company into an international business over the decades. At this point, they’re spread all over the international market, making them one of the most desirable brands, especially among clarinet players. They cover anything from simple student clarinets, over intermediate ones, and up to high-end luxurious professional stuff. But no matter the price and skill level, these clarinets are worth every penny.
Website: Buffet Crampon
Buffet Crampon E12F
The one that we’re going to single out here is the E12F model. Made after their best and most professional models, this clarinet brings all these qualities at a relatively lower price. But although it’s primarily an intermediate or higher intermediate instrument, it’s not exactly the cheapest one. On the other hand, it’s definitely worth every dime as you’ll get a high-end clarinet with a body made of Dalbergia melanoxylon and unstained African blackwood. Along with this, you get really comfortable silver-plated keys that make playing this instrument a breeze. Buffet Crampon E12F is one of the most comfortable instruments with a very pronounced tone that easily cuts through the mix in orchestras and bands.
For quite some time now, Jupiter kept pumping out some of the best wind instruments on the market. Focusing on musicians who play at intermediate and advanced levels, they manage to bring something out for a variety of musical styles these days.
Yes, Jupiter is not exactly one of the best-known instrument companies. However, they still have a wide array of brass and woodwind stuff to offer, as well as marching band instruments and other wind instrument-related accessories.
Jupiter brand was founded back in 1980 as part of a larger manufacturer KHS Musical Instruments. Based in Taiwan, they distribute their products all over the world. If we’re looking into their clarinet line, they mostly focus on intermediate and pro-level stuff. Additionally, they also have bass clarinets. They also make them out of ABS as well as actual wood. Of course, wooden ones are more expensive, but they still have something for fans of both of these types of clarinets.
Website: Jupiter US
In their rich arsenal of amazing clarinets, we’re taking a closer look at the JCL700N model that’s designed for intermediate to advanced players. However, looking at its specs and hearing its wonderful tone, we can’t help but also bring it up as a pro-level instrument. It features a classic ABS resin body but with a matte finish. What’s more, it’s designed in such a way that it manages to replicate those expensive wooden clarinets. We even have nickel-plated nickel silver keys, giving it a great feel and a pronounced tone.
Another very similar clarinet, Jupiter’s JCL750N comes as an upgraded “standard” 700N model. This one comes with an amazing body made out of Grenadilla wood, a nickel and silver bell ring, as well as nickel-plated nickel and silver keys. With its metal tenons, poly-cylindrical body, stainless steel needle spring, and many other pro-level features, you’ll get an amazing tone and feel, especially if you’re a solo clarinet player in classical music.
Mendini by Cecilio
Mendini is a budget instrument brand. However, the reason we’ve put them here is the fact that they offer some of the best instruments for beginners for a very reasonable price. They’re a subsidiary company of Cecilio, which are well-known for their string and wood instruments.
Cecilio is a company based in in California, USA. The idea was to have accessible and budget-friendly beginner and intermediate instruments that are hand-crafted. This practice was also continued with their subsidiary company which has taken the whole thing to another level and brings some of the cheapest woodwind instruments on the market. They’re not as nearly as high-end compared to other brands that we mentioned. However, their low price and decent quality makes them perfect for beginners.
Website: Cecillio Music
Mendini B-Flat Beginner Student Clarinet
And for this purpose, we’ll single out their extremely cheap yet very useful Beginner Student Clarinet. It’s a full package featuring two barrels, a set of reeds, a foldable stand, a carrying case, and a lot of other additions. As a novice, this is pretty much all you need. You won’t go wrong with it if you need something at a budget level.
Before buying a new clarinet, it’s important to know where you’re at with your clarinet skills, as well as your preferred genres. We’ve covered top five best clarinet brands and brought something for everyone’s tastes. According to these factors, you’ll be able to choose the next, or the first, instrument for you.