The 10 Best Clarinet Brands (2023)
Buying a clarinet can be a difficult choice, but choosing from a reputable brand can make the process a whole lot easier. I’ll also include a bit of info about each brand and what they are best known for.
This is not a definitive list and there are other prestigious clarinet brands that make high-quality instruments.
1. Buffet Crampon
Since its founding in 1825, Buffet Crampon has been one of the most prominent and well-known makers of wind instruments in France. The Boehm system clarinets made by this manufacturer are particularly well-known.
They have an advanced team, always updating their instrument-making. Every new model that they introduce to the market, shows up with new features and facilities.
They have a wide variety of clarinets for beginners, students, and professionals. Besides the Bb standard and A clarinets, also Eb sopranino, A basset, and basset horn, Eb alto, F basset horn, Bb bass, and Eb contra-alto types.
Some models differ in materials such as ebonite, greenline material, grenadilla wood, mopane wood, and boxwood. It’s not the most affordable brand but they are high-quality and you can see, feel and hear the difference while playing. It’s worth it, you won’t regret it at all in case you choose the model you like.Yamaha Clarinets are among the most well-regarded, admired clarinets available on the market. Torakusu Yamaha founded Yamaha in Japan in 1887. The company is known for producing musical instruments and motors.
Yamaha clarinets’ construction and setup quality are unmatched in the industry. Yamaha clarinets are durable, with good intonation, and playability in both Boehm and Oehler key systems.
It may be the best-selling clarinet brand. It’s a great choice also for non-classical (jazz, folk) musicians with very high-quality ebonite models with a rich and warm tone. Wooden models are also great, providing an excellent experience and capabilities.
Yamaha clarinets are considered among the best in the world for their consistency, quality, and performance.
Wurlitzer is one of the best and most unique clarinet brands manufactured in Germany since 1959. Wurlitzer clarinets hold their worth well due to their exceptional craftsmanship.
If you order a Wurlitzer clarinet, it will be handmade in Germany, ensuring that the instrument is one-of-a-kind. The company sees clarinet making as an art, paying attention to every detail during manufacturing.
They can make you a clarinet with either the Oehler system keywork or a Reform Boehm model with the Boehm system keywork with the Oehler sound.
From A-flat clarinets to contrabass, they provide all types of clarinets.
French clarinet player Henri Selmer founded his brand and manufacturer workshop in 1885 in Paris.
Selmer clarinets are very well-known by both jazz and classical clarinet players.
Selmer clarinets give the freedom of intonation issues to clarinet players. The tone holes of Selmer clarinets are cut as if they are jazz clarinets and this causes flexibility on pitches.
You can find most of the members of the clarinet family and various accessories in their catalog.
The Canadian brand Backun was founded in 2000 by Morrie Backun. They manufacture high-quality clarinets in Bb and A.
Backun clarinets are made from North American woods like boxwood, rosewood, and exotic hardwoods with carbon fiber for their custom clarinets. They also use the traditional grenadilla wood for professional clarinets. They also have student clarinet options.
Hanson Clarinet Corporation was founded in 1989, by Alastair Hanson in the United Kingdom. By the end of 2010, Hanson Clarinet Company had introduced the world’s first FSC-certified clarinet.
7. Schwenk Und Seggelke
Clarinet maker Jochen Seggelke and clarinetist Werner Schwenk formed the company in 1996, in Germany. Historical clarinet remanufacturing has been the primary focus of the company’s business.
The company manufactures clarinets both with the Oehler (German) system key mechanism and the Boehm (French) system key mechanism.
Taiwan-based KHS (holding company) founded this manufacturer and distributor in 1980. They produce a wide range of woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments.
They have a huge success in manufacturing beginner and intermediate clarinets. They are in the global top 5 of 2021.
In 1631, AMATI was founded as a musical instrument factory in the Czech Republic. They’ve been manufacturing wind instruments ever since. Many students and professional clarinet players around Europe choose Amati.
10. Benedikt Eppelsheim
High and low-voiced woodwind instruments like the piccolo saxophone called Soprillo and the contrabass saxophone called Tubax are the specialty of Benedikt Eppelsheim. Their workshop is located in Munich. They manufacture very high-level contrabass clarinets.
Before choosing a brand
The first step when choosing a clarinet is to figure out what kind of clarinet you’re looking for.
Are you a beginner? Then go with an affordable, ebonite, and still good-quality clarinet. Are you an intermediate? Then you can invest a little more, go with a good quality ebonite or wood student clarinet. Are you a professional clarinetist? Then it’s better to invest in a high-quality, professional clarinet.
To pick the right clarinet for your needs, you must consider several factors, including your skill level, the clarinet’s key system (French or German?), the material from which the clarinet is made, and the price and worth. Also, choosing a brand of a trustworthy, well-known manufacturer will make the process easier for sure.
All of these clarinet brands have different specializations and different ranges of price. This list will help you understand your needs, and your expectations from an instrument, and also realize what you like in an instrument. You can find out more about these clarinets on their websites.