C clarinets from Ridenour are the best !
Today I saw an amusing comment on a website for a major musical instrument shop in a review of the wooden C clarinet ( weirdly named after a Cremonese master violin maker) on their site. The reviewer commented that he “only had to fill in a few holes to try to get the clarinet into tune (and then there were a few other notes not quite in tune) and then also the high F” ( normally flat on any clarinet using the standard fingering but easily countered by opening the A key simultaneously as the normal fingering or you can use several others but this is the quickest and easiest fix – Les)
The cost including VAT was almost as much as the Ridenour C which is in incredibly well in tune, very even in note size dimensions and overall tone quality in all registers and will never crack. With the Ridenour however you are also paying for my time setting the clarinets up and quality after sales service and you get the clarinet set up to my professional level to play in any pro arena whether chamber, symphonic or operatic.
Cheaper wooden clarinets from various Eastern European countries are as prone to crack just as much as expensive ones from France or Japan. The funniest comment on this site however was – “wooden body affords better tone !!!!” Really??? Surely it is the player that makes the sound ! If you make a poor tone it will not get better with a wooden clarinet !!
Ridenour C clarinets are the best value for the money and the sound quality (provided you make a decent sound) is beautiful and never harsh or strident whereas some wooden C clarinets can be in the high register especially. So don’t go with the rest buy the RCP best