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Professional level bass clarinets cost quite a bit of money. What determines the price is how the instrument is built and the quality of the material used to build the instrument. Most professional bass clarinets can cost up to $10,000 or more. The following is a guide that provides details about how to look for a professional bass clarinet.

Selmer Low C – Privilege Bass Clarinet. This bass clarinet produces a round, warm sound that is powerful and homogenous. Agronomically, the key work provides players an ease and comfort in playing. The Privilege is very responsive, which not only creates a sense of freedom for the player, but also in how the sound resonates in the concert hall. For an additional fee, it is possible to get this instrument with black chrome keys.

  • Key: Bb
  • Body: Ebony
  • Neck: Closed or open curve
  • Bell: Silver-plated brass bell
  • Tenons: Metal-capped tenons
  • Features: Special request for chrome keys
  • Thumb rest: Adjustable thumb rest with E-flat level + E-flat
  • Keywork finish: Silver-plated keywork
  • Springs: Stainless steel needle springs
  • Pads: Leather pads fitted with metal resonators

Buffet Crampon Tosca 1195. This model is one of the new professional bass clarinets that was launched in 2014, representative of traditional and technological innovations. The sound is well-focused and luminous, that also uses a unique register key system which allows the most advanced players to effortlessly perform the entire the range of the instrument with “exceptional freedom and confidence.” The following are the technical specifications of the instrument:

  • Key: Bb
  • Body: Grenadilla (Dalbergia Melanoxylon)
  • Bore: New Tosca bore design
  • Tenons: Metal-capped tenons
  • Neck: Synthetic cork on tenon neck with neck adjusting screw
  • Key (design): French system; 24 silver-plated Tosca design keys
  • Key (system): Unique register key system (bright Bb); Rubber dampers to quiet key action
  • Thumb Key: Adjustable with new thumb key
  • Keys: New double low D & Eb
  • Pads: Leather, leather with metal resonators, cork

Buffet Crampon Prestige 1193. This professional model bass clarinet has a warm, full timbre that is also performed by many artists as a solo instrument and in professional ensembles. It has an Eb/Ab level and low G resonance key.  The following are the technical characteristics of this instrument:

  • Key: Bb
  • Body: Dalbergia Melanoxylon/ Natural African blackwood
  • Neck: Two-piece adjustable neck
  • Bell: Silver-plated copper bell
  • Tenons: Metal-capped tenons
  • Features: Bell section resonance vent, Eb/Ab level, range down to the low ‘c’, the low ‘d’ keys, double register mechanism
  • Thumb rest: Adjustable thumb rest
  • Keywork finish: Silver-plated keywork
  • Springs: Blue steel springs
  • Pads: Leather and cork pads.

There are multiple models of the Prestige that include its Greenline versions and intermediate and Greenline models that are less inexpensive:

  • BC1193-2: Natural African blackwood body
  • BC1193G-2: Greenline body
  • BC1183-2: Natural African blackwood body, range to low Eb, forged keys, copper keys coated with silver plating
  • BC1183G-2: Greenline body, range to low Eb, forged keys, copper keys coated with silver plating
  • BC1183R-2: Natural African blackwood body, Low G resonance, down to low D or C (with the extension), forged keys, copper keys coated with silver plating

Yamaha YCL-622II. Affordable, high-quality professional bass clarinet that is crafted by hand. The sound is rich and warm that also allows powerful projection.   The advantage to buying Yamaha instruments is that it offers one of the longer and more supportive warranties in the industry that can last up to five years.

  • Key: Bb
  • Body: Grenadilla
  • Neck: Curved
  • Tenons: Metal-capped
  • Features: Barrel, bel and key material is made out of nickel and silver
  • Thumb rest: Fixed
  • Keywork finish: Silver-plated keywork
  • Springs: Blue steel needle
  • Pads: White leather metal button type

SeriO: Low Bb Bass Clarinet  – Claro. This is one of the least inexpensive options for professional level bass clarinets on the market. The wood is made out of high quality, well-seasoned, unstained grenadilla wood. Unlike other bass clarinets, the Firebird comes with a grenadilla wooden bell that’s secured with interchangeable cork system for metal bell option. The instrument has an extended range to Low-C with thumb keys for the following notes: ‘d’, ‘d-flat’, and ‘c’. The neck and bell receiver are made out of higher-grade material in comparison to previous models that allows for increased resonance and projection. There are rose gold-plated posts with premium, heavily plated silver key-work, premium leather pads with resonators, and a cocobolo ring on neck receiver. To find out more about these bass clarinets, click here.

  • Key: Bb
  • Body: Highest Quality Aged Grenadilla
  • Bore: Cylindrical
  • Bell: Wooden Bell
  • Neck: Redesigned with Grenadilla Resonator and Fin
  • Keys: Silver plated
  • Springs: Blue steel
  • Pads: Valentino

There are no real inexpensive options for purchasing a bass clarinet. If you purchase the instrument from your local music store, you can ask to make monthly payments on the instrument. Otherwise, you can always look to purchasing a second-hand bass clarinet here. Used professional bass clarinets usually sell quickly because they are less expensive than purchasing a new one. If professional bass clarinet models are out of your price range, you can also explore intermediate level models and upgrade later. There are other factors that include how much you are willing to pay and what your goals are with the instrument. If your goal is to perform the bass clarinet professionally, it would definitely be worth the investment.