5 Worst Clarinet Brands to Avoid Purchasing in 2024

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Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or professional clarinetist, you should be aware of the worst clarinet brands to avoid. You may get frustrated if you have a bad instrument in your hands.

There is a wide range of options out there, but they are not created equal. Getting the right instrument will help you to find success and enjoy your experience in the band.

The wrong instrument can lead you to frustration, more difficultly playing and learning. It may give you the desire to quit playing your instrument.

Clarinet Brands to Avoid

List 5 Worst Clarinet Brands to Avoid

Our expert review team tested a number of clarinets. So, we have recognized the worst clarinet brands based on performance, tone consistency, longevity, usability, and playability.

Here is our list of clarinet brands to avoid as suggested by our team of experts.

S. No






Lacks Consistency



Mediocre Tone



Keys Fall Out



Easily Bends



Mediocre Sound Quality

1) Selmer CL211

Selmer CL211 worst clarinet

The Selmer CL211 is a preferred choice of many intermediate players. The body is made of grenadilla wood, and the keys are silver plated.

It has undercut tone holes, a smaller bore, and blue steel springs that produce a warm tone.

However, this clarinet lacks consistency and breaks the tone many times. Since it is a wooden instrument, it requires regular cleaning which might be difficult for a beginner.

2) Cecilio CT-480

Cecilio CT-480 clarinet brand to avoid

The Cecilio CT-480 is an intermediate-level wooden clarinet. It has a beautiful black ebony wood body that produces a decent tone.

For intermediate students looking to develop their skills, it might be a good option.

The sound of this instrument is too bright and produces a mediocre tone. Also, its wooden construction is very fragile, which makes it less durable.

Another concern is the high price. For younger students, it is not a good option to invest in.

3) Jupiter JCL700N

Jupiter JCL700N clarinet to avoid

The Jupiter JCL700N is a student-level plastic clarinet. It is made of ABS resin, which is a durable material.

The instrument is quite comfortable and gives you a professional feeling when you are playing it.

But, the sound quality of the instrument is poor and drops the volume when playing. The build quality is also not up to the standard, and some keys fall out easily.

The asking price is high for this clarinet, which is too much considering the overall quality.

4) Mendini MCT

Mendini MCT

If you are on a tight budget, this student-level clarinet can be a decent choice for you.

It has a glossy finishing and is constructed with an ABS plastic body. You can easily get it at an affordable price.

Due to the low price, the quality of Mendini MCT is poor, and it does not last long. The instrument is so fragile and easily bends.

It will also start losing its sound after the usage of a few months. Therefore, it would be better to invest in something sturdy.

5) Buffet B12

Buffet B12 low quality clarinet

The Buffet is known for producing high-end, long-lasting clarinets with excellent tones.

It may surprise you to see the name Buffet on the list of the worst clarinet brands to avoid.

But, its student-level Buffet B12 has failed to satisfy its users. It has a mediocre sound quality and lacks tone consistency. Also, the price tag is too high, considering the quality of this model.

What Differentiates the Good and Worst Clarinets?

Good Quality Clarinets:

A good clarinet is made out of quality material that will make it last longer without losing its efficiency.

The tone holes would be on the right spot which is important for playing in tune.

In good instruments, the key work, pads, and other mechanisms are also made to move smoothly and efficiently and produce a great tone.

Low-Quality Clarinets:

A bad-quality clarinet can perform well at first, but it will quickly lose its tuning. A lot of cheaper instruments are made out of inferior parts, making repairs much more difficult.

Students will find it difficult to play good tones on cheap instruments once they progressed to the next level.

How can I tell the difference between a good and a bad clarinet?

Unfortunately, you can’t tell the difference unless you are very experienced. It is tough to tell the difference by just looking at the instrument.

So, it is highly recommended that you must talk to your teachers or some expert before purchasing a clarinet.

They are experienced and unbiased sources and can tell you what clarinet brand to look for and what stores to trust.

Also Read:

Frequently Asked Questions about Clarinets

How often does a clarinet need servicing?

Answer: To make your clarinet last longer, you must service it every 12 months.

Do clarinet reeds expire?

Answer: Yes, the reeds do expire in 6 months on average. However, it is highly dependent on the usage of the instrument. If you play and practice regularly, then it may last anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks.

Who is the most famous clarinet player?

Answer: Richard Stoltzman is the most well-known clarinetist in the United States today. He began playing clarinet at the age of eight and is now 78 years old.


Regardless of your playing level, only the right clarinet in your hand can give you greater joy and lead you to success. There are many low-profile brands available on the market.

To make sure you are getting a good instrument, you must first check out the worst clarinet brands to avoid at all costs.

These poor-quality brands can ruin your experience and will make you frustrated as well.

Before buying, always consult with your teacher or any industry expert about the difference between good and bad clarinets.

They have more experience and can give you great advice on which brand to choose.

You have to be careful when buying a clarinet online as there are many fake sellers. So, you must check the reviews about the clarinet before placing your order online.

Steven Settles Author

Steven Settles is an ISCET-certified master in appliance repair. He has aced the National Appliance Service Technician Certification Exam, showcasing his exceptional diagnostic and repair skills. With an in-depth understanding of the latest repair technologies and a keen eye on evolving industry standards, Steven is a go-to expert for any appliance issue.

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