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Music Industry News Archives to 2005



1 November 2005

Behn Mouthpieces International


1 October 2005

LeBlanc Clarinet Line

LeBlanc Total Clarinet Range Lineup

Leblanc USA




Unified woodwind branding now serves every player,
from beginning student through seasoned artist

Leblanc, Inc. announces its most significant new offering in decades: the Leblanc USA line of plastic-bodied clarinets. This line, comprising clarinet models from E-flat soprano to contrabass, is made entirely at Leblanc’s Kenosha manufacturing facility and offers an abundance of value-added features that will be of great interest to students, educators and parents alike.


While these new models boast superior quality and playing characteristics, perhaps the most notable advantage of the Leblanc USA line is the name itself—a recognizable, unified brand that will allow students to play a prestigious Leblanc model from the first note as a beginner on Leblanc USA, then advance to the unequaled heritage of wood-bodied models from Leblanc France.

In addition, all Leblanc USA clarinets feature a new seven-year manufacturer’s warranty against joint cracking or breaking, now the best warranty of its kind in the industry.

The Leblanc USA line includes three soprano models, each with a different bore style. The L7214 has the standard cylindrical bore, for an immediately full-bodied, open tone. The L7242 offers a somewhat smaller cylindrical bore for a more focused, mature tone. The L7250 features a polycylindrical bore, which is the same configuration found in Leblanc’s top-line wood clarinets, giving the young clarinetist a playing experience approaching that afforded by artist instruments.


Each of these soprano models incorporates new standard features suggested to Leblanc by players and educators. A cushioned, adjustable thumb rest provides proper hand position for the youngest players, and side trill keys have been reengineered for quieter performance. Repair techs will doubtless prefer Leblanc’s new pad style, which makes seating easier and more secure.

Each Leblanc USA soprano is delivered with a redesigned ligature and plastic cap, a Leblanc reed guard and a new, more absorbent all-cotton swab. Leblanc USA sopranos are also supplied with a newly styled, stackable molded case, which now includes a padded shoulder strap for comfortable, hands-free transport.

Leblanc USA harmony clarinets feature the same exceptional quality, playability and value that band directors and musicians have come to expect from Leblanc-made instruments. They are covered by the same seven-year warranty as Leblanc USA soprano models.

Leblanc’s popular Vito clarinet line continues to be offered, now as an exclusive line for school music dealers. The simplified Vito lineup, also covered under the new seven-year warranty, comprises four familiar soprano models: 7212, 7214, 7242 and 7214P. The 7212 has been upgraded with a brushed, wood-like finish, which is now standard on all Vito and Leblanc USA clarinets.

All previously branded Vito harmony clarinets will now be branded Leblanc USA, bearing the new logo. Harmony models are otherwise identical to their Vito predecessors, with the same model numbers now bearing the prefix “L.”

In coming months, Leblanc branding of student woodwinds will be expanded to include saxophones and flutes.

Leblanc USA. Leblanc France.
Woodwinds for every player.
Leblanc for life.




 17 September 2005

DVD available CONCERTO FOR MITTENS, Buffet Crampon clarinet on the top of Mont Blanc
Thursday, June 30, 2005


Friday, September 17, 2004 at 8 in the morning, Romain GUYOT, professional clarinettist and Philippe LECONTE, responsible for public and artistic relations at Buffet Crampon, take the Mont Blanc tramway. They are escorted by Alpine guides Gilles BURDIN and Thierry OLIVIER.

They are soon to experience together in an original human and artistic adventure: to succeed in the bet to give a clarinet concert on the top of the Mont Blanc, after having climbed it by the “Royal Route”…

Concerto for mittens follows the group step by step to the roof of Europe in order to make you feel the emotions of this adventure.

This event celebrates the 10th anniversary of the GREEN LINE material, result of blending 95% ebony powder with carbon fibre in a process patented by Buffet Crampon. Green Line brings an exceptional resistance to variations of atmospheric conditions (temperature and humidity).

SPECIAL FEATURES: Complete concert on the top of Mont Blanc - Photos on Mont Blanc - Bonus photos - The manufacturing of clarinets (by Lionel Tuchband)


Please send a cheque to Buffet Crampon

5 rue Maurice Berteaux 78711 MANTES LA VILLE - France

More informations: Philippe LECONTE

Tél. : +33 (0)1 30 98 51 58 / 06 84 51 52 78 -


2 September 2005




The Custom reed program is offered on a limited basis to clarinetists who want to be insured of a high level of playable reeds for critical performances. 

We believe that you will find the reeds you receive from us to yield the highest degree of playable reeds out of each box you have ever had from a commercial source.  

Of course, no one can guarantee a box that yields 10 out of 10 concert quality reeds, but we can assure you that you will find several concert quality reeds and a very

high percentage of playable reeds for practicing and rehearsing that will play with ideal resistance and comfort.



The program requirements are simple.

1. You must play a symmetrically faced mouthpiece.  We offer no playability guarantees on reeds played on crooked facing mouthpieces.

2. We need two to four new reeds from you that meet your standards for playability.  Two of the reeds should represent  reeds you would play and find acceptable but

on the lighter side, the other two should be  acceptable reeds you would play on the heavier side.  

These reeds will enable us to establish a range of acceptable resistance for the reeds we will be sending you.

They will be kept on file and gauged against all the reeds we send you to help insure you not only get playable reeds that are well balanced, but reeds that fall into the

 parameters of your resistance "comfort zone."



Each box of 10 custom reeds, produced uniquely for you will be $31.95, plus shipping and any applicable tax.  

To some this may seem costly, but think of how much you now pay for a preponderance of reeds that do not play are are unusable, and how much time you spend working

on reeds instead of actually practicing music.  Once these issues are factored in, we believe you will find this service to be a big savings, both monetarily and time-wise.



The program is run on a very limited basis and reeds must be ordered at least 30 to 45 days ahead of time, so please plan ahead! 

Poor planning on your behalf does not constitute a crisis on our behalf.

There is no minimum number of reeds to purchase and you may drop out of the program at any time by simply contacting us to that effect.

Reeds you find unworkable for either concert performance or practice may be exchanged up to one time.  

You have five days from date of receipt to indicate any returned reeds. Simply return the reeds and we will exchange.  We depend upon your good will to not abuse this

aspect of the service.  We emphasize that it is unreasonable to demand 10 top concert quality reeds from each box of reeds.  

We do not guarantee that.  

We do guarantee that you will received several concert quality reeds per box and a playability rate of 80% or better right out of the box!... without working them.  

Reeds that have been worked on may not be returned.  We also do not expect that you necessarily use Ridenour Custom Reeds as a sole or routine source of reeds,

though if you so desire we will try to oblige within our means and time parameters.  


The service is primarily offered to help insure that you will have the excellent reeds you must have at critical times.   We recognize that many of you included on the list

are excellent at reed making and reed finishing.  We are including you in the hope that, though you do not personally need such a custom service, you will know those who need and can benefit from what we are offering.

If you are interested in participating in this unique service please contact us by email so we can arrange and set up your account.  If you know of any clarinetists who would

 be interested in participating please feel free to forward this post to them.

I look forward to hearing from and serving you and/or your students in the near future.  We pledge we will do what we can to raise the level of you and your student's

performances by providing you will the high quality, consistent products you both need your artistry deserves.


31 July 2005


Ted Lane in  performance of  Copland Clarinet Concerto with the American Sinfonietta-Michael Palmer Conducting


                     Ted Lane Clarinet Mouthpiece

Thursday, June 23, 2005

BUFFET CRAMPON, one of the finest manufacturers of musical instruments, regains its independence with ARGOS SODITIC








 Buffet Crampon, world leader in the clarinet market, is delighted to announce that the Company, created in 1825 in Paris, has regained its independence through an MBO of the company Buffet Crampon by its Managing Director, Paul Baronnat, accompanied by Argos Soditic’s funds. For several decades, Buffet Crampon has been controlled by British groups.

Each year, Buffet Crampon manufactures 63.000 student and professional wind instruments (clarinets, bass clarinets, oboes, bassoons, saxophones) under its own label. The 22.000 professional instruments are manufactured at its historic site in Mantes la Ville (240 employees).

Following this takeover, Buffet Crampon is now at the head of two distribution networks, in the United States (Los Angeles) and in Japan (Tokyo), and has a consolidated turnover of 47 million euros, mostly from export.

The brand’s reputation is worldwide, with nearly 80% of market share in the universe of professional clarinets. In addition to distributing its own products, Buffet Crampon makes use of its worldwide network to distribute other brands of wind instruments.

Paul Baronnat, 59 years old, Managing Director of the Company which initiated this transaction, becomes President of BUFFET CRAMPON SAS and its American and Japanese branches. Strongly attached to the corporate culture of the Company, Paul Baronnat looks forward to the future with confidence backed up by the timelessness of the Company’s values, its go-ahead desire to occupy new commercial territories and its capacity to innovate. With its newly regained independence, the Company will be able to redevelop its range of products, and benefit from the control it now has of its worldwide distribution network.

ARGOS SODITIC is an independent private equity partnership active for more than 15 years in MBOs in Continental Europe. ARGOS SODITIC specialises in accompanying medium sized MBOs by strong management teams, generally in complex situations.

With this fresh impetus, Buffet Crampon wished more than ever to restate its corporate values : respect for and attention to musicians’ requirements, the tradition and the spirit of the Company, the quality of a unique savoir-faire in upper range instruments, the dynamic of a world-wide distribution network, a strong taste for innovation and the awakening of new tones, a permanent engagement in the development of instrumental practice.

Buffet Crampon’s renewed state of independence reinforces the influence of a brand which this year celebrates 180 years of existence.

About Argos Soditic: Founded in 1989, Argos Soditic is an independent private equity partnership with offices in Paris, Milan and Geneva, active in medium-sized MBOs/MBIs in Continental Europe. With aggregate committed capital of €250 million, Argos Soditic has structured nearly 40 transactions since its creation and employs over 20 professionals across Europe. The group’s portfolio includes companies such as Du Pareil Au Même, Kermel ou Oxbow in France, Sparco in Italy, and Maillefer in Switzerland. For more information about us, please visit our website at


Buffet Crampon - Marketing Manager: Sylvie IRVOAS

Tel: +33 1 30 98 51 31 - Mobile: + 33 6 32 65 67 29

Argos Soditic - Louis GODRON, Cédric BRUIX, Louis DE LESTANVILLE

Tel: +33 1 53 67 20 50

Actus - Press Relations: Amjed ACHOUR

Tel: +33 1 53 67 36 57


Wolfgang Weth with period klarinette by Wurlitzer

Klarinette in case

Specific details on klarinette

Tuning barrel arrangement on klarinette

Klarinette upper joint and barrel

9 May 2005


       Wolfgang Weth, retired since 2004 from the “Badische Staatskapelle” now making  chamber music and jazz. “Opera Swing Quartet, and a Duo (clarinet and guitar) called “Only Two” with Martin Müller.

He played on this box tree C-clarinet in Rothenburg o.d. T. on the 6.5.2005 with the “Hans Sachser Ensemble” in the Townhalle.

This period instrument is made to precise specification by Herbert Wurlitzer is a replica of klarinetten of that period and produced with the same standard of manufacture (hand made) as the standard Wurlitzer models including materials and craftsmanship.  Only limitation is the ‘period’ characteristics inherent at that time. These klarinetten are produced on special order only and are not included in the normal catalog.


Bernd Wurlitzer and fellow artist Josef Balogh and friends

US Marine Band soloist SSG Chang with Wurlitzer Eb Klarinette examination

Mike Getzin trying new Basset A Klarinette with Wurlitzer

Bernd Wurlitzer and Mike Getzin

Bassett A Klarinette tryout

25 July 2004  -  from ClarinetFest University of Maryland


      One of the best kept secrets at Conventions like this is the modest and quiet displays of these clarinets from Neustadt a.d. Aisch Germany produced by this Stradavarius-class Klarinette maker.  This family firm owned by Herbert Wurlitzer and passed generation to generation has produced the finest instruments used all over Europe, especially Germany, and in use in all the German Orchestras and the Netherlands.  Wurlitzer produces Artist-class instruments in both Oehler (German System) and Reform Boehm, and delivery is usually 1-2 years.  Although the price of these instruments are very expensive and almost non-negotiable (klarinettes are not sold through distribution and dealers), the life of these horns is over 3 times the life of a production instrument.  Karl Leister has played his set since he bought his in 1978, and has other sets to play overseas to play the pitch needed to perform (A-440 - A-446).  The Reform Boehm models are in fact the state of the Boehm Clarinet with the German bore-tonal characteristics and able to project better than any other clarinet on the market. Intonation is literally perfect even in the high register ranges over G, and barrels are available to play on a French mouthpiece without complications.  The mechanics of these clarinets are second to none with a quick light action that is even throughout the instrument.  With new clarinets becoming available in the French market, these Reform Boehms have been current and ahead for over 50 years.  At the ClarinetFest 04, I acquired a Reform Boehm Bassett A Klarinette and all that was needed was the upper joint to my Wurlitzer A Klarinette.  Having bought a set in 1987 from Herbert Wurlitzer and having him personally evaluate the set bought then, the Bassett A lower joint still tonally and pitch matched with no complications whatever.  It is very important for the Clarinet world to check and inquire about this Reform Boehm revolution, especially professionally bound players.  For more information, contact Wurlitzer direct.

25 July 2004  -  from the ClarinetFest Maryland Exhibit

Xilema display at ClarinetFest Maryland

Xilema Official Poster

Redwine/Xilema Gennusa Mouthpieces

Redwine Reed-Mouthpiece display

Canyes Xilema clarinet reeds - Spain

         Canyes Xilema clarinet reeds made its debut at the International Clarinet Convention in Washington, D.C. on July 22, 2004.  Jose Herrera, principal clarinetist of the Valencia, Spain Orchestra and designer of the reeds, and his sister Inma Herrera, maker of the reeds, joined Ben and Leslie Redwine, owners of RedwineJazz and makers of the Gennusa “Excellente” clarinet mouthpieces, at their booth to introduce them publicly for the first time.

        Jose Herrera, well known in Spain for his handcrafted reeds, spent one year designing and refining the reeds.  He and Inma then had their machines digitally copy his design to produce high quality reeds.  They select cane from the Mediterranean coast and use strict quality standards selecting only the best cane in the lots and discarding any substandard cane.  After the reeds are machined, the quality control staff (five professional clarinetists) selects only the best reeds for packaging.  Canyes Xilema is proud of the uniformity in their production, which is confirmed by customer feedback indicating 8 – 10 reeds per box consistently perform beautifully.  One valued customer has said, “They are very responsive and I feel I can get more presence in the sound than in the reeds I used to use.”  The reeds are available in three different cuts.  The Viena cut is for the Viennese style mouthpieces.  The Professional and Artesana are designed with a thicker heart and vamp, which produces a rich, dark sound.  The Artesana are then hand finished by Inma, so the pores of the cane close and the reeds have a longer life.  The Classic reeds are designed with a thinner tip giving easy response and great flexibility in playing. 

      "I have been using the Xilema Classic model reed for some time and feel that it is a responsive, rich-sounding reed with excellent stability and longevity.  I recommend this reed to all players who are searching for perfection."

Larry Guy

Author, "Selection, Care and Adjustment of Single Reeds"
Faculty, Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music
Free-lance performer, New York City

       Find out more about Canyes Xilema by visiting their website  Customers in the United States may purchase the reeds from RedwineJazz, LLC; contact information can be found at

25 July 2004  -  from the ClarinetFest Maryland Exhibit












The Valgon Rings™

Valgon Sound launches revolutionary product for woodwinds

TORONTO, Feb. 23/04. Valgon Sound Inc. today launched the Valgon Rings™, a revolutionary discovery that focuses and projects the tone of woodwinds, significantly improving the instruments' response.

"By simply adding the Valgon neck and bell ring, players will immediately notice an improvement in all aspects of their playing with considerably less effort," said Valgon co-inventor Harold Gomez, a clarinetist, teacher and inventor of musical products.

The Valgon Rings™ attach quickly and easily to improve the sound of both student and professional quality instruments. The rings retail for less than the cost of most mouthpieces.

The Valgon Rings™ have been described as the most innovative discovery for woodwinds since Theobald Boehm devised a new fingering system for woodwinds in 1832. Soloists love how the rings improve their virtuosity, doublers enjoy how each instrument responds right away.

"They help me access a beautiful clarinet and flute tone quickly, making fast switches from one horn to another more fluid," said Colleen Allen, saxophone/woodwind player with renowned jazz singer Molly Johnson. "I find I am able to focus my sound and increase my dynamic range more readily while using the Valgon Rings."

Mr. Gomez developed the rings with one of his students, Konstantin Valtchev, a doctor who holds a number of patents on medical instruments. Dr. Valtchev noticed an improvement in sound after he had added a ring to his mouthpiece in order to quickly remove his mouthpiece without disrupting the ligature. Mr. Gomez discovered that adding a second ring at the bell made an even greater improvement, and that the rings would also improve other wind instruments. After an additional five years of research and development, they founded Valgon Sound Inc.

"We discovered that the rings control and stabilize the oscillating air column on the outside of the instrument, resulting in reduced turbulence inside the bore," said Mr. Gomez. "Thus, the player doesn't have to work as hard to make a good tone, and note transitions are easier at all dynamic levels."

Performers have been using the Valgon flute and clarinet rings in large concert halls and in the recording studio. "I find that the rings project sound to the audience much better," said Ms. Allen, adding, "I don't go anywhere without them!"

The rings are currently available for Bb clarinet, Eb clarinet, flute and piccolo. They will soon be available for alto, bass and contrabass clarinets, alto and bass flutes and alto and tenor saxophone.

The Valgon Rings are distributed by D'Addario Canada and will also be available at conferences, including the International Clarinet Association Conference in Baltimore, MD, and the National Flute Association Conference in Nashville, TN.

For wholesale or retail information, and for a complete list of retail stores, contact

For further information:
Mr. Harold Gomez, president,
Valgon Sound Inc.

Available For:
Bb Clarinet, Eb Clarinet, Flute, and Piccolo.

Soon To Be Available For:
Alto, Bass, and Contrabass Clarinet, Alto and Bass Flute, Alto and Tenor Saxophone.





Selmer and Henri Bok

Ricardo Morales and Jean-Francoise Bescond

Selmer 100th Anniversary St Louis Limited Edition Clarinets

Selmer Exhibit

Selmer, Morales, and Bescond

25 July 2004  -  from the ClarinetFest Maryland Exhibit

Conn-Selmer Offers Limited Edition Anniversary Selmer (Paris) Clarinet

Commemorating 100th anniversary

Instrument commemorates 100 years since Selmer Paris won the gold medal at the
St. Louis World's Fair.

In 1904, the World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri celebrated the centennial anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase. One of the most successful world's fairs of that era – over 1,200 acres – exhibited the best in creative and technological advances from 60 nations. The Palace of the Liberal Arts dedicated an entire wing to musical instruments, including the very first Selmer Paris clarinets. Alexandre Selmer, then a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra, demonstrated the performance advantages of the Selmer Paris instrument created by his brother Henri and a few companions. Authorities were so impressed that they awarded the Selmer brothers the gold medal.

In commemoration of this event, Selmer Paris has created the new St. Louis Anniversary Clarinet. Available in Bb and A, this instrument is designed for professionals, as well as for advancing students and hobbyists.


A special commemorative gold-plated St. Louis logo plate is featured on the upper joint of the SL models. Special silver and gold plated joint rings exquisitely finish the instrument.



The instruments have been warmly received, with professionals highlighting the qualities of tone, pitch and playing flexibility of the St. Louis model. Technical features include grenadilla wood, aged over three years before turning and oil treatment, multiple barrels for personal tuning adjustments, .571” bore (.573” for A), left-hand Eb/Ab lever, silver plated keys, metal tenon sockets, and adjustable thumb rest. Leather pads are used throughout, with resonator pads on the three lowest notes (E, F, F#).

A special commemorative gold-plated St. Louis logo plate is featured on the upper joint. Special silver and gold plated joint rings exquisitely finish the instrument.

Selmer Paris has also gone so far as to recreate the original barrel-shaped C85 Selmer Paris mouthpiece in a special edition with a unique St. Louis-style ligature. A special designer anniversary case by premier luggage maker, Lancel, completes this spectacular instrument.

Conn-Selmer, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of Selmer Paris instruments and mouthpieces in North America. Selmer Paris products are available through all Conn-Selmer dealers.


Published: July 22, 2004

Milwaukee, Wisconsin - American City Business Journals Inc.

Steinway to buy G. Leblanc for $36 million

         Steinway Musical Instruments Inc. said Thursday that it has agreed to
   buy G. Leblanc Corp., a musical instrument manufacturer in Kenosha, for
   about $36 million.
       Leblanc is a manufacturer of high quality band instruments and sells
   products under the Leblanc, Noblet, Vito, Holton, Martin and Yanagisawa
   brand names. Leblanc expects to generate revenue of $28 million for
       In a statement, Leblanc chairman and chief executive officer Leon
   Pascucci said G. Leblanc will maintain operations in Kenosha.
      "The business has been in my family for nearly 60 years, so my primary
   concern was to ensure its continuation," he said. "I'm thrilled that
   Leblanc will become part of a company with the reputation of Steinway
   Musical Instruments."
        The announcement comes just weeks after the company said it will close
   one of its two plants in Kenosha later this summer, resulting in the
   loss of 67 jobs. Leblanc plans to halt production at 9009 Sheridan Road
   by Aug. 27, according to a notice filed with the state Department of
   Workforce Development.
       Leblanc operates a second plant at its headquarters in Kenosha, 7001
   Leblanc Blvd., where it has about 160 employees. The company also has a
   factory in Elkhorn with about 75 employees. About 40 employees work at
   Leblanc's other remaining plant, located in La Couture-Boussey, France.
       Waltham, Mass.-based Steinway, famous for its pianos, is one of the
   world's largest manufacturers of musical instruments. Its notable
   products include Steinway & Sons pianos, Bach Stradivarius trumpets,
   Selmer Paris saxophones, C.G. Conn French horns, King trombones, and
   Ludwig snare drums. Leblanc will be operated as part of Steinway's
   Conn-Selmer band instrument division.
       The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions and
   purchase price adjustments, is expected to close in the third quarter.
  Copyright(c)   All rights reserved.


20 June 2004        




   Dr. Omar Henderson – Co-inventor of Forte’


  Forte’ booth at Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium , June 04’


Come see the exciting features at:

Exclusive Features=

You will be way ahead of the pack with Forte' advantages only available on artist quality clarinets costing thousands of dollars and lack the durability needed for the rigors of student life. Forte' has been endowed with features that exist on no other clarinet, professional or otherwise.

=Forte' is strong and plays well=

Student level clarinets have not changed much in a quarter century. They are always the last to receive innovations. Forte' gives you these advantages now! Forte' is designed to withstand the rigors of young and progressing players with distinctive strengthening in areas most prone to require expensive and lengthy repair. Forte' is fun to play and the design process has enhanced the acoustic qualities giving it superb tone, accurate spacing of notes (intonation), and quick and effortless response in all the registers. It is as much at home on the marching field as it is on the concert stage.

=Forte' is well made and tested

Forte’ is technologically advanced and built on the collective suggestions from noted experts. Innovations have been thoroughly engineered, prototype tested by a panel of experts, and further tweaked to optimum performance. The instrument is strong and built of the best available materials and workmanship by a world renowned old line company that was selected after great research by the design team. Each clarinet received is play-tested and adjustments made to assure optimum, worry free performance when it reaches you the customer.

=Great accessories=

Most other clarinets come equipped with less than satisfactory mouthpieces, ligatures, swabs and other accessories. Purchasing the necessary quality mouthpiece, ligature, and other accessories later can easily cost 1/4 the total price of the clarinet. The quality mouthpiece, ligature and swab supplied with the Forte' translate as an exceptional added value.

=Quality parts availability and warranty service=

We have instituted a revolutionary "First" in the industry computerized parts distribution network to get parts to repair technicians with 72 hours of order at our toll free number should a Forte' need repair. We also give a comprehensive "Mouthpiece to Bell Ring" one year factory warranty on materials and workmanship on the Forte'.  

=Power Barrel

As an option, a power barrel is available. It was inspired by marching band, and the need for a LOUD clarinet. This barrel is quite possibly the world’s most complex, scientific clarinet accessory available. The Power Barrel is a breakthrough in acoustical engineering which emphasizes the even harmonic frequencies of notes. It allows the marching band, or jazz band clarinetist to play loud and full, it is almost like having a portable amplifier when you march!

 All of these features make Forte' and exceptional value with industry leading technology.

. Step up with Forte' - The Clarinet Evolved

Exceptional value and price!

Unsurpassed durability, quality and innovation

Top of the line accessories





The Forte'™ clarinet is the first truly revolutionary and affordable student clarinet to be introduced to the market in more than a quarter century. It is an instrument designed with the student in mind, and built to facilitate rapid growth in all areas of technique. Its intonation and tone quality are suitable for very mature ensembles. Forte' is a true revelation in clarinet design.

Some outstanding features of the Forte'™ clarinet are:

hand finished ABS resin body, nickel plated nickel-silver and bronze alloy keys, French blued-steel springs, Italian white kid leather waterproof pads, undercut tone holes, .575" polycylindrical bore, pin style nylon lever joint connectors, adjustable thumb rest and all natural tenon and key corks.

Some of the revolutionary features found on the Forte'™ clarinet are:




"No-Jam©" Bridge Key

A common problem on all clarinets is the bridge key. When assembling the instrument, it is easy to "jam" this mechanism, causing mechanical problems, or even failure. Our exclusive, and innovative "No-Jam©" Bridge Key completely removes this problem. It allows for less maintenance, and a more reliable mechanism. This eliminates the need to depress any rings during assembly. This system is completely worry free.

Sculpted ergonomic register and throat "A" key spatulas

Ergonomic improvements are not new to the industry, but the combination of these two keys, and their ease and comfort were designed to more easily facilitate complicated passages for smaller hands, and foster correct left hand position and curvature.

Fortified Key Supports

Another common cause of mechanical problems that come from the assembly and maintenance of a student clarinet, is the bending of the low "E" rod, and bending of the side trill keys. We have designed custom bracings for these critical areas that will prevent the keys from shifting. Thus, problematic leaks can be avoided, and maintenance time and costs reduced.



Custom Moennig Inspired Barrel

Many professional musicians spend great amounts of money on custom barrels to improve the tone quality, intonation and response of their instrument. Our free-blowing custom designed barrel is based on the world famous Moennig barrel bore. It provides a rich mature tone quality, excellent intonation and a responsiveness that aids in the development of air support for the student musician

Resonance Bell Vent

This feature was borrowed from the German persuasion of clarinet design. Such a feature has never been seen on a Boehm System student clarinet. It adds new clarity and depth to the sound in the lower registers, and improves intonation as well.

Gennusa Mouthpiece


This may quite possibly be the most important part of the clarinet set-up. This is a professional quality mouthpiece made from a durable kid friendly acrylic resin, and designed for the Forte' clarinet. It has a medium tip opening, and encourages and supports the growth of a mature embouchure.




Ben Armato with his PerfectaReed device

PerfectaReed measuring device

Product demonstration

Armato showing PerfectaReed to client

9 June 2004

 Ben Armato’s  Reed Wizard and PerfectaReed updated Products

        The above Metropolitan Opera Clarinetist, teacher, and inventor of these portable incredible Reed measuring and adjusting devices are probably the state of the industry.  As described in the website, the beauty and ease of use of these tools make them a must for all serious players, as they will cut out lost productive time due to overkill in trying to make reeds work.  The PerfectaReed is a acutely accurate measuring tool to find all irregularities in any set of reeds, including the unplayables, and makes possible finding the cures to make them work.  The Reed Wizard is a wonder in that a duplicate can be made of model reeds, thus saving time and enjoying consistent results.  Special word should note that Mr Armato, being an artist clarinetist with a high level of Orchestra and teaching credential, knows how to make a player ‘tune in’ on his message about tonal fundamentals, and anyone who has worked with him knows his critical ear regarding getting the best from a player for his benefit.  These products are essentials that all players should have at their disposal to make more time for music-making than wasted time being consumed by reed stress.

Tom Ridenour with new Model Clarinet

Ridenour Clarinet display

ATG Reed fixing Package

8 June 2004

New Ridenour TR147 Clarinets Introduced

     Tom Ridenour, known for many years as a Clarinet / mouthpiece craftsman and now the technical developer of this new model line of Clarinets, pitched in Bb, A, C, G, low Eb Bass and low C Bass.  Information about models on the above website.

Offers these clarinets in Five Customizing Options :

Option I: The Basic Pro Clarinet

These clarinets are specially selected from Brook Mays large stock.  They are then gone over in detail, both mechanically and acoustically to make sure that they are in optimum playing condition and adjustment for testing.  Skin pads are all treated with Tom's special pad treatment for improved seal, water proofing and increased durability.

Option II: The Basic Pro-Plus

* Five cork pads in the upper joint in water prone tone holes

* All skin pads coated with our special pad treatment which water proofs, improves seal and increases pad life.

* Complete adjustment, quietening and balancing of mechanism and pad heights

* All tone hole imperfections corrected

* Thumb and register tube sealed with special sealant to eliminate possible leakage

Option III: Artist Customizing

* Balancing of color and resistance  in tone holes

* All tone hole imperfections corrected

* Handmade cork pads in upper joint

* Thumb and register tube sealed with special sealant to eliminate possible leakage

* Complete adjustment, quietening and balancing of mechanism and pad heights

* Review of all dimensions of clarinet after break in period.  (This is best done between six months to a year after the clarinet has been purchased.)

Option IV: Ultra Artist Customizing

* Balancing of color and resistance in tone holes

* All tone hole imperfections corrected

* Handmade cork pads in upper joint

* Special padding in lower joint for durability and perfect seal

* Special teflon and nylon sliders that make the mechanism extra smooth

* Specially silencing process for a remarkably quiet, smooth mechanism

* Special acoustical upgrading to increase depth, flexibility, darkness and maturity of tone.

* Review of all dimensions of clarinet after break in period.  (This is best done between six months to a year after the clarinet has been purchased.)

* Two years mechanical and acoustical care of clarinet beyond manufacturer's warrantee.

Option V: The Total Clarinet!

These clarinets are specially selected by instrument designer, acoustician and clarinetist Tom Ridenour because of their outstanding qualities in tone, tuning and response.  These clarinets then receive a Customizing Level IV, plus hand tuning and fitting the instrument with a Ridenour Artist Model Mouthpiece that is optimum for that clarinet


Tom Ridenour ATG Reed Finishing Products


In his definitive new text on reed finishing Tom Ridenour reveals for the first time the fundamental and common error of all past approaches to reed finishing, why it is wrong, and why finishing systems based upon it can't really work as they should. Tom also reveals his astoundingly simple solution: an amazingly effective, yet easy to learn method of reed finishing that will have you perfectly balancing reed after reed, even in your very first attempts! The system is so easy to learn and master you'll soon be able to even balance reeds blindfolded!

Tom's method is the link between forming and finishing the reed that has been missing up to now. With it, reed finishing is no longer the exclusive domaine of a select few who have the aptitude, time, patience and reason to master what, up to now, has always been a difficult and complex art. The amazing ATG method of reed finishing brings the power of finishing great reeds easily within the grasp of players of all skill levels and budgets, because it costs only a small fraction of other expensive reed finishing tools and machines. Yet, it is more effective, more versatile and amazingly easier to master. It is also portable: only one set of tools finishes all single reeds, natural or synthetic, from the baritone saxophone to the Eb clarinet!
If are like most reed players you have lots of old reeds lying around that are unplayable. If so, get ready to use virtually everyone of them! Get ready for some of them to become the very best reeds you've ever had!

Use Tom's new finishing method on them and watch the system pay for itself many times over in just the first few days of receiving it! You may not even have to buy new reeds for a year or more!

Here's What Some of the Satisfied Users of
Tom Ridenour’s Amazing New Method Have to Say!

"Tom's new method for finishing reeds is fantastic. Every clarinetist and saxophonist ought to own and use it. Besides it being effective and easy to use, it's a real bargain. The system will pay for itself the first week of use. I'm recommending it to all my students!".
Eddie Daniels
World Renowned Jazz and Classical Clarinetist


"Tom Ridenour's Universal ATG Single-Reed Finishing System is a marvel of
simplicity and intuitive understanding. The approach to diagnosing and
fixing reed imbalances is presented in a logical series of steps that
demystify the whole reed adjustment process. All single reed players, at
any level of expertise, will be amazed by the improvements in tone and
response they can achieve through the ATG System."
Howard Klug
Professor of Clarinet, Chair, Woodwind Department
School of Music, Indiana University,

..... I finally had some time this weekend to work on the system and really watch the video carefully. It is just tremendous!!! I have three recitals this week... I needed reeds and now I have them. I will be sure to tell everyone to buy this system. I am so impressed. Everyone must have the book and video. Also congrats on the fine presentation. It is so clear and concise and straight ahead
Dr. Caroline Hartig
Associate Professor of Clarinet, Woodwind Area Chair,
Ball State University
President, National Association of College Wind & Percussion Instructors

As far as the reed system goes I am truly speechless. My mind still does not want to accept the reality. How could we all suffer for so many years unable to break the ancient mysterious code of reed finishing only to be liberated something so simple. Its just not right. I just finished teaching private lessons and was able to confidently balance every reed that a student threw at me. Anyway, "thanks" does not seem sufficient. I feel the excitement about my clarinet that I had when I was a little kid. Can't remember the last time I felt that. I still have the fear that I am going to wake up to find that it was just a dream. Until then...
David Malek, Clarinetist,
Band of the West, USAF,
Lackland AFB, San Antonio,
Victoria Symphony Orchestra, Victoria, Texas

I wanted to let you know I received your ATG reed surfacing system a
couple of weeks ago and it is incredible. Every reed I have adjusted
plays beautifully. It makes playing fun again. I would love for my students to be able to purchase this system also.
Thanks again. P.S. You should sell millions of these. It is fantastic.
Richard Glaze
Chair Department of Music (Clarinet professor)
University of West Florida
Principal clarinet - Pensacola Symphony Orchestra

Dear Tom,
I've played clarinet and sax for 41 years, including 4 years with the Marine Band in Washington, DC. I've enjoyed playing clarinet more in the last 2 or 3 weeks using your
Single Reed Finishing System to work my reeds than I have in all the other
years I've played. Every reed I finished played great with very little time
or effort! This is truly a case of it IS too good and it IS true.
Burt Ross

Dear Tom,
I just spent this morning fixing reed after reed for my clarinet students,
who feel completely awed by your method, and they want to order it
too! This is going to completely change the whole world of single reed
players! You need to prepare for an onslaught of orders!
Congratulations again! This is truly a miracle!
Courtney Mlinar Clarinetist
freelancer Dallas-Fort Worth, Clarinet Instructor, Birdville ISD,
Castleberry ISD, Nolan Catholic HS, Formerly assistant principal
clarinet, Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra for 12 yrs.

...until I used the ATG system I don't think that I ever really experienced a balanced reed except maybe by accident. I'm talking about a reed that responds beautifully with no embouchure bite. I have worked hard to get rid of embouchure bite, including a commitment to double-lip embouchure, but until now, subtle imbalance in my reeds has
prevented me from achieving anywhere near perfection even if my "balancing
act" greatly improved the reed's response.
It is amazing to me how easy it is to accept less than perfection while convincing yourself you're there. The ATG system helped me achieve a level I didn't know existed.
Robert Chest
Instructor of
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC

This is the most helpful reedworking system I have ever used.  The method is so easy to learn and apply a young student can use it successfully, yet it meets the professional's most demanding and exacting standards.  Most importantly, it works every time - on both cane and synthetic reeds. 
Daryl Coad
Clarinet Instructor,
University of North Texas
Frmly, New Orleans Symphony Orchestra

I tried the method last night just 15 minutes before the Opera started and demonstrated it to my 2nd clarinet - I chose 3 really stuffy reeds and frankly it surpassed my wildest expectations - all three were playing before the conductor brought the baton down - in fact to prove the point I played the entire Opera on one of the reeds.
I showed the method to a guest clarinet player tonight and fixed two reeds for him. He played on one of them and sounded great. I must say I was amazed too because all it took to adjust that particular reed was precisely 3 movements of the abrasive!
Leslie Craven,
Principal Clarinetist, Orchestra of Welsh National Opera,

"The ingenuity and simplicity of the ATG system makes it a "must have" for all single reed players. With this approach one is virtually guaranteed a great many useable reeds for practice and performance. Thanks, Tom, for clarifying the mysteries of reed adjustment, and for making the system so accessible and practical.
Geoff Nudell
Los Angeles Studio Musician, Professor of Clarinet and Saxophone,
California State University, Northridge

11 May 2004

     Henri Selmer France has recently released a new set of Clarinet models which should be of interest to clarinetists. In past years Selmer has produced great models such as the 10 (Gigliotti), the 10S, the Recital, the Signature, and the Standard.  All of these Clarinets are in professional use today, and each has characteristics geared to the requirements of the performer, whether player jazz, solo recital or concerto, chamber music, or Orchestral.  Many firms have made improvement modifications using new technology along with their quality handmade standards which make their instruments well respected and played worldwide by a large venue of players.  Below is information about the new clarinets being featured by this fine firm.

ARTYS Clarinets


Today, the Selmer Paris clarinet range is an artistically open offer. In the very heart of this variety, "Artys", expression of the Selmer maturity and modernity, sets the tone. The Bb and A "Artys" clarinets assert themselves as high quality, all-purpose instruments, covering a wide range of playing options. The profound personality of this model is built up from an amazing playability and a deep, resonant tone. The overall sound and tuning qualities are particularly homogeneous through all the registers and shades ; a great flexibility and a remarkable control complete the global acoustic performances.

ODYSSEE Clarinets

"Odyssée" constitutes the first link to the Selmer Paris professionnal clarinet range. Designed to open on mutiple musical aspects, "Odyssée" is a wholly accessible instrument. Respecting the Selmer Paris traditional hallmark, the "Odyssée" Bb and A clarinets are highly multivalent instruments, based on a balanced blend of brightness and roundness. Together with the tuning stability and the flexibility, the homogeneity of the tone colour turns the "Odyssée" into a very reliable instrument.



Larry Combs checking Bassettklarinette with Bernd Wurlitzer

Bassettklarinette lower joint in case

Lower joint front view

Lower joint back mechanism

Wurltzer holding Bassettklarinette with Mike Getzin and Mitchell Estrin

23 March 2004

     From Neustadt a.d. Aisch, Germany at the Herbert Wurlitzer home of the near legendary Klarinetten used by all the major German, Swiss, and Dutch players and Orchestras, comes to make available the Bassettklarinette in A, used primarily to perform the Mozart Clarinet Concerto K622, and the Mozart Clarinet Quintet K581 for the extra lower range believed to be written by Mozart.  The Basset Clarinet in A has become popular for performance of these works in both Germany and other countries.  Several major German artists, like Sabine Meyer and Ulrich Mehlhart (solo Klarinettist in the Radio Symphony Orchestre Frankfurt)  perform with these great instruments. These instruments have been available for over a decade but now the push is on in performing these works with these instruments.  Wurlitzer produces these clarinets in both Oehler (Deutsche) system and in Reform Boehm system  which makes positive access to expand one's interest in performing these works.  What makes interest greater is the fact that one can order (if he has the upper joint to either a Wurlitzer German or Reform Boehm system A clarinet) the lower joint with extension only by sending to Wurlitzer the upper joint of their A Clarinet to interface the instrument.  One does not have to purchase a complete instrument, which can save costs.  Also of interest to players who use French mouthpieces, it is possible to play the Reform Boehm Clarinet with only a change of Tuning barrel by request.  Those interested should contact Wurlitzer for complete details.  It has been known for many years that these handmade limited production clarinets are the artist state of the industry.

Hammerschmidt RS Klarinette Development Team

RS Reform Boehm Prototypes

Roger Salander Klarinette testing

14 March 2004


   The Austrian clarinet makers Otmar Hammerschmidt, together with the renowned clarinet soloist Roger Salander, have developed a new Boehm clarinet model for orchestra and solo use, the "RS". This instrument sets new standards for dynamic range, intonation, tone quality and key work in the field of clarinet making. The new "RS" model could only be developed through a combination of the high skill level of our master craftsmen, decades of practical experience, constant improvements, and close contact with Roger Salander, together with the finest and most modern product engineering and materials.

Hammerschmidt clarinets have been produced by hand since 1873 and are known for their quality and perfection by musicians throughout the world who value reliability and an unequaled beauty of tone.
 Hammerschmidt clarinets combine harmony and progress with a 130-year family tradition and are unique in their intonation and tone quality.
Copyright © 1999 All rights reserved.
Revised: January 10, 2013