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Seeking Equipment Recommendations


I am asking for equipment suggestions. I’m ok with my sound but feel like it could definitely be better. Being so far removed from the college scene, I feel I’ve been somewhat stuck in a rut (not really) using the same equipment recommended to me by my absolute favorite clarinet professor, the late Dallas Tidwell, but that was 2006-2008. Even so, I feel it’s time to upgrade.

Instrument: I play on a Buffet Tosca and absolutely adore it.

Reeds: I’ve played on Vandoren V12 reeds ever since I discovered them back in the 90s. I also enjoyed the Rue LePic and V56 occasionally. Only recently did I start trying the D’Addario (Rico) Reserve, and I’m intrigued by them. Not sure I like them yet, but I’m finding a few good ones here and there. For some reason, V12 feels more reliable, but it could just be due to that being what I’m used to.

Mouthpiece: I have been playing on the same Richard Hawkins R mouthpiece for about 15 years (back when he still had his own web site).

Ligature: Vandoren Optimum. Again, something I’ve used for over 15 years.

Barrel: what came with the Tosca, but I’m curious about the Buffet barrels available now. The trend seems to be getting a Backun barrel, and I did use a MoBa for a little while. It was just ok, I couldn’t really tell there was much of an improvement with the MoBa.

Bell: see Barrel. 😉 (though I’ve never tried a Backun bell)

If you made it this far, you deserve a cookie and a juice box!!! Anyway, thanks for reading. If anyone has any suggestions (mouthpiece, ligature, bell, barrel, even reeds), I’m all ears. Please comment below. Thank you so much!


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