It is an understatement to say that a clarinet can be much more than an instrument of music alone. Famous musician Benny Goodman proved during the World War II era that the clarinet can change lives, be an instrument of morale, and encourage people to carry on during trying times. Through performing and releasing quality tunes such as this enduring gem, Goodman helped inspire the free world to face a brutal war on tyranny while keeping a smile on its face.
Of course, most of us will not be able to place ourselves at Goodman’s level when it comes to talent. However, even having the simplest of music in the household can lift the spirits. Whether a parent or a child: purchasing, learning, and playing a clarinet will lead to a healthier, happier family. Hopefully, we are past the times of great catastrophes such as the World Wars, but this does not mean that each family does not share its own trials and tribulations. With a clarinet, you can pipe your way through he most trying times and make the times that are celebratory that much more memorable. If you have decided that you would like a clarinet in your life then all that is left is to apply your price range to a clarinet review. Fortunately, the LJ Hutchen Bb Clarinet with Hardshell case fits even the stringiest of budgets. Just how well does it live up to the LJ Hutchen brand, though?
LJ Hutchen has a deal with Hyson Music as its sole retailer. As of the writing of this review, this clarinet is on sale from its regular $399 to $219. The instrument can be purchased through Amazon. A price of $399 may be an industry standard, but the sale price is an industry steal. Most beginner clarinets will sell between 400-600 dollars. To get a higher quality instrument at the LJ Hutchen price is about as good of a deal as you can hope for. Even if you are purchasing this instrument for a child who may or may not stick with it, purchasing the LJ Hutchen Bb clarinet beats rentals. Renting clarinets can be up to 30 dollars a month and still end up being hundreds of dollars more if you eventually decide to buy after the rental period (usually no shorter than 6 months). Your initial investment of the LJ Hutchen Bb Clarinet will quickly pay itself off.
The made-in-the-USA mouthpiece offers a higher grade of sound over other mouthpieces in this price range. The lower notes sound comes across wholesomely. The high range is also easy to hit for novices. Frequent tuning is a must to optimize your instrument and to keep the tone clean. If properly looked after, the LJ Hutchen Bb Clarinet will sound just as good as its more-expensive Yamaha counterparts.
Listen to a demonstration of the clarinet here.
Appearance and Durability
The Bb clarinet woodwind instrument is considered the standard among most school-supervised ensembles. It is the most common of the soprano clarinets. The clarinet’s ebonite body with satin finish meshes sturdiness with aesthetics. A solid construction leaves the clarinet weighing in at 8 pounds in the case. The case is plush-lined to protect your instrument and includes a shoulder strap for easier transportation, something especially helpful for young students. The clarinet is designed to last between 5-7 years before needing renovations of its springs and valves.
As a buyer, there is nothing more assuring than a proven record of customer service. Hyson and LJ Hutchen have come together to offer industry-leading levels of support to their customers. A review of customer feedback confirms that ordering through Hyson results in fast delivery and a no-questions-asked equal exchange for a new instrument should you find any defects within 30 days of receiving. The 2 year warranty also covers free maintenance of the instrument. Repairs only take a 24 hour turnaround before your instrument is on its way back to you. Between it all, the Hyson customer service is agreeable and is hardly ever cited for giving a fuss. They strive to make sure every customer is happy.
For a LJ Hutchen product, there have been more issues than usual reported. The corks can be rough if you do not use a generous amount of cork grease. Some people have even complained about the case as being “basic,” but for the value what do you expect? Sometimes the default pitch and sound have been reported as flat. Keys have been known to stick after a year or so of heavy use. Atypical assembly errors have been reported such as an improperly installed valve spring that locked the valve open and so leaked air. The instrument in general seems to play better for people with medium to smaller hands, but Hyson offers a free thumb cushion for larger players. While the list of complaints is unusually high for such a renowned company, the high volume of sales of this product is testament to the overall popularity of the LJ Hutchen Bb Clarinet. When received, be sure to review your clarinet for these problems and Hyson will take care of you should any of them be found as they are not typical of the quality you should receive with this product.
The LJ Hutchen Bb Clarinet with Hardshell case is a worthwhile investment, especially for parents of aspiring, young musicians/students. While the LJ Hutchen Bb clarinet is geared toward beginner players, it is also a great practice or backup instrument for the more experienced player as it helps to develop and strengthen the air column of novices and professionals alike. A handful of accessories such as a cleaning rod and extra cork grease only sweeten the deal. If you are looking for a durable instrument that has an intonation and resonance that outclasses more expensive options, then this clarinet is for you.