Kessler Custom Artist Series Wood Clarinet
2nd Generation Design
Professional Bore | Premium Unstained Wood
With our Kessler Custom instruments, we have always worked on providing players exceptional performance and quality at affordable prices. In 2014, we release our Artist Series Wood Clarinet (1st Generation model). This clarinet was a success with teachers as they found it gave true professional performance at a student price. However great this instrument was, we wanted it to be even better.
In 2016, we started working to improve our Artist Series wood clarinet to be an even better instrument than it already was. This 2nd Generation model is that clarinet!
New Tenon & Socket Designs
First off, we stayed with an all wood clarinet – meaning no metal tenon rings. We had a marvelous quality of wood with our Artist Series wood clarinet, a premium cut that is aged and left unstained to showcase this premium wood’s natural beauty. This “Ringless” design meaning that none of the tenon sockets would use a metal band that could restrict vibration. However, this introduces a structural weak spot at the tenons, especially the center joint.
So with our 2nd Generation Artist Series wood clarinet, we had a small metal band inlaid into the wood tenon to add strength to the sockets while still providing the ringless design concept. This has become a common design element of the world’s highest-end clarinets but has not found its way into the affordable segment, until now. It would have been enough to do this at the center tenon only, but we didn’t stop there. We had all of the receiving sockets on the body, bell and both sockets of the barrels equipped with this feature. This gives our wood clarinet an unmatched resonance and strength combination for this price segment.
We also added a metal band in to the upper joint below the tenon as most cracks happen in the upper joint of the clarinet. This will help to strengthen this sensitive area of a clarinet with an additional hint of reinforcement in hopes of preventing cracks.
Refined Key Design
One of our biggest personal issues on the 1st Gen model was the refinement of the keywork. While the keywork was perfectly fine in functionality, we were not happy settling with “fine”. All of the keywork on our 2nd Generation Artist Series wood clarinet has been refined to be in line with that of true professional clarinets. From the ring thickness & heights to the feel of the A key and the fluidity of the pinky levers, every key and key cup was redesigned to provide a premium feel & performance. Additional adjustment mechanisms were also added in the lower joint to further solidify the mechanical feel and stability of the clarinet.
Synthetic Pads Throughout
We opted for synthetic pads throughout the whole clarinet. In the upper joint, we utilize the Valentino Master Series pads as they emulate the feel and performance of a cork pad while offering better stability and sealing to the air column. In the lower joint, we switched to more standard white synthetic pads so as to soften the lower registers tonal attack. This combination offers excellent performance, pad life and stability.
Your barrel and bell makes a huge difference in the performance of your wood clarinet. With most models of wood clarinet, we recommend customers upgrade to a higher end barrel and/or bell to further improve their performance. However, with our Kessler Custom Artist Series wood clarinet, we decided to make the better bell and barrel the standard equipment!
Artist Series barrels are a heavy mass barrel with a unique tapered bore designed to give exceptional tonal color and response. Throat tones are clear and powerful. A ringless design (with inlaid support ring) is used to maximize vibration. The Artist Series wood clarinet comes with both a 64mm & 66mm barrel standard. The instrument is also very barrel friendly to other after market models (such as Backun & Buffet) allowing you to further customize the instrument to your preferences.
Artist Series clarinets utilize a custom heavy mass ringless bell. The custom bore of the bell is paired with a “Voicing Groove” in order to improve response throughout the whole range of the clarinet, but especially above the break.
Every 2nd Generation Artist Series wood clarinet we send out to a customer is not released from us unless it has been completely setup in our shop first. This is because the setup on our wood clarinet is of the utmost importance! Sometimes, a clarinet (regardless of who the manufacturer or the price point is) comes in needing 20 minutes of adjustments and then the very next one can require 2 hours!
This is why we perform our setup (in our www.ClarinetRepairs.com ProShop) on your new wood clarinet before delivering it to you. You trust us with your purchase and we want to make sure that you are rewarded by giving you your new Kessler Custom Artist Series wood clarinet setup flawlessly!
2nd Generation Artist Series Wood Clarinet Specifications
|Material||Premium Unstained Ebony|
|Barrels||2 Premium Heavy Mass Barrels (64mm & 66mm)|
|Bell||Heavy Mass Bell with Voicing Groove|
|Pads||Synthetic – Traditional White in Lower Joint, Master Series in Upper Joint|
|Key Style||Silver Plated|
|Mouthpiece||Kessler Custom Plastic Student Model (upgrades available)|
|Ligature||Rico H-Ligature in Silver Plate|
Wood vs. Hard Rubber
Wood vs. Hard Rubber
Some vendors of affordable performance clarinets use hard rubber instead of wood for a variety of reasons. They tout the “resonance” and “durability” of it trying to make you believe that hard rubber is actually better than wood… to be blunt, we disagree. In our opinion, a premium quality wood is immensely better than hard rubber. It has more mass and produces a richer tone. Hard rubber is less expensive and easier to manufacture with, which makes it a tempting alternative. Wood takes longer to age before it can reliably be used in an instrument… but like they say: “Good things come to those who wait”.
We believe that the “easy” way is not the right way when it comes to achieving the best performance from our Kessler Custom clarinet. We believe that a great piece of wood, like we use, is going to provide you with a better sound AND the stability that you require. Yes it costs us more and takes longer to do right, but it’s worth it because your sound is worth it.