Plateau Clarinets are very good!
I make and play the plateau clarinet…
I hear a lot of clarinet players saying the plateau clarinet does not play good… This is of course BS… That same clarinet player does not play an open hold bass clarinet, an open hole alto clarinet, an open hole saxophone…and many play a plateau (Closed hole) flute.
Great features of the plateau clarinet:
1. Even response and tone color: The air comes out of the tone holes the same every time. Making the tone and response the same all the time. On a traditional clarinet with keys the air coming out of the tone holes depends on how high the fingers are picked up off the open keys.
2. Who should play the plateau clarinet?: The Plateau clarinet is great for the young student that has small hands or the older person that has hand problems.. I personal have been playing a plateau clarinet for several years now because of bad hand problems….
3. ABS Plateau B-Flat Clarinet: Plateau clarinets come in ABS or wood just like traditional clarinets… I really like the ABS… WHY YOU SAY! The bore is very smooth and the response is very fast…. The bore does not change from day to day like a wood clarinet…. There have been many studies that believe there is no real difference in the tone of the material the clarinet is made from…. One of the great sound on the clarinet I have heard came for one of the “Dukes of Dixieland”.. He played a Bundy plastic clarinet because the wood clarinets would mildew in New Orleans… He had a beautiful tone…..
4. Wood plateau clarinets: The wood clarinet is believed by most clarinet players to have the best tone… Well, I can say without any reservation that there are more bad wood clarinets than ABS or plastic in the world today.. Because it is made of wood does not make it a great clarinet…..
*I have many ABS, plastic and wood plateau clarinets… there might be a slight difference in the tone but no more than from one clarinet to another….
5. There is a small learning cure when switching to the plateau clarinet… no different than going from a Buffet to a Leblanc or YAMAHA clarinet…. It only took me about a week to get use to the plateau keys…
*Most clarinet players are very opinionated… this is not news to most of us….. If it is not what they think it should be then the only answer is “It cannot be good”… no major clarinet player I know or have ever met plays a stock Buffet clarinet….. they have all been worked on to improve their playing…. I worked at Buffet setting up the clarinets when they came into the country for a couple years with Mr. Kloc and even after they were set up, working great.. they could change during shipping to the client….. wood is a very unstable material….
*My personal plateau clarinet set up: I use a Greenline Buffet 66mm barrel (Greenline is stable), and ABS body and a Mazzeo ABS Bell (I like the response and tone of the middle C & B with the bell) … I use one of my ABS mouthpieces made in the US…