Premium Clarinet Overhauls & RestorationsRestore your clarinet with a complete, professional re-working
For over 10 years, musicians worldwide have relied on Rice Clarinet Works to take expert care of their instruments.
Experience a new level of sound quality, clarity, and ease of play with a fully repaired clarinet.
Schedule your repair today!
$699 with one year warranty
$849 with one year warranty
|Includes everything in the Professional Overhaul plus:||
*Pricing above is for soprano clarinets in reasonable condition.
The cost for E-Flat, alto and bass overhauls, as well as instruments needing additional services, will be more (SEE BELOW).
E-Flat and Soprano (B-flat, A, etc.) Clarinets
|E-Flat and One-Piece Clarinets||+$75|
|Restoration Fee (For pre-1955 and off-brand clarinets)||+$400|
|Polishing: (only with overhauls)|
|Nickel or Badly Tarnished Silver Keys – (Machine-Polished)||+$45 – $65|
|Nickel Keys (Hand-Polished)||+$90|
|Key and Post Replating – with full Spring Replacement||+$450|
Alto and Bass Clarinets
|Bass Clarinet to low C||+$199|
|Polishing: (includes neck and bell)|
|Nickel or Badly Tarnished Silver Keys||+$150 – $200|
|Key and Post Replating (includes neck and bell) – with full Spring Replacement||+$850|
Frozen rods, loose posts, chipped tone holes, etc., will be extra.
Restore your Clarinet with an Overhaul and Professional Clarinet Tuning
The best time to have your clarinet overhauled is when it’s brand new. Most professional players will have their clarinet overhauled within a few months of purchase. This way, your instrument will be in top condition from the start. Having spring tensions and ring heights properly adjusted, along with good clarinet pads is vital. At the very least, you should have your new clarinet properly set up. If you have a new clarinet and do not want a complete overhaul, then a New Instrument Set-Up may be right for you.
The next best time to have your clarinet overhauled is when it’s in need of repair. If there are more than a few pads which need to be replaced, several more will probably need replaced in the near future. If keys are bent or if spring tensions are off, it’s more cost effective to have everything fixed at once with an overhaul.
Normal repairs are billed by the hour, and if much work is needed, the cost can quickly surpass the flat rate of an overhaul. Additionally, cork pads fitted during an overhaul will last almost indefinitely. This means that the feel and playing condition of your clarinet will endure much longer, costing you less in repairs throughout the life of your clarinet.
Clarinet Overhaul Procedure
Disassembly and Keywork
An overhaul begins with the removal of all the keys from your clarinet. As it is disassembled, any loose keys are tightened, or swedged, to reduce excess play. A key that is tight will prevent any movement of the pad and will result in a better seal when the clarinet is re-assembled. From what we have seen, the accuracy we keep and the time we take are much greater than most other clarinet overhauls. We leave less than one thousandth of an inch (half the width of a human hair) of play between the key and the post, which allows the key to be tight, yet move freely even if the wood expands or contracts slightly.
If a hinge rod is loose inside a post, we will perform a post swedge to tighten the post around the rod. This will keep a key from rocking back and forth as it is depressed. At the same time, any rusted or worn springs are replaced to give your clarinet a more positive feel.
Polishing and Cleaning
At this point all clarinet pads, cork bumpers, and springs are removed from the keys until they are just the bare metal. The tenon corks are removed, and your instrument is ready to be polished and cleaned. The wood and posts are polished with a buffing wheel, then cleaned inside and out. The logos are re-carved and re-gilded to give your clarinet a new finish. The keys are polished as well, and afterwards they are degreased, washed, dried, and oiled.
A nylon insert is placed into left-hand F/C lever, and on older clarinets – the G# adjuster screw, to reduce friction. This is something that is not included in most other clarinet overhauls, but it makes a huge difference in the feel and reliability of the keys.
The tenon corks are replaced, and new bumpers and pads are fitted. Most clarinet overhauls only include double skin pads, with other choices costing $50 – $100. But any combination of cork, leather, or synthetic pads is included in our overhauls at no additional cost. the Valentino Masters Premium Synthetic Pads we use not only outlast double-skin pads, but they provide a tighter seal and project the sound better. This provides evenness over the break and throughout the range. Also, their special composition prohibits deepening of the pad seat, meaning your clarinet will stay in adjustment for much longer.
Testing and Adjustment
At this point your clarinet is attached to a vacuum machine to make sure every pad has a perfect seal. Afterwards it is play-tested extensively to check for proper key movement, spring tension, and feel. Because we are clarinetist, we can fine-tune the feel of your clarinet to perfection. We have different spring-tension setups for players of different skill levels, which provide balanced action and great feel. This allows you to focus on the music instead of the instrument.
Any major tuning issues are now corrected with the adjustment of pad height and beveling. Your clarinet is re-oiled and polished, and it’s ready for years of trouble-free service. It will play better than new!
Additional Services and Artist Overhaul
The five additional services listed below are available as an addition to the Professional Overhaul.
- Dual Layer Bumpers – Provide a crisper feel by eliminating the give of a traditional single layer bumper
- Spring Modifications – Provide a crisper feel by modifying the spring contact point on six keys
- Doctor’s Wood Treatment– Restores the natural oils back into the wood
- Bore and Tone Hole Polishing – Restores a smooth finish to the bore and tone holes for better sound
- Cork Pad Beveling – Eliminates sharp edges on cork pads for better clarity in upper joint notes
The Artist Overhaul is a combination of all the additional services we offer into one reduced-price package. It allows you to get the most comprehensive and best work that we offer, while getting the best possible feel and sound for your clarinet.
Bass and Alto Clarinets
The procedure for bass and alto clarinets is identical to soprano clarinets except for the pads. Most of the pads which other technicians use for these clarinets are actually designed for bassoon. We use only the finest pads on the market – RooPads, designed specifically for Harmony clarinets. They are made of white kangaroo leather, which is more durable than traditional kid leather. Additionally, the composition of the pads prevents excessive deepening of the pad seat and promotes a better seal. This means that your instrument will stay in adjustment and play better for much longer.
Upgrades and Customization
Upgrades and customization are available for the player who wants to get the most out of their clarinet. A Hand-Crafted Ringless Wood or Delrin Clarinet Barrel can make a huge difference in the resonance and tuning of your clarinet. Additionally, a tuning session for your clarinet is a great way to fix some of those pesky tuning issues that are present on every clarinet. Finally, having your thumb rest relocated is a great way to relieve tension in your right hand. Adding a Buffet Adjustable Thumb Rest to this can make your clarinet even more comfortable, as it has a larger surface area for less pressure on your thumb.