“I have had the opportunity to examine a lot of the work Wes has done on clarinets, both complete overhauls and repairs. His work is excellent, and demonstrates a very high level of craftsmanship. The key-work is smooth and precise, and the seal is excellent. I recommend Wes Rice most enthusiastically.”
Dr. John Weigand
Professor of Music, Clarinet
West Virginia University
“…I have been in this business for 40 years and it is rare to meet someone who comes to the manufacturing side of or our trade with such wonderfully honed technical knowledge and artistic skills. Wes brings a great sense of pride and perfectionism to all he does and always exceeds my expectations. Not only does he embark on every project with great enthusiasm, but he finishes them on time or ahead of schedule! Wesley Rice is a modern day craftsman with few peers.”
Owner, Clark W Fobes Clarinet Products
San Francisco Symphony
San Francisco Ballet Orchestra
San Francisco Opera
I forgot to tell you how thrilled (as per usual) I am with the RC. Once I sat down and worked with some barrels and reeds, it really came to life. I’ve never been the kind of player who likes to spend endless hours at a repair shop, tweaking this and adjusting that. I just want someone who knows how a perfectly adjusted clarinet should feel and play. You’re that guy. Thanks again. Shawn K Buck
Freelance Clarinetist, Washington DC
Retired E-flat Clarinetist, United States Air Force Band
RCW Performing Artist
“Wes Rice has worked on all of my clarinets, and every time he handed them back to me they felt as good as new. His precision and patience are key to his accuracy for approaching various technical problems. You will walk away knowing that his services are honest and thorough, as he is always upfront with his diagnosis of your instrument. I highly recommend his services to all, and I can say with confidence that you will not be disappointed!” Kristen Spiridon
Principal Clarinet, Savannah Philharmonic
Principal Clarinet, Coastal Symphony
Second Clarinet, Symphony Orchestra Augusta
Buffet Crampon Performing Artist
RCW Performing Artist
I received the clarinets today. I’m so pleased with how they play and the level of your work. They really do feel brand new! I can’t get over the feel of the B-natural. It’s heavenly! Not too tight or too loose. It’s perfect and so smooth! I need to play on them a bit more to really get a feel, but my first impression is HECK YEAH! Thank you so much! I will continue to bring them in for regular maintenance work.
Freelance Clarinetist, New York City
RCW Performing Artist
Like many well-seasoned professional clarinetists, I have had my instruments worked on by those who have justly earned a reputation as being among the ‘best of the best’. I now include you in that esteemed group. I can say without reservation that the “Artist Overhaul” work you have done on my Buffet R-13 A clarinet is the finest that I have witnessed. Your cosmetic restoration of my clarinet removed many years of wear, giving it a fresh-from-the-factory appearance. I am particularly pleased with the quality of the materials you have used and could not be more satisfied with your refined adjustments of every articulated key. I will highly recommend you to any clarinetist who desires that his or her clarinet overhaul result in what could only be described as a perfect outcome. I also feel that clarinetists should give serious consideration to your handmade barrels as I have found them to rank most favorably in side by side trials with well-established leading competitors.”
Most gratefully, Dana Brenner
Freelance Clarinetist, San Francisco Bay Area
I worked with Wes for the first time today where he overhauled my Bb clarinet…great experience. The workmanship was as good as I’ve ever seen! He works absolute magic with the springs and with sealing the horn. I don’t think I’ve ever had cork pads that looked so perfect. I tried his barrels and purchased one as well; very clear, even tuning and keeps a nice core to the sound. Looking forward to more good things from him!!
Review from Yelp.com
Principal Clarinet, U.S. Navy Band
“I have been observing the ever changing and high quality workmanship Wes has been doing to my clarinets over the past few years. Whether it be Selmer, Buffet, Leblanc, etc.,,,, he is becoming an expert in his field and will only improve even more with time and experience on any brand of clarinet. I recommend him to any clarinetist who is looking for meticulous yet fairly priced workmanship. You will not be dissatisfied.” Doris Hall-Gulati
Principal Clarinet-The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia
Artist in Residence-Franklin and Marshall College
I want to thank you for the outstanding work you did on my clarinets, particularly the Tosca. The action is so smooth and even and the pitch is improved, as well. It is a delight to play! Also, I love your barrels!
Thanks again, Chauncey Roach
My bass clarinet plays like a dream. I almost have to stop and look at it to make sure it’s the same horn! Thank you for your hard work in getting her back in shape. Man, what a joy to play. I have my first Little Rock Wind Symphony rehearsal tonight – GRAINGER “Children’s March” (you know how he loves the low reeds) and several other war horses!
Well, I can’t say it enough. You were a pleasure to do business with. Thank you so much and best to you in the future.
Take care – Bob Bob Bidewell
Bass Clarinet, Little Rock Wind Symphony
MM, Arkansas State University
The instrument you sent me is amazing. The mechanical set-up is flawless. The tone is focused, centered, rich, dark, warm, and remarkably flexible. Your barrel takes this instrument to an even higher level. The vintage case is just what I was hoping for. Clearly, you are a skilled craftsman. I expected nothing less. What is pleasantly unexpected, yet abundantly clear, is your passionate need to elevate craftsmanship to artistry.” Rich
I just do not know where to start about the work you performed for me on my Selmer Series 9 Clarinet. First, I must say it is the finest overhaul of any of my horns that I have ever had. The workmanship is flawless and clean. The barrel you made me is really beautiful. It places the clarinet “dead on” in tune. Thank you. As we discussed over the phone the Clarinet was impossible to keep in tune; problem solved. The work on the springs feels great. My fingers just seem to flow all over the horn. The Logo looks absolutely great. This is a better instrument now, no doubt about it. It sounds wonderful, truly wonderful. I am happy with the entire transaction, and can assure you that I will be doing all my Clarinet business with you in the future.” Thank you so much, Camillo
I received the horn and had a chance to play it for about 45 minutes this afternoon. I thought I’d give you my initial impression– of course, since it feels quite different I will do some extensive playing and write back again.
First of all, the workmanship is absolutely first-rate. The horn feels great. Completely balanced. The key tension is *perfect*. You nailed that one right on the head. Remember what you did so you can make my other clarinets feel just like that someday! 🙂 I’ve had a few of the most respected repair techs in the business work on this horn and your work is at least equal to if not better than those other “big names”.
The crack work is amazing. I wasn’t sure what to expect but you don’t even know the band is there unless you know where to look. The cork pads: wow. I have seen the register key pad shaped similar before but I’ve not seen all of them like that. Never seen such perfectly-shaped cork pads before!
You did a great job on the left-hand pinky keys. For whatever reason, these have always been a problem area on the first-generation Opus (my A is a 2nd-gen and they seem to have alleviated some of those problems there). I am hoping those adjustments hold for a long time!
Seal is great and balance is wonderful. I played some Premiere Rhapsodie– the recap section up an octave– amazing hold and smoothness up high at pp. Resistance is incredibly even, but somewhat different than I’m used to. However, going from skin pads, to cork, to valentino, to a hybrid setup I remember that each time there was a fairly large change in feel and some time to get acclimated (as well as appropriate reed work) was necessary. Now that I’ve played a little bit of everything I’ll be able to make an informed decision on future work.”
So that’s it for now. Have a great evening!
I got a chance to play the bass clarinet this weekend and am very pleased with the work you did. Your restoration was fantastic! First off, I found that I could assemble the instrument much more easily than before. It used to be somewhat of a struggle. The changes you have made to the action/keywork are outstanding. It has a much more precise feel now. Also, I’ve found that while the low notes are very similar to what I remember, the upper register is much more responsive. Overall, the sound is much more homogeneous throughout the entire range of the instrument. And, of course, the instrument now looks absolutely beatuiful!” Thanks so much for doing such an outstanding job. All the Best, Richard Hardy
“I received the Buffet back yesterday afternoon. I gave it a full two hours to aclimate to room temperature, and upon playing I immediately noticed a tight, precise feel to the keywork. A sloppyness and vague feeling in the lower keys is now gone to the point that the action is about the same as a new instrument would feel. Additionally, there is a richness and roundness to the tone in the low register which was missing before. The break is more stable as are one or two notes in the throat. Now that the horn is playing differently, I’m inclined to go through a new mouthpiece selection process to see if I can get a better match. I no longer am fighting pitch wobbliness as much as before, although some of this may be due to certain exercises I was involved in while the instrument was out on repair. I don’t doubt most of it was due to your careful adjustments. Once again, thank you. I will not hesitate to recommend your services, and you can feel free to use my letter on your website if it serves your purposes.” Garth Libre
“One of the three barrels you sent me to try is a clear winner. It is hard to believe the difference this barrel makes in opening up the horn and also focusing the tone. You were right in saying intonation would be more even over the range of the instrument. It has freed up the extreme upper register considerably and gives a more consistent tone from the very bottom to the very top.”
Comment by Ron Miller on Facebook
“What’s better than a brand new professional clarinet? One that Wes has recently reworked for me!!! I have been struggling over the years, now I know it wasn’t me, it was my aging clarinet. Wes did fantastic work and kept me informed as it was going on. I am absolutely blown away by the way my overhauled clarinet responds.” Comment by Ron Miller on Facebook
Hey man, I’ve had the clarinets back for about a week and half and they’re GREAT! Excellent job, and the eflat especially has never played so good. I’m very thrilled about your work, they look phenomenal, and sound so good again.
Thanks again, and I will definitely pass your name on if anyone is looking for clarinet repair. Justin
“Wesley Rice turned my horribly abused clarinet into a work of art. My father played this instrument in big bands and jazz combos, and I played it as well, so the clarinet has sentimental value as well as musical value. Wesley did a complete restoration and it’s amazing to see how he was able to transform “the worst clarinet he had ever seen” into the beautiful instrument I now have. I am thoroughly pleased and I will soon be playing again. Wesley was professional yet personable throughout the entire process.”
Review from Yelp.com by Louis Ocepek
“I got the clarinet last night and tried it out. It looks and feels fantastic. Slightly different though, but I guess that’s normal. You really managed to get the left hand lower keys really tight (e.g. the alternate low f fingering) and you seem to have adjusted how much the keys open. It feels very reactive/tight. I also really like the barrel. It really does make quite a bit of a difference. The sound color changed somewhat but the big difference is in response!”
Over all, very happy. :o) Thanks for your great work! Sincerely, Adrian
I received the Selmer Tuesday (yesterday), and was extremely impressed with what you had done to it. Wow, it looked even better than new. I didn’t get a chance to play it till today, and as of now, I consider it to be the BEST playing clarinet I have ever had. And, that includes some top-line new clarinets. I know for sure that I’m going to be spending a lot of time practicing now, for it’s FUN to play now, with such a beautiful, responsive instrument. I would gladly recommend your expertise and top quality workmanship to anyone considering any work to be done on their clarinet. I don’t know how you did it, but that top joint crack is virtually impossible to detect, and I honestly had no idea that you could make the keys shine up as if they had never been touched since the instrument was manufactured. The keys are “so” quiet, with fantastic action and ‘feel’. Needless to say, Wesley, I’m very, very satisfied. My expectations were far exceeded, as I remember the very poor condition the clarinet was in when I sent it to you. I have no qualms now imagining that I have a “BRAND NEW” clarinet.” Ralph
Thanks for your work on my Yamaha A clarinet last week. The attention to detail is superb, and I am really pleased with the work. I especially appreciate the high-quality materials at no extra cost, like the bumpers on the crow’s foot, bridge key, and register key as well as the choice of pads. I also like that the cork pads don’t have any of the pores commonly seen and have been really happy with the seal and the efficiency of playing. The evenness of sound is great, especially on the notes which were stuffy before.
Thanks for your excellent work! I’m looking forward to being able to use this instrument now that it is in such good condition.” Ben
I could not be more pleased with the work you did. Although I love it for the wonderful sound it produces, I have been able to use it only sparingly in ensemble work because of the intonation issues you so effectively addressed. I found that using my own mouthpiece further improved the intonation in a few places, making me even more pleased. Only the open throat G remains a little tricky due to its tendency to slip flat if I overblow, but even it is much improved.
Many thanks,” Rick Eckstein
I just wanted to let you know that I received the clarinet yesterday and to thank you for a job extremely well done!!!! The clarinet plays much better than before, and it seems that many of the problems that I was having playing it before have disappeared. I’m guessing this is because of the work you did on the spring tensions and the ring heights, etc. Also, you did a beautiful job on the tenon, and I can now pull out the barrel without it wobbling around.” John
The clarinets arrived in the evening yesterday and I just opened the box this morning. I have been playing the Bb a little this morning and right away notice a tighter, more precise feel to the instrument. It just flows much better. I have the new barrel on it and I think it sounds great. I haven’t done any comparison with the original barrel – but so far all good. I’ll check out the A later on today. Just wanted you to know that everything looks and feels fantastic!” Steve
“What do you do with a clarinet that needs a tune-up? Send it to Wesley Rice Clarinet Repair. I couldn’t be more pleased with the outstanding job Wes did in making my Buffet play like the day I bought it. His options on my repairs gave me a price point I was comfortable with. He was very patient explaining to me what his plan was. I received my Buffet back in two days after the repair. Yes, I’m one happy customer!” Johnny Vee
The clarinet arrived in great shape. Rachel’s instructor was pleased with the instrument as was her band director. She began using it immediately. In fact, she just tried out for the OBU, (Oklahoma Baptist University), honor band which is attended by both public, private and home school bands. Rachel used her her new clarinet and made second chair. Needless to say, we’re very pleased.”
I received the clarinet in good shape. It plays really well now. Thanks for the nice work! I noticed that by moving the thumb rest you get better access to the side keys. I played the reed you sent and it sure takes a lot of lung power! Perhaps I need to work up to it. The sound is very rich and full. I guess I better get to practicing now. Thanks again. If you need a reference I’ll be happy to recommend you.” Art Williams
I received the clarinet on schedule. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened the case. It literally brought me back to the first day I got the instrument and opened the case – a replacement for my Selmer Signet Soloist. I remember the beautiful glisten of the brand new keys, the gold Buffet logo and the the striking contrast of the wood and metal keys to the blue velvet lining of the case.
The instrument feels and handles better than new – more than I can say for my technique…. I will have a lot of re-training to do. Not only to get back my embouchure, but also to re-develop my diaphragm. However, with such a beautifully restored instrument, I am determined to not only get back to where I was, but hopefully improve.
Again, much thanks for a wonderful job. It clearly shows the care and skill you gave to the restoration process.”
“Good morning Wes,
I received the clarinet yesterday and it has never looked better in its life. I couldn’t believe it was the same instrument. It played so perfectly and the response of the keys was phenomenal! I won’t send my clarinet to anyone else. I am thrilled to have found someone to repair my instrument as knowledgeable and talented as yourself. I will be sending my instrument to you periodically to keep it in this great of shape. Thanks so much!!!”
Thanks again and take care,
“Hi Wes – The clarinet arrived on Wed. – It is beautiful, never looked that good 50 years ago! I gave it a test run and even though there were many squeaks I was surprised that I actually remembered some of the fingerings – now I’m going to have to practice and relearn what I forgot 56 years ago!
Thanks so much for a beautiful job – it’s now ready to be passed on to the 2nd generation. Great job!”
“To be honest, I was frightened as to whether I would like it. I enjoyed it for more than a year before it became unplayable, and for months I’ve only played the Buffet which is rich and mellow if not a tad pitch inexact. The Yamaha was always resistant but I wasn’t prepared for how much it has changed. I would no longer call it resistant at all. The key action is now nothing short of easy and natural. The “hard” notes now just flow sweetly. The break, where the problem was the worst is now perfect, even and effortless. The tone is no longer strident.
I’ve had my fill of giving instruments to locals who spend 20 minutes on it, do little and charge almost nothing, only to have the instrument returned just as bad as it was before. Although with you I have to wait , send it out, and then wait some more, then pay a fair price for a goodly amount of work, the results are nothing short of spectacular when the horn is returned.
I hope you enjoyed working on it as much as I’m going to enjoy playing it.”
“I gave Wesley Rice a clarinet that wasn’t working well for me. After a discussion about the issues, Wesley gave me back a clarinet I wanted to play. When I received my clarinet from him, I had to allow it to warm up a bit before playing (day) … It’s winter and very cold here. When I started playing, the clarinet was very responsive, keys were quiet and tones were clear. Right away, I pulled out some pieces to play just because I wanted to hear them without the struggles of the clarinet I gave him. His work is excellent. He was very responsive to me as we went through the process. I was extremely satisfied with his work and providing me with an instrument that was clearly ready to play. I would highly recommend him.”
Review from Yelp.com by Jim D.
“After thirty-five years in storage, my Noblet 45 Bb clarinet desperately needed attention. I selected Wesley Rice of Wesley Rice Clarinet Repair to restore the instrument so I could once again enjoy playing it.
The selection of Wesley was based on a fairly exhaustive search of overhaul services nationwide and word of mouth. Wesley impressed me with his straight forward approach and detailed discussions of walking me through the overhaul process. Although, not the cheapest of restorers, Wesley presented the best value for quality work I was seeking.
Once Wesley received the clarinet, he called and we discussed the best approach and scope to restoration. There were no surprises when I received the final invoice. Not only that, but the overhaul was completed on time even though it was scheduled several months in advance just before the holiday season.
Being able to interface directly with the person restoring your instrument is invaluable to me. So it was with Wesley. Even though he was several states away, his accessibility made me feel comfortable that my clarinet was in good hands.
The Noblet 45 is not particularly a valuable clarinet, to be sure, but when I received the finished product I was impressed. Wesley treated it well. It played cleaner and with better tone than I remembered. And it looked like new. Would I recommend Wesley Rice Clarinet Repair. You bet. I’ve already talked with him about keeping his eyes out for a good bass clarinet.”
Review from Yelp.com by James T.
Thanks for a fine overhaul of my Selmer clarinet. It plays great and, even though it’s 40+ years old, looks brand new. I’m very pleased.”
I never thanked you for the fantastic work you recently completed on my clarinet! I have gotten to play it a few times now and I can really tell the difference in sound quality (not to mention that it looks amazing & like new). I really appreciate you being patient with me and finishing my clarinet so quickly! I will definitely be telling my friends about the high quality work you do and if anyone needs work done on their clarinet I will be sure to refer them to you.
Thank you again,”
I am still in shock!!! I could not believe my eyes when I opened the clarinet this morning and my ears when I played it. It Looks, Feels and Plays Much, Much Better than in the 50 years I have had it!!
Your work is amazing and impeccable!! I truly believe that when you are done a clarinet is Better than Brand New.
To say I’m Blown Away is a Big Understatement!!!!!!!! The Action, the Sound, the Look is absolutely amazing!!! You are the Best.
And the new Barrel and Ligature make a huge difference!!!!!
If anyone asks you for a Reference, please give them my name, address, e-mail and/or phone number. I will give you an Outstanding Recommendation.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I will be sending in my “Baby” once or twice a year for a tune up. I’m spoiled now, and I Like It!!!”
Keep up the great work!!!!
“Wes, thanks so much for the great job on overhauling the clarinet. It is so obvious how well in tune it plays throughout all registers. It is really a joy to play again and thanks again for the excellent job. It is really easy to see the talent and professionalism you provide in your work.”
I just got the clarinet and played it for a little bit and all I can say is WOW! You are a magician indeed!!!!! Thanks so much for the GREAT work!!! It looks and feels and plays like a brand new clarinet. I couldn’t be happier!!!!”
“I’m an avid clarinetist in Vermont and a friend asked me to have his badly neglected 45-year old Buffet R13 clarinet overhauled. I don’t have a repair person nearby so I called a number of shops in NYC and Boston to check prices. Overhauls were generally in the $800+ range, which my friend was not up for. Then I found Wes Rice online, checked out his references, and had a phone conversation with him. His prices were considerably more reasonable , and he was very helpful in explaining which repairs he felt were essential and which were optional. I shipped him the clarinet and we had several phone conversations during the overhaul process. Wes is professional, responsive, and worked with me to figure out what the best and most cost effective repairs were. He did exactly what he promised, and the clarinet looks and most importantly sounds beautiful. He gave an old instrument a new life. I am now considering buying this clarinet to play myself, instead of letting my friend sell it — it plays that well. I highly recommend Wes Rice and look forward to sending him my instruments to repair in the future.”
Review from Yelp.com by David G.
I received my clarinet yesterday. Wow! I cannot believe the difference! A much warmer sound. It plays like a new instrument. I love the action, the keys are so quiet! And I really love the barrel you made. Thank you for suggesting this. It was on my bucket list of things to get, so sooner is better. The intonation is much improved, too. I look forward to breaking it in.
Thank you so much for all of your work! I have a couple of former students who are clarinet majors in college; I will pass along your business cards!”
Good afternoon! I’m Grace Dubrowski – the owner of the clarinet that you recently finished overhauling. I believe you’ve been speaking to my father, Vic, for a couple months.
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for what you did to my instrument. When my dad handed me the case and I opened it, I almost started to cry. She (yes, my clarinet is a she) looks absolutely beautiful! You took such good care of her, and she looks incredibly healthy – healthier then when I first got her. And when I played my clarinet this morning for the first time… WOW! Just, wow. The timbre is amazing, and there is no more buzzing, stuck pads, or any other hitch that instruments accumulate over years of use.
The joy you brought me is amazing. But even more so, you’ve helped re-ignite my passion for this instrument. I play 17 instruments proficiently, but clarinet has always been listed as my primary instrument. After leaving college and going into the professional world, I began to drift away from my clarinet and lean more on the stapled music therapy instruments. But after seeing and hearing this clarinet again, I know I won’t stray from her again.
So. Thank you. Those two word are not enough, but thank you.”
Grace Dubrowski, MT-BC
Music Therapist – Board Certified
Meaningful Day Services, Inc.
I just wanted to let you know that I received the clarinet today and just had a chance to give it a “test drive”, with your barrel. It sounds fantastic, & I can’t believe how much more sensitive and responsive the clarinet is now playing.
I just played through the Brahms clarinet Sonata opus 120 number 2, and I am now realizing that I don’t have to try as hard as with the mechanics involved. With the clarinet so much more responsive, I am finding it easier to pay more attention to the dynamics and articulation involved as a critical part of a great performance.
Thank you so much for the wonders you have worked on this instrument. You certainly have my unqualified recommendation as THE clarinet technician with whom I plan to stay!”
“Damn are you sure this is my horn Wes?! I can’t believe it. It is so awesome. Keys at the right height, spring tension perfect, sound like I haven’t heard from it, pads that seal, beautiful wood that is now not just a dyed black but a deep brown. No clicking of keys. Nice open and full throat Bb. Love the barrel! No more “squeezing” keys to seal them or make up for poor springs. Finally I can just touch them gently and they respond quickly. You have no idea how frustrated I have been with Buffet clarinets, always looking for some fix by acquiring different reeds, accessories etc even considering selling this one and buying a Selmer. All this time what was needed was a overhaul by an expert and perfectionist. Thank you Wes. Will definitely be sending the horn to you in the future again for maintenance.”
“Hi Wes –
I just finally had a chance to take my clarinet out and play on it. It looks and sounds AMAZING. It’s like having a brand new instrument, but with all of the things I have loved about this instrument all along enhanced and restored. Thank you so much! I’ll keep you in mind for the next round for sure.”
“I had Wes overhaul my vintage metal clarinet (the same instrument I played in grade school!) he took his time with it, probably more than he wanted, but the result was wonderful. It looks beautiful and plays great!
The only problem — now I’m wondering what my wood clarinet would be like if he worked on. That will have to wait a bit.”
Review from Yelp.com by Lou H.
“I have a very good Selmer Clarinet which I played in High School and College but have not really played much since the mid seventies. Naturally all the pads and corks were dried and it was almost impossible to play when I decided I wanted to play seriously again. It is Silver and very dull and just looked sad. I had no idea where to go to have it restored so I looked on line. I found Wesley Rice’s company on line and was impressed wtih this Web Site and so I called him. After talking for about an hour I knew he was the person I wanted to entrust my clarinet to for reburbishing. We mad an appointment and I sent it in and then he called me to discuss what all i wanted done. He did not put any pressure at all on me but just explained the various levels of restoration he could do on the clarinet. I really like the instrument and it was a gift from my parents and so I decided to go “All Out”.
When I got it back and opened the case to say I was amazed is a Huge Understatement. It looked Brand New down to the Gold Lettering and Insignia. Then I played it and it played as wonderful as it looked. It is significantly better than when brand new. The action is perfect and the new pads and corks made the sound incredible!!!!
I cannot say enough good about the quality of his work and how reasonable he is for what he does. Wesley is a True Craftsman and Artist!!! I will send my intrument to him at least annually for a “Tune Up” because now I’m spoiled with the outstanding sound and look of my Selmer Clarinet.
If you need work done on a Clarinet, Wesley Rice is “The Guy”!!!!!!”
Review from Yelp.com by Dave Dauberman
“25 years ago, while clarinet shopping, I picked a Leblanc over R13 because of the feel and tone I got from it. I havent had much done to it other than the occasional cork and pad replacement. It was feeling a bit clunky and was noisy in the keys, and when I dropped it and bent a key I decided it was time. After receiving it back from Wes, this is again the instrument I chose over that Buffet all those years ago. The key action is smooth, and silent . The new cork pads seal perfectly. The register crossings are effortless and as an added bonus, that makes my wife happy, it looks great.
Wes’ customer service was also top notch. He received the clarinet and looked it over, then called to discuss the various options of what I wanted done. This step was neither rushed nor was it an all or nothing approach. He also kept to his schedule. I could not imagine a better expierience for this service. I would, and will, highly recommend him to anyone considering an overhaul for their clarinet.”
Review from Yelp.com by Fred R.
“I’d been toying awhile with getting my clarinet really updated and adjusted. Started playing again 4 years ago in retirement (community bands, small Dixie groups, doubling in big band) and researched for someone who could give a significant make-over. Worn pads, clunky key action, general dissatisfaction with feel of a good clarinet.
Found Wesley Rice online, with attractive web presence and clear presentation of services available. After an email exchange, and assurances that mailing the instrument would not be a problem, I took the plunge.
Wesley was very clear about the process; we had a phone conversation when the instrument arrived and he had looked it over. I listed some issues that I noticed and Wesley said he would look at them and felt his Professional Overhaul would solve many of them.
He was right. About 2 weeks later I received the clarinet back and the only reason I’ve delayed posting a review is I was playing so much I kept putting it off. Feels like a fine-tuned instrument, quieter and responsive to my demands.
I’m very happy with results. Check out Wesley’s web site for pix of his new shop area, and support articles on care and feeding of your clarinet, as well.
Now if only he could work on my alto sax….:)”
Review from Yelp.com by Ed B.
I just wanted to let you and your crew know what a blast it is to be playing my clarinet again! I have an entry audition this Tuesday for the course I’m taking here at the Naval School of Music in Virginia Beach and I could not have asked for a better instrument to handle my showcase piece. Hats off to you and your team for an outstanding overhaul!”
Caleb is super pleased with the clarinet after the overhaul you did! He also likes the custom barrel better than the stock and the Icon barrel.
Before we sent it off, he said his A clarinet played better; now he says the Bb plays way better. We’ll probably look to get the A overhauled after the school year.”
It’s Gina…you overhauled my old Selmer Signet for my daughter a few months ago. I hope you remember… I just wanted to tell you how wonderful it is playing! Wes, she was asked to move up to advanced band with the older kids and she is CONSISTENTLY complimented on the tonal quality of her instrument. Further, when they randomly check to see if their instruments are in tune, her instrument ALWAYS is! Not bad for a 50 year-old instrument. Anyway…I thought it might make you happy to know we are still so happy with your amazing restorative work.”
All my best,
The work that you did on the clarinet was amazing. The instrument tone is incredible, people in the household noticed it immediately. The responsiveness of the key work is more than I imagined. Thank you for your fine workmanship and I would absolutely send the next one that is in need of an overhaul.”
Well, I must say that I am very pleased with the overhaul on my Buffet R-13 A Clarinet. Actually, that’s an understatement.
In a word, “Wow!”
What a gorgeous tone with the custom barrel; the throat tones are absolutely astounding.
I couldn’t be happier with the job.
Job well done!”
All the best,
“I received the 66mmB Delrin barrel you shipped me last week (only a day after we spoke) and have used it extensively on my circa 2006 R13 Buffet B flat clarinet. I am very impressed that the barrel has improved many of the high and low range pitch issues I’ve had with the stock barrel. I’ve also noticed the horn plays more freely and playing action above high C more effortless. All in all, the horn is a pleasure to play with the Delrin barrel.
Thanks for letting me pick your brain during our telephone call last week so that I could get the right new barrel for my clarinet; I look forward to many hours of playing enjoyment in the future.”
The first word out of my mouth after playing my clarinet after getting it back was, “Wow.” I said it before I realized the word ever came out of my mouth. My clarinet plays absolutely beautifully — that annoying airiness I thought was my poor playing was actually the instrument (though I’m sure there are other things I do that certainly *are* me!) and it just sounds amazing now. I can’t thank you enough for making it better than new. The replacement barrel is exactly what I was looking for, too. I absolutely love it!!!”
My clarinet arrived today and when I opened the case I was speechless. I did not think it was possible to clean up my old, occasionally misused horn so well. More than its appearance, the action was as responsive as new and the sound is better than I would hope after decades of disuse. (I’m referring to my embouchure.)
It may take a while before I get back to the point where I can appreciate fully all the good work you did. However, after a short playing session today I know you have provided the best foundation possible.”
It’s been a few weeks since I received my clarinet and I have to say I am really impressed!
This Instrument I think sounds better than it was when I bought it new. The pads form very tight seals, don’t stick, and the tone is simply excellent. The wood version of the barrel improves both the tone and intonation and its just simply wonderful.
I just wanted to send this note just the applaud you on the wonderful work you did, and will definitely recommend others to you for quality clarinet work.
I received my clarinet today. Thanks!
It was a pretty instrument before (as all Buffets are), but now it is gorgeous. It hasn’t looked this nice in a long time. You did a truly outstanding job on the restoration.
Then I played it, and it sounds SO much better. I know it was in rough shape, but it has a wonderful tone again and the action is perfect. Thank you so much for recommending the new barrel, it does make a significant improvement in the sound.
I am extremely pleased with all of the work you put into the instrument. As I noted during our call, I have a second Buffet that I will be sending to you for an overhaul sometime later this year.
WOW!!! The new mouthpieces you sent are outstanding! They add brilliance and depth to my sound, allowing the sound to soar! Many thanks and congratulations on recreating and improving upon an already great mouthpiece.
“Thanks again for the Artist overhaul on my 1975 R-13. Your personalized service, expertise and professionalism throughout the process was very much appreciated. The R-13 looks great, keywork/adjustment is smooth and precise and it plays fantastic! The barrel you chose is a perfect match and really enhances the sound, and intonation is spot on.”
Central Oklahoma Clarinet Choir
Just an update, that last spring you worked on my instrument, serious restoration. This summer, as we do, we were up in Maine on the coast for about 5 months where the humidity and temperature go up and down greatly. The instrument was absolutely rock-solid, no problems at all. I played a lot; I continue to really like its (slightly dark) sound.
Anyway, you might be interested in a customer response six months later–or something. Great job!”
So thanks again,
“I tried a series of barrels from your manufacture. These barrels were advertised as being somewhat more in relative tune than the standard barrel that came with my R13 Buffet. However, using a tuner over a four day trial period I noticed something better than just slightly pitch performance that you advertised. I have no special ability to play clarinet in tune and in general I consider my ability to compensate for the clarinet’s natural tendency to be out of relative tune to only be average. Additionally, I noticed that the Rice Clarinet Works Barrel in the 66 length played with a somewhat greater ease and a noticeable louder volume. The Bb at the bridge was slightly improved, a particularly annoying note for me when I’m not playing the alternate better fingering. I’m returning the unchosen barrels and am very happy with the one I kept, it being an improvement over the stock R13 barrel.”
“So glad I said yes to a bell change. It has really opened up the sound and added great resonance to all the registers, particularly happy about the fullness of the sound in the upper register. All that and with the clarinet resting on my knee—you were absolutely right.”
I wanted to thank you for taking the time to meet with me the other weekend – it was great to meet you in person and see the shop. The clarinets sound better than new, and it’s been great getting used to instruments that just work without unnecessary effort. I’ve been playing the barrels and bell I left with and it’s been really difficult not to overplay them! They focus everything with much less effort and highlight the excellent work you did overhauling my instruments. I didn’t put much thought into barrels and bells before coming down, and I’m glad I got the chance to be proved wrong about that!”
Thanks so much for meeting me yesterday and for all the work you did on my clarinets! As soon as I got home, I played through as many excerpts as I could during the 15 minute barrel break-in time and I never thought my clarinets could sound or feel that great. With the improved key action, easy response in every octave, and the tone qualities added by the barrels and bells it was pure joy simply playing scales!
Thanks again for everything.”
I really appreciate your thorough work on my instruments. As I’m sure you know, it is nerve-wracking to send away instruments in the mail but it eases my mind to know they are in good hands upon arrival. I appreciate your phone check-ins as well. I worked with another clarinet repair person in past years and I never knew what was going on and communication wasn’t great. With you it is the complete opposite. Thank you so much! My clarinets play beautifully and smoothly.”
Just wanted to let you know how thrilled I am with my clarinet!! It looks new and sounds better than new! I can’t believe I waited this long to have it overhauled. I am very pleased with the barrel as well. I’ve only got about an hour of playing since it was delivered, but am very impressed. Thanks for your fine work and communication with me throughout. I will definitely keep you in mind for my clarinet needs in the future and hopefully send a few of my colleagues your way as well!”