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The following are just a few of the many customers comments on Ridenour Clarinets, which we prepare and sell uniquely here at RCP.

None of the comments has been paid for or exchanged in any way for goods or services

and most are unsolicited, spontaenous comments sent to us by satisfied customers.

I’m proud to say that after 100 plus shows of American Girl Revue here in Los Angeles I have now switched to playing my Ridenour Bb clarinet exclusively... I got tired of dealing with the house air conditioning and the effect it had on tuning and response of my wood instrument. I enjoy playing the clarinet parts in the show once again, without my embouchure having to take a beating. (from an unsolicited letter to Tom Ridenour)

Geoff Nudell, Studio Musician, Clarinet and Saxophone Instructor, Los Angeles California


"I have found that Tom Ridenour's instruments achieve better results in the making of sound, tuning and pure pleasure of playing than instruments costing ten times their price. These instruments are virtually impervious to extreme temperature changes and the structural integrity is much better than any wood…for students who play for hours and hours a week in bands and other ensembles and suffer the incessant binding of various parts of their instruments, this problem disappears. The instruments all play well, with little deviating from horn to horn. To repeat: these horns cost a tenth of one of these French clarinets, and they are simply better.

Prof. Sherman Friedland, Clarinet Corner


“I am principal clarinet in 4 orchestras in Mississippi and Alabama, and occasionally play in one in west Florida. I have played on Ridenour clarinets in both Bb & A frequently in outdoor Pops concerts and never felt that I was taking a step down in quality when doing so. Colleagues in the wind section haven’t mentioned any problems in blend and intonation. To the contrary, they have often been quite complimentary. In quality, these are not student instruments. Only their price would put them in that category.”

Wilbur Mooreland, Professor of Clarinet Emeritus, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattisburg, MS.


Tom, as a professional clarinetist and now a Texas high school/middle school band director for over nine years , I have explored most of the many venues for young clarinetists and as you know, there are many. The clarinets you have designed and prepared are just what our band program has needed for years; an instrument which plays with accurate pitch, beautiful warm sound and has the ability to withstand the rigors of marching band and yet, perform beautifully on the concert stage. Those days of swollen joints and cracking wood are now problems of the past. You have designed a professional clarinet which meets our needs yet at an affordable price. What took so long?!

I continue to receive very kind complements from various musicians in the orchestra I perform with regarding my Ridenour "C" clarinet. You have done a great service to the industry not only for young students but for the professional player. Bravo!

Ted Lane, PSJA High School Band

Principal Clarinetist, Ecuador Symphony, American Sinfonietta, Graduate Julliard School of Music


“The Ridenour Bb clarinet is not a student clarinet as far as I am concerned. I take to the pit every time I do a Broadway Show. A student should always use a professional quality instrument. It is their best chance for success”.

Mike Vaccaro, Top Studio Pro and Free Lance Musician, Los Angeles, California


“Tom, I am a huge fan of your clarinets, mouthpieces, and methods. I find it so incredibly easy to play now. Our first concert was Rhapsody in Blue, Bolero, and Sorcerer’s Apprentice -- no problem! I got a ton of complements about my playing. It made me feel really good. Thanks for your help!” (from an unsolicited letter)

Tom Flocks, Principal Clarinet, Ft. Smith Arkansas Symphony Orchestra


"I am using my Ridenour B-flat and A clarinets now in the Symphony... they work as well, if not better than the Leblanc Concerto models I was using and which Tom Ridenour also designed when he was at Leblanc. As a former band director in Texas, I recommend these clarinet to any and all teachers for their band students. They play as well as any clarinet on the market today at a fraction of the price for a “French” clarinet. Try them - - - you will be amazed!”

Robert F. Wall, Principal Clarinet and Associate Conductor

Clear Lake Symphony, Houston, Texas


“I now use the Ridenour clarinet in my studio teaching. I can pick the clarinet up and show a student how easy it is to shape or color a phrase as needed. The natural evenness of the instrument allows one to be as expressive as needed and not be worried about “fighting” the horn. I also find this clarinet to be the best “doubler” instrument for my big band work. I recently used both the Bb and the C Clarinet in our regional symphony with very positive comments from my colleges. The tonal body and excellent intonation rival the finest clarinets made in the world today.”

Lawrence Gibbs, Professor of Clarinet

Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA


"Tom Ridenour's clarinets have taken affodable, great sounding, in tune clarinets to a completely new level. I enjoy playing and performing on mine as I'm the proud owner of a B flat,C and an A clarinet. I have several students playing them and they're no hasslle, no excuses,"kid proof" instruments."

Fred Lowrance

formerly co pricipal New Jersey Symphony, principal Orlando Symphony, graduate Julliard School of Music


I've played on Buffet R13's for the past 30 years now.   Prior to that time, I played on Selmer 9 and 9*'s.    I got a hold of an Arioso clarinet several years ago, and immediately felt like it would be superb for my students and a possible second clarinet for me.   I decided to start all my beginners on the Arioso, which to my knowledge, is identical to the Lyrique 576b.   The first difference that I noticed was the big warm sound my students were easily able to produce.   Another big difference was the improved intonation.   The last big difference was the absolute ease that they were able to play above the break (3rd space b and higher).   What a vast improvement over all the other student clarinets that I've tried! For me personally, I had Tom customize my Arioso and now, it has become my main horn - beautiful smooth sound and intonation to match.   Not worrying about oiling a wood clarinet or fretting over cracks is a pleasure.   Additionally, Tom's barrels are awesome, his mouthpieces suberb, thumb saddle is great, and the reed finishing system has been the only tool that I use on reeds for several years now.

Burt Ross

Band director, Oakridge Middle, Naples, Florida

Former member, United States Marine Band, "The President's Own", Washington, DC


Dear Tom,

I heard good things about your clarinets so I bid on a set of them on Ebay and won. I wanted them as spares.  When the clarinets arrived, I asked my wife (a French horn player) to do a blindfold test, comparing the Bb Lyrique with my Bb Buffet R13 Prestige.

I played the Prestige first; she thought that it sounded fine.  When I played the Lyrique she really got excited, raving about the tone and articulation.  Right then and there I decided that the Lyriques would become my primary clarinets.  I have a Buffet RC Prestige as my A clarinet; the A Lyrique is superior to this one as well.  I believe that the Bb is an older Lyrique; it will become my clarinet that I use in pit orchestras and jazz bands as my doubling clarinet.  The Custom Lyrique Bb clarinet that I just ordered from you will be the horn I use for orchestral and concert band stuff. (Earlier this month I played for Clay Aiken.  It was a beautiful Christmas concert but the theater was cold.  I was so afraid that my clarinets would crack.  I wish I had had the Lyriques then!)

In Allentown (PA) I play in the oldest civilian band in the USA (est. 1828).  We have some wonderful players in our ranks, including former members of service bands. The day before our Christmas concert last Saturday, our conductor called, saying our soloist had strep throat and asking me to play in his stead.  Needless to say, I did a lot of practicing on Friday night.  On the concert I played my band arrangement of Sidney Forest’s setting of Tartini’s Variations on a Theme by Corelli––the Lyrique didn’t let me down.  The encore solo was “A Tribute To Benny Goodman.”  I was so happy with how the clarinet played, but I especially loved its altissimo register.  It all seemed so easy to do on the Lyrique.

Amazingly, at the intermission, a lot of band members from all different sections (not just clarinetists) told me that my tone sounded fuller than ever before.  They also remarked about my fluid technique.  I’m telling every clarinet player that I know about your amazing clarinets. They are fantastic!

Have a Merry Christmas & Happy & Healthy New Year!


Steve Reisteter


I love the clarinet. Its so EASY to play. It sounds as good as my selmer signature but it doesnt take as much effort to play it. I also like the fact that it's light. helps thumb/hand problems. I'm really looking forward to playing it next month when summer symphony starts. and then for our wind symphony's 10th season anniversary. I dont know how you did it, but this clarinet design is awsome.

Thank You,

Janet Gonzales


Mr Ridenour:

It's been a little while since I purchased my Lyrique Bb from you, and I just wanted to share a few thoughts.  Shortly after receiving the instrument I called you and commented on how much better it was than my previous instrument. I distinctly remember you responding, "It only gets better!"

After a longer period with the instrument, I understand what you mean!  Playing your instrument is a completely different experience from my previous clarinet (Buffet R13).  Working on a book for an upcoming musical that I'm playing is the first intensive workout I've really given the instrument.  I find I'm NEVER fighting with the Lyrique clarinet...I'm limited only by my own ability :-)

My college clarinet prof was a Buffet player and no slouch––his graduate work was with Marcellus. Of course, everyone in the studio played an R13, and I used to regard every other clarinet as inferior.  Once, when I asked my prof's opinion regarding the difference between the Buffet and Leblanc clarinets he said something like, "I understand the Leblanc clarinets are just easier to play. I always felt like playing one would be cheating."

Why is there such a mystique around Buffet?

It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I began to think differently.  I distinctly remember a conversation in which I sang the praises of Buffet, deriding every other make of clarinet.  Thinking about it the next day, I realized I had absolutely no basis for the belief.  I thought about it a lot, read a lot more about different makes of clarinets and their design, eventually came across your website––and now I play your instrument.

I couldn't be happier!

Today, I'm proud to consider myself a more open-minded clarinet player, and I am always telling people about your instruments. They will also be my first choice for my students.  Thank you so much for creating such a wonderful instrument!

Joe Wilson


Mr. Ridenour,

I just got the Lyrique A yesterday, and I must say that I'm mighty impressed.  Pretty much everything positive that I've read about the instrument is true: it's free blowing, has beautifully regulated keywork, sounds rich as any grenadilla horn, and best of all it allows effortless leaps into the altissimo register.  The case is, as you said it would be, very nicely laid out, and I have no complaints.  The horn is beautifully tempered...only in my wildest dreams would I think my R13 capable of this degree of being in tune with itself.

Scott Curry


These clarinetists have learned what more and more are learning each day: you don't have to pay a bundle to get a great sounding, great tuning and playing clarinet.

What's more, the fact that Ridenour clarinets are made from pure, natural, unalloyed hard rubber ensures incredible consistency from clarinet to clarinet and that the clarinet will play the same for you in June as it does in January. In addition, worries about bore warpage, dimensional changes due to weather and climate and the dreaded possibility and expense involved in the wood cracking are things of the distant past.

Count yourself as a clarinetist on the cutting edge and in the know. Join the growing number of those who have opted to embrace substance over image.

Our claim is simple: play a Ridenour Clarinet exclusively for one month

and you won't be able to make yourself go back to living in the past.


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