The Lyrique 576 Bb Clarinet
The Lyrique RCP-576bc is not yet another factory production model. Rather, each custom model clarinet is individually hand tuned and set up by Tom himself. Performance features include an advanced, polycylindrical custom bore design. The polycylindrical configuration is not a mere copy of past bore designs––designs that achieve increased tonal depth only at the expense of even response and tonal stability––but is part of an overall acoustical design that results in a more perfect balance in resistance from hand to hand and register to register.
Tom's hand finishing of each clarinet provides benefits in the performance of each individual clarinet as well as overall consistency from horn to horn. The dividends in actual performance include a virtually seamless response and matching of tone color and resonance throughout the full range of the clarinet.
The response is so agile and efficient that many players find previously difficult passages become almost child's play on the Lyrique. The Lyrique's efficient, dependable response permits the player to spend less energy on controlling the clarinet and more energy concentrating on expressive phrasing and musicality. For this reason we say the Lyrique is arguably the most playable clarinet in the world at any price––an instrument that provides matchless security in phrasing, and truly frees your imagination.
The Lyrique 576 is also perhaps the best tuning Bb clarinet you can buy at any price, correcting many traditional tuning flaws found in other brands, –– and doing so without additional mechanism. For example, the terribly flat low F and sharp right hand clarion C and D are things of the past. The Lyrique 576 has virtually perfect 12ths and an upper register that can be easily played well in tune.
The 576 mechanism is made of power forged nickel silver. The mechanism's design features our famous ergonomic register key, separate post mounted in-line trill keys, a double re-enforced crow's foot design, key cup arms for the low F/c, E/b that are 50% thicker than on standard clarinets. Finally, the E/b, F#/c# left hand pinky levers are solid metal lift design that, unlike pinky levers with plastic inserts, will never break. All these features can be seen in the slide show at the top of the page.
Materials: the Ebonite Advantage
The body of the Lyrique is made from pure, natural, unalloyed hard rubber (a.k.a. ebonite). We believe ebonite is superior to wood for clarinet making in almost every respect. Ebonite brings many positive qualities to the Lyrique’s acoustical formula that constitute a real improvement over wood. These include increased tonal warmth, tonal purity, resonance, evenness of response, tonal fullness, and amazing stability of upper register tones.
The use of ebonite also results in much greater consistency in production as well as providing bore dimensions that remain stable in a wide range of seasonal, temperature and humidity conditions. In addition, the ebonite construction provides the performer with a clarinet that is virtually worry free. The pure, natural hard rubber of the Lyrique body will not warp or crack. Though it is made from all natural materials its' construction does not require the sacrifice of the life of a slow growing, endangered tree. (For more detailed information about the positive features of hard rubber please see Tom's article, The Grenadilla Myth. ( )
The redoubtable BSO principal, Harold Wright, claimed he had to replace his wood clarinets every seven or eight years. Robert Bloom, Toscanni’s great oboist, claimed wood oboes would only last five or six years before they, in his words, “lose their juice.” In contrast, fine hard rubber clarinets properly cared for, will play well indefinitely. They are truly clarinets that will last a lifetime.
Company Philosophy and Pricing:
Finally, because we at RCP do all we can to keep our administrative and overhead costs low, the price you pay for your clarinet is not inflated to cover expenses that do nothing to actually improve the quality of the clarinet. Therefore, we are able to keep the Lyrique very modestly priced––modestly enough that younger players and enthusiastic amateurs can have the privilege of owning a clarinet with top-notch, professional performance features without breaking the bank.
In addition, for the first time professional players can have a professional quality instrument which they can use in less than ideal performance situations without the worries that it will crack, warp, or bind. Thus, Lyrique model clarinets meet a wide range of performance needs, making the Lyrique appealing from both an artistic and practical perspective.
Of course, like all the clarinets we sell at RCP, the Lyrique Custom comes with free after point of purchase acoustical customizing.
The Lyrique 576BC is a clarinet with playing, tuning and tonal features you would normally pay over three or four thousand dollars for,... and still have to purchase custom barrels, a fine professional mouthpiece and take the clarinet to an artist technician for professional set up. But, even after all that you'd have to put up with the reality of seasonal bore instability and the constant possibility of cracking and other problems inherent to wood clarinets. In contrast, with the Lyrique you get an instrument that gives you every musical and technical advantage, is worry-free, and supported by all our personalized, one-on-one service.
*RCP 576 with case, two barrels, swab and cork grease: $960.00.
*RCP 576 with case, two barrels, swab, Ridenour RE-10 hand finished mouthpiece (a $65.00 value) and cork grease: $995.00
*RCP 576 with case, two barrels, swab, Ridenour Professional hand finished mouthpiece (a $165.00 value) and cork grease: $1,065.00
Please add $20.00 for shipping in the contiguous United States.
Texas residence please add 8.25% state sales tax on total
Foreign shipping orders vary.
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