A brief summary for those short of time!
Full, and rich, tone
Acceptably even timbre across whole range
Now, the full story......
I am a professional 'doubler' (saxes, flute/picc, clarinets) with a background in 'music-theatre', shows/musicals and, occasionally, symphony orchestra.
I needed a replacement A-Clarinet but couldn't justify the cost of a matching instrument for my Buffet RC Prestige Bb-Clarinet.
I already own several Thomann 'doubling' instruments -
C-Clarinet, Alto Flute, Sopranino sax - and have always been impressed by their quality and the way they play so decided I had little to looses by purchasing their 'A' pitch instrument.
I have played this instrument for a couple of hours every day for the past two weeks and have not been disappointed!
The instrument differs a little from the pictures shown. The barrels and bell are now not metal ringed but pure wood and all resemble the Backun 'Moba' products in shape. The bell has a reamed out top, below the tenon join, similar to the Buffet RC but less refined. I feel that these changes add to the weight of the instrument and contribute to a very 'basset-clarinet' like sound. There is also now no C#/G# trill extension to the key as pictured.
Response and intonation are very good - using a Vandoren M30 or Selmer C85-120 m/piece. Throat notes are more than acceptable, Bb is a little stuffy but seems to be improving with use so it might just be that the instrument needs to 'blow-in'. Even better is that my Buffet Bb barrels all fit and seem to work perfectly without causing intonation issues. They look to have a slightly smaller bore than those supplied and offer a lighter, less 'basset-clarinet' like, sound whilst retaining a warm, full-bodied, tone.
The only minus point for me is that the over-sized barrel/bell did not fit into my Buffet double-case without drastic modification...... but that's a small price to pay. I am more than happy with my purchase and pleased that Thomann continue to offer quality, but less popular selling, items at a bargain price so that more players, young and old alike, can widen their playing experience.
Well done Thomann.... and can we have a wooden, to low C, Bass Clarinet from you please... mine needs to be replaced!