Kenny 2017

This is one of my top recommendations for inexpensive student clarinets in 2017.

Serial #1600384

Barrel: 64.4mm

Bore LH joint top: 14.95mm

Bore LH joint at bottom: 14.7mm poly-cylindrical

Intonation results taken when playing loud and not lipping. See how to interpret these results on the Model Comparison Page.

For this test, I pulled .65 mm at the barrel, and 0 mm at the center tenon, but my mouthpiece has a .2mm gap on the outside. In other words, the mouthpiece tenon is .2mm longer than the socket in the barrel. At least we know there is no gap on the inside!

Intonation summary: The intonation is fantastic! I consider this B level professional intonation. It would be tweaked to improve the intonation to A+ level. Normal players would probably not be as flat as I was on the top two notes. This should be borne in mind on all my reviews. The A and Bb throat tones are OK being a bit sharp, as I almost always get my resonance fingerings down. With resonance fingerings, they are nicely in tune. I tweak them down at least 5 cents. I would add a bit of PosterTac to slightly lower the A/D especially and the adjacent notes. It is important that this Chinese clarinet comes with a perfect sized barrel.

Key work quality: Beautiful, and very sturdy. There is a nice adjustable thumb rest with a ring for easy attaching of a neck strap. The thumb rest doesn’t have padding, but has such a nice wide comfortable feel that it doesn’t need padding.

Appearance: The smooth rings at the tenon joints give a very elegant appearance, as well as the wide flare of the bell. The logo is not simply painted on. One can feel the indentations of a stamp. That will add to the time the attractive winged logo will remain visible. (For many Chinese clarinets, the logo is just stenciled on, and those will rub off in just a couple of months of use.)

Included mouthpiece: I very much like the way the plastic mouthpiece played for me. I expect plastic mouthpieces to vary in quality. This one is great!

This clarinet is most appropriate for: Anyone. This is priced (currently $300) like a beginning model clarinet, and just $50 more than the Hutchen clarinet that I recommend. The Hutchen clarinet has a sturdier case.

Condition issues noted: Neither the upper or lower joints seal as well as I would like. But as I have said before, I am very finicky and like my clarinets to hold suction almost as well as a glass bottle. This seals well enough to play very well. But I sense a little stuffiness in the F/C and E/B that would be fixed if I put several Valentino pads at the lower end.

Case: The tiny tear-drop shaped backpack for this clarinet will sufficiently protect the instrument. (This instrument is going to be quite sturdy anyway!) The student would need to learn how to use it, so that the pieces don’t spill out when opening it. That could break the mouthpiece. The foam supporting the clarinet on both sides is very stiff. I think it might even stand up to a grade school kid sitting on it without harming the clarinet. The zippers work very well. And they are not the super thin variety that quickly fail, nor are they the big wide variety that you see on top notch computer bags. These are a good medium size. I don't think any student will want to wear this as a backpack. But some students will be able to shove this little case into their school backpacks.

Plus the Kenny clarinet comes with beautiful and very well-designed swabbing cloth. This is so much more practical than all those Chinese clarinets that come with a set of gloves! (For those who don't know, one cannot play a clarinet with gloves on, as they leak when closing the open holes.)

This clarinet earns my top recommendation for 2017 inexpensive student clarinets, right along side of the Hutchen. This clarinet has a slightly wider bore than the Hutchen. And this has prettier styling than the Hutchen.