Review: Jupiter JCL700NA Bb Clarinet

Subscribe to Mixdown Magazine


Review: Jupiter JCL700NA Bb Clarinet

Words by Mixdown Staff

Distributed by: Musical Merchandisers | Expect to pay: $799

Key Features: Of all the instruments that make up the woodwind section, it is often said that it is the clarinet that is most versatile – not only in its range, but also in terms of timbre and emotive scope. A stalwart of orchestral education, it is this versatility that has seen it become such a popular choice for classical students and solo instrumentalists alike. Needless to say, whatever your own personal motivation behind learning the clarinet, the first step is acquiring a quality beginner model for these formative stages.

Jupiter’s entry level model, the JCL700NA, is ideal for beginners and intermediate players alike. Using an ABS resin body, instead of a traditional blackwood body made of endangered Grenadilla safeguards against the possibilities of a cracked body, and sidesteps the laborious breaking in process. A resin body clarinet is fantastic for school age students with busy minds who may forget to swab their instrument frequently, or leave it lying in the sun on a hot day.

Jupiter’s focus on the needs of beginner and intermediate players translates to a clarinet that produces a clean, immediate tone. This can be seen in their choice of a 14.80mm bore which offers an excellent combination of playability and tone, crucial for the amateur clarinetist. Half the battle for a beginner is coaxing the clarinet into making the right sound, let alone a sound at all; having a clarinet that rewards the student by producing a clean, present tone when played correctly will speed up the learning process, rather than hindering it by throwing the student in the deep end with a difficult-to-play professional model.

Mixdown Says: The JCL700NA features nickel-plated nickel silver keys and bell ring for premium feel and lasting shine, undercut tone holes for enhanced intonation, and a risen C/G tone hole for which growing fingers will be thankful. The trill keys, when the student eventually needs to use them, are configured in the traditional French configuration, and offset for comfort and to avoid buildup of moisture. The JCL700NA comes with a stackable hard case, and like all Jupiter instruments, has a five year manufacturer’s warranty for peace of mind. 

Overall: The clarinet is a fun instrument, especially once you get past the phase of making goose noises. What isn’t fun, however, is the rigorous upkeep that an expensive wood bodied clarinet requires. Professional players may find this tedium as being par for the course, but Jupiter have recognised that the needs of less advanced students differ considerably. 

The JCL700NA is an ideal clarinet for the beginners and intermediates, young and old alike, offering an un-compromised tone with the convenience and hardiness of a student model.

To find out more, get in touch with Musical Merchandisers today.