Jupiter JCL-750N Clarinet with Protec Case and Debut M/Piece.

Jupiter JCL-750N Clarinet with Protec Case and Debut M/Piece.[JCL750N+]

AU $1,299.00 AU $1,150.00
Date Added: Friday 01 May, 2020

by Philip Wheatland

The process of buying a clarinet used to begin by deciding if you wanted a model from the student or professional ranges. Over time the market added to these ranges a distinct intermediate level. These days, the lines are blurring, and manufacturers offer a range of models that take elements of construction from more than one of these three levels.

One such example is the Jupiter 750N. This clarinet is made from Grenadilla wood and as such belongs among the intermediate level instruments such as the Yamaha YCL-450. But the 750N also incorporates features such as nickel plated keys and stainless steel wire springs that you'd expect to see on a student model, such as the Yamaha YCL-255. The most direct comparison can be made against Uebel's Etude model, with only $50 separating these instruments, but it's also worth referring to Jupiter's most advanced model, the 1100DS.

Apart from aesthetic considerations, silver plate is favoured by some players who regard nickel plated keys as slippery. Stainless steel wire springs are sometimes seen as less crisp than the blued steel springs you see on higher-end instruments such as the 1100DS. In my testing I didn't see any practical problems with either of these economies used in the 750N.

Worth mentioning is that Ozwinds offer the 750N as part of a package including a Pro-pac semi soft case and a Clark Fobes Debut mouthpiece.

I think the 750N looks better than the 1100DS. Both models use nickel plated tenon rings, but the wider rings used on the 750N integrate more nicely with the keywork and don't clash with the silver plating used for the keywork on the 1100DS. In particular the lightly stained Grenadilla wood used for the body of the 750N has more character and individuality than the more homogeneous finish applied to the 1100DS. The 750N also sports a bell ring.

The keywork gave me no cause for concern and indeed the 750N had the quietest action of any of the instruments at the intermediate level I played. As with the 1100DS, the 750N has a raised tone hole for the left-hand third finger together with an offset register key. Neither of these enhancements made any difference to my playing experience, although someone with smaller hands might find them convenient. I noticed that the bell binds on the lower joint tenon in the very last stage of its travel when assembling the instrument.

Responsiveness and intonation are fine. The tone is actually better than fine and gives the 750N an edge over the Uebel Etude, with just a little more richness and character, particularly when the instrument is played softly. The main point in favour of the Uebel Etude is a more even scale, but any notes that stand out unduly when playing the 750N can be overcome with familiarity and practice. The 750N I played had a buzz in the lower joint but there's no reason to think that this is a problem with the model in general.

For me the 750N wins the segment of the market that stands between the student instruments and the intermediate clarinets.

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]

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