Forward, innovative, high-end. Carbec introduces a new line of clarinet barrels that connects carbon fiber with an elegant sound.
This new design of barrel brings one step closer for synthetic clarinet accessory making and pushes clarinetist to discover new sound and clarinet appearance.
CARBEC is a new company founded by two musician brothers. Thanks to the experience in the concert halls of the founders, CARBEC was born with a strong desire to make the perfect clarinet barrels and mouthpieces.
According to the company, "we are all about creating technologic, innovative, and extremely high-performance products."
CARBEC created and launched a barrel that is the first application to the music industry of the unidirectional carbon fiber technology. "The unidirectional carbon fiber is an exceptional material combining the best qualities of premium woods and carbon fiber."
CARBEC is also working on a carbon fiber mouthpiece, which is the first and only pure carbon fiber mouthpiece in the world. A product with superior sound characteristics and a CARBEC patent. CARBEC products are entirely invented, engineered, and manufactured in Italy.
The company works with precious inputs from internationally renowned clarinetists with decades of experience in theatres such as Alla Scala in Milan, La Fenice in Venice, and other important concert venues in Europe, Africa, Asia, and America. These artists have worked under the direction of Myung Wung Chung, Riccardo Muti, and Claudio Abbado among others.
About the barrel and the material:
CARBEC’s first product, newly launched, is a barrel made with the innovative unidirectional carbon fiber, where the fiber orientation achieves the aesthetic and technical qualities of premium woods.
"The production process is lengthy and complex, and it involves the most advanced machines used in carbon fiber production. It remains a secret jealously guarded by CARBEC."
My first impression of the barrel is amazed by its illuminated carbon fiber body with a glossy finish. The subtle carbon fiber imprint on the top and bottom of the barrel gives it a ring-like luxurious look. The most impressive part about its design is when the light reflects on the barrel, the entire body changes its color from black to coal-like grey. The Carbec logo is also very elegant looking, and it also reflects light when you view it from an angle.
The barrel feels very firm and smooth in hand. The glossiness of the surface gave it a good grip in hand and feels 'expensive' when you hold it.
In this review article, I'm going to test out several factors of the barrel. Including Quality, Sound, timber, pricing, and versatility. In this test, I’m using Backun Model F clarinet, Legere #4 European Cut synthetic reed, Silverstein Hexa ligature, and Gleichweit #8 mouthpiece.
The quality of the Carbec barrel is different than all the barrels I've tried. Apart from its look, it feels sturdy in hand and doesn't look like it is easy to be scratched. Because it being a carbon fiber barrel, it is very light. The internal bore seems wood-like, which you can feel the wood grain. This barrel has a straight design, which is a standard look for a clarinet barrel, but it does have a slight curve in the upper part of the barrel. In conclusion, I believe this barrel can be last for a long time because of its exceptional design, material, and build quality. Carbec also offers 5 years warranty for the barrel, which is another plus that guarantee their product and value.
The sound of this barrel is very rich and rounded in all registers. I especially like how well I could get control over my pitch and airflow using this barrel. The timber sounds very natural and very desirable for a clarinetist who wants a great resonance on the clarinet. Playing-wise, the barrel offers a good amount of resistance, and It gives the play a great amount of control over the sound.
The altissimo range is very accurate and stable in pitch. Also, I'm able to deliver a clean staccato sound on all registers of the clarinet, each with crispness and great sound.
Because the barrel has great control, I believe it is a great choice in an orchestral setting. It guarantees a good delivery of sound and doesn't overpower the music, and it also has a good blend with other instruments with different timber. The slight resistance can give a player good control over the volume and expression of a piece. The Carbec barrel has a good response in all registers, and the richness of the lower register can have a great effect on the overall sound of the clarinet.
The price of this barrel is $260, it is towards the mid-up range of the market. However, I believe it has a fair value because of its first-of-its-kind design, the use of material, amazing build quality, and innovation.
My overall impression of the Carbec barrel is its truly an elegant piece of art that combines that natural sound of the clarinet with modern innovation. I'm also amazed by the designer's vision of the barrel, and its look speaks for itself. I believe strongly in the potential of this company, as well as their upcoming product of using Carbon Fiber to make mouthpieces.
For more about Carbec, check out their official website:
Article written by Ye Huang
Published by Clarinet U
About Ye Huang:
Clarinetist, saxophonist, pianist, and composer. Ye performs music across classical, jazz, pop, and many other genres. He toured with world-renown musicians including Wynton Marsalis, Mike Stern, Dave Weckl, Arturo Sandoval, Eddie Daniels, and many.