The Clarinet Web Site
Welcome to the home of Andrew Roberts Clarinet Service
ARCS is very happy to announce that the young Italian Alessandro Cirrito, has been awarded both the prestigious first prize and the audience prize in the recent Sparda Classic Awards in Weingarten Germany, for clarinet performance.
Alessandro has been studying in Karlsruhe with Wolfgang Meyer in addition to his studies with Chicco Scola of the Ulster Orchestra.
Alessandro became an ARCS customer last year and has been delighted with the improvements made to his competition winning clarinets! We send him all our best wishes and congratulations.
ARCS are delighted to announce that during the ICA (International Clarinet Association) Clarinetfest in Assisi this July, Andrew was made an official UK endorser for Rico reeds.
The quality of their products offer consistently outstanding reeds and mouthpieces for the discerning clarinet player, check out their website here
New ARCS instruments in stock
ARCS now has a larger range of pre-owned clarinets in stock, check them out in the for sale section of the site
Advertise your second hand instruments
Andrew with his friend clarinet maker Luis Rossi at the Clarinetfest 2013 in Assisi
Christian Stene with the Bergen Philharmonic clarinet quartet at the Assisi Clarinetfest 2013
Andy with Christian Stene
I am delighted to congratulate my former student and friend Emily Heathcote on her marriage to her long time love Jason on the 31st August 2013. I managed to make it just in time to join them for their photographs as we were in London because my daughters are singing at the Royal Albert Hall in the BBC Prom concert, aged 10!
This Prom concert has been a huge project for my wife Sandra to arrange, with 200 choristers and the Liverpool In Harmony Orchestra joining the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra on the specially commissioned train which brought us all to London. Congratulations go Sandra in arranging a successful sold out Prom concert
There has been a slight increase in the price, the Artist model retails for £175 and the Overture model is £45.
Both represent outstanding value and offer amazing consistency. Many of the top professional players in the UK now use the Artist model as they offer excellent sound quality, flexibility and most importantly, improved tuning in all registers.
ARCS offer a 7 day trial period, so why not try these outstanding mouthpieces for yourself.
Now available through this website!
A wide range of Clarinets with the best set up, both new and secondhand, which all come with 3 year guarantee as standard from our stock in the UK and Denmark.
After many years working closely with the hugely successful Danish based company Lohff & Pfeiffer, Andrew Roberts Clarinet Service is proud to announce its new association with the newly established L&P UK company.
For further details and list of instruments currently available visit the Instruments for Sale section of this website. Advice on purchasing new instruments is available in the articles section.
I’d been experiencing problems with my A clarinet for a few months (flat throat notes, sharp right hand,) before a chance meeting with Andy in London. The instrument had become very stuffy, the intonation was inconsistent and I was finding it very difficult to articulate in the high register. Andy made some suggestions as to the cause of some of the intonation and articulation problems.
I arranged to see Andy at his workshop in Liverpool to see what could be done to correct the tuning. We experimented with different length speaker tubes until the right hand intonation had dropped and the throat notes raised.
Thoroughly cleaning out the throat note tone holes and replacing my old blown out barrel, made further improvements. Unfortunately there was not enough time that evening to complete all the necessary work, but I returned to London with a greatly improved instrument.
Since then Andy has given it a complete overhaul and I’m delighted with the results. Having discovered a tiny hole and 3 cracks under the cork of the middle joint tenon, a metal socket was made and fitted to prevent further cracks occurring. He replaced all the pads with his own design ARCS pads and re made every tone hole to ensure they were all airtight.
It’s retained the warm sound that I liked about it when I first bought it, but now the articulation has improved in the high register, the sound is even throughout all the registers (it had become very thin in the high register,) and the intonation is where I’d expect it to be.
I’m enjoying playing my `A` again and feel as though I’ve rediscovered a long lost friend. Thanks Andy!
Principal Bass Clarinet- Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden London
I first met Andrew, just after I joined the Ulster Orchestra three years ago, having tried his clarinets during a rehearsal I realised that my ageing Buffet clarinets were not performing as well as they could. This was mostly due to the wear over 15 years since I had never been brave enough to allow any repairer to work on my instruments as I was scared that they might change in the wrong way.
Andrew worked on my clarinets in an emergency and it was clear to me that he understood my demands for the instruments. I eventually got the courage to take my instruments to the ARCS workshop in Liverpool and stayed with them to check that everything was done to my satisfaction. I was so happy with the work that was done to my instruments that meant I could play with so much more security and control, this is important to me as the clarinet sound should be flexible and easy to change colours and dynamics.
I also found that legato was now much easier to achieve than I had thought possible. During our work together in the Ulster Orchestra I began to trust Andrew’s tuning ability, which is unusual as most repairers cannot play to the highest levels you need to change the tuning of an instrument for another player.
I now feel I have the right tuning and setup with my clarinets for the first time in my life, I don’t know anyone else in the UK or in Europe that I trust in this way.
My friends, many Principal clarinets around Europe, have been made to try my clarinets and they were all shocked as to how well they worked and how quiet the ARCS pads were. The ease of legato which no other pad has allowed before was a big surprise.
I now send my friends and students to ARCS to find out for themselves what they have been missing in their clarinets! A huge thank you to a friend that has made my life easier
Francesco Paolo Scola
Principal Clarinet Ulster Orchestra
"My clarinet was getting harder and harder to play and despite several visits to a local repairer still felt as if it was stuffed with wool. After finding Andrew's web site and reading the endorsements, one of which was actually written by someone I had met, I decided to try sending my instrument away. It's come back as a completely different beast and is much easier to blow. I can't believe the detail of the work that has been done. It does mean I'm now having to go back to basics a bit after years developing bad habits to compensate for faults. This must be the first time I've played on an instrument that seals properly. No excuses anymore. It's all up to me!"
"I have been very fortunate for over two decades to have Andrew Roberts as a friend and clarinet colleague in his capacity as a very gifted player and also as a craftsman and clarinet technician of painstaking quality.
"I deliberately do not use the term “repair man” because Andrew is much more than that. He has been looking after my aging Leblanc clarinets for many years now (at least 10) and has miraculously kept them in fine enough condition to enable me to play at the highest level possible. I have recorded 3 solo albums using the clarinets he has personally vetted and tweaked and also they have had to cope with a witheringly exhausting (mechanically speaking) Welsh National Opera schedule (I am the W.N.O. Principal Clarinettist).
"His workmanship and attention to minute detail is supreme and he manages to lift my clarinets into a new lease of life every time I see him – whether just a simple maintenance job or complete overhaul Andrew gives his fullest attention and care to the task.
"I cannot recommend his ARCS service more highly. It is worth every penny – perhaps on paper it looks as if the service is more expensive than some overhauls but in my experience the cost is negligible compared to the standard of workmanship he delivers. Top professionals and students alike will see and hear for themselves the difference between an ARCS overhaul and a cheaper inferior less comprehensive service. If you want the best you sometimes have to pay a little extra but having said that Andrew’s rates are very reasonable indeed especially given the time and care he takes over the slightest job.
"I shall continue using ARCS for many years to come."
"I have known Andrew personally and as a clarinetist of the highest calibre for the the last 25 years. It was for this reason that I chose him to work on my instruments; he is a performer who understands others needs and expectations.
He was always interested in the mechanics of the clarinet and experimenting on his own instruments in those early days and has since gone onto develop that passion into a real expertise and service to others.
I was shocked to discover, using the latest technology, how my well worn instrument had a leakage of 50%!
Using his new pads it sealed perfectly and immediately performed wonderfully on a humid tour of Thailand and the dry Middle East. Better than the day I bought them in fact.
I have no hesitation in endorsing and recommending ARCS to anyone who is serious about improving their instruments and making their performing life easier."
" For many years I had assumed that the repair to a crack in my Selmer 10G clarinet had been successful, it was only after Andy had tested and applied his skilful attention to detail that I fully realised how bad the instrument had been before. I now have an instrument that I can play with confidence and control in a way that has not been possible for years. I can highly recommend the professional service that Andy provides plus the added bonus that any instrument repaired will be tested to the highest possible standard. Thanks for a great job and taking the time to explain the repair process."
David Pagett - Emerald Ensemble
"Having played the clarinet for over half a century I thought I knew most of what there was to know about the subject; that was until I first met Andrew Roberts. A couple of hours spent in his workshops discussing various aspects of the instrument convinced me that I was in the presence of that rare combination of master craftsman and accomplished performer, and that the long drive up from London was about to pay off big time. I had thought that my old Leblanc LXs were in such poor condition they were beyond saving; in fact I felt rather embarrassed opening the case and handing the wreckage over to Andy. My concerns were groundless, for after a few minutes investigation with one of the largest magnifying glasses I have ever seen, all faults had been identified and solutions decided upon. It was going to mean a major re-build, but I knew I was leaving my instruments in the best possible hands.
"On returning to pick up my Leblancs I was amazed by the transformation. I have had instruments overhauled before but this was off the scale! They were, as Andy had promised, better than new. This is not a cheap service. In fairness, service is not the right word to describe what actually takes place. However, thanks to Andy’s knowledge and skill I now have a pair of clarinets as good as, more likely better than, any new instruments.
"From the moment I arrived I was aware of the professional yet friendly and helpful ambience of Andy’s workshop. Here, every instrument is treated with the same degree of care at every stage regardless of who its owner may be. I strongly recommend to anyone who is not completely happy with their clarinets to take them to Andy as there is no limit to what this man can do with an instrument regardless of its age or condition."
Bryan C Edwards - Kent Sinfonia