Are you suffering with shoulder or wrist pain, have a look at the video links below

Many clarinet players suffer problems with their shoulders, wrists and even fingers. The most common cause for these problems can be thumbrest, which is traditionally placed too low on the instrument. This can also surprisingly affect the jaw, as players commonly bite too much to stabilise the clarinet as the original thumbrest offers only a small area to support the weight of the clarinet.

In last of these videos you can see the advantages of using the Kooiman Etude 3 thumbrest, which makes the clarinet far more stable and frees the player’s sound, as less upward pressure from the jaw is required, this can only be a good thing!

Email  aroberts@theclarinet.co.uk if you would like further advice on this or any other clarinet related questions you may have



Why not make your New Year resolution to treat your clarinet with a visit to the ARCS workshop and unleash it’s potential? Read what our recent customers have to say…..

Ah, my dear old banger! My 48-year-old Moenig bass clarinet has seen and done much around the world, and was rapidly slipping into its dotage: over the years soft metal gradually altering venting, hence tuning, response and finger pressure requirements; tiny cracks emerging; appearance becoming shabby. Over the hill like John Wayne and the cavalry rode the (almost) unflappable Andrew. How he kept his cool with what I had thrown at him I don’t know. Perhaps it was as well I wasn’t around to find  out. He rebuilt all sorts; repositioned holes; repadded the lot; somehow managed to make dodgy key work revert to original positions (or better) with barely any protests from it (I dread to think what A said to it, though!); discovered and sorted tiny cracks…You name it he did it, and did it so expertly that amazingly many things were an improvement on the original when it started life for £208 all those years ago. And it is shiny again too! Many thanks Andrew, for your intimate knowledge of instruments, your skill – and patience in the face of serious adversity!

Ian Mitchell
Clarinettist, Director of Gemini

I’ve just had my old Selmer Bass clarinet and Eb clarinet overhauled by ARCS and have never enjoyed playing the bass more since then. The instrument is beautifully transformed, with exceptionally quiet key work and incredibly well-sealing pads, making it a pleasure to play. I have friends with new(ish) Selmer basses who are now quite jealous of my old bass! I would recommend ARCS to you as a brilliant investment well worth it. I can’t wait to get my Bb and A instruments done also.

Helen Pierce

Freelance Clarinettist London


There is no other Clarinet technician that creates, modifies, and repairs instruments to such a high standard as Andrew Roberts.

I have been using ARCS for a number of years now, and every time I return, the quality of my instrument increases exponentially. Andrew integrates new and innovative ideas into his work. He uses his experiences as a professional player as a basis to create unique styles of clarinet modification, which directly responds to the growing needs and demands of the twenty first century clarinettist.

I have yet to find any other clarinet manufacturer or technician that creates a result as this; playing has become enjoyable again. I no longer feel restricted by instrumental limitations. From new pad material to barrel manufacture and extremely high standards in his work, Andrew endeavours to do all he can for his clients. My own playing has been taken to a level I never thought possible. I would recommend ARCS to anyone and everyone!

Emma Haughton

Freelance Clarinettist Manchester

I got to try my clarinet late yesterday evening, playing through some scales, arpeggios and so on.

I am very pleased by everything you have done, and also very surprised by the difference in quality of the clarinet. It is now better than ever, truly amazing, and such a wonderful experience to play, it’s so quiet! There is hardly any “mechanical” sound from it all now, so I presume that must be because of the new pads. The throat b flat is also better than ever; perfectly in tune and clearer than it’s ever been. Overall the clarinet seems just so much smoother and somehow “easier” to play than before, with quite an extraordinary response. As far as I can tell it’s better than it’s ever been, and certainly by far the best clarinet I have ever played.

Thank you so very much for the work you have done on it. I honestly hadn’t expected my clarinet ever to be as good as this!

Pathik Strand

Andy is a genius….

He has once again made my clarinet feel like it works even better than a new one.

I have been struggling when playing my clarinet recently, so I sent it to Andy, I will not let anyone else touch it, he said it was losing 40% of its air tight seal! He has worked his magic, fixing a crack and replacing a tone hole and fitted his new pads and it now feels amazing and so much easier to blow. Thanks Andy

Sally Harrop

Principal Clarinet Orchestra of the Swan & Clarinet tutor at Birmingham Conservatoire

Having put up with incredibly noisy keywork and other mechanical hinderances for quite some time, I knew my clarinets needed some serious attention. My main fear was that in making improvements, the character of my instruments would be changed irreversibly. I saw Andrew’s work on other instruments, and finally took the plunge with my own. I’m so glad I did. As a performer himself he completely understands the requirements of the individual, and sets about finding solutions that work for you. His approach yields fantastic results, blending the knowledge of a master craftsman with a skilful and experienced performer. Playing is now so much more enjoyable with my “new” instruments. Thanks Andy!

Andrew Mason

Clarinet Opera North & ABRSM Examiner

New Pre owned stock now available

We now have some additions to the pre owned stock

 Check the revised list on the for sale section for more exciting additions including ligatures!

Latest arrivals now awaiting preparation in the ARCS workshop

Buffet RC

Buffet RC

Buffet R13 Greenline

ARCS Buffet R13 A


Price drop for latest ARCS pads

As development continues we have refined the production process for our latest pads reducing the time taken and the cost to the customer!

The new cost for the standard overhaul is now  £420 – down from £460

The workshop is increasingly busy so book early

Andrew Roberts Clarinet Service developments

Our latest development is in the wooden crooks for the Leblanc Basset Horn.

Following on from the barrel concept of retaining more of the energy in the tube with thicker walls, we have produced two prototypes. Both offer a tapered bore for improved intonation. Two different woods have been tried African Blackwood and Cocobolo, they offer a similar improvement in tuning and a different range of colours in the sound with a fuller depth and easier control.


Prototypes of several designs of barrels have been undergoing trials in the last few months and we expect them to be available on request

Models for the E flat Bflat and A clarinet will be available in custom designs, here are some of the results so far including the latest test in Boxwood

Currently these barrels are being played by several Principal Clarinettists in the UK….watch this space

So what is pad mite?

Conventional pads are constructed from either thin leather or fish skin, stretched over felt and cardboard, or if you are a pad mite, food!

Once these little bugs have found their way into your case/instrument they need to be dealt with pretty quickly before the risk of infection becomes serious. There is a simple solution, pad mites don’t like neoprene style pads at all! if you see traces of small white dust you know who to call………ARCS!!

If you are feeling brave checkout the photos below on a recent visitor to the ARCS workshop

IMG_0686 IMG_0695

We are glad to say they have now been dealt with and the instrument has been sterilised!

 New Arrivals

We have just taken delivery of twin bass clarinet crooks, one for Buffet Bass Clarinets and the other for Selmer models, both are the top of the range gold plated versions of the fabulous Blashaus crooks

If you haven’t tried one yet this is the time to see what it can do for your bass clarinet – its a bit like adding a turbo charger!


Further Bass clarinet developments

Having discovered a crack in the middle tenon of a  25 year old bass clarinet( surprising after such a long time) a solution has been provided by sleeving the joint in metal (see pictures below).

IMG_0039 (1) IMG_0050

The result was not only to avoid the crack spreading but a significant improvement in the resonance of the whole instrument. This is quite a big job but one I can recommend, call if you would like more details.

If you own a Selmer Bass clarinet and like me, you have been annoyed by the register mechanism only being sprung open on the crook key, then we have a solution! A spring and catch have been successfully added to my instrument and it is now possible to make faster transitions from notes in the upper register and across the break. Makes me wonder why the manufacturer hasn’t done that

 Silverstein Ligatures                          silverstein-works

We are pleased to announce that Andrew Roberts Clarinet Service have the latest CRYO4  and the  Prelude, the budget version, of the  outstanding Silverstein Ligatures, check out their site here http://www.silversteinworks.com/ligature/


CRYO4                                                                       Prelude

My good friend Les Craven wrote an interesting article on the Silverstein ligatures which you can read here CASS-article-copy

 Advertise your second hand instruments

Want to sell your second hand instruments then advertise your second hand clarinets somewhere that will attract interest. With some many hits our website offers the perfect place to add you instrument, include a picture and make it sell quickly. Why pay too much commission? Our initial commission rate of just 5% is the lowest available and will mean you get more cash from your instrument sale. Ask about our enhanced sales offer, you can’t lose! Contact us at sales@theclarinet.co.uk for further details.