New Educational Video available on YouTube

Having been invited to write an article for the Single Reed Dr section of the forthcoming March edition of the CASS magazine, we recorded a video to help explain the complex subject of just intonation. Whilst it is fairly basic we hope it help you all to work on our relative tuning whilst we can’t actually play together. The article is available here

Single Reed Doctor-Spring 2021-CASSGB mag

You can view this here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaNHRWL4SBQ

Message to all our regular customers

In these difficult times it is easy to forget to have your instruments regularly serviced. Once you have had our full overhaul, we strongly suggest returning it to us between 12-18 months thereafter so we can keep your instruments in peak form and add any updates! As our materials and systems are quite unique it is vital that we carry out any servicing to keep your clarinet at the highest level possible

Our specialist wood treatment needs to be re-applied in this time scale to continue to protect your clarinet. The service costs just £99 and includes swedging and replacing pad centres if required as well as cleaning, oiling the keywork and re-sealing the wood and updating to the latest improvements

We are open for business and can offer to arrange courier collections for anyone who can’t travel to our workshop, please email for further details aroberts@theclarinet.co.uk

Latest development news

ARCS are constantly looking to develop improvements and new designs for clarinets, here is a taster of the latest development for bass clarinettists

Inspired by observing the excessive movement of the current  designs for floor pegs for bass clarinet players who stand to perform. These new models offer greater stability and a somewhat unexpected big improvement in the resonance and response. The shorter model, for players sitting to perform, also offers the benefit of a very noticeable improvement in resonance and range of harmonics in the sound. These models will be custom made to the desired height for each customer and are surprisingly lightweight but rigid enough to inspire confidence 

Here is what Ausiàs Garrigos Morant (Principal Bass clarinet of the RLPO) and the inspiration for the new bass clarinet floor pegs had to say about them:

 “The standing floor peg that Andy has designed offers an amazing solution to a problem all bass clarinettists have experienced, being able to play standing up without any shoulder tension caused by most straps and harnesses, and without any wobbly unstable spikes. I have been really enjoying playing with it. And what is even better is that it also adds a surprising level of volume and body to the sound, which is fantastic. I have tried in the orchestra and chamber music as well as solo with really positive feedback and a great feeling. The shorter version, that replaces the standard floor peg, brings a very noticeable improvement in the sound quality and stability. I really recommend everybody try them, you’ll be really surprised!”

Ausiàs performing with his new floor peg

Read what Brad Behn had to say:

“Your beautifully designed and sturdily crafted bass clarinet pegs are simply amazing.  With the standing peg I can play with security knowing my instrument is stable, wobble-free, and produces a more impactful sound.  And similarly with the sitting peg I am pleased by the stability and secure feeling that the rigid construction provides. Both options deliver profound improvements in the playing experience.   When I first tried them I was in my carpeted studio.  Indeed I thought my sound was improved, more resonant, full and impactful.  So impressed, in an enthusiastic moment I ran down to our home’s largest room, a “great room” where our living/family room, kitchen, and dining room are all combined.  It has hard wood flooring and high ceilings.  Immediately upon playing just a few notes I was amazed.  I called for my wife, who usually prefers to steer clear of my gadget explorations, but I was so excited I simply had to have her listen with.  She immediately declared your pegs vastly superior to the stock peg that came with my instrument.  She sad “it is more resonant, seems louder, but more importantly the sound is fuller; you sound better on the A R C S pegs!” That’s good enough for me!  I’ll add that the difference is profound.  Not since trying the BlasHaus “heavy-heavy gold” neck/crook have I experience anything close to a similar impact.  I can simply place my reed on my mouthpiece, insert the peg, and deliver a far superior quality of sound.   Thanks Andrew, this amazing peg set is worth every penny – and more! “

Here are Iain Dixon’s observations 

The ARCS Bass Clarinet pegs are the solution to a comfortable, stable bass clarinet playing position, both sitting and standing.  The short (seated position) peg improves the sound instantly – both tone and projection. The longer (standing position) peg does away with any instability (wobble) and makes playing as comfortable as sitting down. As soon as you try it, you will instantly want one. These pegs really make a difference. 

Iain Dixon

Help combat Covid

We have assessed this latest development in “safe” clarinet playing and are now stocking the BAM clarinet pull through priced at £15 + shipping

We all need to act responsibly and reducing the condensation/spit from our instruments is a big step towards this

This product is made from high-quality microfibers
enhanced with Silver Nano technology:
Exceptional drainage- two different materials to maximise absorption

 Antibacterial and antifungal properties
 Durable and long-lasting
 Easy cleaning with soap and water

One of my students has already made the joke -comes in two sizes…..Bflat and A !

This is however, the best solution to drying and keeping you and your clarinet safe we have seen so far

New Pre owned stock now available

We now have some additions to the pre owned stock of clarinets

Buffet R13 A clarinet customised by Rene Hagmann £2400 ono

Just in from one of our international customers in Switzerland and Principal Clarinet of the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra Michael Reid. Mike has had custom work by Rene Hagmann, including vented low F and additional ring for the corrected C#/G# key, this clarinet has had very little use and is below the cost of a new instrument without the additional work.

Buffet R13 Prestige B-flat clarinet

Bought new in Dec 2016, overhauled by ARCS in 2019. Cosmetic wear on the F tone hole and register key. Plays super smoothly and good intonation. Sold including Bam Trekking double case

Ref Hammond

Latest customers reviews

Ebay can be a wonderful resource but Caveat Emptor-buyer beware.  Matthew Dickman’s experience below is all too common

“After purchasing a Buffet BC- 20 Clarinet from eBay I was having problems and sent my Clarinet to Andrew. After receiving the Clarinet Andrew informed me that there were far more problems than I initially perceived. There was everything from worn pads falling out, excessive play in the key work, badly fitted cork tenons to a very poorly repaired crack in the top joint & barrel. This Clarinet was described in the eBay listing as ‘fully serviced and correctly adjusted’ this was clearly not the case.


Andrew was incredibly helpful throughout the whole repair process. He supported me through the refund process and provided a full run down of the problems with the Clarinet resulting in me getting a partial refund helping to cover repair costs which I was ecstatic about.

After getting the Clarinet back from Andrew it plays beautifully and feels better than new! I could not recommend ARCS enough it was a pleasure to do business with Andrew, a first class service.”

Matthew Dickman

In my 35 years as a professional clarinetist, Andrew Roberts is by far the best clarinet repairer I have come across, by a significant margin. His work is unbelievably good. My clarinets and bass clarinet are better than they have ever been, including when they were new. His attention to detail, skill and dedication are just what you need. Truly inspiring!”
Iain Dixon
Iain is a member BryanFerry’s Band and jazz & improvisation teacher Chethams School of Music

I am very happy with the work you’ve done on my clarinet. It’s probably the best I’ve ever known my instrument, it plays with ease and silently for the first time ever! I wish Buffet actually set up their instruments like this from new!  It’s really obvious how much my instrument had deteriorated I was working quite hard for an airy unfocussed sound but had just adjusted over time, but no more! I’m delighted with the ease of response , the beautiful consistent tone across all registers and the ease of producing the wide leaps and large slurs across registers. I have found that I can drop a couple of my venting fingerings as the intonation and tone colours have all improved too. The most surprising improvement was how much more alive and immediate the sound was, with no wasted air the dynamic response is more obvious and has more subtlety. The pianissimos were amazing! The “niente” effect was just magical when I discovered how easy it is now! The cleanliness of articulation is also better especially with staccato attacks. Everything I’ve read and head about your brilliant overhauls has been proved, I am absolutely delighted and look forward to being able to concentrate on the music rather than the technique in my playing  – shame it’s 10pm  – I want to practice again!!

Rob Cox

Freelance player and teacher

My Buffet RC Prestige is now 35 years old and had been subjected to ten years of heavy use since you last serviced it.

The whole instrument has been restored to its former glory. I would even go so far as to say that it now plays better-than-new thanks to the new ARCS MK5 pads you have fitted. These, in combination with the felt you use instead of cork, make for a totally noiseless action. It’s a small but vital point, and one I wasn’t expecting, but I love the cushioned thumbrest you have created. I was previously thinking of trying something like the Kooiman thumbrest but the cushioning you have provided on the existing thumbrest suits me well and is really comfortable. Overall the marked improvements are:

Intonation – noticeably improved in the altissimo register.

Speaking – rapid staccato tonguing is now a joy across all registers and notes that were sometimes reluctant, such as top D, now speak freely.

Tone –  is improved and is more flexible at all dynamic levels. The bottom register is also beautifully rich.

Keywork – somehow the keys feel tighter into the instrument. There is an evenness in the action that allows your fingers to “ripple around”. It’s fun!

In a word, the clarinet is now effortless. It finally sounds like me, rather than like me fighting to be me. Many thanks for your expertise in restoring a much-loved instrument.

Chris Evans MA

Solo Clarinet, Waterloo Band of The Rifles

After trying a colleagues clarinet that had just been overhauled by ARCS I thought it was about time my own Buffet R13 deserved an overhaul.

What a difference this made I was literally blown away, what a transformation, it plays better than new, not really surprised as it was losing at least 30% of its air tight seal !! Very quiet keywork, his own designed pads seal the tone holes beautifully, now it’s a real pleasure to play.
Andrew also advised that the bell required some attention due to this being dropped, this was repaired with carbon fibre, again wonderful job.

Andrew is a genius, I highly recommend him and I will certainly use him again

Robert Ghigi
Army Musician

Thank you Andy for the fantastic work you have done overhauling both my A and Bb clarinets. I was beginning to feel frustrated that the clarinets were stuffy and not projecting fully across the range, plus the key work was noisy, and didn’t sit correctly under my fingers. The main difference now is that they play freely and I feel like they are working with me, rather than against me. I now feel that I don’t have to work as hard to achieve the result I want. Thank you also for cleaning them up and making them look like new again. I would highly recommend your overhaul service to colleagues and pupils’

Emily Anderson, clarinet teacher RWCMD Junior Conservatoire

I have only known Andy personally a short time, but I have been aware of him for considerably longer, having blown several colleagues instruments that have had the ‘ARCS’ magic performed on them. He worked on my B&H 1010, improving the C#/G# note by removing and fitting a custom C#/G# tone hole and reshaping the key. He also tweaked and altered the shape and feel of the key-work to make it feel more like a Buffet. What a massive improvement. He has since gone on to adjust my R13 ‘A’ clarinet to correct two very stuffy notes, and has done a complete overhaul of My Buffet S1 Bb clarinet using his latest Mk 5 pads. 
Andy is a genius, not only is he a wonderful soloist/clarinet player himself, but is also a marvellous technician. He is able to offer his personal knowledge of playing to advise you and then execute the highest level of workmanship to his repairs, modifications and overhauls. He is very easy to communicate with, and from the very outset, it is clear that he knows everything there is to know about clarinets. He is also able to offer advise on everything from posture to mouthpiece choice, (I am now using a Brad Behn mouthpiece purchased from Andy). 

Thanks so much Andy.

Mike Read, freelance woodwind Specialist and Tutor Leicestershire

Just wanted to drop you a line as promised and tell you how pleased I am with the overhaul you did on my Bb clarinet. The whole thing is balanced beautifully and plays so evenly and smoothly! It responds like a new instrument. It’s always daunting handing over an instrument for repairs, but I know how seriously you take your work and so I knew I could trust you to do your absolute best for me. You didn’t disappoint! Your patience in helping me get to the bottom of an issue which had been plaguing me (and other instrument technicians!) for months was greatly appreciated. I can’t wait to get the A done now. Thank you so much for the new lease of life you’ve given to my much-loved Buffet 

Anne Harper Freelance clarinettist Belfast

New Price!

We have delighted to say that we can now offer the last few remaining older Mk 2 models of the  outstanding bass clarinet crooks with a 20% discount!  The price for the MK3 and the Tosca are slightly higher, please call for the current prices for all models. 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

Current stock list below

1 x Selmer MK2 RA HH gold plate

1 x Buffet MK2 SA HH gold plate


1X Buffet Tosca MK3 SA HH gold plate


Sponsored artist

Andrew continues to represent and is sponsored by D’Addario, Selmer Paris, Behn Mouthpieces International and Das Blashaus