How to Choose a Barrel

How to Choose a Barrel

At Backun we offer a range of barrel products that are each designed to different specifications for maximum performance. Many players aren't quite sure which barrel to choose, and so we created this post to help guide you through our different models.

All Backun Barrels Are...


Elegant and refined.


  • Medium resistance
  • Sweet, balanced tone with rich overtones
  • Flowing shape and curves

Ideal for:

  • Classical orchestral, chamber, and solo musicians
  • Players who wish to project a clear, warm sound in large spaces
  • Those looking to emulate the sound of the human voice

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Robust and resistant.

The primary choice for orchestral players, the MoBa features a robust, confident tone that has the sensitivity for the quietest passages, but projects through the whole orchestra when called upon.


  • High resistance

  • Full-bodied, dark tone

  • Integrated wooden rings

Ideal for:

  • Classical orchestral musicians

  • Players who prefer more resistance

  • Those looking for a darker tone with maximum projection

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Free blowing and versatile.

The Fatboy is unbelievably versatile across all genres, and is our most popular offering. The Fatboy produces a beautifully focused and controlled sound with an even sense of resistance throughout.


  • More free blowing

  • Great ease of articulation throughout the entire range

  • Striking appearance with a ringless design

Ideal for:

  • Wide range of music from Jazz to Classical

  • Players who are called upon to perform a wide variety of music

  • Those looking for maximum flexibility and versatility

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New Traditional

Polite and reserved.

This is the barrel that started a revolution in clarinet design. An exotic wood body between two integrated wooden rings brings unyielding response and even articulation. Many artists consider this barrel to be the optimal choice for solo and chamber music playing. 


  • Medium resistance

  • Polite and reserved sound character

  • Integrated wooden rings

Ideal For:

  • Solo and Chamber Music

  • Players who focus on "standard" repertoire

  • Those looking for a more traditional barrel

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Auxiliary Clarinets

We also offer barrels for the following instruments:

Which Length?

"Standard" length is 65-66mm. But your instrument may vary!

The length of the barrel determines what pitch (how high or low) you'll be playing throughout your entire range. Since clarinets and players are all different, our barrels are available in a wide variety of lengths to meet most demands. Generally, you'll want to make sure you order the same length as your current barrel if you're happy with the intonation.

Is your current barrel playing in tune?

  • Yes - Order the same length.

    • Usually this is written directly on the barrel. (Ex. 660 or 66 means 66mm)

    • If not, simply use a metric ruler to find out.

  • No - Order a different length.

    • If you're sharp (too high) order a slightly longer barrel.

    • If you're flat (too low) order a slightly shorter barrel.

Tip: When in doubt, order the 1mm smaller size. It's always easy to pull out a little bit if it's too short, but very difficult to make the barrel shorter if it's too long!

Which Fit?

Most clarinet brands will be Standard fit, but please note that handmade instruments or very old instruments may have subtle sizing differences that our outside of our control. Selmer Paris instruments (for the most part) have a slightly different socket depth, and you must be sure to order the Selmer fit.

Standard + fit is the same as Standard, but features a slightly larger bore that is more free blowing.

Tip: Generally, Selmer fit uses increments that end in 0.5mm increments (Ex. 65.5mm). If you're not sure, please contact us before ordering.

Still Not Sure?

We have world-class customer service and a 14 day trial policy.

If you still aren't quite sure which Backun Barrel is the right choice for you, that's ok. Contact us today and experience our world class customer service for yourself. Don't forget that we offer a 14 day trial policy on purchases and the wood is backed by our 2 year manufacturer's warranty.

Click below to send us an email, or leave us a message using our new live chat feature.

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