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How to Select The Perfect Backun 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.

Already know what you're looking for? Shop now. If not, read on.

Backun Barrels

All Backun Barrels Are...

Grenadilla vs cocobolo wood clarinet

Cocobolo vs. Grenadilla

Deciding which is right for you

The first question many players have is how to decide between cocobolo or grenadilla wood. The decision is of course very personal, but here are some general differences between the two woods that most players experience.

  • Dark black or brown coloration
  • Brighter tone with more "ping"
  • More projection and volume
  • Perfect for band or orchestral players 
  • Ruby red coloration
  • Warm, dark tone
  • Blends very easily
  • Perfect for chamber or solo music

Natural and Beautiful

All our barrels are unstained to showcase the quality of the wood

The beautiful appearance of our products is due to the natural appearance of our high quality, exotic hardwoods, which are naturally-aged in a climate-controlled setting our Vancouver, Canada factory. The robust colors and gorgeous grain patterns are not painted, stained, or dyed in any way. We only add a thin layer of varnish to enhance durability and add gloss to the appearance. What's more? All Backun barrel models are made from the same high quality wood.



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.


Ideal for:

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Free blowing and versatile.

The Fatboy is unbelievably versatile across all genres. This barrel produces a beautifully focused and controlled sound with an even sense of resistance throughout. Our most popular offering, this barrel is also preferred by artists including the legendary Eddie Daniels.


Ideal for:

Shop Fatboy Barrels >


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. 


Ideal For:

Shop New Traditional Barrels >


Optimizes student clarinets.

Specifically designed to optimize student and intermediate clarinets, the Protégé Barrel features a tapered bore and slim shape to offer the player improved responsiveness and a sweet core sound. Cut from the same individually selected woods as our professional line of Backun barrels.


Ideal for:

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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?

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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