Protégé Bb Clarinet

Fit and Sizing Chart
  • The ultimate step-up clarinet

    The Protégé is your foot in the door to college or the perfect teaching companion. Featuring unstained, naturally-aged grenadilla wood, the barrel, body and bell are all crafted in Canada from the exact same wood used for our professional and custom clarinets.

    The Protégé features a professional finish, undercut tone holes, a New Traditional Barrel and Backun Bell. Water resistant black Valentino pads, an adjustable thumb rest with neck strap ring, and a durable backpack case rounds out an impressive list of features at an even more impressive price.

 

 

Customer Reviews
5.0 Based on 42 Reviews
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PC
07/31/2020
Pio C.
United States United States
Great Clarinet (Grenadilla with Silver keys)

I played clarinet a few years when I was a kid, so after almost 20 years I was looking for a higher quality synthetic or perhaps an entry level wood instrument, to start playing again. After hours and hours searching the internet for a new instrument and comparing many models and sellers, I found a really good deal for a new Protégé clarinet. It was a new B-stock model, in grenadilla with silver keys, so I decided to purchase it. Miles, from North Country Winds [google it ;)], was very nice and answered my questions prior purchasing. My first impression was that switching from a student Vito synthetic clarinet to the Protégé, I encountered a bit of resistance when blowing, yet the tone was powerful, dark and warm. It didn't take me long to get used to it, and now it feels very much natural, I just need to be careful to avoid putting too much air. can play very very soft and still get good sound. Its a very responsive instrument, and the notes come out quick and easy as expected. The throat notes are not particularly better than the ones from other horns, specially the G# and Bb, but that is perhaps almost normal. The low register though, is quite nice, and dark, and very resonant. If I want a slightly darker sound with more resistance, I switch the barrel to a Backun Protégé Cocobolo I purchased before for my old clarinet (my Protégé arrived with the upgraded New Traditional barrel). Its a beautiful instrument from all angles. The grenadilla grain of the bell is just gorgeous, the barrel is also very pretty, although the upper and lower joint seem to me made of a darker batch of wood. The finishing of the wood is incredible, like a piece of art. Its also slightly heavier than other student and intermediate clarinets I have tried, probably due to a better quality wood. The laser engraving is perfect. The keys look just amazing, and mechanically they perform very well, they fell sturdy and soft at the same time. The keys are very quiet, and unlike my old clarinet, the Protégé is very silent when playing across the range, maybe the only key that barely makes a perceptible noise is the Left hand F/C lever, if anything. Perhaps my only complaint, and hence the main reason to give it four and not five stars, is that the Left hand F#/C# lever is higher than in my previous clarinets, and gets in the way when I need to use the Left hand E/B lever. That is taking some attention to get used to, and it may be related to the size of my hand/finger, but it became an issue I need to deal with nonetheless. Regarding tone, the lower notes are beautiful, but I have yet to get the best sound out of this instrument, and I think I might need a better mouthpiece. I have played with the three different student level MPs I own [Hite, Vito and a vintage Woodwind Robert Marcellus N13(student?)], a couple of Rovner ligatures and several combinations of reeds. Still, I struggle a lot in the altissimo range. I found that going above the high D is very difficult with the Protégé, but I can get those notes more easily on my Vito. It almost feels like the particular Protégé I received is not as responsive up there, but I am not sure yet, it might be that the instrument demands a better embouchure, a different mouthpiece, or both, who knows. I will need to get some help to sort that out. I received my Protégé with an older case, something like a Protec Slimline (?) if I am not mistaken. It seems like a good small and lightweight case, although it doesn’t fit quite well the adjustable thumb rest, and it just doesn’t have enough space inside to place a humidity control pack. I need to see how to deal with that before the winter arrives. Maybe that was the reason Backun upgraded the case model, and probably other people won’t have that issue since it seems like this models is usually shipped with a slightly larger case. These are my honest thoughts after one month with the clarinet. Overall, I think the Protégé is a beautiful instrument that can be a lifetime clarinet for someone who wants a high quality horn but doesn’t need the fancy features of the more professional models.

MS
07/20/2020
Mike S.
Loving Every Minute

Replaced my very old R13 last week with the Backun Protege and loving every minute of it so far!!

JO
07/20/2020
Javier O.
Great Clarinet

The protegé is a great clarinet for students or amateur musicians.

DV
07/20/2020
David V.
Love It

This is an absolutely beautiful clarinet. Plays and responds like a more expensive professional clarinet.

JH
06/22/2020
Jesse H.
Sounds Amazing

Good horn. Sounds amazing, with great technical control in the keys, but incredibly sharp. The Protege should come with a 66mm barrel instead.

JB
06/01/2020
Jordan B.
Fell in Love with the Sound

We purchased this clarinet for our daughter who is in 10th grade at Parkland High School. She will be majoring in music in college. We fell in love with the sound and her clarinet teacher was very impressed with the quality of your instrument. Thank you for offering this model at such an affordable price! I'm sure we will be looking at your professional models in the future!


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Fit and Sizing

Barrels

FIT BRANDS
Standard Backun, Buffet, Selmer (USA, Centered Tone, 10G, Series 9), Yamaha, and most other brands
Standard Plus As above, larger bore for more free blowing feel

Selmer Paris

Selmer Paris (Not including Selmer USA, 10G, Series 9)

Yamaha CSG

Yamaha CSG I, II and III

 

Bells

FIT BRANDS
Standard Backun, Buffet, Selmer (USA, Centered Tone, 10G, Series 9), Yamaha (including CSG), and most other brands
Selmer Paris Selmer Paris (Not including Selmer USA, 10G, Series 9)

Vocalise Bb Mouthpieces

MODEL MATERIAL OPENING FACING LENGTH COMPARES TO
R Hard Rod Rubber Close Short M13/15
G Hard Rod Rubber Medium Medium 5RV/M30/BD5
H Hard Rod Rubber Open Long B40/B45
CG Proprietary Synthetic Open Long BD4/B40
Z Hard Rod Rubber Extreme Open Long BD7

Vocalise Bass Mouthpieces

MODEL MATERIAL OPENING FACING LENGTH COMPARES TO
CG
Proprietary Synthetic Open Long B46/B50

Alpha Mouthpieces

MODEL MATERIAL OPENING FACING LENGTH COMPARES TO
Bb Plastic Medium Medium 5RV Lyre
Bass Plastic Medium Medium 5RV Lyre